For multiple years of my life when asked her age, my mother would reply, without blinking or missing a beat, 36. As a child, I found it a bit odd that she would remain the same age but didn’t question it. To me, it didn’t matter what her age was. My mom was the most beautiful and fanciest person I knew. She dressed meticulously in black pants, tops and fitted blazers complete with shoulder pads (this was of course, the late ’80’s). I used to sit on the floor of her octagon shaped bathroom watching her put on her eye make up and wonder if I would grow up to be as sophisticated and glamorous as her.
Now as 2012 draws to a close, so does my 36th year of life. And as I stand on the precipice of turning 37, I find myself contemplating just staying 36 instead. It’s a nice age. If you half it, you’re 18, an age when your entire life is before you. Finally an adult, about to embark upon college and a career after that. If you double it, your 72 which seems old, but not so old that you can’t go out on tour like Mick Jagger and the rest of the Rolling Stones.
Sometimes my brain feels 18. But the move across the country and stress of building a business and taking care of my family has taken a toll on me. My body feels 72. And I don’t think I could handle a North American tour right now.
Age is just a number! It doesn’t matter how old you are, it’s what you feel! All true statements but as I get older, I am finding more and more that if I don’t care for the inside and the outside, it really doesn’t matter what age my brain thinks it is. And the truth is, I feel old and often I think I look old as well. I see a poochy belly, bad posture and lines around my eyes. I hurt when I wake up. It’s hard to touch my toes, and when my daughter wants to race, the arthritis in my toe keeps me from truly giving it my all.
The truth is, I haven’t been caring for myself the way I should. Busy with work, family and life, I tend to put the needs of everyone else above mine. So instead of eating a proper meal, I pack my children a healthful lunch and just eat whatever is lying around. I make sure both my daughter and son have water with them at all times but find myself dehydrated at the end of the day. I try to keep my kids away from sugar but there I am eating chocolate chips at 11 at night. I make sure we get outside, ride bikes, run around but don’t give myself 20 minutes to stretch or an hour to ride my own bike.
It’s enough. I don’t want to be like this anymore. If I want to stay 36 forever, it is imperative that I start to make choices to include myself in my own life. If I choose to be a spectator in my own life, then I will wake up old and in pain. If I choose to take control, make myself a priority, I will remain young both in body and mind.
So today I resolve to do the following:
Drink water. Lots of it.
Get sleep. Lots of it.
Eat healthy meals, like I make for my children. Don’t eat too much sugar.
EXERCISE! Even if it’s just using the foam roller or 20 minutes of yoga… or doing jumping jacks when I wake up.
Tomorrow I resolve to wake up and set my intentions again. Small steps=big changes.
And perhaps most importantly, look in the mirror and appreciate what I see. The pooch of the belly? That came from my babies. My smile lines came from the joys of my life. One of those joys is my daughter. She sits on the floor when I put on my make up in the mornings and tells me how pretty I am. In an instant, I am sitting on the floor in the house I grew up in thinking the same thing of my own mother, who, by the way, is still one of the most glamorous and beautiful people I know. I suppose if she is what aging looks like, I shouldn’t be that afraid to turn 37 and beyond. But just between us, I might still chose to be 36 just a wee bit longer. If I make myself a priority and honor my body, it can’t be that hard to believe right?
If you’d like to continue the conversation I offer a free health consultation. You can learn more about me at www.roslynwellness.com; email me at firstname.lastname@example.org; find me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/roslynwellness.com; or on Twitter @courtneyabrams
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About the Author: Courtney Abrams is a Health Coach and Founder of Roslyn Wellness. Trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, she helps clients work within the realities of their day to day lives to find ways to make small and manageable changes to their health that can maintained over time. Her clients include people trying to lose weight, beat sugar, increase their energy, cook simple healthful food and reduce stress to name a few. She also shares a passion for food policy and educating people about the foods they are eating and the governmental role behind much of it. You can learn more about Courtney and Roslyn Wellness at http://RoslynWellness.com.