From the day we are born, so much of our lives are planned around our age. Most parents countdown the days until their little one starts kindergarten, and then graduates high school, goes off to college and hopefully their baby marries their perfect match and lives happily ever after. Those are what I like to call the “good ol’ days” when the plan of life falls into place. But then the real world kicks in and The REAL WORLD can be a mean evil stankin ass bitch! This is when we have to learn how to deal with the ups and downs of life in order to age gracefully.
I can remember being in my teens and I couldn’t wait until I turned twenty-one so I could drink legally and go to the club. Then, when I turned twenty-one I wanted to be twenty-five so I could get a rental car without the extra fees. Every year I was looking forward to being older negating the fact that when the current year has come and gone I could never get it back again.
When I turned twenty-eight I can remember having a conversation with some guy friends and they were talking about how women “fall off” in their thirties and that’s why guys preferred to date younger women. The thought of “falling off” made me afraid of aging. For the first time in my life I wasn’t rushing the clock to continue to tick. I never wanted the clock to stop, or move in slow motion. However, I did realize I needed to slow down. It became clear that instead of worry about the bills that are due at the end of the month. I should take a moment to enjoy this moment (whatever time of day or night it might be).
So what is the secret to aging gracefully?
STEP 1) There are things that you can control and many things that are far beyond your control. Learning to put your energy into the things you can control and be at peace with the ones that are out of your control is the definitely the first step in the aging gracefully process.
Let me give you an example. You can control how much you eat and how often you workout. You can not control other people’s behavior. When you try to control every situation and everybody around you, you add unnecessary stress into your life. You have to get to the point in life when you realize If you can’t change the people around, change the people around you.
STEP 2) If you don’t like something about you, change it. Not tomorrow today. A lot of our bad habits cause us undue stress. Example, if you know you are always late to everything, and this causes you to have problems at work, with friends and family. Own that shit and change it. Start adjusting your mental clock so that you can handle your business. You will see relieving yourself of stress is going to be the biggest factor in how you age.
STEP 3) Eat healthy and be consistent with your workout habits. Eating healthy doesn’t mean eating perfectly clean. It just means throw in a salad or some vegetables throughout the day, try not to go to bed with a full stomach, and watch your fat and sugar intake. Being consistent with your workout just means make it a point to walk a couple of miles a few times a week and strength train at least twice a week. Strength training helps with muscle retention as we age, and a doctor told me working out helps with the prevention of Alzheimer. I hope that’s true.
STEP 4) Make time to sleep, and sleep-in when you can. Give your mind time reset and reboot. Your body needs time to rebuild cells and muscle tissue.
STEP 5) Moisture your skin! Your skin is the largest organ of the human body. Take care of it. I starting using a face serum and moisturizer everyday and night at the age of twenty-six.
STEP 6) Make as much money as you can, but don’t forget to set aside time to spend it on things that bring you joy.
STEP 7) Live, laugh, learn and love every moment of everyday. Never get off the phone without saying I love you. Laugh hard and loud whenever you can. Live, travel, see new things even if its something new in your city.
We only have one shot at this thing called life. Enjoy it!
2004 (age 25) 2017 (age 38)