So, this coming Saturday, June 9th, is my birthday. I’m about to turn an age that at some point seemed unfathomable in my brain and yet, now that I’m staring it in the face, it feels so incredibly young.
There are certain surprises around every corner as you age. Some of them are sort of a drag, like dealing with paying for all the sins of youth. All those days I skipped the sunscreen, drank too much that I didn’t take off my makeup, and was too vain to wear my glasses (and not wear contacts until recently) are starting to catch up with me.
I can’t drop five pounds by not eating for a couple of days anymore, which is fine because that was the DUMBEST DIET PLAN EVER. As a matter of fact, I’ve realized that the only diet plan that actually works is – ready for this? – burning more calories than you take in. I’d write a diet book to talk about losing almost an entire Olsen twin, but it would be one page long, so I’ll save you the time. Move. Eat right. The rest just works out.
I’ve gotten sexier as I’ve aged. I wouldn’t trade places with my younger self at all. I know what to do with my body now. I love my body. I know what pleases me. I also don’t settle for less than what pleases me. I give instructions. I coach. I also cut players who won’t play by my rule book. I couldn’t say that about the younger me.
I was told last week that marketers believe that we take less risks as we age, that women of a certain age don’t like to take chances. I challenge that. I think marketers are afraid to prove that what they’re giving us will truly PERFORM one of two selling points: it solves a problem or it creates an opportunity. We’ve reached the point where we don’t care if we’re “cool” or not. Will it make me look or feel better and/or will it make me money, help me have better sex or feel more at ease about the problems in my life? No? No sale.
As I stand here, looking another decade squarely in the face, I feel like I finally understand my personal style, what red lipstick to buy and how much travel and living well enriches my life. I’ve lost a great many things and people in my life, but I’ve gained self-respect and a lack of regret. I am who I am today because of the life I’ve led. I love me. Whether you love me or not is up to you, but – and I say this with love – it doesn’t matter whether you do or you don’t.
So, I like to give other people presents on my birthday. Here’s my gift to you this year. Fall in love with yourself. There’s no wrinkle cream, diet and exercise plan or high-ticket fashion item (well, maybe the Kirkwood shoes above, but ONLY for a little bit) that can bring about the satisfaction that loving yourself can give you. Don’t spend time with people who don’t love the way you want to be loved. Don’t waste time on regret. You can’t move swiftly forward while looking in reverse. Eyes on the prize, honey.
Get older. Get wiser. Get better. Get it?