‘Perennials are ever-blooming, relevant people of all ages who know what’s happening in the world, stay current with technology and have friends of all ages. We get involved, stay curious, mentor others, and are passionate, compassionate, creative, confident, collaborative, global-minded risk takers.’”
I turned 48 years old this week.
I never have a desire to hide how old I am. I own every single year and look forward to every single day that will make up the next trip around the sun.
Sometimes when I am talking with someone, my age will come up.
When I tell them, there’s a look of surprise at times because they think I’m younger than my number.
I don’t think it has as much to do with me looking chronologically younger as it does with them seeing an essence that is often associated with youth versus middle age: vibrant, open, glowing; creating and participating in life, versus waiting and expecting.
Today, midlife can be a completely different way of life for women my age than it was for our grandmothers or even our mothers.
Middle age was once a time in life when women were thought to fade into the background and relinquish their dreams, desires, style and interests.
Our culture still spins a story that women become more irrelevant with each passing year. I see it all the time when I do things as simple as shopping for clothes.
I think the reason my style has become more distinctive and pronounced since I turned 40 is because I’ve become purposefully rebellious and creative given a lot of the choices that are out there for women my age.
I do not want to hide my body.
In fact, I’ve never had more topless or nude photos taken of me or jumped into pools, lakes and oceans without my clothes on than I have in this decade of my life.
It’s not to prove anything to anyone; I do it because I like it. It’s that simple.
I do not listen to any noise about “age-appropriate” hair or clothing. I cut my hair very short, so people can see my entire face.
I wear things with leather, mesh, and cut-outs. I look like I want to be in a music video or on a runway when I’m dressed to go out to dinner sometimes. It’s all on purpose.
I don’t want to be contained by outdated social mores and boring clothes that a department store buyer thinks women my age should be wearing in my region of the country.
And my passion, creativity, confidence, new ideas and participation in life cannot be contained, either.
I always say I possess all of the wonder, dreams and awe of my 13-year-old self paired with the wisdom, heart, experience and smarts of my 48 years.
A friend of mine once shared an article with me, and I learned that I (and many of my other female, middle-aged contemporaries) could be considered perennials.
I never look at a birthday as another year that brings me closer to the time when I won’t be alive, that my face will have more wrinkles, or my body won’t work the same way.
Each year is an opportunity to learn what I can do to continue to live out all of my perennial qualities, and I’ve had people joke that “it’s not fair” that I look younger now than I did 10 years ago.
Part of the “secret” is that I take exceptional care of myself. I give myself a lot of attention in terms of how I exercise, what I eat, how I take care of my skin and the clothes I put on my body.
I think about how I manage my mind and what I decide to believe about who I am and the woman I want to keep growing into.
I am purposeful about the people I let into my life.
I think about the legacy I want to leave when I am no longer here.
People think they are seeing youth in me when it’s really wisdom.
Wisdom glows. Wisdom thrives on “getting old.”
There’s wisdom in experiencing pleasure.
Still having a sense of wonder about the world.
It’s being willing to feel the tough, scary, struggling feelings and know you’ve got your own back to be a woman who loves her life.
It’s being connected to your mind and body to know how strong and resilient you can be. It might be a risk, but risk we must.
It’s knowing that a number on a calendar does not have the power to shut you down, but can actually let you blossom.
That number that represents the day you blessed the earth by being born.
That number on the calendar can be a call for you to come alive more and more each year and live a life that moves you in every way possible.
Happiness is a serious business. Perennials know they need to water that happiness and tend to its growth.
There is no one else responsible for your happiness but you, and you can see that as really bad news, or you can see it as the ultimate freedom and key to life.
I was born on July 19th, 1971 in Louisville, Kentucky.
I am 48 years old and ever-blooming. A perennial.
If you want to work on your perennial-ness and are intrigued by the prospect of working with me 1:1, click HERE to schedule a free consult/discovery call to see how I can help you grow.