It’s a rare woman who says she wants to age just like her mother.
If you say you don’t wanna be your mother, I know it’s not that you don’t love your mom; it’s just that you don’t want to emulate her lifestyle, or how she thinks. Nothing wrong with feeling that way if you believe she is experiencing avoidable premature decline.
Maybe you think that in addition to wanting to avoid her lifestyle and mindset, you want to look younger when you are your mother’s age. That’s great, and it’s totally possible. With the variety of cosmetic procedures available today, any woman can look fabulous till her money runs out or she runs out of credit cards. A new non-surgical facelift that uses your own stem cells costs a fraction of a conventional surgical lift and will last five or more years. Most doctors who do the procedure allow you to pay over time. So don’t waste time worrying about wrinkles or saggy jowls. They don’t make you old and they can be corrected. What can make you old is what you allow to go on in your head.
While maintaining your face is easy, keeping your mind and body is shape is far more difficult and is more important. I think that the most difficult part of managing the aging process is maintaining cognition. It’s not impossible. In my opinion, even Alzheimer’s can be avoided.
Getting in Shape
Physical exercise can cost nothing or it can cost a lot. But either way, being consistent and disciplined is key. It’s silly to keep up your face and have a body that says you are old. Even more important, when you body is in good condition your overall health is better.
Beyond taking care of your mind and body, it’s difficult is to avoid following in your mother’s footsteps because after you’ve worked most of your adult life, at retirement age you are probably tired, worn out or just wanting to live life on your terms. Retirement becomes the Promised Land, but residence there can be incredibly costly in terms of a diminished quality of life.
It’s also difficult to avoid becoming your mother if retired friends and family encourage you to join them in traditional retirement activities that do not promote growth or support productivity. If you choose to live the way everyone else lives (meaning, the lifestyle dictated by tradition), your ability to manage your aging process is further compromised by your human nature trying to drag you to the end of life on its’ terms and schedule, and not yours.
Now here is the good news.
If by age 40 or 50 at the latest, you develop a plan for how you want to live in your retirement years; if you are looking and feeling good, and determined not to live your mother’s lifestyle, you are way ahead of the aging game. It’s critical to keep growing, be productive and of value not just to yourself, but to others.
Your post retirement plan should allow for a year after retirement to do all the things you ever wanted to do while you were working, but didn’t have the time or money to do. It’s important to get it all out of your system within a specific time frame because if you don’t, the aroma from the “retirement roses” becomes so intoxicating you will want to stay on a path of traditional decline.
So many people spend their working years doing work that is either unfulfilling or boring. How many retirees, bored and unfulfilled have lamented, “How I wish I could have been . . .” I think everyone goes through life wishing they could be doing something else, even if they are satisfied with their work, and they get to retirement and never fulfill their dream of “I wish I could have done/been.” That doesn’t have to happen if you plan. You are not too old to become or do what you’ve always wanted to do.
You may think you just want to “try out” traditional retirement and think if you don’t like it you can re-enter the real world. Unfortunately, by the time you realize you made a poor decision, you have become settled and comfortable, and decline has usually set in to the point that you are unable to change the path you are on.
So, if you are now 40 or 50, now is the time to decide how you want to be, and how you want to live when your peers are playing bingo at the senior center or living in a retirement community with others who have no goal in life other than to play and decay.
To motivate you to make the decisions you really need to make about your future, please read my book “I Don’t Wanna Be My Mother” available from Amazon.. Take advantage of my “been there and done that” experience.