Thursday, November 24, 2011

Amazing Women No. 6: Darlene Hermes

Darlene Hermes
My mom!
Seattle, WA

My mom is one of the most positive, creative, beautiful, healthy people I know. As I get older, I realize and appreciate how much I have learned from her and how so much I of who I am is a direct reflection of her.  Now that I have my own daughter I am seeing how much both my mom and I are passing onto to Sofia.  We have so many things in common and share so many interests and talents. All three of us love color, art, fashion, flowers, traditions, accessorizing (especially scarves!),creating, being active, going to church, traveling (especially to Paris). The list goes on and on. It’s very cool to see.
I have also come to realize that so many of the things my mom has told me over the years are true, especially when it comes to motherhood. Like “Once a mom, always a mom.” She’s still always there for me and I know I will always be there for Sofia. And “Being a mother is the most important job you will ever have.” I am starting to more fully understand and appreciate that one. It is also the hardest job I have ever had, but my mom has supported me every step of the way….

My mom’s positive “blue sky” outlook on everything, during good times and challenging ones, is such an inspiration to me. She has more faith than anyone I know – in people, in God, in herself, even in the weather!!  I remember so many times growing up I would look outside and comment on the gray sky. She would always say, “The sun is going to pop out!” She must have had x-ray vision. Actually I think she just had a really sunny outlook, because I could never see it through the thick gray clouds, but it usually did pop out. In hindsight, I don’t think it was x-ray vision. She always sees the best in everything and everyone. That is such a gift and something I am still working on.

I am featuring my mom as one of the most amazing women I know. She gave birth to me 40 years ago on Thanksgiving Day and she still talks about it like it was one of the most special days of her life. Thank you mom, for everything. I love you!

Q. What is your favorite color combination and why? Does it change with the seasons or do you have a go-to favorite(s)?

A. Basic colors (like navy blue and black) are my favorite and then colorful accessories complete the look.  I wear a scarf every day; it is my signature.  My first job with the airlines I wore a camel wool coat with a scarf probably tied as an ascot to my first interview.  The VP that hired me on the spot later told me it was because of my classic coat and scarf look!!

Red would be my favorite for accessories: red leather purse, red leather driving gloves, red coat and, in my home, my accent color in each room is red. 

My mom's artwork was featured in the Madison Park Art Walk. She loves red doors!

Q. Where do you look for creative inspiration for your art and your life?
A. Creative inspiration is found all around me, every day.  I look for inspiration as I walk, drive, meet people, enjoy all the details of objects, and look for meaning in what I choose to touch, remember, smell, give, take and share with all around me.   Being a creative person, I enjoy mostly the simple things in life that bring joy to me and to those that I share my thoughts with.

Q. I know that I inherited my love of traditions and rituals from you. What is your favorite holiday tradition and why?
A. One of my favorite rituals when you and Jill were growing up was to make every day special in a special way.  I would set the table in the morning for your breakfast with a theme of the day or season.  There are so many little things I used to do that I call rituals. Birthday parties were always very special. I would put a number candle on a paper doily on a plate on your birthday each year. 

Memories of our very special family Thanksgiving celebrations are paramount in my mind.  I loved to prepare for the trip, packing candles, flowers, snacks, sometimes the turkey and off we would go to a destination – Lake Quinault Lodge and Cannon Beach stand out!!
My mom's illustration.

Q. One of your favorite authors is Alexandra Stoddard, author of Living a Beautiful Life and several other books.  What is your favorite advice or quote of hers?
A. Inspiration from Alexandra Stoddard comes in statements like “Let all your motivation come from inside you;” “Get a Passport;” “At night, in the mornings, on weekends, the important thing is to like and understand yourself;” and “Daring to be Yourself”!!
Q. Your personal style is classic, yet always current and a bit artsy. What is your fashion philosophy?
A. Stay classic. Don’t follow fads as they fade away very quickly. Classic is forever. 

Q. I know you have always loved quotes. Can you share a favorite with us?

A. “Look at this day, yesterday is but a dream, tomorrow a vision; But today well lived, makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and tomorrow a vision of hope.” -Sanskrit Proverb quote

Q. And finally, what advice do you have for me and others who are turning 40 about living a healthy and well-balanced life?

A. Turning 40 is such a special time of life, just take it, embrace it, feel how special you are and live each day to the fullest!  Take good care of your mind, body and soul by eating a healthy diet, exercise, stay positive, smile at every person you pass – and even say hello! You will be amazed the response you will receive and you will feel blessed to have touched someone’s life in a very personal way.   Take care of yourself!! 

My mom's illustration.

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