Handle the Seasons of Your Life with Style and Grace

Handle the Seasons of Your Life with Style and Grace

Right around the time I entered my 40s, I noticed a single silvery strand of hair nestled amongst my mop of black. I didn’t dare pull it, for fear that pulling this one would result in several more growing in its place.  In the years following, this single strand stood strong and alone, the one that didn’t belong, so different from the others.

This morning as I got ready, I noticed more white hairs on the top right side of my head. A gang of them mocking me, reminding me they were here to stay and that more like them were coming.

For a second I was immobilized by a rush of panic then immediately plucked them all out, at least the ones I could see.

Take that, unwanted signs of my aging. You are not the boss of me. 

Even though I won this battle, I’m no fool. I know in time, the greys will come roaring back like unwanted house guests and there’s nothing I could do about it. The best I could do is welcome them, embrace them and know they are not the enemy.

Easier said than done, I would say. Here I stand, well into the middle ages of my life, quite literally in the middle. On one side of me is my mother who just turned 86 and right on the opposite is the First-Born, who will be turning 18 at the end of this year when she’s many miles away (we are all hoping) at the college of her choice.

Picture yourself in my place for a second and imagine the range of emotions someone like me might go through: Watching your now elderly mother have difficulty walking without her cane when she once traipsed around many a dance floor in her 3-inch heels. Experiencing your baby girl who has blossomed into a beautiful young lady planning her exit from high school and from her childhood home to enter her college years.

Wasn’t this just me? Wasn’t it just yesterday that my parents were dropping me off at my college dorm?

On top of all this, feel the highs and lows of the physical changes that your own body is going through not to mention the emotional ups and downs of the thoughts racing through your head as if they’re on a never-ending roller coaster ride.  If you’re not being careful, all of this can mentally and physically drain you.

Can you feel the overwhelm yet?

Since there’s no way for me to stop Father Time or turn back the hands of the clock, there’s only one thing for me to do: grab this season of my life by its horns, look at it in the eyes and say, “Come at me. I’m ready for you.” Then figure out how to handle this aging process that I’m going through with style and grace. Here’s a plan I think will work:

  1. Get regular exercise. For those of you who know me pretty well and know that my motto for exercise has always been “Exercise-Shmexercise”, you also know that this one is going to be a challenge for me. Unfortunately for me, I no longer have the option to blow off any kind of physical activity that’s not dancing, shaking the okole, or chasing down Saber as he runs freely in the neighborhood streets, on leash of course.
  2. Eat better. In other words, forgo the In ‘n Out Double-Double and replace with a salad once in a while. Instead of answering the call of the can of Pepsi, run towards a nice refreshing glass of water. Make that 6 to 8 glasses of water. I know that my liver will thank me later.
  3. Get additional help with vitamins. If I’m making the effort to eat better, why shouldn’t I also employ the help of some good ol’ vitamins like the B and D kind, then throw in potassium, magnesium and even iron for good measure? Anything that can stand along side the nutrients I fill myself up with to battle any age-related ailments I may face can only be good for me, wouldn’t you say?
  4. Hang out more with friends. Luckily this won’t be a stretch for me because even though I put exercise at the very bottom of my priority list, hanging out with close friends has aLeah’s been closest to the top. My friends and I just need to figure it how to get together more than once a quarter.
  5. Take care of my mental health. When I say take care of my mental health, I mean doing items 1 through 4 above in addition to getting a good amount of sleep every night, managing my stress level and participating in activities that I enjoy, not just the ones I feel an obligation to do.

I’m pretty sure that if I’m able to do these things then my mental state will be in just the right shape for handling any negative thoughts of aging. My aging, my parents’ aging, my kids’ aging. Aging in general. Bring it.

And on days when I wake up to a fresh patch of white adorning my head, I won’t hyper-ventilate like I did this morning. I’ll be able to look at my hair knowing it’s just a part of who I am now in this season of my life which is not necessarily a bad thing.

I’ll also be calm enough to remember that my hairstylist, Eva, is just a phone call away. Highlights are always an option.

😁

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I’m a happiness-seeker and a self-improvement junkie who admits to sometimes indulging in a bit of navel-gazing but also engages in behavior motivated purely by altruism. Follow along with me and together we’ll find your path to happy one smile at a time.

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