Recently a pair of girlfriends ran into an old beau. When he inquired about me they informed him that I had gotten engaged, at which point, Mr. Man proceeded to wax nostalgically about how I might have been the one who got away.
Why oh why do people do this? After hearing I was no longer on the market, did it make him more apt to show his true feelings, or was he just putting on a show? And if he was sincere, why does it take people so long to realize their mistakes?
Over my 40 plus years I’ve learned to never look back in regret. Of course I recognize in hindsight that I would’ve make different choices if I knew then what I know now. I do not however wish for do overs. Things happened as they needed to happen at that time.
This particular guy was and, as far as I’ve been told, still is an incredibly good looking man. A former NFL linebacker, he was at the top of his game when we first met. Ironically I paid this man very little attention at first because I was licking my wounds so hard over someone else’s rejection I barely notice when this charming, handsome man was showing me interest. (Thus referring back to my previous post about how to get over them and move on quickly)
To make a long story short, when he had the chance, he chose someone else. This someone was a young lady who I can only imagine fit the image, at least outwardly, of all the things he thought would match his rising star profile. I never thought he made a wrong choice, I always thought he made the only choice that felt right to him at that time. To hear he regrets that choice doesn’t make me feel flattered in anyway. Our moment has long since pasted and we both have moved on.
Yet that part of me, who remembers the girl I was back then, does wistfully look back and say, “you picked the wrong girl you big fat dummy!”
The weather outside is finally catching up with the calendar. Warm sunny days means more time spend outside. It also means less clothing. Have you been hiding under over-sized sweaters and slouchy boyfriend jeans only to undercover you’ve unwittingly gained an extra 10 pounds?
After 40, it gets harder and harder to find time for regular exercise. Children, career, home and relationships take up much of the space on our to do lists. When we look in the mirror, we barely notice the subtle changes happening to our bodies, especially when it comes to gaining weigh and aging. I know when I look in the mirror, I don’t see the signs that I’ve put on an extra pound or two unless I’m trying on new clothes in a department store. Isn’t it funny how that works! And when I do finally see it, I think, oh it’s just a few pounds, it’ll come off in a few weeks.
Our bodies have a cruel way of reminding us that we are indeed not as young as we use to be. Little aches and pains here and there, with sore joints and knees from prolonged exertion are sure signs we have fallen out of shape and aging. Many women in their 30’s start to notice the spread in the middle take over despite their best dieting efforts. Luckily for us ladies, there are all sorts of low impact sports that can help keep us fit while enjoying the warm weather.
Catherine Zeta Jones, 43, takes a swing.
GOLF….builds stamina, leg strength and is what summer is made of for true golfers.
Jennifer Aniston, 44 strikes a pose.
YOGA…improves strength and flexibility and when taken outside, adds a refreshing change of scenery.
Cameron Diaz, 40, swimmingly svelte.
SWIMMING…is a great low impact cardio workout perfect for enjoying the outdoors at pools and beaches.
Michelle Obama, 49, gets it jumping with the kids.
PLAYING WITH THE KIDS…challenges your stamina, provides cardio and builds relationships.
Kirstie Alley, 62, dances the weight off.
DANCING….a great cardio workout that can be fun and engaging whether done alone, in a group or as a pair.
One of the downsides to living in a big city is learning to live within small spaces. Our beautiful new condo is adorned with classic dark hardwood floors and over-sized windows that flood in light. There are shiny new appliances and a larger than usual bathroom, but overall our storage space is lacking. While on the hunt for great furniture pieces, we are also on the look out for double duty workhorses that provide style and function. Recently we picked up this great coffee table that plays several roles for our small space living.
First it’s on wheels, which is what you need when you have a couch that has a pull out bed. The wheels allow for easy maneuvering when the sofa bed is in use and lock in place when you need a stable surface. Also, the top of the coffee table has two removable trays that when flipped over can be used as a cushioned foot rest.
