Fabulous Friday Guest Blogger D. G. Kaye #Aging Gracefully

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D.G. Kaye Author

A misnomer – aging gracefully; pretty words for a difficult time for many who face new dragons at this certain time in life where physical appearance changes, yet some women bow gracefully to the onslaught of face and body alterations.

I admire the attitudes of many women whom just accept the changes, but I am a polar opposite to that kind of acceptance. I will use my last ounce of vanity to seek out the best methods I can find to combat aging. Sure, it’s inevitable; I’m not immortal, but most likely, I’ll leave this world wearing something leopard, a pair of stilettos (if I’m not caught dead at home on my computer wearing slippers), and sporting my signature orange lipstick and flaming red hair. All of these things became a part of me at a younger age, and I’ve maintained them for decades, so why would I cave?

Why should I have to stop striving to be the me that I’m comfortable in just because I’m in my mid fifties? I don’t have to. And nobody has to if they don’t want to. Getting older doesn’t dictate the rules on when we have to stop caring about the way we look and feel. That decision, my friends, is all up to us. From the choices we make for health and diet, to our preferences about our outward appearance, including skin-care – body and face, we all get to decide how we want to face the progression of time. We can let it slip in through the night like a thief, or we can ride the waves kicking up our heels.

I am anything but graceful. I’m assertive, inquisitive, investigative and bold, but I’m downright afraid of getting old. I know my attitude stems from my feelings of inadequacy I’ve harbored since childhood, and since that time, I’ve been an ongoing work in progress with myself, always striving for ways to feel better about myself; mentally and physically. And just when I thought I had the perfect antidote for my self-esteem, menopause came along and assaulted much of my diligent lifetime work of maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle. And so I persevered in a new battle.

I’m not delusional, certainly when we approach our fifties and onward, we’re not going to look or feel thirty. But with a little maintenance, we can look remarkably good as the years and decades try to take control of us. Now, I’m not talking about man-made alterations with surgeries and injections. I’m talking about taking care of ourselves from the inside and out with healthy eating, a little exercise, and a plethora of choices available from the beauty department. My decision not to ever have to succumb to polyester, elastic waist pants and orthopedic shoes is a driving force within me that keeps me focused on my maintenance plan.

Oh sure, I love my sweatpants when I’m home, and especially when writing. Everyone wants to be comfortable. But I know quite well that wearing them doesn’t give me licence to eat mindlessly because there are still those days I have to go out and fit into my ‘real’ clothes. And no, I don’t wear make-up while I’m home working, but that certainly doesn’t mean I don’t maintain my daily skincare regime. After all, I still need my skin to look good when I’m ready to go out somewhere. If I neglect my skin by getting to darned comfortable and lazy working at home too much, I can’t really expect my face to look bright and healthy when I want it to.

There are many precautions we can take to maintain our self-preservation; the key is to become faithful to them. ‘We are what we eat’ is an old adage, but I find it holds much truth. I happen to have many food intolerances and allergies that thankfully, won’t kill me if I eat them, but the side effects of severe bloating and cramping remind me that I’d rather not indulge. The same goes for exercise. I’ve no interest in becoming a body-builder or a fashion model, but moderate exercise keeps our bones limber, our hearts tuned up, and our lean muscle, burning fat. All of these factors help combat the lingering gift that menopause left me, particularly around my not-as-small-as it once was waistline, popularly known as Muffin Top.

Putting our best selves forward is not about being perfect — it’s about doing the best we can for ourselves with what we have left to work with. It’s about feeling good about ourselves. These are basic things we can do to help avoid waking up and not feeling rickety when getting out of bed and having to dread those moments when we have to get dressed and go somewhere when we want to look nice and presentable, and feel comfortable in our skin. Realistically, no, we’re not going to jump out of bed and feel like we’re twenty again, but certainly if we don’t take care of ourselves (and yes, we will all have those days when we’ve been naughty or neglectful to ourselves) it’s not uncommon to wake up some days feeling like we’re twenty years older than we actually are.

