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I welcome getting older.  Middle-age is a fun period.  I’m wiser and more mature, thanks to all the experiences I have had.  I feel fitter due to the fact that I’m now much more active than I was before.  I’ll even dare say that I look better than I did when I was younger!  I dress more stylish and confident than I did before too.  I often wondered, how come no one ever said anything to me about the way I dressed back then?  I wore long dreary skirts a lot, big blouses, wouldn’t dare wearing a belt around my waist, wore little or no makeup (not that you have to have gobs of makeup on); and even my general activities and social life at the time reflected that!

 

You may laugh at this but when I turned 30, I slipped into a serious funk…really depressed.  My thought process was...oh my gosh, the next “ty” will be forty and remembering what forty looked like on my mom -- I wasn’t ready for any of that!!

That mindset went on for the next decade until I woke up out of the funk at age 40.  I just had a totally different outlook after working on myself.  I started doing different things with my hair, wearing more accessories, got more into wearing makeup, perfumes, became more outgoing and made new friends.

Then when I turned the big 50 -- I threw myself an all-white birthday party which turned out to be a ton of fun!!

50th_birthday_party_2

I’m now finding that my new outlook on aging when I turned 40 has really changed my life.

Anyone willing to share their story about getting older and your past or current thought process on same?

 

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I have taken the “fitness thing” even much more seriously these days.  You’d be so proud of me!  You see, I’m on a fitness-for-life mission here!
I joined a gym (and yes, I’m actually going to my workouts) and have even signed up with a Personal Trainer there for 28 weeks. Was that the best investment I’ve ever made in myself?  Emphatically, yes!  I’m totally enjoying the workouts and my body feels oh so great!
Now mind you, I got the “do you really need a trainer?” and the “you could have saved your money and work out at home” feedback from some folks.  I know they mean well, but I believe I really needed the discipline and accountability that comes with actually having a trainer.  Not sure about others but that is what works for me.  I certainly don’t see it as throwing money away; actually I see it as investment in myself.
It’s working out beautifully so far.  I train twice per week with my trainer , do yoga and Pilates each once per week, strength/resistance training on either Friday evening or Saturday mornings, and go walking for a minimum of three miles on Sunday afternoons.  It is such a wonderful feeling!
If I miss a day of working out, I actually feel very guilty, but that’s the kind of guilt I definitely don’t mind having.

I’m not trying to enter the Miss Universe contest or any such undertaking.  I’m simply trying to live a healthy, disease-free, active, and quality-filled life.

My mom is in her 92nd year and is disease-free.  She merely complains from time to time, of bodily aches (knees, shoulders, etc.) and pains.  Most of her siblings had either diabetes and/or high blood pressure and have passed away as a result of same.  Her only living sibling -- her baby brother -- has these same problems and is currently having a difficult time, unlike her.  My dad had diabetes and high blood pressure problems as well and he and all of his siblings passed away due to these diseases.  I’m therefore doubly genetically predisposed.
So that’s why staying as fit and as healthy as I can is not an option, but instead, a necessity for me.

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Pessimism.

Boredom.

Disillusionment.

Are you spending time wallowing in any aspect of that “PBD Zone”?

It’s okay—you can tell me.

Better yet, just say Yes or No to these questions:

Do you tend to see the worst in every situation?

Are you forever the pessimist?

Is “never” your favorite word?

Are you constantly bored?

Complaining that there’s nothing to do, nothing to watch on TV, have no place exciting to go?

Don’t have friends or acquaintances?
Are you disillusioned?

Life didn’t go the way you wanted it to go?

Didn’t land that dream job?
Didn’t marry the ideal mate?

Didn’t drive the dream car or bought the dream home?

If you answered “yes” to any of the questions, you’re not alone!  I understand how life can sometimes cause us to question the existence of the famed “Silver Lining”, but I do have one straight-no-chaser statement for you to consider”

If you’re hanging out in the PBD Zone, you are wasting your life away—quite literally!

I’m a firm believer in the saying “life is what you make it.”  You are the sole determining factor of your own life’s path, and though you can’t necessarily change what roadblocks come up as you walk your path, you CAN CHANGE what you do when they appear.

If you’re always expecting the worst, then the worst will make itself available to you.  Consider your formal invitation for drama and negative outcomes.  If on the other hand, you look at things rationally, understanding full well that life isn’t always rainbows and pixie dust—you can see that things have just as much of an opportunity to go wonderfully well as they do to go horribly wrong.

Think about it, won’t you?  Most things you desire, particularly your basic needs, aren’t more likely to unobtainable.  You start out with at least a 50/50 change, and that percentage changes based on your outlook on life.  Why? Because your outlook affects the energy you put into your daily actions, and your daily actions are steered by what you give your attention to.

Focused on negative people, thoughts, and outcomes?  Voila! Ask and ye shall receive.

Focused on your emotional wellness, happy thoughts, and positive energy?  You will attract that far more often that the opposite.

Now you know I’m psychologist, or any other trained professional in this field, but I am a woman who has survived an incredible amount of adversity, and had plenty of opportunities to set up shop in the PBD Zone.  It’s with my own life experiences in mind that I can confidently tell you that …

If you change your outlook on life, you will definitely change the way you feel.

Do you want to transition out of the PBD Zone?

