Why I Love Queen Latifah

This woman is amazing. I *love* Queen Latifah. She's intelligent, funny, incredibly talented. I see her on talk shows, and I just adore her--I want to *know* her because I get the sense that she's just got so much love and goodwill emanating from her...and that she  shares that with the people around her.

So, she was on Ellen the other morning. (I am also a huge fan of Ellen, for pretty much the same basic reasons.) And she's talking about this being the year that she's turning the big Four-Oh. Ellen asked her what she thought of it, and I was so thrilled to hear her say that she's not all worked up about turning forty. That she's sort of looking forward to it, and that she feels good about it.

I actually think that I really *love* that woman. Because her attitude about getting a bit older is right on! I guess it doesn't hurt that I happen to be feeling the same way. But I'm thrilled to see my contemporary say loudly and proudly that, "Hell Yeah! I *am* getting older!" Older, better, growing and learning. My concerns, my quiet little "frettable" thoughts (I made that word up--'frettable'--meaning something over which I will likely fret) are shifting. I worry less about appearances, more about substance. I feel as if I've only just begun (yeah, I know you hear the strains of The Carpenters when you read that!) and that there is opportunity awaiting me--mine for the taking.

Turns out...Queen Latifah's birthday is the day before mine. She is exactly one day older than me (and shares the birthday with one of my older sisters). I always thought of her as younger than me, not that it mattered all that much to me, but I somehow was a little bit thrilled at how close in age we really are.

I'm kind of excited about turning 40. And admittedly, I'm also doing a bit of reflection--there's quite a few more wrinkles than when I got married 10 years ago. Definitely more grey hair. I've not taken to covering those greys, either, and boy are they prolific! My feeling is, "Damn it! I earned those!" They're my badge of survival. Not just survival...success!

And I've changed. I've grown. I've soldiered through some serious challenges in my time on this planet. And with Forty on the horizon, I decided to spend a bit more time focusing on my own health and well-being. Since August, I've been exercising 4 or 5 days a week. You'd be surprised at how much better your outlook on the world is, when you get the endorphins pumping on a regular basis. I sleep more soundly, and feel more rested when I get up. I feel optimistic as a general rule, not as if some gloomy cloud is following me around.

And, I found that in focusing on exercise as an activity unto itself--something that simply makes my head feel good--the rest just followed. I have lost weight...about 25 pounds. I feel so much healthier, just climbing the stairs! And, speaking of climbing, my ass is climbing back up the back of my thighs and looking perkier--my legs are getting firmer & stronger, and those weren't even my goals. As I said, the goal was to tend to my head (specifically, endorphins!). I have some serious bicep and ab action going on as well. What happened? I'm not sure...all I know is that I finally stopped focusing on the external...and focused on the real me. The me inside. For better or worse, I'm me--so why not make sure it's a 'better' version?

So here's to my fellow Piscean, Queen Latifah...and all you wonderful ladies out there who embrace the you that you are, or are working toward that end...and a special 'cheers' to those of you turning 40 this year. They say 40 is the new 20...I say, 40, 20, 60--doesn't matter, as long as you're good with where you are!

Crossposted at Just Margaret

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Margaret Barney is a practically-forty-year-old mom of two kids.  Read more at Just Margaret.

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