Nina Bandoni is the force behind Sharing A Journey. Her blog showcases Nina’s exquisite beauty and fashion sense for us women of a ‘certain age’. Nina also shares her insights on real-life struggles. We are privileged to have her participate in Kuel Life’s Share Your Story. You can follow Nina on Instagram (Sharing A Journey) and FaceBook.
There is power in story telling. There is power in community. There is power in sharing. The more we know about one another; the more we understand; the more powerful we become.
We invite all of the KuelWomen out there to share their stories with us.
This is Nina’s.
What are you pursuing now, after 55, that surprises you or might appear to others as if it’s come out of left field?
NINA: I have moved away from consulting non-profit organizations and public office to write develop a lifestyle blog for women 45 and over. We feature fashion, beauty, lifestyle and posts about real life struggles—and how they might be overcome…or not.
I’ve always loved writing and exploring life’s little mysteries. I am grateful that my current situation allows me to do this and that people seem to like what I’m doing. When you start a blog or anything like this, it takes time to see whether it’s going to catch on, and I certainly have heard my share of crickets.
The empty nest and midlife changes were certainly a surprise. I felt I’d been kicked out of the nest and into a new world right along with my daughter. In 2014, I was divorced after a 25+ year marriage. My work seemed to be drying up, and I was nolonger inspired by it. My daughter was becoming more independent, and I am no longer a full time mom…I’m now a “momsultant”.
KUEL LIFE: What’s a typical day like for you?
NINA: I’m an early riser, I like to get out, make some coffee and meditate before hitting the keyboard or working on what ever project needs my attention that day. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Roger, my parter, and I ice dance for a couple of hours; the other day’s we’re off ice in the gym trying to maintain our strength. I’m a certified yoga instructor, so I try to get some yoga in every day too. I spend a lot of time at home writing or working on blog related projects, marketing and collaborating, planning photo shoots and shooting. Blogging the way we do it, is quite time consuming—we are working on growing and have added video as well. I usually wrap up around 7:30 in the evening and watch tv with Roger.
KUEL LIFE: With what do you struggle?
NINA: Right now I have a few things. First, I’ve been having some health issues and dealing with them has been a setback, time wise especially. We haven’t yet gotten to the bottom of it, and as I’ve been going through the process, I’ve been updating our readers.
I also struggle with time management. I’m filled with ideas and am pushing to get them out the way I envision them—often getting it just right takes more time than I expect or allow for. There are almost constantly distractions and pulls for my attention—fun collaborations—new marketing opportunities, new things to learn—so I’m always having to pull myself to the task at hand.
It’s easy to get discouraged, especially when you don’t see immediate results or when you put a lot of time into a project and it doesn’t seem well received. Sometimes it takes a bit for things to get traction, especially with algorithm changes and such. I’m sometimes surprised to come back later and see that people responded over a longer arc of time.
KUEL LIFE: How do you motivate yourself and stay motivated?
NINA: Right now I am on fire. I bound out of bed full of ideas for the day..
KUEL LIFE: What advice would you give fellow women about aging?
NINA: For me, menopause was a misery, it tested me in every way. Once through, I have tools and skills like I could never have imagined. Otherwise, I’m still me, doing and being me. Age doesn’t play into anything I’m doing. Frankly, age is a non-conversation as far as I’m concerned.
KUEL LIFE: What does vulnerability mean to you? What has the ability to make you vulnerable?
NINA: I’ve certainly been vulnerable but I don’t feel that way at the moment. I’m not sure I’m in that space right now. I am feeling strong, my life experience has coalesced me into a much more confident woman. It’s one of the blessings of age. Having been through life’s fires and battles and to have survived is pretty powerful. That’s not to say that I think I’ve got things in the bag, I know better than that. Life can change on a dime.
KUEL LIFE: What are three events that helped to shape your life?
NINA:1. Graduating high school and moving away from home. 2. Having my daughter and becoming a mom. 3. Yoga
KUEL LIFE: Who influenced you the most in life and why?
NINA: My dad and a my therapist, Dr. Jo. I’d say they were my guides. I also read a lot and find authors and great thinkers to influence me.
KUEL LIFE: What is the best advice you’ve been given from another woman?
NINA: Be curious and ask a lot of questions. My first mentor, a woman named Nancy Knisley told me to always ask people what they did and learn as much as I could from them and the world around me. She also encouraged me to think outside the box and look for unique ways to use my skills and work with others.
KUEL LIFE: What woman inspires you and why?
NINA: I have several girl friends who inspire me—I’m much more interested in my “real” friends than celebrities.
KUEL LIFE: Are you grown-up?
NINA: Sometimes yes, sometimes no.
KUEL LIFE: What do you do for self-care?
NINA: I’m a huge proponent for taking time out to meditate daily and do yoga. I’m also one who appreciates pampering, so when things get out of control, I go for some spa love and a social media blackout. I also make sure I spend quality time with Roger, my boyfriend and photographer.
KUEL LIFE: And last but definitely NOT least: What are the top three things on your bucket list?
NINA: 1. A trip to Europe in the next year or so. 2. A train trip during color season. 3. To grow Sharing A Journey