The Midlife ToolBox – Top Tools for Healthy Living
Welcome to The Midlife ToolBox, a very special series of guest posts written by Midlife Bloggers from all over the world. We are unique women, and even though we are all getting older, our perspective, challenges, and ways we see life are definitely unique! I hope you enjoy these wise words and gain some insight from them. I know I will.
Our first guest blogger is Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski, founder of Baby Boomster. She is a travel/lifestyle blogger for active and fabulous women over 50 (see full bio at bottom of post), and is going to talk with us about our attitudes toward aging, being ourselves, and how we can always find opportunities to express ourselves, learn and grow as we get older.
Let’s see what Rebecca has to say:
Now That You’re Older
Are You Happy to Just Be Yourself?
In a world where marketers are trying to tell you what to wear, how to be successful, and what foods will give you leaky gut, are you having difficulty dealing with who you are at the present time? The idea to “be yourself” is often complicated. Are you happy in your own skin? Chances are, you’re not.
Playing the comparison game
We’re always told “Don’t compare yourself with others” but who practices this? You may see someone your age dressed to the nines and wish you could emulate them. Or, maybe you know someone who is wildly successful but you’re struggling like heck to make the rent. Then there are all those Facebook posts from that super happy couple who’ve been married forever and never seem to get mad at each other.
Do you find that it eats at you and drives you nuts, or frankly, you don’t give a damn? Almost no one is completely confident in themselves even though they say they are.
I was sitting next to a woman at a party and she brought up the topic of “just being yourself.” “Why worry about what people think of you? At this point in your life do whatever you want. If you hate wearing a bra, take it off and let your boobies hang free.”
In other words, just be yourself and screw it!
- Wear polka dots with stripes and no underwear
- Dye your hair in rainbow colors
- Embrace your wrinkles and belly fat
- Forget about those darn Jones’s
- Get on your soapbox and tell everyone what you think
Obviously, some of these things may not work out so well in real life, but I wanted to throw them out there.
The past is over – move forward
Do you dream about having the same body as your 20-year old self? We all wish, right? For some of us, that would take a ton of work. Still, it’s always a good idea to try to stay healthy. To be yourself doesn’t mean you should let it all go and become grossly overweight or throw caution to the wind and go Free Solo up El Capitan unless you don’t want to live very long.
Do you wish you would have made better career decisions when you were younger? I do sometimes. Why didn’t someone talk me out of being an actress? I should have learned a viable skill like teaching and gotten a degree when I was in college. It didn’t happen that way, and that’s the way the cookie crumbled. Besides, I had a lot of fun doing plays, work in the industry, and have lots of fans.
I never got rich and it’s hard not to say to myself, “If I had snagged the part of Lisa Simpson or Angelica in Rugrats, I’d be a millionaire! (I tried out for both) The truth is, Yeardley, who plays Lisa, is a millionaire but Cheryl, who played Angelica, is still doing the actor hustle.
The decisions you made in the past are what created who you are now. But what you consider to be a “failure” doesn’t mean you have to skulk away into the background. It’s never too late to turn things around or rediscover who you really are.
Read more posts from the Midlife Tool Box Series
As Mr. Rogers always said, “You’re special”
Mr. Rogers turned out to be a smart guy. Every one of us has something that makes us unique and different from everyone else. Embrace whatever that is no matter how weird it is.
Have you been dressing to blend in but have always dreamed about exploring your inner hippie? Who says you can’t go for it? Add a few bangles, vivid colors, or buy a crazy pair of shoes.
Some people are at their best when they’re natural and grounded to the Earth. Happiness for you may be walking through a forest, camping in the wild, or hanging out at the beach and surfing.
Is being the grandma of all grandmas more your thing? A perfect day might be hanging out with your grandchildren and spending time with family.
Don’t worry if you’re still in the dark
After spending decades on the planet maybe you still haven’t figured out what it means to be yourself. That’s okay. Some of us take longer to figure it out. Don’t stress over it. Hopefully, it will come to you someday.
Stay curious, loosen up a bit, and keep growing
When you give up or let other people suck out all your energy, you run the risk of becoming stagnant and dull. You lose your sense of identity and in a way, you begin to die. Maybe not physically, but mentally.
Surround yourself with people who help you thrive and avoid those who do not allow you to be the person you really are. I guarantee you’ll be happier. At this point in our lives, being smothered, controlled, or put down are the last things we need.
What does “being yourself” mean to you? Please leave a comment below.
Thanks so much, Rebecca, for sharing your attitudes toward aging with us!
Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski, Founder, BabyBoomster
Rebecca is a purveyor of all things fun and a diehard foodie. She loves to travel and writes from anywhere on the planet she happens to land, even if it’s in her own backyard. She is the founder of Baby Boomster, a travel/lifestyle blog for active and fabulous women over 50.
Other topics include food, culture, entertainment, wellness, longevity, and issues that concern Baby Boomer women. She has also been a professional voice-actor in Los Angeles for over 35 years.
Be sure to visit Rebecca on her blog as well as social media:
Are you interested in submitting a guest post for this series? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and include your blog or website URL. We’ll have a chat! Thanks.