…And Finding Some Fabulousness Along the Way
BY: Jaki Scarcello,
Author of "Fifty & Fabulous"
Like Meryl Streep’s character Jane said in the film _It’s Complicated_...”it is complicated” ...this life on the other side of our working years. The kind of complications only abundance can bring.
Hopefully these tips will help you to see that clarity is an ever increasing gift which comes with each birthday.
1. FACE IT… YOUR BODY HAS CHANGED
Remove all your makeup, strip to the undies and stand in front of a mirror.
I know this is tough so have a friend guard the door so you can’t leave. Look yourself in the eye, well not _in_ the eye, around it where the lines are forming. Notice the furrows, the wrinkles, the red spots and the jowls.
Sweep down to the arms, the belly and the thighs….come on you can do it! Take a good look.
Now ask yourself what do you really think about this aging process?
Once you have faced the changes that life has brought you can stop being shocked every morning. Get over it.
As Gloria Steinem said, “this is what 70 looks like.” Finally, you can get comfortable in your own skin.
2. SPRING CLEAN YOUR MIND
In your head there is a closet of sorts that holds your favorite beliefs. Just like that cute grey pencil skirt you loved so much and your very best pants, as you age, some of those beliefs go out of fashion or worse… they just don’t fit anymore.
Your beliefs form your perspective which is the filter through which you experience life. If your perspective on aging is clogged with negative images and beliefs it will not serve you well today or in the future. A restricting belief pinches your thinking and hurts when you try to bend your mind around a new experience.
So haul out some of those beliefs and ideas you hold dear and try them on the 50+ you. Does your perspective on aging and on how you should live and act at this age still serve you and those around you or do you need to shop for a new one?
You have a lot of living left to do. It would be a shame to be doing it in what you consider to be a second class stage of life just because you did not update your closet.
3. GET TO KNOW THE WOMAN WHO HAS GROWN UP INSIDE YOU
Stop and reflect by asking yourself these simple questions
What do I know now that I did not know when I was younger?
What do I feel now that I did not feel when I was younger?
What do I do now that I would not have dared to do when I was younger?
This is the beginning of what I call your Wisdom Harvest. You are the harvest and the wisdom is your self knowledge with which you can nourish the rest of your life.
There is not one life that has come this far that does not have value when viewed with an open heart and uncritical eyes.
4. PUT AWAY OUTDATED MIDLIFE PERFORMANCE REVIEWS
Evaluate life after 50 with criteria which are appropriate to the stage of life.
Do not use the performance based criteria of mid life because life 50+ is richer, broader and deeper than that.
In life after 50 the game is not won by how long you can stay young but by how soon you can begin to embrace the unique characteristics that come only with age. It is a stage of human development you will not want to miss…even with the occasional ache and hot flash. You will think act and feel differently as you grow older. Do not be too quick to judge yourself to former standards but wait and see what new criterion forms for you.
5. BE WILLING TO UPDATE YOUR ADDRESS BOOK
Some friends are forever… and some are not.
Some relationships are vital to your survival so you will always vote and work to maintain them. Others quite frankly, they need to be over. They are just not working anymore for anyone but for some reason women make time to see people they really don’t want to see because they feel they must. Then what happens? Resentment… enough!
You are a big girl now and you can choose to be with the people in your life who support you the most, whose voices take you the deepest into your heart and mind. If you are not excited to see someone when they show up…think about this. What are you doing?
6. UNPACK THE WAGON…MAYBE EVEN TRADE IT IN
Ask yourself what you can give away or give up that would make your life lighter. Things like the place you live, the stuff in it, the extra stuff you really thought you needed but maybe you don’t anymore. No, not because you are over the hill, going to die soon and too old and weak to dust. You are done with the hill…you now can step off the edge and fly. If you lighten your load, you can fly baby…you can fly and wow the view from up here is amazing.
7. ASK FOR HELP
OK, I know this one is tougher than the mirror exercise for some. You give help all the time, you see where it is needed and you give it. Good thing you can “read” your girlfriends need because they probably don’t ask either.
You need to learn to ask. Remember how good it feels when you get help, when you know others care and for just a moment they will do some of the work, carry some of the load, turn you away from worry or hold the Kleenex box… ask, tell and ask some more.
8. THINK ABOUT YOUR LEGACY AND START BUILDING IT NOW
Consider, if you are going to life 40 years past your 50th birthday… what would you like your contribution to life to be during those years?
A sense of purpose is one of two factors which have the greatest impact on longevity.
You can use the self knowledge you gained in Tip 3 to help you decide where your next passion will take you. I can’t wait to see what you will do and remember a legacy does not have to save the world. To have value it does not have to do more than save one relationship, cause one smile or make one moment of anyone’s day better.
9. JOIN THE FEARLESS AGING MOVEMENT
When you realize how rich and exciting this stage of life can be...connect with others and tell them.
Create a community of folks around you who celebrate life after 50 by sharing how you feel and motivating others to do the same.
The best gift you can give your children and grandchildren is a positive picture of aging. Your example can free them from the fear of aging. I don’t mean hide the bad things, moan if you must, cry and grieve but also let the peace, confidence, spirit and wisdom show. The mature years like all years are a mixed bag. The quality of those years and the message you send to those coming after you will depend a lot on how you accommodate the painful and the blissful in your own life.
10. BE GRATEFUL AND CELEBRATE WONDER
and wonder are the purest of human conditions. They come naturally to
small children and thanks be to the universe, they come back to us in
later years. Why do you think that the eyes of a 90 year old woman
sparkle like the eyes of a baby? Why do you think your grandmother can
be so thrilled with the smallest gesture or gift? These childlike
responses are not the naiveté of infancy. They are a sophisticated
response to the present moment. It takes a while to get there so start
practicing now…you will be so glad you did.
JAKI SCARCELLO IS THE AUTHOR OF FIFTY & FABULOUS, THE BEST YEARS OF A WOMAN’S LIFE AND THE DEVELOPER OF FIFTY+ FABULATION EVENTS.
Check out: WWW.FIFTYFAB.COM
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