STAY YOUNG WITH A SENSE OF HUMOR as a blog post has developed over a period of time and after some conversation on Face Book last week, I decided to give it the spotlight. My first thought has to be a reflection on a photo I saw years ago about friendship of two elderly ladies full of wrinkles laughing themselves silly. Covered in wrinkles the viewer could see the children in them. This is the focus and sorry, not a miracle cream or solution for always looking 20 but enjoying the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s and more like a 20 year old would do but with the added wisdom which usually comes with age.
I will start with a little confession and let’s see if you can relate. When I was in my 20’s, I was a lot smaller inweight than now. I wore the tight bell bottom jeans, the body hugging tops and could still get in a bikini….imagine that! I barely ate a normal meal and was consumed with keeping slim. I thought, acted, reacted with all of my personal focus was on me and my body. Now, I think all of that stress and worry had to have put a few wrinkles, right? It sounds like sabotage to me. While all of this worry and stress and not eating regularly, I also screwed up my metabolism which means what? I made it harder to maintain a normal weight. I think it is becoming clear why it is somewhat funny how that worked.
Let me be blunt. I am what I am and I am not vain but I feel we need to take care of ourselves but not to the point of vanity. I saw a photo recently and itlooked as if the person was living in the past, trying to dress like a teenager with a hairstyle not suitable for this person, and it hit me. Also, and I have been guilty of this before of posting pictures of years gone by of youthful bodies and clothing. This process can be therapeutical if we have a great sense of humor and maybe say, “Did I look like that?” Is this ringing a bell with anyone? If you do it as a humorous gesture, that is good but if we are trying to prove something that we are all that and a pack of chips, we are fooling ourselves.
I say this to bring us to a point. Here is my philosophy of staying young as we get older:
1) Color your hair or welcome the gray. It is coming or is already there. Laugh about it being there as part of your wise days coming. You have never seen a spiritual guru with blonde hair, right?
2) If your body doesn’t match the photos you display on social media, wear appropriate clothes. Maybe keep a few pieces of those old clothes (like a museum piece) and pull them out occasionally and try to get one leg in them and have a great laugh.
3) If you exercise, do it wisely. But let’s get real we can’t bend like we used to so let’s don’t try to impress those tiny creatures in the gym. Remember the old song, “Your day will come.” Hum it while you struggle with the machines or weights and it will get you through. Remember the biggest accomplishment of exercise is you remembered to do it; and it doesn’t last for days, only the soreness.
4) Post good photos and scrap the bad ones. I am smiling as I had this happen yesterday and I worked a few facial muscles (good to fight wrinkles by smiling a lot) when I had changed the way my bangs fall on my face and I was told several times people loved my “do” and it made me look much younger. That was a good compliment but what resonated with my sense of humor is I must have been looking pretty dang old with my bangs hanging down. See, a good laugh is good for the soul and no products were purchased for me to enjoy life and its moments of enlightenment. Their comments were sent with love but you have to see the humor in them too.
5) Take compliments graciously and one of the wonders of aging is it is easier to forget any negative feedback. I realized while observing a few things about aging that result in why older people usually look happier:
Eyesight gets worse so naturally everyone looks prettier even yourself.
Memory fades so you don’t have the ability to rehash old arguments because you are busy trying to remember who they are.
You can be yourself as most people seem to be more accepting of other’s faults and it is easier to laugh at crankiness.
Life is appreciated more at an older age as you start realizing a lot of your friends are missing and no one has posted Missing Person fliers. Hmmm???
In summary, I say to each and everyone of us who are aging: Welcome it. Embrace it. Look in the mirror and take in every wrinkle, scar, puffy eye, graying eyebrows, thinning hair, and cheeks that have gotten fluffier, and have a good laugh. Look back in the mirror and see the love in your eyes for your family and hopefully for God. See the results of the struggles, defeats and the victory over those same things. Life is a combination and full of seasons which come and go like our waistlines. LIVE LIFE; LOVE LIFE; and LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST BY HAVING A GOOD LAUGH WITH YOURSELF.
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