This post is made possible with support from AARP Cincuentañeros™ and #WeAllGrow Latina Network. All opinions are my own.
TRUTH TALK time. Age is not a topic I cover here on my site. I feel like my specialty is creativity, and creativity is timeless and ageless. But as each year passes, I realize that is a form of creativity too, especially in our perspectives on life, work, fashion, everything.
But, I still never thought to cover that here.
I was invited to take part in a new campaign with AARP when I attended the We All Grow Summit last May. At first, I thought it would be a group of women all around my age, but come to find out, it was women of all ages – from early 20s to mid-50s.
Our mission? To enjoy an artful dinner together and have a deep conversation about what it means to grow older. The good and the challenges. Whether that is from not being respected as a young leader, or feeling invisible as a seasoned one. To really discuss ageism and how we can change the perception. No matter how many candles are on our birthday cake this year, if we are lucky, more and more will be added over time. It’s a topic all will face, so let’s do it in a positive way!
Whoa. Let me tell you about this dinner…we laughed. We cried. We bonded over bread and dessert. We each took turns sharing our stories of where we are at right now and how we got here, both personally and professionally.
The theme of the campaign is Cincuentañeros. It translates as “fifty-ish” celebrating that halfway mark in all its glory! It’s about living life to its absolute fullest – “sin cuenta” – without numbers, labels, or stereotypes. I fit perfectly with this idea because that is exactly how I’ve always approached everything I do.
#Cincuentañeros is the launch of a national movement to celebrate our stories, as Latinas – how we want to live and age!
I was so moved by the night, and the people and the idea of sin cuenta, I thought I’d sum up my feelings and takeaways here!
Here are my 10 ways to love your age right now and live sin cuenta! I hope these don’t come off as preachy, they are just ideas I often think about and they align nicely with #Cincuentañeros!
Who would you be if stranded on a desert island? Embrace that person! First off, before anything – I’m Kathy. I’m a lefthanded, middle child Sagittarian who loves to make things, share stories, meet people, wear red lipstick and so much more. Aside from that, I happen to be a female. Mexican-American. A Phoenician. A mom. A wife. An entrepreneur. But if I were stranded on a desert island, none of those labels would matter because I’m Kathy. Get in touch with the core of what makes you special and unique. That never changes or ages, it’s the foundation of your character and personality. Once you love yourself in that way, it will be a breeze to handle everything else.
Appreciate every era of your journey. I was the oldest at our dinner and I noticed that pretty quick because I had a lot of stories from different eras of my life. Each decade is an era of evolving. My twenties were the “I Wanna Manage Bands, No, I Wanna Be An Artist, OMG, I Fell in Love!” era, then my thirties were the “Ack, I’m a mom, I need a steady job!” era, then my forties were my “Let Me Build an Empire!” era and my fifties are “I’m Gonna Do All the Things I Put on Hold!” era. There are lots of eras!
Allow yourself to breathe, you do have the time to meet your goals! I know people always say life is short, and it does seem like it in the long run, but while you are in it, the days are actually pretty long. 24 hours in each day. Put them to good use and make a plan of action for your goals and dreams. Plot out your timeline and do your best to stick to it. Don’t feel like you have to rush and “make it happen” right away, give yourself time to do things right. That doesn’t mean procrastinate, it means work on it a little each day so you see results.
Ditch the bucket list. God, I hate that term! Instead of calling it a Bucket List – call it your Daily (or Weekly) Happy Adventure List. Invite your kids and friends along for the ride. We shouldn’t hold off on these goals until we are about to die. Make your Daily Happy Adventure List now and I bet a million bucks, the opportunities will begin to manifest – and you have to be ready!
Embrace new! I say this a lot – but it’s really important! When it comes to music, movie stars, heroes, books, authors, etc – step out of your routine and discover the new version of those things. I do this with music, I like to listen to new playlists on Spotify, and then I’ll take my favorite songs and create a NEW playlist from those!
Use technology to document stories. I’m not just talking Instagram stories, but also family history stories. T Lopez was one of the guests at the dinner and she told us all about her husband’s grandmother and even had us sing happy birthday to her on video, then she sent it over! Use your phone to record your family members young and old sharing the events of the day. Or maybe you can do it from your day. Celebrate moments big and small. I find the gold is in the small stuff!
Challenge yourself to achieve something you never thought you could do. Shake up your life already! I wrote two novels (while working full-time and parenting!). They weren’t exactly bestsellers but who cares, I did it! It was one of the hardest tasks I ever took on, I almost quit a zillion times. Now, throughout my life, whenever I feel like something is too big for me to handle, I think back to writing the novels and know I can do anything if I put my mind to it. Accomplish big goals just to use as a marker point for your stress threshold, lol! And to brag to your kids when they get lazy! 😉
Celebrate EVERY birthday like you did when you were a kid. You know how when people get older, they say, “I hate birthdays.” or “No, I don’t want another birthday!” This is something I learned recently. I went to visit my Uncle Danny when he only had a week to live. He spent his last days in bed, unable to move much. I suggested he listen to podcasts or audiobooks.
He replied, “No, Kathy. I don’t have time for podcasts. I’m trying to remember the details of each and every birthday, and each and every vacation, because I don’t know if I’ll take those memories with me on the next part of my journey.” MIC DROP.
It’s okay to say your age, in fact, it sets a great example of self-love! It’s not as big of a secret as you think. People can figure it out. I’m 54, I’m not shy about talking about my age because it is what it is, and like everything in my life, I want to own it and make the most of it. I’ll never be 54 again in my whole life, so I’m doing my best to make every day count. Is age limiting? Sometimes it can be, but I know everyone in this life has their time to shine, we all take turns because we all are going to grow older. If you’re lucky, you’ll have lots of times to shine! In each era!
Take LOTS of pictures. Trust me. Every day we are a day older, today is the youngest you’ll ever be from now on, so work those selfies! You’ll be happy you did!
Share the love. Give without expectation. Speak with value. Show people how you want to be loved and respected by treating them the same way. Ignore the haters, send them love, in fact, because that’s what they are in need of. Every time you catch yourself about to gripe – stop and think twice if it is really necessary, what’s a solution you can offer?
Thank you for reading through all of these! What are your favorite tips to love your age?
Make sure to visit aarp.org/cincuentaneros for more inspiration!