Here’s what I do:

The moment anything PBD-esque approaches my mind, I get right into a positive mode in an effort to dismiss these feelings from my psyche.  I remind myself of my reasons to embrace joy, and I refuse to allow joy’s opposite to linger around for any length of time.  Why should I?

This refusal is something I mastered as I got older, which is yet another great thing about aging!  You become wiser as you get older.  I spent so many years of my younger life worrying about trivial things and at times disillusioned, simply because things weren’t going the way I would have wanted them to.  Now, I’m wise enough to realize that JOY IS ALWAYS AN OPTION!

Let me know if that strategy works for you, okay?

Now go ahead—you have my permission to embrace JOYand ditch the PBD life for good!

Yes folks, it’s yet another year -- 2012. How was your 2011? I dare say mine was great -- a few bumps here and there -- but nothing to write home and tell mom about. I guess my optimistic outlook on life has a lot to do with this.

You see, once I turned 50 (and if I’m not mistaken, it might have been a bit before that) I made a decision to be happy, look and feel my best, and just simply…take care of me! Hence the birth of this blog and the name I gave it. I won’t say that nothing bothers me. I will say however, that I don’t let things throw me into depression, the way they used to. I used to be such a worry-monger and was often told by my children that I made mountains out of molehills, which of course I always flatly denied. I later saw that I truly did just that.Now, life is just great! I look forward to each year, each birthday - any milestone that comes my way - with great anxiety. At the end of each year, I reflect on what I accomplished in that year, then plan on what I want to accomplish in the new one.

I also look forward each year to the growth and development of my three grand daughters; just to simply watch them blossom into the adults they’ll one day become. They are astute, loving, funny and cute, really help to keep me feeling young and I just enjoy being around them.

As caregiver to my mother who will be 90 this year, that in itself is another thing to look forward to each year. She has hung on so well (my siblings and I had no idea she would, after the passing of my father back in 1998). The woman has no ailments, pains, nor medical issues whatsoever. Just the normal complaints that comes with being an almost 90 year old individual. Truly blessed.

My children are all adults and on their own paths in life currently, which gave me the freedom to go explore the entire world! The freedom of not having any “young uns” around is a great one. So each year I set goals, try as much as possible to accomplish each one, then start the ball a-rolling again in the upcoming new year.

Happy New Year everyone, and may joy, peace, and prosperity be yours in this 2012!

As I delve further and further into the fitness arena, I find myself getting the urge to try new things in these my mid-fifties. Things I'd never even think of trying as a younger girl -- roller blading, bike riding (nope, never did learn to ride a bike), hula-hooping, swimming, belly-dancing.Belly dancing is the swaying of the hips and torso, in a range of dynamic and emotional expressions. Characteristic movements in the dance include curving patterns, undulations, thrusts, lifts, locks, and drops, and shaking or quaking body movements. The focus is on isolated movements of individual parts of the body with little notice given to the footsteps. Arms and hands move fluidly, like serpents or ribbons in the air. Unusual strength and control is demonstrated in the belly area.

http://www.learn-to-belly-dance.com/styles.html 

This past week, I received an e-mail from my daughter about a $5 introductory offer for belly dancing classes. I jumped at that opportunity so fast that I'm almost sure I was the first one signing up. I couldn't wait for Friday evening to get here.

I have long wanted to do belly dancing. It is such a beautiful style of dancing; so graceful, free-flowing, and sexy!! Nothing could keep me from going so of course, I was the first to show up in the studio along with my niece. My daughter, Akilah came along as well. In fact, quite a few ladies showed up and most of them expressed the same sentiments – the attraction to the gracefulness and sexiness of this type of dancing.

Our class began on the dot of 7:00pm and as we breezed through each move, we were all smiling as we felt as though we were full-fledged belly dancers. Our arms, eyes, fingers, hips, bellies, toes and legs were all incorporated in each move as we whined, shimmied, stretched, smiled, and bounced to each move. I didn't want the darn class to end.

That hour came and ended so fast, much to my dismay. I sauntered over to the instructor to get more info and of course, agreed to sign up for her Monday classes. Just what I have always wanted!! I'm giving myself some time to get to "expert" belly-dancer status.

I'll keep you posted.

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Letting my time in-between visits stretch out for too long, I had almost forgotten how much of a wonderful time can be had visiting Jamaica. I had the pleasure of going there this past Labor Day weekend for the Yoga Camp; Wellness Retreat #CCLJamaica at the Bromley house in St. Ann.

The country-side home where we stayed was gorgeous. Words cannot describe how beautiful, peaceful, calming and fragrant the air was. The sound of cows mooing over yonder, reggae music playing in the hills, birds chirping all day long, coupled with the fantastic view of the lush, green hills.

This was truly a time to pay attention to self, relax and just simply - - chill. As organizer, Takeyah Young of Core Connection Lifestyle put it, “It was a time to go within, tap into that which resonates at your core and take action.” The vegan-style menu for all three daily meals, yoga at the house and on the beach, the one-on-one coaching sessions, the Take Living Personally workshop by Takeyah, and Akilah Richards of www.Execumama.com fame's Live Your Grain workshop all made this retreat an event to never, ever forget.

I’m still in #CCLJamaica mode. What a wonderful time it was!

 

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