Since You Asked…

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Dear Caroline,

I’m a woman turning 50, and that milestone birthday is looming over me like a dark cloud. This afternoon I caught an unexpected glimpse of my reflection in a store window, and it felt like a shock. I looked old! I’m terrified of needles and knives, yet as much as I dread the thought, I am thinking that maybe I should have a little “work” done. Most of my friends have been going to medi-spas for years, and some talk openly about their facelifts and Botox.

Meanwhile, my husband tells me I look great to him and shouldn’t change a thing. He thinks cosmetic surgery would be a waste of money. What do you think?

Cathy K.

Dear Cathy,

Since pain, risk and money are all legitimate obstacles, why not try the least-expensive solution first? Instead of going to the nearest aesthetic medicine clinic, visit a bookstore. When was the last time you read a serious book about nutrition? About exercise? About sex?

When was the last time you tried a new form of exercise? Pickleball, salsa dancing and tai chi are just three out of hundreds of examples of popular, sociable ways to keep moving.

In addition to a renewed commitment to the care and keeping of your body, let’s consider the qualities that make inner beauty eclipse every unlined face, veneered smile and suspiciously perky torso in the room.

When we find ourselves gravitating too much toward nostalgia, we should make a point to do the opposite. The young at heart continue to embrace new ideas and perspectives. If you’re clueless about contemporary music, art, movies or top-rated TV series, it’s time to get with it. With technology at our fingertips, it’s never been easier.

The fountain of youth bubbles with laughter. If you’re not getting daily doses of humor, write yourself a prescription, and when it’s appropriate free yourself by taking a playful approach to life.

Now that you’re smiling, making a conscious effort to approach the world from a place of gratitude and optimism will feel more natural than ever.

Last but not least, step up into your position of maturity in a meaningful manner by lending your wisdom to the young. If you can become an empathetic listener, trusted confidante and sage advisor to your grandchildren or other young people in your life, you’ll start to see 50 and beyond as a privilege instead of a thorn in your side.

Happy birthday, Cathy! Fifty is just the beginning!


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