Old. What a powerful word. It evokes and interesting response in people when you talk about what being “old” means. Literally every human is aging- every second of every day, we are incrementally older. Ageing is a constant in everyone’s life, and you would think it should create comfort in that predictably. It is often a fearful process that many try to stop, erase or change.
First of all, what is old? Depends who you ask and their age at that time. Of course, the younger you are- more likely you perceive bring old at a different timeline than someone who is older. Millennials perceive old age as 60’s. GenX- 70’s and Boomers- 80’s. No surprise there, it’s a sliding scale and perspective that determines reality.
Why the fear of aging? For some, it’s frightening, beyond the vanity- fear of illness, pain, loneliness, and mortality. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Positive aging is defined as “How we choose to define, view, and accept the changes is crucial to our ability to “age gracefully.” Positive aging allows us to weather the expected and unexpected changes we experience.” According to https://positivepsychology.com/
Many cultures around the world revere and value to wisdom of elders. They are highly respected and valuable to society. Culturally in North American we are predisposed to value youth and beauty more than the life experience.
We, in particular women, are conditioned to be obsessed with youth- looking effortlessly young forever yet penalized and judged for your vanity if you try to hard to look young or get any cosmetic surgery or enhancements. Or penalized and judged for “letting yourself go” if your hair has grown naturally grey, forgoing treatments and embracing your lines and wrinkles, you are perceived as giving up and being haggard and tired. So you are damned if you do, dammed if you don’t. We are all ageing everyday, nothing can stop the hands of time..except the alternative to life, death. Whoa, that got dark.
Moving on. Let’s take a look at what is aging? “Aging is a gradual, continuous process of natural change that begins in early adulthood. During early middle age, many bodily functions begin to gradually decline.” Aging has far reaching implications on our physical abilities as well, that also effect us psychologically. We can’t do the things we could in our youth- dexterity and flexibility changes, bones become more brittle, daily aches/pains. New lines show up on our faces because of drier skin and environmental factors, we need reading glasses, hearing starts to go, grey hair that’s thinner and more brittle. We shrink. And yet our noses and ears still continue to grow-what? Why??? Who knows. None of it sounds that appealing.
Point being- these are things happening to all our bodies in all due time and it harms our self esteem especially in a youth=beauty culture. So what can we do? Relent to the ravages of time? Fight back calling every plastic surgeon in town? Or simply accept and mitigate what we can to look and feel our best?
If you have been following me for sometime I bet you can guess my approach…I am accepting of the changes not fearful of the different stages in life yet I want to look and feel good everyday! I found this article- HTTPS://bestlifeonline.com/look-younger-after-40/ offers great tips for over 40!
Here’s what I do to age gracefully and look my best on the outside:
- Update Wardrobe -2x year- go through your closet and create two piles keep and toss, and analyze every single item. If it doesn’t fit, is more than three years old and you haven’t worn it (exceptions are vintage or keepsakes), damaged beyond repair, and does not make you feel great when wearing- TOSS. You can consign, donate or say toss if irreparable. Now in your KEEP pile- create new combinations for outfits, make note of any items missing or that you need. Sprinkle in a few trendy items if the season (SS22 top trends- Y2K, big bags, fringe/feathers, platforms, bold colour, suits) and add a few trendy pieces to keep you looking fresh and current.
- Skin- moisturize like crazy! I love to look tanned. I know, I know- I still love the look. Now it mostly comes out of bottle! I spent most of my youth in the sun or even worse in tanning beds. Now as I approach 50, a few sunspots are starting to crop up and the damage I did is rearing it’s ugly head! But there’s lots of topical products to help skin look supple and smooth- dry oils, shimmer lotions, body makeup. I use spray tanning oil for my face and décolletage- in the winter and I use it 2x’s a week. In spring/summer I do full body 1x week. Faux glow all the way!! I use Bronze Tan Facial Tanning Water and St Tropez for full body application.
- Face- Thanks to decent genetics, a very oily complexion and a medium/ light olive skin I do not have a lot of wrinkles. I have some fine lines around eyes, very minor crows feet and minimal lines on rest of face. I am leery of injectable’s- in particular filler. It frightens me to drastically alter my appearance. Now I know, it’s all about the injector and how much they use. But its a slippery slope snd one I don’t wish to slide down. I reserve the right to change my mind! For now, I will forgo. If you are brave enough and use filler, and love it- that’s great! Happy for you! My daily/weekly skincare routine is robust- I will do a separate post on that.
- Hair- it took years to recover my hair from decade of bleaching, I used to be very blonde. During my pregnancy with Dominic, I got my hair back to healthy by switching back to brunette, cutting it shorter to grow it out, washing once a week, less heat, lots of masques, using professional product. As I turned 40, there was significant greys, thinning and texture changes. I colour my own roots every 3 weeks, I use Igora, professional products. I get balayage once sometimes twice a year as that’s all my hair can take. I get trims every 2-3 months. I also use halo extensions when I want extra volume when going out- I get mine from Amazon.
Tomorrow we will talk about the internal ways to age gracefully.