I remember sitting on my Mom’s lap [seriously] and crying at age 15 both because I had finally gotten my period and I was happy AND because I had finally gotten my period and I was sad.
I was super ambivalent about growing up. I looked younger than my friends, and although I was smart and responsible, I was pretty emotionally immature. It wasn’t that I liked being a teenager—I didn’t—I just wasn’t in a hurry to be an adult.
My mom told me that day, “honey, you are a late bloomer and it is not a bad thing".
Those words have proven themselves true and it has not been a bad thing. It has actually been a *very, very, good* thing.
Sure, I drifted through my twenties, and didn’t even begin considering what I might want to be when I grew up until I was in my thirties. But now, as I approach 50, I feel like I’m finally hitting my stride. Is that weird? I truly believe that my biggest accomplishments lie ahead of me and not behind me and that is why I LOVE being a late bloomer.
My mom planted a seed in my mind, and I nurtured that little seed. Eventually, it evolved into a profound belief that getting older means getting better.
Whether you consider yourself a late bloomer or not, here are some tips for slowing down the aging process:
Use it or lose it. You want to keep moving your body to maintain a good range of motion, cardiovascular endurance, and strength. Encourage your body to stay agile, supple, and strong as you grown older.
Be a lifelong learner. You want to keep making new connections in your brain. Just like with your body, if you stop using it, the brain will begin to atrophy—not a condition you want to encourage!
Sleep 7 to 9 hours a night—beauty rest is the real deal.
Find ways to manage your stress level. Burning the candle at both ends and living in a chronic state of stress is probably the single biggest contributor to accelerated aging. Schedule downtime for yourself and prioritize your own self-care.
Do the things you love now—don’t wait until “life slows down”. Travel, photography, gardening, scrap-booking, hiking, writing—find ways to incorporate your passions into your life now.