My sister called a few weeks ago, talking excitedly about a style segment on the Today Show which focused on braided hair for all ages. After watching it online a few hours later, I was sold. Click here to check out the video. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘The Today Show’
The wonderful website — www.the52Weeks.com–which is a blog by two women, Pamela Godwin and Karen Amster-Young, and their attempt at doing something new or different, facing challenges and moving forward in some way each week for 52 weeks. It’s all about crossing things off their ”to-do” lists – both big and small, with the hope of inspiring others to do the same–posted one of my blogs on their blog today! Here it is . . . Enjoy!
Lose the Clutter, Find Your Life?
by PAM GODWIN
This is a guest post by Barbara Hannah Grufferman. She is the author of the hugely popular book, The Best of Everything After 50: The Experts’ Guide to Style, Sex, (more…)
Recently, I posted an article on The Huffington Post that generated many comments, and lots of shares. “The Seven Biggest Mistakes We Make in Midlife (and How to Avoid Them)” delved into some of the areas that seem to cause the most angst for us as we age, holding us back. I offered thoughts on how to address them head on. Based on the input I got from readers, one of the biggest issues for a lot of us is fear, and specifically the fear of aging. Many people talked about the fear of being alone, of poor health, of being forgotten. Heres a snippet of what I wrote in that article:
Being Afraid of Aging–The best advice I can give you is this: be fearless after 50. Fear will stop you from pursuing your dreams, and could cause you to give up and give in, keeping you a prisoner in your (more…)
A few months ago the editors at Health.com wrote an article –”11 Mistakes Women Make in Middle Age” — which was based on an interview with me about my book,“The Best of Everything After 50: The Experts’ Guide to Style, Sex, Health, Money and More.”
It generated so much attention that other media outlets have run the story since then, including Yahoo Shine, thirdage.com, and The Huffington Post. A producer at “The Today Show” saw it and invited me to be a guest on the show last week, talking about what I’ve learned from my research. I now refer to it as “the article that keeps on giving.”
No matter where the article pops up, it gets a lot of hits, shares and comments from readers, because many of us are unsure about the right steps to take for better health, fitness, beauty and style. It can be a very confusing time, which is the main reason I decided to research and write the book.
The most important thing I learned is this: health and fitness should be our top priorities after 50 because the better we feel, the better we look, and age becomes irrelevant. Simplify your life, pare back to the basics, and embrace your age — no matter what it is — with pride, confidence and attitude.
Simple, but not always easy, because by the time we hit 50 we’re often set in our ways. To break out of our health, exercise, eating, style, hair, makeup and skincare ruts, let’s start by taking a look at some of the most common mistakes we make, in addition to those listed in “11 Mistakes Women Make in Middle Age.”
I’m 54, and part of the largest single demographic group in the history of the world. Our buying power is huge, and we are a political powerhouse. Invisible? Hardly. But as I entered my 50s, I sometimes felt as though I was being pushed aside, ignored and not young or interesting enough to have a voice in the world, as I once did. Luckily, I got a grip, and realized that we have to ignore the noise, embrace our age, not be afraid of it, accept that change is happening, and figure out the best way to address those changes, forging ahead with health and vitality.
Being Afraid of Aging
The best advice I can give you is this: be fearless after 50. Fear will stop you from pursuing your dreams, and could cause you to give up and give in, keeping you a prisoner in your comfort zone. This is the simple concept I learned from researching, writing and living the advice in my book; If you’re healthy, you feel good. If you feel good, you look good. If you feel good and look good and have a vision for your future, you feel even better. If you’ve got all that plus the knowledge how to stay that way, you feel amazing. And if you feel amazing, who cares about age?
Losing Control of Your Life
When I hit 50, I started to feel as though society had already mapped out my future: I would grow older, fade into the background, continue to pack on post-menopausal pounds, and decide that this was probably going to be how it was going to be. That’s where I was headed until I stopped in my tracks, and said no. Instead, I retreated, revised and re-emerged: I took control, and created a new future for myself which includes exercise, healthy eating, smart skincare, easy makeup and hair, simple style, and a whole new attitude. We can’t control getting older, but we can control how we do it.
