(This post is made possible with support from AARP’s Disrupt Aging campaign. All opinions are my own.)
On my 19th birthday, I distinctly remember saying to my best friend, “I’m getting old.”
Yup. 19 years and I was practically ready to start researching senior homes.
Where had I gotten this clearly crazy idea?!
Cindy Gallop, a legendary advertising exec, digital entrepreneur and the founder of MakeLoveNotPorn knows exactly why.
(Photo credit: Brady Hahn)
Gallop says, our attitudes towards age and aging are set very early.
We hear our mothers not want to mention their age.
We are influenced by pop culture that often seems to only value youth.
And the advertising industry can promote this idea to ridiculous lengths. “We live in a world where beauty manufacturers sell beauty aging cream to teenage girls,” says Gallop.
I’m definitely starting to understand why my 19 year old self was worried about my fleeting youth.
So we know the problem. And according to Gallop, women can take an active role in fixing it.
First step, don’t hide your age.
Gallop is 57 and she’s happy to divulge this information.
“I tell everyone how old I am as often as possible. I shout it from the rooftops. I deliberately do that. There is this feeling that women should not tell anyone their age.”
There is nothing shameful about the number of years you have been on the planet. Gallop believes it’s something to be celebrated.
“Older people are fantastic. I live in New York. I will look at older women I pass and I will think, you have an amazing story behind you and I wish I knew what it was,” she says.
Let your children hear you proudly speak your age. Let them absorb this.
Second step, promote your own value.
As you age, you bring skills and experience to life and your job. Champion what you bring to the table.
“I encourage older women, especially in the work place, to actively promote their own value. We have tremendous value. Great leaders. Great negotiators. Get paid what you should get paid for it,” Gallop says.
And young women need to also promote what they can offer…. which is a lot.
Gallop says, young women are often dismissed and their ideas are not valued. She wants every teenage girl to understand the fresh perspective she brings at that age.
Third, you’re never too old to do anything.
Gallop tells a story about a palm reader who looked at her palm and said, “You’re only half way.” (She was about 50 at the time.)
It was a poignant moment for her. Because her 50th birthday didn’t signify the end, but rather a midway point on what could and will be an extraordinary journey.
Gallop says, life is opening up. Not shutting down.
“There are so many opportunities to take everything you’ve learned, experienced in the course of your life and your older years are the perfect opportunity to leverage that to do what you want to do.”
So it’s time to disrupt aging. And for women to define themselves for who they really are.
Gallop says, “I don’t give a damn what anyone thinks. We are prepared to stand up for ourselves. I encourage all women to do that.”
Maybe we can all begin today by trying to be a bit more like Cindy Gallop.
(This is a sponsored post. All ideas are my own)
If there is one thing I hear a lot it’s “I don’t know how you do it with five kids.”
Well, I have no idea either.
Really I don’t.
I do know that like any parent, I just keep going – dealing with one issue at a time.
Like recently, 7 year old Chase came home early from school with a sore throat.
Meanwhile his twin sister Harlowe had a terrible toothache from where she had a chipped a tooth and had it bonded a few months back.
(Note to all 7 year olds: If your brother says to you, let’s play tug-a-war with a rubber band with our teeth, it’s advisable to skip it unless you’re into getting a fake tooth.)
Yup. That’s really what they did. A tug-a-war with a rubber band using their teeth. (Hey at least they weren’t on screen time!)
So here I was now – trying to figure out who was in more dire pain (Chase or Harlowe) and who most needed to see a professional that afternoon. I didn’t have any help so someone had to take priority.
I mean, how do you choose between these two?
I finally chose to take Chase to the pediatrician but know it was a heart wrenching decision based on a complex parenting technique called “eenie meenie mo.”
And yes, Harlowe finally got to a dentist.
And might even need a root canal!
In retrospect, “eenie meenie mo” may not be the absolute best way to make medical decisions.
I think about when I first became a mom and everything seemed so important…. the right bleach free diapers, the right healthy snacks, the nap schedule and on and on.
And somewhere along the way parents just realize most of it just doesn’t matter all that much.
Which is why when 4 year old Cash came home with the wrong water bottle from gymnastics camp over the holidays, I immediately did nothing.
And then did more nothing.
I figured the universe had just decided Cash was now going to have a Paw Patrol water bottle instead of the one I bought him.
I hope there isn’t some other kid really missing their water bottle.
Or if he/she is, I hope they understands this mom is just doing the best she can.
(This is a sponsored post. All ideas are my own.)
I recently had the chance to visit Atlanta which I really always want to call Hotlanta! But I’m told by the locals to stop doing that. Seriously, they said, stop.
I got the chance to stay at the Loews Hotel which is an amazing combo of a cool, luxury hotel but still manages to be completely family friendly. I absolutely adored it (and so will you).
It’s right in the middle of midtown, which means it’s close to Piedmont Park (Atlanta’s smaller version of New York City’s Central Park), the High Museum of Art, the Fox Theatre, the Georgia Aquarium and more.