When it comes to warding off a bit of father-time on our skin, I’m sharing a few tricks that I use. I’m not claiming these are in any way, miracle cures, but since my early twenties, I began looking after my skin in preparation for my overwhelming fear of getting older. I believe that looking after our skin has big pay off effects.

  • I wash my face every morning with water and tone with witch-hazel, which has good toning and cleansing properties without alcohol, and way cheaper than the fancy, chemical-laden toners on the market.
  • At night, I wash my face and remove make-up with extra virgin coconut oil, which I get from the cooking aisle in the grocery store. It’s in its purest form without any additives. Coconut oil has many healing properties and removes make-up seamlessly without tugging at your skin. After washing, I tone again.
  • As far as face creams and serums go, I admit I’m a product junkie, so there are too many to mention. But suffice it to say, I look for products without harmful chemicals, and which contain vitamins, retinol and hyaluronic acid. Just don’t forget to moisturize your neck too!
  • After menopause, my once supple skin had become more reptilian-like, so I found through testing a multitude of body creams — both cheap and expensive, that the best cream for my dry skin is a pure shea butter, which helps maintain moisture. Coconut oil is equally good on the body, but it will leave a bit of an oily film.
  • Our hair doesn’t escape the clutches of our moisture-robbing lack of estrogen, so once again, I use a shampoo and conditioner without sulphates, which should also contain some healthy oils, such as: coconut, macadamia, or argan, to name a few.
  • And, for something most women don’t like to talk about, but don’t be fooled, it’s an issue — the drylands of ‘the nether region’, try olive oil for instant relief, or used as a lubricant. Some of you may be raising an eyebrow to this suggestion, but it’s a great alternative to chemically filled creams and ointments with side effects and irritants. My naturopath approved my discovery. Natch, I keep a separate little bottle in the bathroom for personal use.

BONUS TIPS!

  • I read somewhere, decades ago, that sleeping with a satin or silk pillowcase will help deter wrinkles because the fabric doesn’t crease like cotton. I’ve been sleeping with one for almost twenty years and coincidence or not, at fifty-six, I still don’t have any lines on my face.
  • One other wrinkle-forming habit I recently heard about was that in our digital era, with people constantly looking down at their smartphones and tablets, statistics are saying that women are forming more wrinkles around their necks now in as early as thirty years old. Fact or fiction, I’m not sure, but if you think about it, constantly looking down is sure to leave somewhat of an imprint on our skin, just as slumping at a computer for hours with bad posture will leave us looking less erect. So the advice here is to keep your devices at eye level to avoid premature wrinkling and hunchback.

I’m not a licenced doctor, but merely a woman who has traveled the road of trying to better herself to conquer her own self-esteem issues. I write about my self-esteem issues in my book Words We Carry, and about the menacing dragons of menopause in my book Menowhat? A Memoir. My stories come from my own experiences and perspectives; some with humor, and some, not so funny, but all from the heart, and by sharing my journeys, I hope that others can take something useful from them.

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D.G. Kaye is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

Conflicted Hearts     
Meno-What? A Memoir
Words We Carry
Have Bags, Will Travel 

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D.G. Kaye ©2015

49 thoughts on “Fabulous Friday Guest Blogger D. G. Kaye #Aging Gracefully

  1. Thank you so much for being our Guest Blogger, Deb, and for writing such an informative and interesting article for us. I have to confess, other than trying to control my weight for health reasons, I’m not particularly worried about gray hair and wrinkles. I’ve earned them. But then, I’m more than 20 years older than you, as well. In my 50’s, I was starting life anew, and it was a whole ‘nuther matter.

    I do take reasonable care of my skin, and try to look as good as I can, but what worries me most about aging is keeping my mind sharp. I’m not terrified of looking 71. I’m terrified of losing my mental faculties. I’ve been watching the progression of that with my mother, and it seems to me to be the saddest thing that can happen as we reach our true senior years. (Of course, my husband believes 60 is the new 20, so that would make ME in my 30’s. Haha.)

