Let’s talk about FREEDOM today. Sometimes my daughter puts on an outfit that makes me ... pause for second. I bite back advice about things that “go together” or about not tucking shirts into elastic waist pants. And then I remember. Remember when you were a kid? And what you put on your body was based solely on what colors you liked? Or how comfortable it felt? Or how easily you could play outside or jump in the creek? I remember, too. Do you know how many decades I spent picking out my outfit based on how tall, skinny and “in style” I’d look? Does anyone here relate to the closet crisis? Did you know there was a time I wouldn’t dream of wearing flats (or my glasses)? I nearly ruined my feet running around New York City for twelve years in high heels. How liberating it was when I started thinking like a kid again! Sometimes I even tuck my shirt into elastic waist pants! Now, I admit some of this freedom comes from reaching an age where I make decisions based on MY preferences, rather than others’ perceptions. And the struggles that come with being a human have a way of putting things into perspective. There came a time in my life when I realized I LOVE every part of me that I used to consider imperfect, because now it is healthy. But play with freedom in your mind’s eye for a minute, if you’re not already there. Think about how wonderful it would be to feel free. Because others’ opinions of you are none of your business. And you deserve to be happy and feel good. And when you do, every little choice you make will fall in line with that. You’ll nourish your happy, loved self with foods that energize and heal you. You’ll move that wonderful body like a kid again. And your spirit will thank you. And you're right, that’s not my daughter in the first picture. XOXO
I'm a lipstick girl. I grew up with grandmothers who'd NEVER be caught outside of the house "without a mouth." My paternal grandmother wouldn't even be caught inside the house without hers, and she had tubes of lipstick stashed all over her little house in Norfolk, Virginia. My father told me that after she passed away, they found lipsticks hidden all around her room and in her bed. I miss those women so much. My mother is also a lipstick girl. She has a big, gorgeous smile and even though her coloring is wildly different from mine, we discovered some years ago that we both loved a shade called Wine With Everything.
Well, there hasn't been much use for lipstick in quarantine. And whenever I put it on, I feel sort of garish, and the kids ask me where I'm going. But that doesn't mean I've let up on my other self-care routines. And of course, in this particular discussion of self-care, I'm not talking meditation and exercise and all the things that I really hammer y'all about. I'm talking, looking good at FIFTY self-care!
So here are a few of my non-negotiables.
1. Washing my face EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, no matter how tired I am. I use the plainest soap I can find. Good ol' bar soap works best for me, because I had oily skin until a few years ago, and I'm still prone to break-outs. Ah, menopause ... wrinkles and pimples! Yay! Sometimes I exfoliate with a gentle scrub. But I always follow with a mixture of retinol and vitamin C serum, all over my face and neck. It has made a huge difference, I wish I had started in my 30s. I have a lot of sun damage to my face. Again, retrospect. Kurt Vonnegut was right, kids, when he (actually never) said wear sunscreen.
2. Religiously flossing. Teeth, breath and heart health, guys ~ the inflammation in your mouth can contribute to heart disease. I'm not even kidding. So as gross as it sounds, I use a tongue scraper, and natural dental floss so I don't end up with PFOAs in my system (again, wishing I had figured that out before spending decades using Teflon pans). And I gargle with good old-fashioned eye-watering antiseptic mouthwash, because my dentist recommended it for preventing those yucky bacteria that can lodge in your tonsils. If your breath is routinely bad (or your mouth tastes yucky), think about (a) drinking more water and (b) cleaning your tongue and flossing.
3. Epsom salt baths. I love them ~ for sore muscles and because magnesium, both ingested and as a soak, has so many health benefits.
4. Tinted moisturizer and sunscreen every day. My other make-up choices are pretty optional. I'm addicted to the Nars Multiple stick, so I'll never give that up, but otherwise I look for makeup that's pretty clean by the Environmental Working Group Skin Deep app standards. I recently discovered Beautycounter, which was started by a friend of a friend, and I'm really impressed by the quality of the products and the company's values.
5. I upped my glasses game recently, because I'm in front of this computer so often with work, Zoom meetings and client sessions. I wear Caddis readers, again recommeneded by a friend, because they look so cool and filter out the blue light, so I have less eye fatigue. Although, with my little Chinese face and pointy chin, I look a little bit like that nerdy bird that follows Foghorn Leghorn around. Oh well.
6. Finally, Native deodorant, y'all! A gift from a friend and I LOVE it. Don't be putting nasty chemicals and toxins on your armpits, ladies, they're right next to your breasts!
So those are my go-to routines and products, and my point here is, keep doing these little things that make you feel good every day. Even if the only people who see you are the ones whining, "Mom, there's nothing in the house to eat."
I'll turn 50 at the end of May, and I want you to be a part of it. Make sure you're following Wellness Feast on Instagram, because I intend to celebrate this milestone all year long. Until recently, I didn't exactly love the idea of turning 50. But lately I've experienced a shift, and now I'm truly excited about it. Might I suggest we spend the rest of 2020 celebrating all the beauty, growth and opportunity coming our way in this new stage? Join me on Instagram and tag Wellness Feast and #50andfabulous with all the ways you are thriving in your 50s ~ growing, stretching, being true to yourself, serving your community, experiencing love, overcoming obstacles, celebrating your friendships, nurturing your spirit . . . I want to hear it all!