“No, we’re not going out of the house with you dressed like that! It’s too revealing! Wear something more appropriate!”
“What is wrong with th… ?”
“What if I put…”
The only time I attempt to dress “youngish” and not my age, my Gen Y daughter stops me in my tracks.
On her Facebook wall on my last birthday, she dobbed me in to her friends:
“busted my mum trying on my clothes when she’s 2 sizes bigger. Walked past her room to find her struggling to get my top past her elbows, bwahaha.”
How is that funny, Michelle??
* * *
Trying too hard to look young or sexy, made obvious by inappropriate dressing, surely backfires. On a page on Oprah’s website, it says, “The number one mistake women make is shopping by size, not by fit”. Author of Before You Put That On, Lloyd Boston, advises, “Get the clothes that fit, not the number you want to be and your clothes will look so much sexier.”
The word “sexi-er” convinced me. Lloyd, I’ll remember that next time I’m tempted to buy a size 8 top!
[Note though that it says “your clothes” will look sexier, not necessarily you! Lol]
I’m at that stage where I’m starting to see the ravages of time. Having just added another year to my ever increasing age, I think I’ll have to start asking people not to scrutinise my face. People my age have long been conscious of sagging facial skin and drooping eyelids, plus the increasing “threat of invasion” of white hair on our head.
It was about a decade ago when I start to stammer when replying to people’s questions about my age. In spite of believing age is just a number and my recent pronouncements of not shying away from admitting it, I still get tongue-tied when asked. I’m failing one of my new year’s resolutions already (of being authentic) and we’re only in January!
So I worked out a sure-fire plan to help keep our attitude and mindset as young as when we were, say, in our 20s or even 30s, to continue—with the emphasis on “continue”—to keep ourselves perpetually young in mind and young at heart, even if not in face and body.
These may not work for everyone but I’m sticking to these from now on to ensure we have as much fun while we can and we’re able and to minimise stress:
Watch your language
• Stop calling yourself “old” and stop using that word to describe people who were young once.
• If you ever need to ask someone their age, choose to say “how young are you?” You know it’s a good trick to make someone, including yourself, smile.
Be a student for life
• I joke that I’m a mature student of love (okay, I’m half serious). Whether it’s learning about love (as it’s such a broad topic), acquiring a new skill, reading, learning a new hobby or studying for a course, keep your curiosity about new things alive.
Keep your sense of fun
They say high school is one of the most fun times of one’s life and it was for me. Maintain your sense of fun and love for games just like when you were younger.
• If you’re physically able, go ahead and dance, play sports or board games or, if you dare, even naughty games! Fun!!
• Giggle a lot; laugh heartily, loudly and often (though not too much or you risk your co-workers’ ire, if you work in an office). Crack jokes but, of course, make sure not at the expense of others.
• See life only as “role playing” — at home, at work and on Earth. This should keep our ego in check and make us not think of life and oneself seriously. I’m serious!
I know this is easier said than done, especially if you’re in a middle of a serious illness or problem, or a tragedy, but then again a lot of people take a lot of things seriously even at times they shouldn’t. [See “Solutions focused” below.]
Indulge in music
There was a period of about 10 years that I stopped listening to music. Big mistake!! Music soothes our soul — those in the know say!
• One suggestion—regardless of your age—while listening to music, bop your head, let your body move to the rhythm and feel the music. Heaven!
Spring to life
• Exercise can’t be over-emphasised. One of my goals this year is to be more physically active. Kickboxing, bring it on!!
• Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy and wise. My parents used to drum this saying into us when my siblings and I were growing up. I struggle with this still as I come alive at night.
• If you haven’t started, develop an “eat-and-drink healthy-consciousness”. This means no meat, no sweets (ok, not too much and not too often is another one of my goals), saturated and trans-fat a big no-no, use salt sparingly and avoid sodas (unless you’re having it with vodka, lol).
• Affirm: I’m one of a kind… and so are you!
• Go to health retreats and give frequent special treats to self.
• Acceptance of your shortcomings, weaknesses and imperfections.
• Learn to accept and love your body, however difficult it may be to do so. Read here on how to have a healthy body image. It’s not too late!!
For most of us who believe there is spirit life after physical death, we take our life on Earth so seriously. We forget it’s only temporary so therefore our respective and collective situations here are also temporary.
If tragedy strikes, of course we allow ourselves time to grieve, cry and feel pain for a while. Then we start to recover, feel better and eventually start to get over our sad situation. It’s when we drag our feelings of misery, resentment and/or self-pity for too long that can really have a detrimental effect on our health.
• Reduce, if not eliminate, negativities that we sometimes allow ourselves to indulge in. [See “Keep your sense of fun” above.]
• See problems as opportunities to learn and grow, as they say. As John Lennon puts it in Watching the Wheels, “There’s no problem; only solutions.”
• Don’t let any bastards get you down (well, at least not for long).
It’s not at all surprising that the things you can do to delay (for as long as possible, at least) one’s physical decline are also, it appears, the same things that you can do to keep your heart and mind forever young.
Does young mind + young heart = immaturity??
I don’t think so. You know why?
Fun + games + giggles + tears of laughter + enjoyment = young mind and young heart.
I admit Maths isn’t my strong point, but I’m positive the above formula adds up.
* * *
Last weekend at a friend’s party, instead of spending my time conversing with adults, I spent the whole time playing Wii with a 10-year old!
While the adults in the party were probably thinking what you’re thinking, my young friend, Yashar, is now convinced his khale (auntie) is cool!
Post updated on 22 January 2011.