Friday, May 6, 2011

Can 40 Be The New 30?

In less than three months, I am going to turn 42.  It seems like just yesterday that I was all hyped up with excitement and dread for my big 4-0!  Today, I am stunned at how quickly those two years – not to mention the 40 before that – have flown by. 

The funny thing is that, in my head, I still feel super young.  However, recently, I have started to really notice the first signs that I am starting to age.  But I am working to counter-act those indicators by trying as best as I can to do the following: get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night; exercise regularly; drink a lot of water; eat healthy; and cut back on my number one vice – that does have some health benefits – drinking vino. 

Also, I am religious about seeing my dermatologist for various remedies – which yes, sometimes include cosmetic treatments.

But I also realize that staying young is not just about your health and appearance; it has a lot to do about a person’s state of mind. I am not immune to getting blue or grouchy, but I truly strive to look at my life from a positive perspective.  When I do find myself in these ruts, I let it run its course, be kind to myself and try to turn it around as quickly as possibly  

By living vicariously through my 6-year-old son, he certainly helps to keep me young at heart.

But also, there are a lot of role models out there for me. 

First, I think I am lucky to have good genes.  I look at my Nana who lived to be 87.  If she hadn’t smoked for most of her life, I am convinced she would still be here with us today.  My mother and her siblings – all of Swedish heritage – still look much younger than their ages.

Also, most of my girlfriends are right about my same age – a tad younger than 40 but most are just joining the club.  When I look at these peers, I truly feel that we are simpatico in every way and strive to live healthy lives – both mentally and physically.

We can’t forget that there are so many famously hip women – who are also my age and, as far as I can tell, look to be in the best shape of their lives  -- these are: Julia Roberts (43); Jennifer Aniston (42); Gwen Stefani (41); Jennifer Lopez (41); Bethenny Frankel (40); Rachel Zoe (39); Gwyneth Paltrow (38); and of course Madonna (52) -- whom I worship, but she can look a little too hard for me.

I know that in today’s day and age, women certainly have more advantages to help lessen or prolong the aging process.  I mean, would I get hot acid applied to my face every six week if it didn't work?  But all joking aside, cosmetic procedures – such as Botox ®, Dysport ®, Restylane ® and Juvederm ® -- can reduce lines and wrinkles.  Not to mention, liposuction and other bodily enhancements.  But there are remedies that aren’t so invasive nor do they cost hundreds of dollars.  Simply use sunscreen every day to help keep that sun damage (aka wrinkles and age spots) away and, as aforementioned, getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, eating right and exercising. 

All common sense.

I once read an article which had interviewed celebrated make-up artist Bobbi Brown.  In a nut shell, she said she spent her 30s worrying about her 40s, and spent her 40s worrying about her 50s.  Now that she is in her 50s, she realized that she should have just been enjoying life and not worrying so much.*

I think that is good advice to go by to stay forever young.

* I could not find Bobbi Brown’s exact quote, so I have paraphrased.

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