The other day, while chatting with my teenage son, he reminded me I was GASP middle aged. He didn't intentionally disparage my age. He wouldn't do that. No. This remark was mentioned in passing. Breezily thrown in the air as if the weight of those words didn't strike me like a thunder bolt in my not so perky bosum.
I was middle-aged, stuck in my midlife.
Middle aged was an evil word that evoked even eviler connotations like midlife crisis, half-over, sex-less relationships. and the most evilest of words, bor-ing.
See, I was raised to believe middle aged meant almost done. It didn't help that female representation shown in our media, and approved by our society, always seemed to display nymphets - sexually, attractive young women. I was force fed the idea that vibrancy was synonymous with youth.
They had it all wrong.
My life is not half over. Far from it! It's just entered a new stage. I'm in my renaissance. I travel, have a vibrant social life and keep active. Sometimes, I admit it seems too active! But I can't complain. It's those very things that keep me young, physically and mentally. I also realized that many of the women in my circle, who are in my age group or older, also lead very vibrant and full lives.
Their mid-life was a rebirth, an awakening, that could only have happened with age and knowing oneself.
Did they have a masterplan that helped them embrace life? Or, was it small daily acts that propelled them through? I knew what kept me but was curious as to what helped them stay blissfully vibrant and whole, when the media, and much of society, said they should be packing up their dancing shoes.
Below are their tips for aging gracefully. Hopefully, their collective wisdom will reshape how you view aging.
I focus on my dreams and visions, instead of dreading the next birthday. Also, finding things to be grateful for and keeping my sense of humor alive and well keeps me vibrant at nearly 53. - Lorraine C. Ladish, Founder of LorraineCLadish.com and VivaFIfty.com
Everything in moderation is my motto. Except laughs. I recommend a double heaping of laughs, each and everyday. - Migdalia Rivera, Founder of LatinaOnaMission.com and Momsrising.org Social Media Strategist.
Eating well, exercising regularly and spending time with my children keeps me young at heart. - Maria V. Rodriguez, Working Mom of 3
Author's note: I met Maria in 6th grade. She's as vibrant today as she was then. She's incorporated healthy food and exercise into not just her life, but her family's life. Having an active family keeps her young and all of them healthy. Definitely a win-win!
Photo Credit: Maria V. Rodriguez
The best way for me to stay young and active is to engage with my children. My kids are ten and seven, so creating fun, active habits in their life help us all lead a healthy lifestyle. We enjoy family walks, playing and swimming at the beach and going on adventures. They recognize my struggles with stroke and know loving healthy is important for all of us! - Lisa Deck, Founder of lisadeck.com and the iSurvivorLisaDeck Facebook Page.
Author's note: Staying heart healthy and overcoming obstacles is a way of life for Lisa. She is a survivor of three strokes, having her first at age 21, and once believed she would not reach middle age. This is her rebirth, her renaissance, and she is inspiring thousands on her journey! Make sure to check out her Facebook page and leave her a comment.
Sexy is as sexy feels. Midlife doesn't curtail our emotions or needs. It enhances it. So enjoy it! Personally, I've been known to pump up the music and put on my sexiest pair of shoes when doing my most tedious tasks. It makes the task feel FUN and makes me feel cute as hell. The workout is a bonus. - Lori Diaz, Owner of The Formula Fitness Gym and The Formula Fitness Facebook Page.
In my 40s, I was finally able to prioritize my health. I'm in the best shape I have ever been! I understand what my body and mind needs like I never did before and have discovered I love Jazzercise and can even tolerate running (sometimes!). - Ruby Sinreich, Digital Developer at MomsRising.org
I read a joke everyday so I can laugh. I surround myself with people who energize me and when possible I go out and sing karaoke! It makes me feel good and silly. I just have one rule: no photos or videos are allowed! - Andrea Marie Wongsam, Go Red Spokeswoman
Let's chat! Are you in your midlife? How do you stay young at heart and vibrant during this stage? Let us know in a comment!
*Photo Credit: WordSwag, unless noted otherwise