This cushioned, multifunction coffee table can be found at Bob’s Discount Warehouse for $199
Last, there is a large pull out drawer perfect for storing additional guest linens and pillows for the sofabed, or DVD’s, remotes, books and anything else you want hidden from view. We love this latest addition to our growing collection of furniture for our little condo and it’s inspired us to hunt for additional dual functional pieces. I hope this inspires you to hunt for space saving furniture that serves a multitude of purposes.
Halle Berry, 46 and Oliver Martinez, 47, will welcome a baby boy sometime this fall, according to US magazine online. The little one will be a welcomed addition to Berry’s family as she has frequently stated that she has always wanted to fulfill her 5 year old daughter Nahla’s, request for a sibling.
Jennifer Aniston, 44, stays youthful by living in the moment and staying open to new experiences.
I recently had a conversation with a friend whom I attended college with back in the late 80’s and early 90’s. While listening to her talk about her life, I couldn’t help but be struck with how old she seemed to be. We are about the same age, hell she’s a year younger, yet everything about her suggested that she was 20 years older. She was tired, weary and somewhat out of touch with the world outside of her immediate family. This conversation was in stark contrast with the daily talks I have with the girlfriends I’ve made when I attended graduate school from 2005 to 2007. After giving it some thought, I came to realize that there are some things, or habits of women in their 40’s that really do age us and not in a good way.
Catherine Zeta Jones, 43, has said, there is a time and place for children and pets, in the bed where she sleeps with her husband is isn’t it, and therefore is off limits to them.
Children will age you, if you let them.
Stress is a killer, a wise man once told my fiance, and you know what, it’s the truth. Children can be a wonderful source of happiness and fulfillment, but raising them can cause us the greatest amounts of stress we’ll ever know. As your kids go through the various stages of growing and maturing, it’s easy to be sucked into having your life revolve around them. From conversations I’ve had with many moms, I know this is a huge mistake. You have to work on building a life that defines who you are aside from being a mother. Maintaining relationships with good friends, actively pursing hobbies and fostering the best romantic life you can achieve, all leads to mothers being happier people. When you are fully engaged in the totality of your life, you are less likely to react in an unbalanced way to stress caused by your children and therefore slow down aging.
Jada Pinkett- Smith, 41, posts regularly on facebook and twitter as a form of expression for her musings on just about any topic.
Being disconnected from technology and social media are indicators of oldness.
I will confess that I’m not the biggest fan of gadgets. Often times nothing gets me hotter than a smart cell phone or a smart TV that’s not smart enough to do something simple. I do recognize however, that we live in a day and age where cell phones, facebook, twitter and the like are all a permanent part of our society. Everyone can decide just how involved they want to be in social media or how to use these tools so they best fit into and enhance their lifestyle. Pretending they don’t exist or ignoring their value is a clear ticket to out-of-touch ville, aka being old.
Jennifer Lopez, 43, believes that when one door closes another one opens.
Holding on to past hurts and disappointments will age you emotionally and physically.
There are some women that I know who when ever we speak they talk about things that hurt them that occurred almost 20 years ago. For some, the past is always with them. When you hold on to the pain or disappointment caused by the wrong doings of others, you leave little room for emotional growth and healing. Often times you can’t get someone who has wronged you to admit to what they’ve done or to make amends. Holding on to old wounds only serves as a function to keep you stuck in a place where you feel powerless and victimized. If you don’t let go, you are more likely to suffer from depression and have a more pessimistic outlook on life, both of which will surely age you and cloud your perspective.
Madonna at 54 is the ultimate change artist and the mother of reinvention. For her, age ain’t nothing but a number.
Things change and so should you if you want to remain vital and vibrant throughout your life.
In the end, the central theme here is change. You have to be adaptable and willing to embrace change when it comes. I find that unfortunately for the women who aren’t flexible in their outlooks on life and how they live, they tend to look older than their age. Women who acknowledge change and even prepare for it by staying current in all aspects of their lives are usually the ones who look terrific regardless of their age.
Much to-do has been made about Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In. I have to admit I’ve caught the fever that has been going around over how great the ideas are behind the book. Women being more assertive in the work place, yes! Any book that inspires, informs and highlights paths to success for women is a must read.
