On Aging– Hopefully Gracefully
Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.
– Mark Twain
If there’s one thing that no one in this world is exempt from, no matter how rich, how poor, how thin, how nice, how evil, how generous, WHATEVER… it’s AGING. Yes, we are all aging. And we are all fighting it at the exact same rate as the next person. Some will age better, some worse, but it’s a process we all must face whether we like it or not.
2010 is a big year for me. In April, I will turn 35, and in August, I will be married 10 years. Yet, it all feels like yesterday that I met my hubby (I was 17), and then pushed out a couple of kids. And although I think I keep myself looking pretty decent – I work out, I eat very well (minus McDonald’s which I LOVE and don’t deprive myself of), I am mentally quite sane, and the eternal optimist, I do notice the aging process happening. Not in a major full on wrinkle kind of way, rather the “Wow, I’m just not 25 years old anymore” kind of way.
But if there is one thing I am not on the fence about, it’s my desire to age gracefully. I am not against plastic surgery at all for those who so choose to go that route (and I have a couple of friends my age who have had “work” done), but for myself, I have a feeling I will opt out, even as gravity pulls me lower and lower. Now I know you’re saying, “Wait until you’re 60, you may feel differently then,” but I really don’t think so. I thankfully have a husband who loves me for who I am, regardless of a few sagging things or imperfections here or there, and I happen to have pretty good self esteem. But my goal is to age properly, continuing all the good things I’ve been doing thus far- even the wine!
As women, we all hope to age gracefully, whatever that may mean to you, be it allowing mother nature to take its course, or faking her out a little with a little help from Dr. 90210. Regardless of your avenue, here are a few tips to live by:
- Let aging sink in. It’s a reality, and it ain’t just you! We’re all gettin’ older and misery loves company. This is not a bad thing. Grey hairs will come, and so may the desire for Botox. Whatever the route, make peace with the aging process. Let it be your friend, not your enemy. Look at Lauren Hutton.
- Go the healthy route. There’s nothing like heavy boozing and smoking to totally speed up the aging process. And if you have other bad habits that have been with you up until now, it’s never too late to kick ‘em. I have about 3 glasses of wine a week. I smoke about 6 cigarettes a year. I eat junk food once every so often. I don’t do drugs. I don’t overeat. My biggest vice is anxiety, which I know AIN’T GOOD FOR AGING! But lord knows, I try!
- Which bring us to WORRY AND ANXIETY. Life is about how you INTERNALIZE your stress, it’s never about the stressor itself. So when exams in school would put me into total overwhelm and keep me up all night, that cortisol rush in your body is terrible for the mind, and the aging process. You have to keep your nerves in check. Stress does terrible things to your body, both inside and out. Yoga, Pilates, a healthy diet full of omega 3’s, and hitting the gym all help in this department. Also, lavender is an anti stress herb and smells great. Vitamin B6 and B12 are great vitamin supplements to fight anxiety.
- Sleep. Make sure you get enough. This is crucial to your overall well being. You need enough shut-eye time. Everyone requires a different amount, but generally, it should be about 7-9 hours.
- Don’t isolate yourself. Get out there and be social. Having that connection of friends and women to bond with, laugh with, and bounce ideas off of, is great for your spirit. Keep up your friendships. They do wonders for your body and mind!
- And finally, DRINK WATER! 8 glasses a day. Make the toilet your friend.
The bottom line is that as long as we’re breathing, we’re going to age. Some of us will be lucky enough to live old enough to see our grandchildren get married. Some may not. But aging requires preparation and acceptance. Your body parts will give out, and when you slide your jeans on one day, your belt may wrap around your boobs! Shit happens! But I really do think that age is just a number. I look at my mom who turned 60 last month, and she looks amazing. Gorgeous skin and a healthy attitude. So even if you’re only in your mid thirties like me, I say, start aging gracefully now. Take care of number 1. Enjoy life no matter how old you are, because aging gracefully is a choice, and it’s fully your own.
Ps – Enjoying the week off with the boys. Skiing, bowling, and overeating.
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