Beauty & Death

     It’s understood that we are all going to die.  Just as we are living at this moment, and we did not know the date of our birth before it occurred, the same is as in death, as it will happen to us all…eventually…without a doubt.

     We love the journey of life and in the same breath, we all love beauty.  We value it and most of us crave the youthful side of beauty and loathe the aging side.

     Aging, in and of itself is not a bad thing.  For example, we find value in many things that have experienced a little age.  Wine.  Cheese.  Vintage cars.  Jeans.  Leather.

     Let’s put it in perspective and think of it another way.

     It is not that we age, but it is HOW we age.  With any of the examples I listed above, the value is not in the actual age only, but how it’s been maintained.  For many of us we tend to fear the aging process, but there is beauty in the journey, if you plan for it and the good news is it’s never too late.

First Things First

     None of us are in a rush to die.  Therefore, most of us want to live to the max…let’s give it a number…say age 100 (to keep it simple).  God willing 🙏🏾.

     If we are blessed to see the ripe old age of 100, we need to consider there is a process to get there.  There is some serious maintenance required and planning on our part.  You see, there are two types of 100….old and decrepit and old and vibrant.  Both individuals can be old, but you want to be on the side that shows you are the best YOU can be for that age.  Remember, it will look different on everyone so don’t compare your process and journey to someone else – just strive to be your absolute best.  I’m choosing vibrancy and I know it will not happen by chance so a plan must be made.

Collective Aging: Mind and Body 

Mind – 

     If the mind is a muscle, we can agree that it must be exercised frequently as we age and get older.  It is not uncommon when people retire and no longer work in the traditional workforce to be on a permanent vacation status.  Although the 9-5 grind is no longer part of your schedule, consider filling your days with something equally, if not more stimulating and personally gratifying so you could continue to grow and prosper. Otherwise, I truly believe that your brain will begin to function suboptimally.  When you first retire, most people are tired and need a little break and that’s fine.  However, for the long term 20-30 years, it’s so important do something productive with your life.  Learning something new such as a new trade, a language, or even picking up a new hobby helps keeps the mind stimulated.  It doesn’t take long to get too comfortable in the perpetual state of relaxation so keep up what’s going on in the world and keep learning.  

     Remember, your mind must stay stimulated to stay sharp and this may be a perfect time finally do that thing that you’ve always wanted to do.

Managing stress – 

     Unfortunately, stress does not go away just because we get older.  The type of stress may change, but we will always have some form of stress in our lives.  For example, as you age, you may no longer have the stress of having young children, a 9-5 job, commuting back and forth to work, or going back to school.  However, your new stressors may be adjusting to an empty nest, divorce, chronic illnesses, changing family dynamics or even aging parents.  Managing your lifestyle with your financial situation can be stressful as well, but as in everything, it’s all in how you respond to it.  

     It’s astonishing the amount of stress we voluntarily put on ourselves with things we have no control over.  I’ll be the first one to admit, that I have a bad habit of this.  It’s a daily internal struggle.  I must choose the battles that I’m going to fight each day; recognizing the things that are within my control and then separating them from the things that are not in my control.  I look forward to the day when this thought process is more automatic for me.

     Sounds old fashioned, but doing things like yoga, meditation, Tai-chi, and breath-work are all worth doing to make your internal systems work in harmony.  Consider trying them out. The outside is often a reflection of what’s going on in the inside.  Although you may use the most expensive skin creams, the most luxurious hair oils and perfumes, and makeup, if you are not managing the stress, it will take a toll on your internal body it will eventually manifest itself on the outside.  More importantly, it will bring down your overall quality of life without a doubt.  Just because we can’t see what’s going on in the inside and the damage stress is causing doesn’t mean that it’s not occurring.  

     Take the time to manage the stress and address underlying issues.  The good news is it is never too late to start.  Any day can be your day one.

Body –

     This is the part we resist most often- the physical and outward manifestation of age.  As we age, the skin, hair, and muscular composition are usually most noticeable.  If we (God willing) live to see 100, your body and my body WILL NOT look like it did at 35 or even 45.  There will be changes.  There is absolutely no way around it.  

     There are things we can do to our skin for example, to help it stay supple, elastic, and clear – maintenance.  If you were fortunate to drive a high-end Lamborghini or Bentley, rest assured you would pay attention to what you put into it for fuel.  You would fuel your car according to manufacturer’s recommendations with no shortcuts.  Those cars are investments so you most likely would not deviate from the recommendations.  It’s the same for your body.  It’s very simple, but we make it hard.  

Guidelines to Consider

1.  Everything in moderation to keep insulin, blood sugar and blood pressure levels in check.  Your arteries and organs will thank you.

2.  Know your numbers and work to keep them in balance for your health.  Limit the excessive salt and sugar in your daily diet. 

3.  Eat healthy fats.

4.  Do not overeat.  Many people eat way more than they should out of habit.  Do you really need to eat 3x/day, 6x/day, or have snacks?  Ask yourself what is right for your body and lifestyle, not just what you are used to.  Proper nourishment and exercise should be a daily goal, not a resolution.  Your quality of life depends on it.  

5.  Maintain an appropriate weight so ligaments, bones and joints can support your body the way it is supposed to.  Muscles that are kept flexible and limber with daily stretching are also less likely to injure and tear.  

     Please remember, just because we may have always eaten a certain way traditionally or culturally doesn’t mean it’s always the best thing.  When we know better, we should do better.

Let’s take care of ourselves and put some value into the process of aging.  

     Notice I didn’t mention any “anti-aging” anything.  There is no special cream or potion you can buy to prevent it – No matter what the commercials tell you!  Aging is inevitable, so let’s age the best way we can and take the negative connotation out of the word “aging”.  You and I are going to die, but if the odds are in our favor and we live a long life let’s look and feel our very best from the inside out.  Plan for graceful aging and that means taking care of yourself on a deeper level than creams and oils.  Start today taking note of your health.  Graceful aging can be a beautiful process.  Its cumulative, so a little each day brings big rewards.

     The alternative my friends can be a very rough road.

Until next time…

Be Polished.  Be Alluring.  Be Elegant.  Be You.  

Be Unapologetically You.

Modern Feminine Life

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