Getting Overwhelmed by Too Much Information
Knowledge is power, right? So when I turned 50, I went on a quest to find the answers. I searched the Internet, bookstores and magazines, but it soon turned into information overload. Everybody had an opinion — and most of them conflicted with each other: Eat more protein. No, eat less protein. Take supplements. No, get all your nutrition from foods. You can wear jeans after 50. You can absolutely not wear jeans after 50. And everybody, it seems, wants to sell us something to lose weight or get rid of wrinkles. I was ready to throw the proverbial blanket over my head and stay there. Then one day, it hit me. I didn’t want lots of information; I wanted the best information on what I need to know now about getting older. So, I cut through the noise, and figured out what really works, and what doesn’t.
Ignoring Your Inner Kid
Smile, play, laugh, have fun, engage, connect. These are all essential for healthy aging. Don’t take yourself, or the world, too seriously. There will always be problems, but do we have to constantly dwell on them? Do you remember how much fun it was when you were a kid to just get outside and run around? I do that with my dog. We run (with walk breaks) four to five miles several times a week. Not only am I keeping my weight at a healthy level and exercising my heart, but all studies have shown that physical activity raises your endorphins and makes you feel good. Play games, engage in a hobby, stay in close touch with friends who care about you, and steer clear of those who don’t. Volunteer, and say Yay! as often as you can. It’s contagious.
Feeling Sorry for Yourself
It’s not always easy getting older, especially if you, or loved ones, are experiencing illness, loss, or difficult financial times. But, feeling sorry for yourself is counter-productive, as it only serves to keep you stuck where you are. Instead, take control, figure out what you need to make your situation easier (or at least, more tolerable), get help from others if you need it, and create a vision of your life which includes getting and staying fit, so you can more readily shoulder whatever comes your way in the future.
Not Having a Financial Plan
I interviewed Jane Bryant Quinn, the internationally known financial expert and author, for my book. Jane is a conservative thinker when it comes to financial planning, and she gave me some very good advice for people approaching 50: as we’re heading toward retirement — which probably won’t happen until we’re closer to 70 due to many converging factors — we have to ask ourselves how we’re going to afford to live. One of the most stressful things any of us can go through is financial uncertainty. This is where the simple part comes in: save more, and spend less. No magic… just basic common sense. And understand the different kinds of insurance we need as we get older. You may want to consider hiring a fee-only financial planner to get started.
The last paragraph of my book succinctly sums up my simple philosophy on living a good life after 50, and I’d like to share it with you here:
For the rest of your life: love yourself, love your life, stay as healthy as you can, move your body, be informed, stay engaged, use your mind, keep a handle on your finances, be bold, be brave, walk with confidence, live with style . . . and you will always have the best of everything.
Loss can be experienced in many different ways, and it seems tat the older one gets, the more frequently loss can make an appearance. Usually associated with the death of a loved one, the concept of loss is often terribly misunderstood.
What Is “Ambiguous Loss”?
A few examples of these kinds of losses are:
- The death of an adored pet
- Losing one’s independence through poor health or advanced age
- Witnessing a parent’s descent into dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease
- Surgery to remove a body part — such as a breast — due to cancer
- Having to give up an enjoyable activity or hobby because of physical limitations
- The end of a career, even if by choice
- Being the victim of a robbery or other crime and losing your sense of security
- Experiencing the “empty nest” syndrome when children grow up and move out of your home
- The arrival of menopause, and everything this event symbolizes
Nevertheless, the person experiencing the loss, and those in her world, may not recognize or accept that she is in fact grieving and is therefore deserving of sympathy and compassion. Instead, she is encouraged to get over it and move on with her life.
