This is an update to a post previously published on Menopause ChitChat.
Does midlife ever make you feel “too old?” Whatever our age, it seems like we carry the weight of the world on our shoulders while life is passing us by. We’re too old to go out and have fun. Too old for that dress. Too old to wear the bright red lipstick, even though it’s the perfect color.
It’s time to stop hiding, worrying, and simply existing. And if you need a little inspiration, check out this clip from the documentary Fabulous Fashionistas. The film follows the lives of six women in their 70s and 80s who are redefining their ages in style. Without botox or plastic surgery. And while all of the ladies are well beyond menopause, their attitudes towards life are incredible. They all seem to have discovered their “fabulous”— that elusive quality that makes us distinctive and special.
So how can a nice story about a bunch of spunky seniors help us when we’re trying to find our own way? Well, your “fabulous” is out there, too. You just need to look for it sometimes. And here are a few places you can start:
Feel good. We need to feel good, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. It takes conscious effort and a lot of work. Being healthy means making good choices, visiting your doctor, exercising, eating right and avoiding the bad stuff. Easier said than done.
Look good. Takes some effort, but not as much as you think. You can shower, dress and put on a little makeup. Or you can hide under a baseball cap and hope you don’t run into anyone you know. Take your pick.
Do amazing things. Amazing doesn’t mean you have to swim the Atlantic Ocean or win the Nobel Peace Prize. It means that, at some point, you’ll look in the mirror and say, “Yeah, I did that. Me.” Then take time to celebrate.
Show your style. Not too sure what your style is? For starters, it’s not about giving yourself a makeover. You need to feel comfortable in your own fashion skin. Are you pants or skirts? Love animal prints or prefer black? Doesn’t matter, as long as it makes you feel happy and confident.
Share a positive attitude. You know that old friend you avoid in the grocery store because she’s always complaining, bummed out or whining? Don’t let that be you. We all have our days, but good things happen, too. Share those instead.
Welcome life’s changes. This is a big one. Life can sometimes kick our butts and it usually isn’t welcome. But change is inevitable. You can either get on board (eventually) or hide your head in the sand (likely), because life isn’t going to stop and wait. Have your moment, but do try to move on. There’s so much you don’t want to miss.
End the needless worry. Worry is not a hobby. It’s just filler. Worry can consume a ton of your time, but it accomplishes absolutely nothing. The problems and challenges are always going to be there. But many of our worries are about things that are out of our immediate control. Let those go.
Open the door to opportunities. There are always new and exciting things happening around us. By keeping ourselves closed off from the rest of the world, we’re missing out on some incredible adventures.
Accept imperfections. None of us are perfect. Nor are our husbands, partners, children or family. And you know what? That’s OK.
Be enough. This isn’t high school anymore. You don’t have to please anyone but yourself. Hell, you don’t even have to fit in. In fact, and if you think about it, the opposite is true.
Stop feeling invisible. This happens to too many women. At some point, we become someone’s wife, someone’s mom, or an employee. We lose our identity. And while none of those labels are bad, we eventually stop being who we are. Embrace your own identity once again.
Refuse to take “no” for an answer. Are you willing to give up on something—on anything—for two little letters?
Without a doubt, it can be hard to find your fabulous when it’s buried under pressures and obligations of work or family. But when you look at these amazing women, who are grabbing the bull by the horns in spite of their age, there must be something to it.