Four years ago this week, I launched Age Life Balance. This was a momentous occasion for me. Rarely have I felt more excited, compelled, anxious and exposed, all mixed-up together. I had become very interested in ageing – my own and that of others in general – and I’d decided to start a blog about it.
I’d noticed that some people were ageing considerably better than others. I was considering ageing across different dimensions including physically, emotionally, practically and financially. I wanted to discover what enabled some people to do this so successfully and to share it for the greater good. That was the plan anyway.
I’m proud to say that 4 years later, Age Life Balance is still going!
I’m not quite as prolific as I was then: for the first 2 years I posted weekly blogs. Other commitments have slowly taken over in the meantime (like needing to earn a living rather than receive a monthly salary) and Age Life Balance has graciously taken more of a back seat.
But I am still just as interested in – and fascinated by – ageing…
4 years on
So, what’s happened with regards to my own ageing journey along the way?
4 years older
Well, no surprise here really, but I am 4 years older. I’ve matured from 42 to 46 during this time and I’m now in the dreaded 45-49 or 46-50 category in questionnaires.
We’re all getting older and I’m actually OK with this.
4 years wiser
I have probably grown more as a person and learned and developed more during these 4 years, than at any other period of my life. Even those periods spent within educational learning.
In addition to my continued interest in ageing, I’ve also trained to be a coach and changed careers. I’ve become a business owner and been on a steep and continuous learning process during this time.
Aches & pains
I rarely used to ache, whatever I seemed to put my body through. I wasn’t always comfortable in the moment however, and I generally stretched after exercise. But I don’t really recall aching. Not like now.
It’s not constant by any means (not compared to what I actually put my body through) but I do find myself aching more these days. Whether it’s from the cold and damp or from exercise, I’ve often got some kind of niggle going on.
I’m sure this will probably continue and worsen over time, rather than improve, but it won’t stop me moving. No way!
My hair is changing
I’m probably one of the few women I know that has never coloured my hair. Apart from a failed “wash-in wash-out” when I was a teenager, where my hair turned orange instead of chestnut brown!
Over time my once straw-coloured blonde has become more dirty dishwater. At the beginning of last year, I noticed my first grey hairs. At first, I’d tweak them out, but I’ve given up on that now. I’m just letting them be. They’re actually very different to my regular hairs – they almost glow silver and they curl – often sticking out of my head at strange angles. I’m quite intrigued to see how I’ll look with silver hair. I just hope I’ll know how to control it!
My skin is changing
My skin is definitely less springy than before and there are more lines marking it. I’m pretty good with hydrating and moisturising (both of which help a lot), but there is only so much that can be done in this direction.
I’ll continue the hydration and balanced diet efforts as I know they do help.
I’m losing strength
I definitely feel that I’ve lost strength over the years. I’ve never been big (more “compact”), yet always pretty strong. I’ve noticed over time that even simple things like pushing open doors, opening tins and jars, feel harder than they used to. Harder than they should!
Now, this is definitely a slippery slope, so I’m working with a PT on improving my strength right now. More on this in another blog.
I get more tired
I have been feeling more tired generally, but that could be winter more than anything else.
I’ve been religiously trying to get at least 7 hours sleep for the last few months (previously I was averaging around 6h45 per night). I’m not sure that I’ve noticed any real benefits in the short-term, but I know that this is a positive investment for the long term.
My memory isn’t what it was.Sometimes I fear I have early-onset dementia, but I think it’s probably just age-related memory reduction. You know, where you can’t recall people’s names or remember why you went back up the stairs.
Maybe it’s just me!
I actually feel pretty good
However, despite all of the things I’ve listed above, I actually feel pretty good about life and about me. I know I’m not getting any younger, but are any of us?
I’m respecting the ageing process, but this doesn’t mean I’ve given up. I can still focus on being the best version of me that I can be.
I’m still pretty fit, but I’ve been focusing on different things – strength and mobility rather than speed or even endurance.
I’m this it for the long run. I want to live healthily for as long as I can, not necessarily a long life for the sake of it.
I see growing old as a privilege and not something to fear or dread. Overall, the balance part of Age Life Balance has become even more important to me during this time.
Four years ago, I launched Age Life Balance.
I’d noticed that some people were ageing considerably better than others. I wanted to discover what enabled some people to do this so successfully and to share this for the greater good.
I am still just as interested in, and fascinated by, ageing…
Personally, I think we all have a responsibility for our own ageing journey. This is for our own sake, but also the sakes of our families, the health system and future generations.
This doesn’t mean that everything is in our control, things can (and do) happen along the way that won’t be part of the plan.
Through Age Life Balance, I’m trying to show you through my own ageing journey how this ‘responsibility’ can look. I’m not saying I’ve got it 100% right, but I’m doing what I feel is right for me and my situation. I don’t want to preach, and I’d hate to come across as smug.
I see growing old as a privilege and not something to fear or dread. Overall, the balance part of Age Life Balance has become even more important to me.
I’m just hoping to inspire and empower and enable some others along the way.
Thank you for reading! For more on Age Life Balance, browse the blog at www.agelifebalance.com to find out more.