Secrets to aging gracefully

Women's Life-Lessons from 30 to 70 with Author Valerie Ramsey

The 30's: Underschedule Yourself: The Thirties are the decade where you can do it all, look your best, excel at a career, marry the man of your dreams, have children, etc…and consequently, women in their 30s are usually exhausted trying to do it all. When activities are lined up endlessly, we must race through them like an athlete running the hurdles in a track-and-field competition. Jump, sprint, jump, sprint, jump..in contrast, having time and space-even the smallest amount, as long as it is allotted consciously-around activities invites us to savor, absorb, and actually experience them. Pauses allow your spirit to catch up with your body. While there are a few women who seem to thrive in overdrive, the majority of us run the risk of depleting our immune systems, draining our emotional reserves, and fraying our nerves if we run too fast too long.

When my 6 children were all very young when I was in my thirties, I had two rituals that saved my sanity and were my downtime: During nap time, or when the children were in school, I would avoid the temptation to fold laundry or do any sort of housework and instead would just take a time out for me - take a nap, read a magazine, write in my journal, chat on the phone with a friend - whatever I felt like doing. It was my "mental health" time!

In the evenings after the children were in bed, I loved having knitting or needlepoint projects to work on.

The 40's: Get Girlfriends For Life:

By the time you reach 40, women we chose to hang around with in our twenties and even thirties have often fallen by the wayside through different life paths and/or outgrowing each other. The great news is that at age 40 you really know what you want in a female friend and what you don't. During my 40's, it was an ideal time to form these strong and lasting friendships. By then my children were older, the demands on my time were relaxing somewhat, and I had the time and the freedom to pursue my own friendships. Often, too, my husband and I would get together with other couples and their families and go off on weekends or vacations together. Whether you're wrapped up in a career, or still raising a family, when you're in your 40's you realize and appreciate the value of girlfriends who will be with you for the rest of your life (and probably will outlive your mate too!). Do everything you can to enhance those bonds during this decade.

The 50's: Find and Own Your Voice.

I chose this life-lesson for the Fifties because it was the decade that I finally stopped doing for everyone else and listened to what I needed and then acted upon that.

When I reached my 50's, the children were grown and my husband and I had moved from the east coast out to California. I had always known that eventually I wanted to have a career doing something that would be exciting, challenging and fulfilling in a beautiful place where I would meet lots of interesting people. By looking back over my life and reflecting on what I had been attracted to and enjoyed, I had a good idea in general of what that might be. I started working at the famed Pebble Beach Resort in Carmel, California in the Golf Shop and I slowly but diligently worked my way up to be their Director of Public Relations!

THE 60's: Create A New Look: Going Grey Doesn't Mean Acting Grey!!

Let's face it, the look you had going in your forties may have been stretched through your fifties but once you are sixty, you do really need a senior makeover for yourself-or you may come off looking like one of those women who just try too hard and can't pull it off. Forever 21 may be a store but it's not a prescription for looking your best!

For years, I had had blonde streaks put in my light brown hair, but by the age of 60, the highlights didn't last and this new silvery color started taking over. I decided to go with it, and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The transition was quite easy, and now, funny as it seems, my hair has become a signature for me. People stop me all the time to comment on it - something that never happened when I was spending all that time and money to color it! I love the ease and convenience- not having to rely on a colorist to keep me looking well.

The key to letting your hair go gray is good conditioning and styling so that your silver hair is always shiny and healthy looking. And to having the confidence to love yourself - silver hair and all.

The 70's: Expect the Best of What's Next

On my 70th birthday I woke up not with a feeling of dread, but with one of tremendous excitement. I just knew that 70 wasn't the end - that it was merely the start of a whole, quite fabulous new decade and that there were lots of unimagined adventures still lying ahead. Even when I suddenly became terribly ill and was knocked out of commission for about two months, that didn't deter me or my enthusiasm for the coming decade at all. I am fully recovered now and thrilled by the path that lies ahead.

A few months after I turned 70, my booker at Silver Models called to find out if by any chance I was in New York at the time, but unfortunately I wasn't. I was still at home recovering from being ill for so long. Time Magazine had requested me for a cover shot and wanted to meet me the next day and shoot it the day after that! To say I hated to miss that opportunity is the understatement of all time.

I did get to New York a couple of weeks after that, however, for the launch party of Olay's "Fabulous Over Fifty" website, which I am so honored to be on.

>> Buy the book on Amazon: Gracefully: Looking and Being Your Best at Any Age

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