WARNING: It's a long one!
A few hours ago, my daughter pulled up a site on the Internet showing “famous” people who were born on our birthday (me, her and my son.)
I should preface this post by saying my son is 18 and my daughter is 13. More than half the people listed, I had never heard of. They were TikTok and YouTube “stars” and my kids knew the vast majority of the people listed.
We then moved on to “celebrities” who shared the same zodiac sign as us. My son and I had the most well-known people who were Pisces (his sign) and Taurus (my sign). I told them to pull up their father’s zodiac sign since he was nearby working on our dryer in the laundry room.
They pulled up Aquarius and there were over forty people listed. But OPRAH WINFREY was not one of the people listed. Oprah was born on January 29, 1954. Definitely making her an Aquarius. I've always known her zodiac sign, because my mother (God, rest her soul) was an Aquarius. I said the site was stupid for not recognizing Oprah, but some of the other random people I’d never heard of. My son says to me with a STRAIGHT FACE: “It’s because Oprah’s not relevant.” [sidenote: that is definitely some Gen Z bullshit stating what/who is relevant!]
Needless to say, I lost my shit.
We argued for almost fifteen minutes about who was more well-known: Oprah or Cristiano Ronaldo. He said Oprah was American and only known in America. After realizing I would NEVER convince my Gen Z kids that Oprah mattered, I retreated from the conversation totally in my feelings.
I thought about WHY I was so upset. And I realized it didn’t really have anything to do with Oprah. Even though she is one of the richest, most famous black women in the world–it was more about if they (and their Generation) thought Oprah was irrelevant–what in the hell did that say about me? What did it say about women my age, from my generation?
Is that what we’ve been reduced to? Having our relevance determined by children who are probably still living at home? Are we irrelevant because we don’t have large social media followings or can’t do the latest TikTok dance?
My husband tried to calm me down by saying it was a generational thing. It didn’t really help. I have been intentional while raising my children to make sure they know about people who paved the way (celebrities and non-celebrities) especially black people who may not make it to their history books. So, for someone in my own house to determine a black woman over fifty was not relevant was like a dagger to the heart.
On the surface, I am all: “PROAGING!” “WOMEN OVER FIFTY ROCK!” “BLACK DON’T CRACK!” but there are places in the recesses of my heart and mind where I do feel like a dinosaur at times. And I wonder, do I make a difference or am I past my expiration date?
That’s why the Face of Fifty Plus community is so important to me. Being around women where I feel like I matter, that I’m relevant, and making a difference. A safe place where women like me know what it’s like to be counted out because of the year you were born. A place where women like me also know trends come and go, but we’re classics that will never, ever go out of style. I wallowed for a bit (totally hormonal by this point) before shaking it off. It was then that I remembered a famous quote by Eleanor Roosevelt: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
That’s essentially what I’d allowed to happen. I let my uninformed son and his OPINION totally trigger me. Although his sister was agreeing with him as well (Judas!). I thought about how even at their semi-big ages they are still VERY much dependent on me. Me. A woman over fifty who by most accounts isn’t considered “relevant”. Oh, the irony! After I did finally calm down, I had to laugh because I learned a very important lesson from the entire incident–don’t argue with people who can’t even write in cursive.
Starting a fitness routine can seem daunting. You've got to make the time. You've got to determine what exercises will work. Then you've got to do meal planning and figure out your caloric deficit. Agh! It's enough to make you quit before you even get started. But it doesn't have to be hard. Just make a commitment to get moving. That's where it starts.
And you don't have to do some complicated regime. Here are a few fun ideas to get your blood pumping while burning calories:
1. Dance! Turn on your favorite music and dance around the house. You can even get the family involved and make it a dance party. Make a playlist ahead of time for uninterrupted jamming!
2. Walk it Out! If you have a dog, commit to an evening walk everyday with you pooch. Or head out on your own for a walk around the neighborhood. Start with a half mile and work your way up to adding a half a mile each week.
3. Roller Skating! Roller skating is making a comeback and it's not only for kids. Older people are getting their roll on too! I will encourage you to wear knee pads and helmets, in case your balance isn't as good as it used to be. This can be a fun activity to invite friends to instead of brunch or happy hour.
What are some of your favorite fun fitness activities?
In case you missed the lively conversation with Tara Botley on learning to honor yourself. You can catch the replay HERE.
Looking for a quick, hearty, low-calorie dinner? Yes, it's possible to eat hearty and low-calorie. One of my signature dishes is a shrimp pasta with spinach. It's both delicious and filling.
In case you missed it, I had an Instagram Live conversation with Jennise Beverly, author and Strategic Business Coach. We discussed turning your side hustle or hobby into a business. There is some great information and tips if you're looking to move into entrepreneurship. Something to consider if you're planning an early retirement. You can watch the conversation HERE.
