Old age is the only disease you can catch by imitating its symptomsMario E. Martinez
On my soap box
In a world obsessed with the pursuit of eternal youth it can be hard to wear our years with pride. We should fade into the background, noiselessly accepting our lot as has-beens. Social media platforms seem to be teeming with bright young things. Many of the images posted have passed through some filter which magically (and artificially) removes all lines, giving people a Barbie and Ken plastic complexion. Even personal grooming products have joined the fray with labels such as ‘anti-ageing’, ‘anti-wrinkle’ and ‘anti-grey’.
Thinking and being
Social media and media in general are not alone in prematurely aging us. We do it to ourselves. Beliefs handed on to us in conjunction with our own inner monologue make a heady combination. How many of us believe we are ‘past it’ once a woman is menopausal? I used to hold that belief strongly in the very core of my being. I once described myself as slowly becoming a prune, all dried up and wrinkly. I’d look longingly at a pair of boots, imagining myself wearing them, then bursting my own bubble with thoughts such as ‘they are too young for me’. I’d see an item of clothing and think ‘Cost Center 1 (my daughter) would look lovely in that, but I’d look like mutton dressed as lamb.’ And with that, I’ve told myself I am old! It’s easy it is to live down to those expectations. If we keep this inner monologue (or in my case, dialogue/argument) going long enough we’ll talk ourselves out of experimentation, exploration and creativity, all the way into a cage, an age cage.
You can go your own way …
Ok so maybe, as individuals, persuade marketing departments to drop the ‘anti’ and try ‘pro’ is not an easy task so let’s focus on what we can do, starting with ourselves. Imagine if we didn’t think like this? What if we thought of trying on the clothing or the boots? What if we kept all negative references to age out of it and simply asked ‘does this work for me?’ Instead of trapping ourselves into early dotage, we could, by adjusting our inner voice, give ourselves the freedom to express ourselves in whichever way pleases us without worrying about what everyone else thinks. What goes on in other people’s heads is no business of ours.
Cath’s top tips in no particular order:
- Eat well
- Sleep well
- Move your butt – dance, yoga, run, swim – whatever floats your boat!
- Start the day with gratitude and affirmations to get you where you want to go.
- Under no circumstances let your inner voice mutter stuff like ‘…at your age…’, ‘…too old for…’ and the phrase ‘senior moment’ is banned
- Do activities that make you smile and laugh, and do them regularly
- Life is short. This isn’t a dress rehearsal so use the good china and dress up to suit yourself
- If the mood takes you, change your hairstyle or (and) buy that special item. This sends a strong message of love and care to the inner you
- Look after your emotional health – mindful meditation really does help
- Get outside in the fresh air every day.
Bless you all for reading and following this blog.