Because I am premenopausal and prone to mood swings and their accompanying crises, this morning I was feeling bitterly angry about the increased time I have to put into my beauty routine in order to look presentable these days. The older I get, the more time I spend on makeup, the tidier my hair needs to be, and the neater my wardrobe. Twenty years ago I could walk out the door with a bedhead and wrinkled dress and it just looked like personal style. Now it looks like deranged older lady.
I keep thinking and talking and writing lately about how much more confident and comfortable in my skin I am than I was 20 years ago. As a 40-something woman with a history of self-doubt and mild social anxiety, I am proud and happy that this is the case. Gone are the days when I'd freak out about my outfits or make trendy hair choices that did not at all suit me - I finally know what I like and don't care much what anyone thinks about it. Progress!
When I was younger there were few things more annoying to me than being told something I was suffering with was "all in my head". Whether I was in pain or beleaguered with self-doubt, my problems were very real to me, and being told they were imaginary or within my control was maddening. As I age, however, I realize how much of my own experience really is within my control, and a lot of it has to do with the dissipation of that very self-doubt I was once afflicted with. Given the age-related changes to my body I'm now experiencing and that my younger self dreaded, I'm surprised to say this positive self-determination extends to sex.
When was the last time you took a vacation? Yes, a vacation! Remember those? When you had time to read and swim, maybe take in a little sun, explore, have long dinners with a few too many glasses of wine...
How did you feel? Relaxed? Thought so!
It's interesting to notice how much our desire increases when we are on vacation. Be it the salty air or a crackling wood fire or the fact you actually have time to sit down and enjoy some breathing room, holidays are a great indicator that it is possible to feel that way.
And then we come home to our regular lives.
Our lives are busier than ever. With technology everywhere we go, it's easy to be constantly multitasking—reading documents on your tablet while you wait to pick up the kids from carpool, or sending emails from your smartphone while you jog on the treadmill. While being constantly connected is convenient, it has its downsides. Leading consistently busy lives is not only stressful, but it removes you from the present moment.
One helpful way to experience and enjoy more of your life is by practicing mindfulness. Not sure how to start being mindful? A great way is to practice. The following 10 exercises can help you ground yourself in the present and make your life both more manageable and more gratifying.
Occasional fashion disasters notwithstanding, we take pride in our originality. Nonetheless, we find that an old adage still rings true once in a while, and “you’re only as old as you think you are” is a phrase we find ourselves throwing around on a daily basis. Our bodies and minds are on a feedback loop—if you give in to feeling old then your body is quickly going to follow suit. But if you adopt the “50 is the new 40” (even better, 30!) way of thinking, then you’re likely to find your physique complying.