Often in my own career I’ve found that successful women hold back from sharing the secrets to their success as if there’s only room at the table for one. In a world where competition is everything, it’s nice to see Sandberg, 43, the COO of Facebook and one of the world’s most influential women in business, lay out the tools for getting out of one’s own way on the path to success.
There are many examples of women, particularly in their 40’s and older who have not only leaned in, but are leading the charge for women’s roles in high profile leadership positions. Here are just a few women that deserve mentioning amongst many more who prove that we are capable of anything as long as we are willing to take a seat at the table.
Tamron Hall, 42, is the host of MSNBC’s NewsNation with Tamron Hall. While most people are more familiar with Soledad O’Brien on CNN, and Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, Hall is quietly and steadily building a following with her afternoon broadcasts. Quick witted and sharp as a tack she’s proven time and again that she’s not afraid to go toe to toe with the big boys of politics on her show. With beauty, brains and brawn, once she gets her shot at prime time, it’s a wrap.
Julia Pierson, 53, is the newly appointed Director of the United States Secret Service. She is the first woman to hold this position. She started out as a parking lot attendant at Walt Disney World while in high school and now is in charge of revamping the tarnished image of the Secret Service after the high profile Summit of the Americas prostitution scandal. Leave it to a woman to know how to clean up a man’s dirty mess.
Shonda Rhimes, 43, is an award winning creator, writer and show-runner for three hit ABC television dramas. Grey’s Anatomy, it’s spin off, Private Practice and Scandal have all amassed a huge following and critical acclaim on the small screen. Thursday night’s social media landscape is dominated by Scandal devotees giving scene by scene analysis and reaction to the show’s intricate plot-lines. Rhimes’ is the first woman to helm three successful network television shows simultaneously.
Jenna Lyons, 44, is J Crew’s President and Executive Creative Director and she is the woman who dresses America, according to the New York Times. Among her many fans which include, Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Walters, Gwyneth Paltrow and Michelle Obama, she is the go to muse for quirky styling for the busy everyday working woman. Mismatching prints and clashing colors are the norm for the all American looks she puts together for the famous catalog and for herself. She keeps the media buzzing with her social life as well by leaving her husband to take up with her girlfriend. Now that’s what you call a modern woman!
A few weeks ago on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, the girls went on a bonding trip to Las Vegas. During one scene, the ladies decided it was high time they gave Porscha, the youngest member of the group, some unsolicited marital advice. This scene presumably took place almost a year ago, but here we are now and Porscha and her husband are embarked on what appears to be a messy divorce. Did the ladies see something that wasn’t captured on camera to prompt this marital gag fest? And even if they did, were they out of line for being so harsh and intrusive into someone else’s marriage?
I associate with many women who are on average, 10 years younger than me. They are smart, funny and pop culture savvy. They are also however, not always wise about matters of the heart. I use to think I was performing some sort of public duty by alerting my younger friends against the pitfalls of dating married men, or emotionally unavailable men or just plain jerks. I’d often think, when I was their age, I wish someone had given me a compass to set some sort of direction in, especially when it came to picking guys. If there was a loser in the bunch, I headed straight for him and no one could tell me a thing about him. So I thought, having all this lived and learned experience must make me qualified to know at least one or two things about relationships. And what’s the point of knowing if you can’t share?
Well there have been more than a few times when I’ve realized that maybe some people need to live and learn for themselves. Perhaps that’s why I cringed in horror when I saw these 40 something year old women on TV, butting their noses in places they don’t belong for the sake of educating a younger woman on the proper ways to behave in a modern marriage. Every person has to make their own choices and mistakes. If we’ve been around long enough to have made a few of our own, we should know better than to get in the way of other people’s growth. Falling on your face in a relationship is well…how you learn. How else are you gonna know the difference between a frog and a prince?
Now I try not to pass judgement on any girlfriend in a questionable relationship. After all who hasn’t done something foolish in the name of love? What I will do instead is offer up all the words of wisdom I can come up with on figuring out what you want and how to get it. People tend to respond better when confronted with positive reinforcement as opposed to judgement and condemnation. It’s the best way I’ve learned to be a good friend without being a know it all.