During the first year of our marriage, I suffered a miscarriage, before eventually having two daughters. It happened early on in the pregnancy, during the 11th week, and my then-OB-GYN was quite matter-of-fact when he delivered the devastating news to my husband and me. He called it a “spontaneous abortion,” told us how common it was, and assured me that, because of my good health, there would be other pregnancies. What he failed to realize, as did most of the people in our lives, was that I took a nosedive into a profound period of loss and mourning. I kept it to myself, because the message I got from the world was, “Everything is OK. You’ll have more babies.” In time, I emerged from my grief, and when I did, I resolved to never sweep my sense of loss and grief under the proverbial rug just because society tells me that it’s not severe enough to warrant sympathy and compassion.
The Loss of a Passion
A few months ago, after giving a lecture at a conference, I was talking with a man, who had been in the audience, about staying physically fit after 50. His eyes lit up when he described the many years he had played competitive tennis, spending the last 10 post-retirement years playing almost every day. It was only when he described the pain of his often-debilitating rheumatoid arthritis, and how two years ago it forced him to give up tennis, one of the greatest joys and passions in his life, that his face grew dark and his eyes lost their spark. He went on to tell me how he plunged into depression shortly after stopping, and how, worse, no one in his life understood how deeply he was grieving. He didn’t even understand it. Everyone told him to stop complaining, because “at least you’re alive.”
It’s only recently that this lovely gentleman has come out of his grief with a new sense of purpose and mission: he decided that if he can’t play tennis, he’ll teach others how to play, and he now volunteers several times a week, showing financially disadvantaged teenagers how to get in the game. This is a great example of turning loss into compassion.
The Loss of a Job and an Identity
A woman I know recently lost her job. Even though she was nearing retirement age and received an excellent package, she still grieved. Her job was a very big part of her identity and gave her structure, responsibility and respect. She told me that her loss was so profound that she found it hard to get out of bed most mornings. Her two sons had graduated from college and were living on their own in different cities, and her husband was still very much involved in his small but thriving business, so they were all too busy to notice how deeply affected she was.
The few people she shared her feelings with pooh-poohed on her loss by trying to convince the woman that she was incredibly fortunate to have received such a great severance package, and that now she was free to do what she wanted. But the problem was that she hadn’t prepared herself for this, and she had no idea what she wanted to do with the rest of her life. Her grief, then, was compounded by confusion and guilt.
Acknowledging Loss When It Is Happening to You or Others
These are just a few examples of the kinds of everyday loss that can occur to any of us, or to people we know and love. Loss of any kind can be devastating, but it’s these more ambiguous kinds of loss that are very often hard to recognize in ourselves or others. The more traditional kinds of loss — death, for example — has religious or societal rituals to help people get through them, but that’s not the case with most of these other kinds of losses. The most important and compassionate thing we can do to help those who are experiencing loss is to acknowledge that the person is having this experience and help her give herself permission to go through the mourning process.
Opening Your Heart to Compassion
I emerged from my period of mourning with a powerful mission: to acknowledge loss when it is happening to me, and to show compassion when it is happening to others.
I’ve been on this strange trip . . . a count-down until I’m on the Today Show. Having never been on the Today Show, it’s a pretty big deal for me.
The most important decision?
What to wear.
I’m going to be in front of a gazillion people, and I want to look . . . perfect.
But, what is perfect? Do I want to look glamorous? Serious? Authoritative? Sexy? Approachable?
All of the above? None of the above?
I keep trying on outfits . . . at home, in stores, in my head. And, I don’t know what perfect is. I’m not perfect, and my body is far from perfect. So, what will the perfect outfit be?
In the words of Diane von Furstenberg, I have to be comfortable. Or, I’ll be thinking too much about what I look like at just that moment when Meredith Viera, or Ann Curry, or Kathi Lee and Hoda asks me an uber-important question and I can’t answer because I was wondering if my shirt was gaping, or my skirt was riding up my leg.
I think I’m overthinking.
Someone please tell me what I should wear . . .
Best of everything,