How old do you feel?
What does 50 look like? Or 60 for that matter?
What seemed old to me at 20 has definitely changed. I was old at 30, I dressed old, I acted old, and I thought old. It was a couple of big kicks in the butt (actually it was the back) a divorce and financial ruin that took me to my turning point. I don’t recommend going this route, I would have much preferred to make a conscious choice and change, but unfortunately most of us will wait until the brick wall falls on our heads to force us into making it.
I love to be outside and riding my bike to appointments is one of the ways I enjoy the outdoors. I talk to lots of people because I am accessible, as I am on a bike and not in a car. On the way to an appointment one day, I had an interesting conversation with a very sad lady. As I am crossing the road in the inner city, I notice a white haired lady sitting in a stroller type chair. You know the ones that disabled and seniors use to get around and then can sit in. Great invention by the way.
She asks me for a cigarette.
So visualize this: I am in shorts, riding a bike - with nothing but my phone and 1 credit card to pay for a massage.
I nicely say, I am sorry I don't smoke. She looks at me with disappointment and says I used to ride a bike when I was your age. Hmmmmm.
I couldn't help myself, I asked the dreaded question. How old are you?
She replies 60.
My goodness, she looked at least 70. I responded by telling her we were almost the same age. Really nice that I look younger, but really sad that she felt she was so much older than me. Her whole being was full of defeat.
What has that woman gone through?
I don't know her story, but we all have one or will have one. Adversity will come to all of us. We all encounter challenges, but it is in how we use those challenges to bring forth positive changes that counts. There is always the other choice too, we can use it to keep us a victim and feel we have no choices. My grandmother used to say “ what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger.”
Post Traumatic Growth
I just recently heard a term call Post –Traumatic Growth. Research evidence shows us that over time people can find benefits in their struggle with adversity.A cross a large number of studies of people who have experienced a wide range of negative events, estimates are that between 30 and 70% typically report some form of positive change.
Post-traumatic growth (PTG) or benefit finding refers to positive psychological change experienced as a result of adversity and other challenges in order to rise to a higher level of functioning.
What I know for sure is, I would not be the person I am today if I had not had the challenging times. I look at them all as gifts, taking the lesson and moving forward to a better understanding of myself and other people.
We may not always have control over the situation, but we always have a choice on how we think about it and act out.
Here are my top 7 things that keep me youthful
• Exercise - move it or lose it. Keep your muscles strong and flexible.
• Sleep at least 8 hours a night and nap if you need it
• Enjoy non-processed food with less white stuff and more greens
• Find your inner artist - paint, draw, write, sing, dance, act, play, garden, cook - express yourself
• De-stress your life - meditate, pray, massage, yoga, tai chi
• Surround yourself with healthy loving relationships
• Flick the off switch to Stinkin Thinkin
Read Dianna’s blog “It is never too late.” Click here
Dianna Bowes is the founder of Fabulous@50 and the editor of Be Fabulous! Magazine.
Dianna was the winner of the 2011 YWCA Women of Distinction Award in the Turning Point category and the 2014 Leader of Tomorrow Business Award. She is a creative soul, who loves connecting people and embracing life. Travel, great food, family, friends and a long bike ride on a sunny day is her definition of great life.
To read more about Dianna's story click here.