Embrace your age if you want to live a long happy life.
It turns out, your mindset or approach to aging makes a difference in longevity. According to 2002 research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , adults who developed a positive outlook on aging lived more than seven years longer than the “glass half empty” folks.
I don’t know about you but I’d love to live an additional seven years. Of course, we all want those years to be filled with love, fun and adventure.
How can we thrive in the second half of life?
Fill your life with noteworthy events by planning things you look forward to each and every week. Don’t worry, your adventures don’t have to be “heart jumping out of your chest” daring! While jumping out of an airplane doesn’t appeal to me in any way shape or form, a cooking class adventure is definitely in my wheelhouse.
Your adventures could be culinary, physical or artistic – whatever interests you. The idea is to try new things to enhance your life, keep your mind sharp and slow down time.
Embrace your age by living life to the fullest.
Cultivate a sense of adventure in life no matter your age but especially for women in midlife. For years, we’ve been taking care of others, managing households, and/or made a career. Now that we’ve hit midlife, it’s time to carve out some time for us. Let’s face it, it’s now or never.
Ditch the “after” syndrome.
There can be no more putting your goals and dreams off until some future date. We can no longer “wait until:”
- summer [or insert upcoming season]
- you get a raise
- you retire
- you get back from [insert where you are going next]
- you lose 10 pounds
The time is now.
Adopt a sense of adventure to make life interesting.
While I started this article listing something I won’t do (parachute,) I’ve expanded the list of things I will do by having an adventure every week. Since I turned 50, I try or do something new every single week and my life has exploded personally and professionally.
Trying new things opens your heart and mind. New ideas, new ways of thinking and ways of being. You are more accepting of others and are more flexible. Besides, life is more fun when you have something to look forward to.
Here are three ways to embrace your age for midlife women:
1. Live your life in anticipation of new adventures
When we look back at our life, we remember noteworthy events. These memories make us smile and give us tears of joy. For example, my future daughter-in-law invited me to go with her, the maid of honor and her mom to pick out her wedding dress. I’ll never forget her walking out with each beautiful dress but when she tried on “the one,” we all were breathless and tears running down our face. Anticipating the event was half the fun and I’ll treasure the photos forever (but not share them until after the wedding! Shh… its a secret!)
My friend Brenda organized a monthly “girl’s night” in our neighborhood (and we can’t wait to be able to do this again.) Each member of the group hosted once and did everything – all the food and drinks. So it is a lot of work that month and none the rest.
Because there are 18 women in the group, a hosting night only comes around every year and a half. On my night last year, we had a chocolate fountain with all kinds of fun foods to dip. While strawberries are an all time favorite, Lay’s potato chips were delicious with the saltiness and crispness of the chips.
My friend Sibyl, the fountain’s owner, came over the week before for a dry run. Our chocolate was too thin and when we turned it on, it sprayed like a chocolate sprinkler! We shut that puppy down and fixed the chocolate. While the event turned out great, I will always remember the preparation day just as fondly as the party night.
Plan noteworthy events so you aren’t just adding years to your life but adding life to your years.
2. Enjoy the place in which you live
While planning a visit to another town, state or country is exciting, your adventure can be within driving distance, in your town or in your own home. Adventure is in your heart not always in your feet.
Be a tourist for a day in your hometown. Subscribe to your local chamber of commerce website or local paper so you are aware of upcoming, festivals, galleries, and concerts. Put them on the calendar! Obviously, invite friends to go with you to enjoy experiences together.
Subscribe to the All Trails app to find great places to hike within your fitness level. Once you start looking closely, you may find opportunities for adventures right in your own community.
3. Plan something every week that is up-lifting
Life is so much better when you have something to look forward to. Take a watercolor painting or calligraphy class locally or online from the comfort of your home. Another idea is to gather a few friends for a home cooking day. Together you can make a few dishes to freeze for later in the month while enjoying time together.
If helping others is a goal of yours, volunteer! A 2012 University of Michigan study found older adults who volunteered had a reduced mortality than those who didn’t volunteer in their community. One reason could be the “feel good” factor from being of service to others and another may be the added social interactions. In other words, having something positive to look forward to may not just enhance your life but extend it.
People say, “Life is short, buy the shoes.” I disagree.
Life is long! Be sure to fill your life with rich experiences and adventures and embrace your age. You’ll never regret it.