What I Learned From My Mother About Aging
When we’re teenagers we all think we know everything. Oh, how we were wrong – hence the reason why so many of us spent our twenties growing our eyebrows back. As we all age, we tend to look back on advice that maybe we ignored the first time around, especially from our mothers or from women who held the wisdom we weren’t capable of yet. Aging specifically is still so taboo in our society, with the expectation that we either fight against it, or slowly go invisible. We rarely talk about how possible it is to thrive as we age, and yet – we know so many women who have and are. This year for Mother’s Day, take some time to talk to a special woman in your life and really listen to what life has taught her.
After all, Mom was so right about those eyebrows, wasn’t she? Here’s what the Life-flo team has learned from important women in their lives:
MELISSA, CREATIVE DIRECTOR
There’s so much about my mom that I could say but one thing that is top of mind for me was a bit of insight I received from a woman I looked up to professionally. When I was in my early thirties, I was on set shooting a celebrity and feeling insecure because I was surrounded by a crew of glamorous people. I vividly remember huddling on the side of the set with one woman, a well-known accomplished and beautiful set designer who was then in her late forties, approaching fifty, and complaining about my latest set of wrinkles. She told me that as she aged, she had consciously transferred her identity from her outward appearance to her passions that gave her life more meaning. At that time, I couldn’t 100% relate, but it was a piece of wisdom I’ve since held with me. I realize now that I am at that age, that the transition she was talking about comes naturally as part of the aging process. You begin to let go of the self judgment and feelings of inadequacy that preoccupy your youth. Freeing your mind from that chatter gives you more time for meaningful experiences and joy and provides you the untethered head space to pursue your passions. I think this natural part of aging is our brain’s adaptive way of sustaining itself. It sheds useless information, allowing it to store new and relevant information.
Last week when I was on set, I found myself having the same conversation I had with the set designer so many years ago with a younger friend, mentee, and new mom as she complained to me about the various things on her body that were failing her. I told her the same thing I was told and I hope it helps her embrace her journey of aging as much as the wisdom helped me.
MAURA, CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER
My mom has taught me that daily self-care is key! You should always thoroughly cleanse your skin and be gentle with it. Sunscreen every day! And also that you should always take the time for added beauty steps when I can, like masking and facial massage.
Growing up, my mom always had beautiful dark hair that she wore short and stylishly. As she got older, I remember her beginning to go gray and really fighting against it – I specifically remember stylists and friends just expecting her to continue dying it, and she did for a while. At some point she decided she was going to grow her gray out and really embrace it – getting pretty silver highlights woven in to enhance it. I thought that was beautiful too – kind of ethereal. She now has had her full head of white and silver hair for years.
As an adult I asked her about that choice and how it was for her emotionally – it’s a moment of realizing you’re aging. She said it made her so sad at first – like she was saying goodbye to her youth with the dark hair. But that as it grew in and she lived with this whole new version of herself, she said she absolutely loved it because it was her now. And how beautiful that we can live for so long, and continue to grow and change and meet new versions of ourselves. “It’s what keeps life so exciting,” she said. That mentality of wonder and excitement about discomfort and change that turns to love is something I always remember and take with me as I get older, as well.
STEF, VP OF CONSUMER ENGAGEMENT
My mom taught me that less is more. Simple ingredients, minor enhancements, quality over quantity, and everything in moderation!
RACHEL, DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL & PRODUCT MARKETING
My mom always told me that aging is a part of life, and to enjoy it. Aging allows you to grow into the person you are supposed to be, learning from past experiences and preparing for new ones. She always reminded me that getting older does mean you need to be more aware of your health – taking care of your skin, eating well, and being active. She also told me how important it is to have moments of self-care (no matter what age you are!), whether that be a spa day, a night out with your friends, a relaxing bath, or taking a short walk to be with your thoughts and meditate on the day. There’s no way to escape aging – and going through it means you’re getting to experience the beauty that is life.