    At any rate, there are some excellent tips here, and I know many of our readers are going to be very interested in how you manage to stay so gorgeous. Thanks for sharing them with us today!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Marcia. Thanks so much for having me here today and posting this. Let me start by saying I absolutely agree with you on all of your points. This post could have gone into a lot more depth on effects of aging regarding in-depth health issues ie: brain health, diet and exercise suggestions, and so much more, but I thought I’d touch on a topic that I wrote about in my book, Words We Carry. That book is about evolving into who I became as I got older, resulting from childhood low self-esteem. Don’t get me wrong, the point of overcoming is to learn to love ourselves completely, inside and out. Every person’s preference is what makes them comfortable. We should wear our grey hairs proudly as we do our scars.
    This post comes from my point of view, from my journey, and how I chose to deal with the demons which ate away at me. I know plenty of women who judge themselves quite harshly, (like myself) who find themselves relating to some of the things I’m talking about, and I thought I’d share some of my basic foundations here for looking and feeling better about ourselves. The beauty of all of us begins within us. Once we learn to love ourselves completely, and we are comfortable in our own skin, our contentment will radiate outward.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well said, Deb. And I really think the post is terrific. I’m in a bit of a different place in my life right now, where I embrace my Inner Granny, but I think your points are all valid, especially from a healthy life style perspective. That should apply at any age.

      And I had the blessings of not looking my age for a long time, thanks to good genes and an early case of skin cancer, which left me obsessed with my number 1 beauty tool, Total Eclipse Sunblock. I looked much younger than most FLORIDA women my age because I wasn’t out baking my face in those harmful rays all the time.

      I also know firsthand the damage that can be done by those “Words We Carry,” and I have to say, finding ways to develop a sense of self-esteem is critical to our eventual happiness and acceptance of who we are. ALL of your tips and advice lead toward just that, and I thank you again for a great post!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Marcia you are such a fascinating AND beautiful woman. I would have never have guessed your age! And I wholeheartedly agree with your number 1 beauty tool SUNCREEN. I also write about the importance of sunscreen and my own experiences with sun damage in my Menowhat? book. As I said, this post was to touch on the beauty/selfesteem part about feeling good about ourselves. There is so much more to these subjects that many books have been written about; not to mention, attitude, which yours by the way is stellar!!!!! xo

        Liked by 1 person

        • You are SO kind, Deb! Thank you very much. I was just thinking more on the “Words We Carry,” topic, and remembering my childhood’s less than happy moments. I have very strange eyes. I have a drooping eyelid that can’t be corrected, and it also blinks when I chew. Try that on for size, as a 2nd or 3rd grader, always the new kid at the school, and having other kids thinking they were clever to call me things like “Deadeye,” and the like. I’d go home crying every day. Now it wasn’t long before I learned that something of that nature was the most MINOR of afflictions, but as a child, I was always insecure, and some of the things I was told at home didn’t help any, believe me.

          You are SO right to use any and all tools available to help boost self-esteem, because until you love yourself, I don’t think you can really love anyone else. I started wearing eye makeup very early (for the times), in an effort to disguise my little problem, and that helped me more than anything anyone else ever said. Today, I don’t even think about it, but at the time…it was no doubt part of the building blocks that created a strong sense of empathy in me. And it was definitely one of the reasons I preferred reading to almost any other activity. No one in the books was looking BACK at me. 😀

          A day for reflections, I think. But I have to go run errands now. And yes, let’s hear it for SUNSCREEN, and boo, hiss to baking on the beach without cover-up. It can be deadly.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Thanks for sharing that Marcia. So many of us have childhood memories of painful things we felt inside. I’m sorry for how you felt about your eye; that’s just one more affliction that can hurt our self-esteems. And you are so right, nothing anyone can say to us while we’re feeling down seems to help at the time. Trust me, I’ve had a lifetime of inflictions. There’s nothing like having the family ‘pet name’ by your siblings, – Enormous! Yup, a real pretty name! 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            • Ha. I was also the tallest kid in my class until I reached high school. Taller than my TEACHER by the 3rd grade. So I recognize “enormous,” too, though no one was ever brave enough to call me that. I whave ENORMOUSED all over their A$$es!! 😀 Oh, the damage we have to endure to become the person we are meant to be. My motto for a few years has been, “That was then, and this is now, and no way will I ever let the bastages win!” (I tried to do that up in cross stitch for a t-shirt, but it got crowded. 😀 )