I'm sure you're more than familiar with the saying, "It takes a village to raise a child." It's an African quote/proverb referring to everyone (including people in other villages) banning together for the welfare of the children to make sure they are safe, fed, nurtured, and taught the lessons they need to survive. It's not just the parents or the household's responsibility. Everyone in the community must play a part for the child to thrive.
I think the same thing holds true, in a way, for adults. Especially women. We thrive when we have a sisterhood. We thrive when we have a tribe or a Girl Gang that has our back. Someone who can say, "Sis, you got lipstick on your teeth." or "Girl, you killed that presentation." or "Or friend, I admire you." Other women who affirm us and who genuinely want us to succeed and be happy.
When you hit your fifties it's more important than ever to know you're not alone navigating this decade. Time out for the competition and cattiness. That's one of the reasons I started the Face of Fifty. To create a place/space where black women in their fifties can be celebrated, encouraged, and empowered. A safe place to go where we are understood and supported. Thank you to all of the magnificent women who have helped this community thrive for the past year! Y'all are amazing!
I am a firm believer in the saying, "We make time for what's important." Yes, it's true time passes quickly. Yes, it's true that some of us have a ton of things to tackle in a short period of time. But it is also true that many of us waste a large amount of time each day. Then we complain that we don't have time to workout, to get a decent night's sleep, read a book, start a passion project, call a friend, etc. It's not that we don't have time, it's that we don't make time. We don't prioritize what's important. Here are three tips to prioritize your time:
1. Stop scrolling– Social media is a time suck. You can lie to yourself and say, I'm just going to check one thing right quick. . . .two hours later you've scrolled through your timeline liking and commenting. You've clicked on a link that took you down a rabbit hole where you ended up watching twenty TikTok videos or reading meme's. Most smartphones have timers where you can limit your screen time. You set the amount of time each day you want to be on social media, and the phone will kick you out of the app. I suggest using this if you don't have the willpower to stop yourself. Instead of scrolling, jump rope or read a few chapters from that book you bought two months ago.
2. Stop bingeing– Do you really need to watch all five seasons (20 episodes each) of a TV show in one sitting? You will NEVER get that time back. Pace yourself. Instead of watching all the shows, watch a couple and then go for a walk or clean out that junk drawer.
3. Start scheduling– I have at least ten timers set on my phone each day. Mostly because I suffer from CRS (can't remember shit) but also to remind me when I need to get stuff done. I also use the calendar on my phone for reminders. And not just for doctor or hair appointments. But I'll remind myself to walk around the house for twenty minutes, to put clothes in the washing machine, call my aunt, etc. And when the timer goes off, I stop what I'm doing and do the thing I made time for. . .
These small changes will not only allow you to reclaim your time, but also make a difference in your quality of life.
(photo courtesy of Natasha Hall via Unsplash)
People often tell me how impressed they are by something I've done or admire my ability to write books or start groups or do graphic design etc. Little do they know, I second guess every single move I make! Seriously. I know it may appear that I am this gregarious extrovert but I am, at my core, an introvert who gets extremely anxious every time I put out a project or host an event. I'm a former people pleaser, so it was always important that people liked me. Which meant I wanted everyone to like and approve of things that I put out into the world. So, I always hesitated or talked myself out of doing something.
But a funny thing happened. Someone close to me hurled a harsh criticism my way and I ain't gonna lie–it was painful. But guess what? I survived. That was my first real world lesson in knowing I could survive criticism or worse (GASP!) someone not liking me. Over time that evolved into me not caring if people approved of me or my decisions. If I did my best and can look myself in the mirror with no regrets. . ..that's all that matters.
These days, regardless whether if I'm feeling anxious or afraid of being misunderstood or unliked, I do what I want to do anyway! I encourage you to do the same. Life is getting shorter don't wait!
Photo courtesy Rodrigo do Reis via Unsplash
So often we put off enjoying our lives because we are alone. Instead of doing things that bring us happiness, we wait. We wait until we find that special someone or we wait until we can get a group of friends together. Let's end the waiting and learn to enjoy our own company. Take a solo trip. Take yourself out to dinner. Do whatever you want to do–with YOU. I guarantee when you learn to be happy by yourself, that energy will bring people to you. Not to mention, life is short. Don't wait on other people to LIVE.
If you're someone who gets easily bored when you're alone, here are some tips to make your solo time more bearable and even fun:
1. Create a playlist of your favorite songs and dance around your house or apartment like you're in a music video!
2. Organize your space. You know that closet or junk drawer you've been meaning to clear out. . .do it!
3. Lose yourself in a good book!
4. Listen to some interesting and uplifting podcasts.
5. Compile a list of movies or TV shows to binge watch on your day off.
Just make sure you're making a conscious effort to enjoy your own company–your peace, quiet, and YOU time!
(photo courtesy of Unsplash)
Blog for Face of Fifty Magazine