Are you growing or aging?
Because gravity is real.
Here we go! The first edition of The LIFT! Eek! Are you as excited as I am?
First off, can I just say THANK YOU! Thank you for letting me show up in your inbox. For giving me space to share some of the experiences + knowledge I’ve been gathering up. For allowing me the chance to create something new. It means a lot! I know time is something we are all short on + I appreciate you being here. I hope you find it energizing + uplifting.
The LIFT is a weekly newsletter that will show up in your inbox on Sundays. For those who have known me a long time, you know my writing adventures as a publisher of community newspapers for many years. For those new to me, I look forward to getting to know you. You will find my writing is all about noticing the little things, the whispers in life. And shining a light on the good.
As a woman in her 50s, I am fascinated with this stage of life - emptynesting, downsizing, reinventing, retirement, health, fitness, menopause, beauty, aging, legacy. So, you can expect a mix of these topics each week.
We spend a lot of time at this age talking about ‘sagging’ body parts, so I call this newsletter The LIFT to counter that. To rethink all of these things. To see them with curiosity + excitement. New eyes. If you haven’t subscribed yet - DO!
I have to admit, there’s a lot of pressure in my head (and heart) about this ‘first issue’ of The LIFT. I want it to be SO good that you can’t wait to read the next one. I want it to be something SO good you share it with 5 of your closest friends. I want it to be SO good that it inspires you to do something different in your life this week.
But, let’s be honest.
The first of ANYTHING is rarely THAT good! After all, it’s the first! Think about it. The first time you try something new, it is almost always a mess. A gamble. A big question mark.
Remember the first time you got on a bike? You wobbled + couldn’t hold the handlebars steady. I bet you ran into the wall at the roller rink that first time you got on roller-skates. Your first kiss was probably an awkward mess. Your first ‘real’ job was completely over your head.
Think of all your firsts.
They were ALL scary. But, over time, you improved. In fact, you probably got really good at some of them.
You tried. You failed. You tried again. You practiced. You obsessed. You adjusted. You honed. You perfected. (Okay, maybe not perfect, but you got good enough that you stopped worrying about it.)
When is the last time you had that awkward ‘first’ feeling?
At this stage of life, we often avoid putting ourselves in spots where we know we are going to fail or totally suck. (At least, we sure try to avoid those moments.)
We would rather stick with the things we KNOW we are good at. We even tell ourselves “That’s not my thing.” Or “I’m not that type of person.” Or “That’s not my strength.”
We don’t want people watching us flail around like amateurs. We don’t want people to know we don’t know what we’re doing. We don’t want to expose ourselves to judgment or critique. We don’t want to look silly or insecure.
It’s kind of sad isn’t it? I mean - how can we grow + learn something new if we aren’t willing to jump in + give it a whirl? If we aren’t willing to fall flat on our face? If we aren’t willing to look foolish + uncertain?
Aging starts where growth stops. (Read that again).
It’s when we stop learning, growing, exploring + playing that we start aging.
That’s where atrophy steps in - in the muscle that isn’t used.
It’s also when we lose our spark, inspiration, creativity, passion, joy + purpose.
So here we go.
My first issue. First time using this platform. First awkward hello. First impression. And the first call to action.
You ready? Ready to give yourself a little LIFT? (Hey, this newsletter isn’t just for me. It’s for YOU! So, if I’m going out on a limb, so are you! LOL!)
What’s one thing you’ve really wanted to try, but haven’t yet? It can be ANYTHING. I don’t care how ‘silly’ it is. Click that button & leave a comment. Let’s start getting comfortable with putting our ‘crazy’ ideas out there. No one is judging! You just might inspire someone!
After you leave your comment, check the next section. I’m sharing 7 simple tips for how to be okay with trying something new + looking silly + where you can learn more about adapting a beginner’s mind. (Hint: Learning slows aging. It’s science! Better than any anti-aging cream!)
7 WAYS TO LET GO + GROW:
Start small. Trying something new doesn’t have to be a big deal. Start with something small. Something safe. Maybe it’s a new hobby or sport or training for an event. From there, you can dig into the deeper stuff (the really scary stuff - relationships, finances, your own self care/love).
Realize no one cares. Seriously. People are so absorbed in their own worlds, rarely do they even notice what you’re doing. And when they do, they secretly wish they could do the same. Don’t let them stop you. Be the inspiration you are + do your thing!
Ask yourself - Why? Why can’t you look silly? What’s wrong with silly? What are you really afraid of? WHO are you afraid of? I don’t know about you, but I LOVE when I see a woman my age or older having fun + trying something new. I want to be that woman - always.
Just say YES. Most of us grew up in the ‘Just say NO’ era. But, I encourage you, next chance you get to do something you would normally say no to - stop yourself + say yes. Doesn’t have to be something big. Could be an invitation to dance or an invitation to join a conversation? Change your NO into a YES.
Grab a friend. Awkward moments are always better when shared with someone else. LOL. Seriously, though. Stop making it about you. ASK SOMEONE to join you. Better yet, let them SHOW you! People LOVE to teach. Be a student.
Do it now. Pick one thing. Do it. Throw it out there. Try it. Enjoy feeling awkward + stupid. Don’t look back. Smile at yourself. Let out a chuckle.
Do it again. And again. And again.
READ: Approaching Life with a Beginner’s Mind | ZenHabits.com
WATCH: Teach girls bravery, not perfection | Reshma Saujani TED TALK
WATCH: The Call to Courage | Brene Brown
READ: Back to School: Learning a New Skill can slow cognitive aging | Harvard Health
READ: Lifelong Learning: The Key to Successful Aging | Tina Grosso
READ: Think you’re too old to learn new tricks? | Scientific American
TRY ONE ON:
New sport (Have you tried pickle ball?)
New skincare routine (Think you’re too old to invest in your skin? Think again.)
New makeup routine (Are you wearing the same makeup you did 10 years ago?)
New social media platform or tool (Are you using Instagram? Clubhouse? TikTok?)
Snap a selfie (There’s nothing more awkward than taking a picture of yourself! Do it!)
Learn a trending dance (You will laugh if nothing else.)
Learn an instrument (No excuses these days. You can learn at home on YouTube.)
Take a workshop/class (Same. No excuses. You can learn ANYTHING online.)
Talk to a stranger (Talk about crazy! Strike up a conversation with someone. We’ve all forgotten how to do this as a result of COVID.)
You get the drill. Just practice feeling uncomfortable. Unstable. Awkward. It’s good for you. It’s good for your brain. And, it will open doors you had no idea were closed to you before.
Lately, I’ve been finding myself in places where I feel really awkward + uncomfortable. That’s when I know I’m on the right track.
And, when I feel like running back to my ‘safe’ place, I just remind myself that this is what growth feels like + I try to remember how FUN it can be.
I think of that little girl inside who always loved learning + thinking + reading + sharing. The little girl who didn’t have to get it right the first time. She just kept showing up + trying again.
See you next week?
P.S. If you enjoyed this post, please share it in your world using the button below. And, if you’d like to stay in touch in real time during the week for all the ‘behind-the-scenes’, you can find me on Instagram @redefiningkaren or on Facebook @cleanbeautyadvocate.
Not a reader? Follow along below:
In the meantime, tell your friends!