              Liked by 2 people

  3. D.G., I can live with the gray hairs and the wrinkles…it’s the darn arthritis that depresses me. When I considered getting older, I thought, “Oh, i’ll be able to handle it. I’ll just keep exercising, eating well, and smiling despite those crow’s feet.” Then the joints deteriorated and so did my hopes of aging with any kind of beauty–or grace. Ha, ha! I still refuse to go out without my makeup on, though, or give up my outdoor activities no matter how much my bones complain. I’m a woman–and a stubborn one at that!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. HI Linda! I’m sorry for the issues you’ve had to endure, and surely, like Marcia had pointed out earlier, there is a lot to getting older we have to contend with; our health being the number one priority. Like I said, we all have a choice (within health limitations taken into consideration), about how we choose to look at aging. My story comes from my own eternal struggle since childhood. Some may see my ideas as vain, but really, my vanity issues developed from the struggles I went through, and became a goal of mine to feel better about myself. It had nothing to do with winning a prize or the approval of anyone else but myself.
    I admire your tenacity to defy the issues that plague you. I’ve been a fighter all my life Linda, because I never liked the option of surrendering! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Deb,
      No retreat, no surrender! Atta girl!! Or as my husband said every day, tromping around the wet, leech-infested jungles of Viet Nam, “I WILL prevail.” And he did. WE will, too. Take THAT, you soul-sucking minions of Satan, who try to drag all the joy out of life! Be GONE! Before somebody drops a house on YOU!

      Now link arms, everyone, and chant along with me as we march, “Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my. Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my. LIONS AND TIGERS AND BEARS, OH MY!!!” (On accounta how those aforementioned minions are ALL paper tigers. And lions. And bears.)

      😀 😀 😀

      Liked by 2 people

      • Marcia, you are such an inspiration! And coincidence? – you quote on of my favorite sayings – lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Are you in my head? Lol, if so, welcome. ❤

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    • Aw, Linda, it’s so frustrating when our bodies let us down. Why, oh why, do our parts wear out before we’re DONE with them? Both my vision and my hearing have gone to hell in a handbasket. And the reason I now have steel pins in BOTH of my feet is due to a type of arthritis, too. My feet hurt every minute of every day, and I’m very limited as to what I can wear for shoes. (Sorry, Deb…no stilettos for me.) Try finding flat shoes cut as low as ballet slippers, because nothing can touch the top of my feet, yet with well-constructed soles like good sneakers/walking shoes. GAH.

      I would hate to have arthritis pain all over my body. It would make it much harder to stay active, I’m sure, and you are to be admired for not giving into it. Sending you lots of love and healing energy. (Don’t know what it does for arthritis, but it can’t hurt…and maybe it will make the REST of you feel better, anyway.)

      Liked by 2 people

      • Ha Marsh! I may like my high heels, but admittedly, they’ve come down in height these past few years, and I’m also careful to choose them not pointy, and I always place an extra padded insole in them. This serves as some of my tactics to still be able to get away with wearing them, lol, I’m not infallible.:) I’m just determined to work around the achy things that appear as the years go by. ❤

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  5. Pingback: Blogging, author guest post D.G. Kaye, aging gracefully, self-esteem, Marcia Meara

  6. Yay for keeping the flaming red hair, Deb. I have people trying to tell me that it no longer suits my skin tone at my age, but I say poo to that! I’ve had this hair since I was a teenager and that’s how its staying. Good to know I won’t be alone 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “I’m assertive, inquisitive, investigative and bold, but I’m downright afraid of getting old” sounds like poetry to me, but I find the thought depressing.

    So let’s substitute Fear with Feeling Fabulous. And Grabbing Gratitude while we’re at it too!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hi, Marian,

      Yeah, getting old can be depressing, but I think the point of Deb’s post is that she’s found ways to conquer those negative feelings by taking good care of herself and increasing her self-esteem. I’m guessing she Feels Fabulous a lot these days, and good for her.

