The Company You Keep
Since launching this blog, it has become (even more) evident to me how critical women are of the way they look, and it makes me sad: “My hands look old, my neck is wrinkled, my butt is sagging.” Reality is, it is exhausting (not to mention depressing) trying to keep up with those ten years younger. The extreme pressure society puts on women to look a certain way—movies, magazines, and quite frankly, sometimes the company we keep—is absurd, unrealistic, and yes, unhealthy. You can opt out. Tune out the unsolicited edits. Fire the inner critic.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t do our damnedest to look and feel amazing; as you may have surmised, I think we absolutely should. I think our best means observing, celebrating what we have, where we are. Fifty is not the new thirty. Fifty is fifty. Sixty is sixty. Sure, I’ll be the best fifty I can be, but by no means do I ever want to be thirty again. I’m going to treasure fifty and all its gifts. That means staying fit in my body and with my mind, eating well, taking good care of my skin, staying curious, reading, and learning from the wise. That means embracing age and the wisdom that comes with it—and that is beautiful.
I often think, if I was on a desert island with my family, husband, my children, and my very closest friends, what would I do? Would I spend time thinking that my neck is not as svelte as it once was? Would I obsess over my invisible-to-others cellulite? Uh, no! These people love me for who I am, and for the unconditional love I return; they don’t care if my lips aren't perfect, or if my forehead is creased.
A challenge: take a look and study the people that surround you.
Someone said the five people you spend the most time with are a reflection of the person you are. Who are your five? Do they care if you don’t have Angelina Jolie’s pucker, if your hair is long or short, if your butt doesn’t sit as high as it once did? Or do they love you for you? If you find those around you aren’t accepting of your imperfections, if they cannot see deeper than skin, reconsider those relationships. Is that a radical idea? Yes. Is it a healthy idea? Yes. Make 2018 about self-care. Surround yourself with like minds.
I have good days and bad days like everyone else. Trust me, there are moments I don't practice what I preach. I’m human. But this venture is keeping me honest. On my not-so-great days, I re-evaluate. Am I eating well, am I sleeping, am I stimulating my mind? I take a deep breath, maybe get some fresh air, and reframe. If you genuinely take time to do what is best for your mind, body, and soul, and surround yourself with those who want the best for you—the real you—the rest takes care of itself.