I have a confession to make. Turning 40 is not something I take lightly. And what is funny to me is that if given the choice to be 26 again, I would run for my life and say “no way”.
There have been a lot of emotions this year, contemplating all the life I have in my past, and also realizing I’m not entirely sure about what’s to come.
Up until now, I haven’t really experienced these kinds of thoughts; I was always just thankful to make it through another year.
Age by definition is the period of time we’ve lived. So age is only meaningful in relationship to one particular person. Some people live hard and age faster, where others might live lighter, easier days. When I met my husband I really couldn't tell how old he was. He had that 21-year old fire in his eyes, but then there was something sincerely 50ish about him. At the time I felt old and tired.
Now when we look back, we both laugh how young we were!
Recently, when I was working on grouping products for our website, I tried to find a category for our Avocado Soap that had currently been under “anti-aging''. I realized how absurd that term actually is.
Even though “age” applies differently to all of us: we all age. Why is it so hard to like getting older? Most people I ask don’t ever want to relive their twenties or thirties again.
Physically, my younger self was capable of running a marathon without proper training. I could stay up until dawn and then go have breakfast at 10am.
Now pelvic tilts become more and more relevant and I understand the utter importance of light elastic bands. I feel like there is an alignment of my emotional being and my physical self.
We are so trained by the beauty industry to believe that there is nothing better than being young, that we never get to appreciate our age. Even worse, I think some people are simply afraid of getting older (including me)! Wrinkles, gray hair, muscle loss, menopause all of that sounds so scary. Will I still be able to do what I do now? Will I still look good or will I get flabby triceps?
It seems like there is no evolution out of this dilemma. We are all getting old! And yet I don't understand why there is so much interest in anti-aging.
The world-renowned surfer Kelly Slater says that people were so opinionated about his later career when they thought he wasn’t surfing his best. And now, at fifty years old, when he surfs well, people are blown away, saying things like, “oh my gosh, Kelly can still surf. He’s supposed to be ancient.” like he had forgotten how to do the thing he’s done better than nearly everyone else on the planet. In spite of the criticisms, he says that when he puts it all together he surfs just as good or better than he ever has.
To me there is beauty in that statement. It's encouraging. Skill doesn’t come without experience, and experience and skill make for a much better performance.
As I looked more into it, I really began to appreciate the benefits of aging, and most of all, the benefits of having fun at any age. If you are always scared to look old you’ll spend your time and money trying to hide your wrinkles, coloring your gray hairs, fixing your boobs, or reordering your steroids. But maybe we can start to take the time to connect to what's around us and have fun with whatever period of time we’re being given.
Of course sometimes life will ask us to move some boulders out of the way, which is no fun - and believe me, I’ve to push lots of boulders. But without them I would not have built any “muscle”.
In the end I feel really grateful for being able to draw from these unique life experiences when it comes to my kids, my business, and my life.
Age is scary because it is unpredictable. So we just want to hang on in a moment where we look good. We try to freeze ourselves in time so we never change. If we think aging is hard, then it will be. And what sounds harder than “Anti-aging”!
Earlier in my life words like “self awareness” and “self care” sounded repelling. I just wanted to test myself. How much could I take? Sometimes I would do it subconsciously, sometimes it would bring about seemingly unbearable situations. Having an easy going, fun life just never appealed to me.
For this past year, however, I have been trying to figure out for myself what self-awareness, age, and self-care actually means. I went through a few smaller injuries, awkward skin conditions, etc. and along the way I realized that I needed to reconnect with my body, and approach my life differently. I feel like I’m starting to get it. First I realized that I am doing the things I do, because I want to, and not because I have to. This also applied to my body. I felt so pressured to make up for all the things I had not been able to do in my “younger” years, and was scared that, after 40, I would not be able to do these things anymore. I would never be able to run a 6 minute mile ever again, my hair would never turn un-gray again, I would never be a woman without kids anymore. So I put immense stress on myself to push myself to success, to “do well” because this was my only chance.
But our body it sticks with you, and gives you everything it’s got. It can survive thirst, starvation, it can heal broken bones, overcome trauma, and it does it all for you. Just you.
Your body never asks questions. Your body loves you unconditionally. I’ve challenged my body a lot, almost to its limits, and it's still here evolving with me. Now I finally get to be thankful for it and treat it nicely. I am still asking a lot of it, but I am willing to give a lot back, take time to adjust my pelvis, set up my shoulder before I run, give it enough rest and the care it deserves.
I think that is self awareness.
Ladson’s is not a place where you can find products for Anti-Aging. We are a place that supports the beautiful benefits of aging. We want to celebrate your years lived, and make sure that your body gets the best, most natural skincare it deserves.
So for those of you who are getting older and thinking about ways you can care for yourself more thoughtfully, I see you and I’m here for you. Here’s a discount code for any purchases you’ll make this month to help jumpstart your own journey into graceful aging.
USE CODE BETTERWITHAGE AT CHECKOUT
Until we speak again, I’m wishing all of you a beautiful, healthy end of summer.