Cheering Us On

by Kim KleinGuest Blogger

I was never a cheerleader. Couldn’t care less about high school sports, or actually, high school in general. But I have now picked up the pom-poms in an attempt to cheer myself on and make aging an easier feat. Some days it works, I feel ageless, timeless, like I could Skip to My Lou and on other days I wake up, don’t recognize the old woman in the mirror and just want to kick those pom-poms to the curb.

As much as I try to see the positives in everything, what I am is a realist. Fortunately, I am a realist with a little more optimism than pessimism thrown in, along with a hefty helping of good humor.

But there is some truth to what you hear about getting older, how all of a sudden everything seems to break down a bit. Like a good old BMW, they’re great, but you really need to do the maintenance and that can be rather costly. Everything seems to squeak a little more, it takes a whole lot more time and effort to look refreshed in the morning, knees crack, backs ache, and heaven forbid, are those twinges of arthritis in your hands?

When I turned 50, almost eleven years ago, I started writing a book, Where 50 found Me. Well, the fact is 50 found me lying in a puddle of menopausal sweat going through a divorce and living in a small apartment with the one cat that I wasn’t really that fond of. It peaked my interest when turning 50, and therefore a lot of my friends were turning 50, I went looking at the bookstore for some lighthearted writings about the woes of aging. But all I seemed to find were these books on brilliant women and their wonderful achievements. Not what I was looking for, and not great for my self-esteem. The women featured in these books were all filled with determination and drive which made me realize that the only drive I had been taking was on a pothole filled highway in a beat up old Yugo. My turning 50 felt like I really hadn’t accomplished a whole lot and seeing all of the over- achievers only confirmed my deep rooted suspicions that I really hadn’t take seriously how “time goes by so fast.” Feeling like a total loser, I left with some light and fluffy fiction, mainly about women who leave their lives as they know them and disappear to some Greek island, surrounded by oceans, warm winds, handsome lovers, good food, and an endless income.

While some people slip into a coma, some in a puddle of mud, and some on an icy street, I felt like I had just slipped right into old. It can come upon you faster than a supersonic Concorde, and can be just as ill fated. You look in the mirror as you ready yourself in the morning, and think, Hey, not too bad, I still got it going on. Then someone snaps a picture and tags you on Facebook where you immediately panic, untag yourself and hope that not too many people got a glimpse of that one! The dark circles, double chin, jowls, and the flappy upper arms, or if you prefer, angel wings.

We are so hard on ourselves! Practicing self-love, self-acceptance and staying enthused about life and our future can take work. It is a practice, ongoing, and sometimes we do better at it than others. But it’s a practice worth taking on. I look to the cheerleaders now to help me and I found one in Isabella Rosellini. I was reading an article the other day where she was being interviewed and this is what she had to say:

In interviews, the first question I get in America is always: What do you do to stay young? My answer? I do nothing. I don’t think aging is a problem.”  

Aging is not a problem? What? Wow, Isabella, I love the sound of that. I’m pretty sure that most of us here have been conditioned to think otherwise. But I’m going to take your word for it and write that in lipstick on my bathroom mirror and add it to my daily morning mantras. Aging is not a problem. Because as one of my other cheerleaders, Wayne Dyer says, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

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Kim Klein is a Certified Holistic Health Coach and Certified Feng Shui Practitioner whose specialty is combining the two modalities to help women achieve balance, rediscover their purpose and reignite their passion for living. She is the author of Damn, the Pusherman ~ Sugar, The Legal Drug that is Keeping you Sick and Fat, and Nine Degrees North, a young adult fiction novel that takes place on Kwajalein, a Pacific Island US missile range in 1969.

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