I used to dread getting older, and for many years I would “fake my age”. I had just turned 30 and I would say that I was in my 20’s, after all I could then pass for a 25 year old. As I got older, I began to realize that age was/is nothing but a number, and there was absolutely no reason for me to hide behind that number anymore. I embraced turning 40 and I shouted it to the entire world, because 40 was now the new 20. It was a time of learning to love myself all over again, because after all, there was still a lot of life left in me and I was going to live it!
This post is made possible with support from AARP’s Disrupt Aging. All opinions are my own.
As a mother of daughters, it’s my responsibility to them to let them know that being a woman and their age has nothing to do with the achievements they can accomplish. It is my job to instill in them the confidence that they need by setting an example. If I obsess about my age, or hide my age, what does that tell them? I need them to know that they can do whatever they set their mind to, and it’s my job to disrupt aging and remind them that age does not define them. They can become whoever they want to become, and do whatever they want to do. Their age is nothing but a number and they can be awesome at any age because, they are NOT their age! You are as young or as old as you think you are.
I have learned to dance to the beat of my own drum, to make a path for myself and have refocused my way of thinking. I used to be afraid of getting older because I thought that was the end. However, getting older is not the end, but the beginning for me. I have redefined my life and can now say that I am living my best life. If you haven’t noticed, I have changed my hair color more times now than when I was younger. I have taken more risks and learned through all my experiences. There is a lot that can be shared through my journeys and all because I accepted and owned my age!
Recently I sat in on a phone call with legendary executive, digital entrepreneur and the founder of MakeLoveNotPorn Cindy Gallop and garnered some valuable insight that I want to share with you. According to Cindy, Disrupt Aging means “to live your own life in a way that challenges preconceived notions and stereotypes of age and aging, and what it means to grow older”.
Cindy talked about her own experiences as an older woman, and why the Disrupt Aging initiative meant so much to her. Cindy encourages women, especially older women in the workplace to actively promote their own value. And I just love Cindy’s words in her interview “Own your age!”.
We live in a digital age where the young is celebrated and it seems as though only the young are valued. How many models are there that are in their teens or early twenties? You see the beauty commercials on TV and they are geared towards teens or young adults, while incontinence ads are dedicated to those much older as though once you’re past 30 you should be looking forward to being in a nursing home.
So, how can you disrupt aging?
1. Stop hiding your age!
Why are we as women so afraid to tell our age? We should be shouting it from the rooftops, because with age comes great wisdom. (Did you think I was going to say “great responsibility”?) Your age is nothing to be ashamed of, and instead should be celebrated!
2. Promote your value and assert yourself
You have a story to tell. You have skills and life experience that you can share with others, not just in life, but also on the job. As Cindy mentioned: “I encourage older women, especially in the work place, to actively promote their own value, because we have tremendous value.” Don’t think that your job as a parent isn’t valuable in the workplace. You are known as a great multitasker, you solve problems in the home, negotiate tasks in the household, and do it all mostly under pressure, which can be valuable to any employer. So promote your value and don’t be afraid to assert, or stand up for yourself!
3. You’re never too old!
Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you’re too old to do anything, because YOU ARE NOT! There is still a lot that you can do, no matter your age. Follow your heart and your dreams and never give up. Don’t let fear of aging take hold of you. Remember, this is your life and it is only limited by you.
Let’s all be a bit like Cindy and not just own our age, but Disrupt Aging as well!
How do you plan to Disrupt Aging?