      I’m mostly trying to stay mentally sharp into my old age, but I have a lot of years on Deb, so my main focus is a bit different than hers. I do, however, try to take good care of my skin and teeth. I want them both to last longer than my eyes and hearing have. 😀

      Personally, I’m grateful for every single day I wake up still here. That means I’ve got another chance to do it all better.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Liked by 4 people

  8. Great post. I’m a few years older (okay, I’m 62 so more than a few) and I’m with you. Damn the torpedoes of getting old. I color my gray, I run 3-5 miles a few times a week, I eat healthy without too much deprivation, though, and I’m fighting the vagaries of time. Okay, not totally successfully but I’m attempting not to sweat too much the lines on my face and the paunch of my middle. (However I did just start an entirely new regimen based on the advice of my yoga teacher who is also an aesthetician who advised me to only wash my face at night and in the morning let it ride so as not to rob my skin of needed natural oils.) But, I love Marcia’s take on things and I’m glad following D.G. Kaye brought me to this site. Thanks!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Debby, I’m “sorely jealous.” I miss hiking the way I used to; I still go, but on fairly flat trails and for short periods. Arthritis is the only thing that “runs” in my family (ha, ha!). Keep doing what you’re doing for as long as you can and enjoy every moment. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

      • I totally understand. Actually a doctor told me in my 40s to give up running or I was “100% headed for knee replacement.” I stopped running and after a few years I got a different doctor. So, not to suggest your arthritis can be cured by finding a different medical person but don’t give up seeking ways to be able to move in order to feel better. And, failing that, at least you can exercise your writing muscle, which you obviously do well. ! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        • Your first doctor was probably worried that your knee joints might wear out; but a person needs a genetic predisposition to OA or an injury to cause that. I know people in their 80s who can walk forever or “shop till they drop.”

          It’s crucial to build strength and maintain range of movement as you age. I do a repertoire of stretching and strengthening exercises every day. At least that way, I can keep movin’ and keep groovin’! 🙂

          Liked by 3 people

    • Deb, it was so lovely seeing you here. I love your attitude, you sound a lot like me, my friend! And WHAT? I’d never believe you’re 62, or anything starting with a ‘6’. Goes to show that your efforts and attitude are paying off nicely!!! May God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, and may we keep our determination to fight off all we can.! xo 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I’m planning to keep fighting and if I go down, it won’t be quietly or gently. It will be slippery, though as a result of my new nighttime moisturizer! (All natural and organic, of course!) The “6” thing freaks me out each and every day. I comfort myself by reminding me that I’m sure I thought when I got to be this age I’d be blue-haired and using a walker. (not that there’s anything wrong with that) For the time being, it’s brunette and walker-free.:)

        Liked by 2 people

    • Hi, Debby! I’m glad following Deb brought you here, as well. So nice to have you with us. Hasn’t this post (and all the responses) been interesting? I’ve so enjoyed reading everyone’s thoughts, yours as well. Thanks for taking the time to reply, and good luck with all your new regimens! (BTW, if you think having your age start with a 6 is bad, try a 7!! Actually, it’s not that it’s so bad. It’s that I just can’t believe I wasn’t signed for a PERMANENT run as “sweet, young thing!” ) 😀

      Liked by 3 people

  9. You GLOW girl! I love using my organic coconut oil on my face, in fact I mix it with a wee bit of organic brown sugar and this is all I use on my face. I’ll be 60 in October and when I tell people that, they just stare… Rock your beauty, babe! Rock it!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks for the tips. I discovered the secrets of coconut oil a few years ago. If I could, I’d bathe in it. 🙂 Most of all, Debby, I need to exercise. That would make a huge difference, and the biggest obstacle is that it interferes with writing time. I’m working on it! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • So glad to find another coconut oil loving gal here Diana! I’m with you on wishing I could bathe in it, but that would be a luxury, lol. And I do hear you on the exercise front. As writers, we pay a price with our bodies – posture woes and weight. It’s hard to get us away from the computers. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Ali! Yes, do give it a whirl for Cary. There should be nothing irritating in any of these products if they’re natural. Just stay away from lanolin. 🙂

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