The lobby is very sleek and contemporary.
It has a fabulous bar area that was busy but not overcrowded when I was there on a Friday night.
I also had the chance to dine at the hotel’s restaurant, Saltwood Charcuterie & Bar.
I’m still not sure what “charcuterie” means but at this point, I’m assuming “delicious.” The menu focuses on salted, cured meats with a rustic presentation.
The Shrimp and Grits were very yummy and the Buttermilk Fried Chicken was divine (I mean, how can you go wrong when you add “buttermilk” and “fried” to chicken.) And the Brown Butter Apple Cake was something I’ll be thinking about for a long time.
And if you’re expecting some dinky hotel gym, be prepared to be wowed. Because the fitness center was big, clean and way nicer than the gym I go to in my neighborhood.
The fitness centers offers lots of classes including Barre, Cardio, Boot Camp, Yoga and HIIT workouts. So basically, I’m telling you to pack your gym shoes.
You can also spend time at the Exhale Spa which offers everything from facials to massages to waxing to healing. So definitely stop in and exhale.
During your stay, I strongly recommend you uber or drive on over to the Ponce City Market (just a couple miles away).
This place has a super cool industrial vibe with lots of great food options, shops and even an art gallery.
And one of my most favorite moments of trip. Seeing this girl…
That’s my wonderful friend Lanie who even lets me sometimes call her city “Hotlanta!” (Okay, I promise I’ll really stop.)
You can find more information on the Loews Atlanta hotel here.
And if you go, please tell me about your visit!
My mom’s 75th birthday was coming and she said to me and my sister, “Let’s do a little something when we are together for the holidays.”
But my sister and I thought… hells no. This quirky little lady who collects graduate degrees like most of us collect random keychains in our kitchen junk drawers…
And who still drinks Fresca…
And who takes her own coffee maker into the city if she sleeps over because she knows how to use it…
That lady deserves a party.
We decided to meet her in New York City for the greatest 75th birthday bar crawl the world has ever seen.
Okay, she doesn’t drink.
So how about a broadway show!
We saw School of Rock which was amazing. We even made my mom hustle 15 blocks in 25 degree weather to get to the show and she didn’t even complain. Well, she might have been mumbling something under her breath but who could hear her over the cold, whistling wind.
The woman has game. (And a snow hat from 1976.)
After the show, then came the fine dining! Besides Fresca, my mom has two other culinary loves.
Sweet potato fries.
And vanilla ice cream.
Done and done. We make 75th dreams happen over here!
The weekend was pretty perfect.
It was my grandmother and my mom who first introduced me to the magic and energy of New York City. So I can think of no better place to celebrate 75 years of being, achieving, accomplishing, growing, caring and living on this planet.
Happy birthday mom. We are so lucky to have you.
1. Hire a photographer to capture your children’s outer and inner beauty. (Okay, mostly outer.)
2. Decide on shades of blue and white for photo because blue brings out your eyes (I mean the children’s eyes! This is about the children!)
3. Listen to kids complain about what they have to wear. Tell them they will someday be grateful for these photos knowing full well they won’t because they will have 40,000 photos stored on their iPhoneXVXIXV (I don’t know what number that is – I didn’t go to college in Rome.)
4. Take roughly A LOT of photos and hope a few don’t look like your mom took them. But in fairness to my mom, she did recently take beautiful pics of me eating Cheetos at the playground.
5. Get photos back and realize you have one that is actually pretty amazing.
6. Log onto Shutterfly. Spend an hour creating a holiday card that celebrates love, peace and happiness.
7. Attempt to save order at which point Shutterfly will freeze and your card will be immediately lost.
8. But no worries. You are filled with holiday joy. You will simply recreate this card. Except you can’t ever find that style card again. It has disappeared into the merry black hole of the holiday universe.
9. Finally create new card, enter 37 digit discount code and hallelujah, your cards are confirmed!
10. At some point between a blur of Hanukah and Christmas, the cards arrive. Immediately put them on the top of the washing machine and promptly forget they exist.
11. Remember they exist when you’re shoving more stuff on top of the washing machine because guests are coming into town and you want to rid your kitchen counter of clutter and look like you have your act together (you do not).
12. Put holiday cards on the dining room table so you don’t forget.
(The box makes a great place to showcase your salt and pepper. Kind of like a lazy susan but without the spinning.)
13. When you still don’t send them out, tell your friends your holiday cards are available for pick up at your house.
14. When no one comes, offer curbside service.
15. When no one takes advantage of this amazing, limited time offer, ask your sister (in town from Memphis) to help you address some envelopes at the pool.
16. If all else fails, know you can cross out “Happy Holidays” and write “Happy Valentine’s Day.”
P.S. I’m not going to post the holiday photo here because then you will have no incentive to open up my card in February.
But here’s one of my faves from the photo shoot…
Photo by Simona Solomon Photography
Happy Valentines Day everyone!