Interview with Leslie
What does pro-aging mean to you?
What I really love here on Uber Chic over 60 is that we are a community of like-minded women over 60 who are putting a positive spin on aging with grace and gratitude. How awesome that we have the ability to become a family with the platform of social media, especially Instagram. My mom, who is now 88 never had the chance to connect that we all have, to cheer each other on daily through life’s ups and downs! Brava for us and how much 60 has changed ‘over the hill’ to ‘prime of our lives’ time!
1. Firstly, what conflicting thoughts did you battle while approaching midlife and beyond?
I am going to be completely honest here, I was a single mom of two in my late 30’s and into my 40’s- for 10 years to be exact, and my conflict, or battle if you will, was doing life alone. I felt then that I needed a man to complete me. I had to work hard on my psyche to overcome the fear of being alone once my kids grew up. I have come so far since those feelings and thoughts of insecurity. It is a journey, not a destination.
2. What are the positives of midlife and beyond?
Wow, great question with a myriad of answers too many to share here. Maybe I’ll write 10 blogs about the subject! First and foremost is wisdom. Having lived a lot of life as a Mom and friend, daughter and wife, you learn so much. You learn what works for you and what doesn’t… and what works for me is this- when my son was a teen he had to memorize Charles Swindoll’s essay called Attitude. In this remarkable piece, Mr. Swindoll says “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life… We cannot change our past….we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our attitude”. I agree wholeheartedly! What you think about expands. How fabulous that each day we can learn something new?! And in this season of life, I am able to finally pay attention to me- grow me- exercise me- educate me!! It is very freeing to learn to be childlike once more, now that I have raised children.
3. What are the challenges?
Ok, not going to lie- inevitable body aging stuff is challenging to me. Having been athletic all my life, it is getting harder for me to do that which came easy. I am stiffer in the mornings, have less stamina, and I have lower back issues for which I am under continual chiropractic care. But that doesn’t stop me from doing 3 strenuous exercise classes each week and daily walking. I really believe in keeping on moving- daily! I also love to paddle board. It is a very zen peaceful activity for me- the slapping of waves on my board, the ability to paddle right up to shore and check out nature is fabulous- I highly recommend this to all my girlfriends out there. The only issue is I have never fallen off of mine, and if I ever do (and I surely will!) I am doubtful that I could get back up- my legs are strong but standing from squatting isn’t easy like it used to be… a challenge to be sure!
4. What strategies do you use to overcome the challenges?
I have many strategies for this bodily aging factor. I take epsom salt baths daily. Mornings for sure, and sometimes right before bed. They help so much… also I do weight-lifting and strength training. I believe as we age, this is super important. My Mom has somehow lost her muscle tone, and falls down a lot. She has so little strength and I don’t want to get that way. I will work out and fight the good fight as long as I can. Yes some of it is inevitable, but I’m planning on giving it my BEST to be agile and strong like the Bull!
5. What words of wisdom would you have for the younger generations or your younger self?
This may not be relevant to any of you out there, but for young Leslie, I would say get a mentor or two – someone you admire who is succeeding in life and whom you value as a person. I wish I had had this as a high schooler and college coed. I made A’s in high school and graduated from college Magna Cum Laude in 3 1/2 years. Yet I didn’t have anyone to guide me, to say hey, you are smart, you have potential to be anything you set your mind to. My parents didn’t really talk to me about life’s possibilities. Back then in the 70’s women were just breaking out of traditional roles. But in the south, we were slower to break the rules. So girls, get a mentor!! And women over 50 or 60, find a girl and be one!
6. How important are your female friends and why?
Easy answer here- they are everything to me!! I have a group of 12 women who I’ve been close with for 17 years. As a matter of fact I just got home from a beach trip with them. I also am blessed with girl cousins whom I remain very close with, more like sisters. We all share so many things together. Women things. I don’t necessarily share everything with my husband about menopause and kids leaving the home nest, but my girlfriends are my sounding board. And I am to them. It is one of life’s best blessings and I really do thank God every day for my dear girlfriends!
7. What attributes would you want in a romantic partner?
Well, since I have the best romantic husband, I’ll just say that keeping the flame flickering is great, and once the kids are grown up, it is our time! I met my husband on Match.com and we both are really thrilled we found each other to do this part of life with. Attributes- be a good listener, show affection daily, make me laugh, hug me like you mean it, cry with me, and make the time with me for romance (I don’t have to ask for this last one- it’s a given!)
8. What do you find most fulfilling at this stage of life?
Probably my grown kids being people I really like and admire. They are my best achievement! Looking forward to grand babies! I hear that is the BEST job ever- grand mommy! You spoil them and love them and then give them back! Oh yes, and building my dream home at the lake. Crazy excited to be doing this with a top-notch team we put together. Stay tuned on my feed as I get knee-deep in the journey from tear down to classic white home!
9. What fears do you have and what do you do to move past them?
I fear lots. My kindergarten teacher wrote on my report card that I was really smart, and nervous. Kindergarten- Really?! Yes, that was and is my personality. I am a worrier from way back. Fear is my constant companion. I will just say this without getting into what I worry about… I pray a lot. I try hard to give my worries to God. I am very grateful for my faith. It is a comfort to me. I pray daily. It is like a meditation, only it is my personal conversation with God. It helps me…
10. Style is a reflection of who you are. What style reflects you?
Haha- I really wish I knew. It changes, but if you made me nail it down, it would be classic. Nothing chicer than skinny jeans, a great pair of boots, and a blazer. I love the pictures you post on Uber Chic over 60. Monochromatic is cool, the color camel rocks, and I think I look best in white. However, my daily uniform is anything Lulu unless I am working!
11. What place does nutrition, fitness and wellness have in your life? What do these look like for you?
I watch YouTube videos every morning about health and nutrition in my tub. I can’t get enough. I am kind of obnoxious about this! I am currently doing intermittent fasting a few days a week and limit my carbs. I am not completely Ketonic, but I eat very few carbs so I might go in and out of it. I drink a green smoothie every single morning. No exceptions. I found about 5 years ago that in doing this, I lost about 5 pounds and kept it off. It is probably due to ‘sludge’ in my colon from eating so little fiber. Well, with about 2 cups of spinach every morning along with a little aloe vera juice in my smoothies, let’s just say I’ve cleaned out the sludge for good! One of my female tribes is my workout girls- we laugh hard and work out harder. We are only a handful with a trainer. I find this is best for me. I’ve wasted so much money over the years with gym memberships. I need accountability and with this group I have that.
12. Any thoughts on what you would like to see as part of my page and the Pro-Age concept?
More of what you are doing. I think it’s great that you are positively spinning the Pro-Age concept. Because there are so many of us out here. I’ve found some truly inspiring women on here. Now if my hair would to ahead and turn gray like so many beautiful women on here, I’d be a really happy camper!! All I have thus far is a skunk streak down the middle!