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Walking into a casino on my 46th birthday this past December I just knew I would breeze in and begin my celebration of being on this wonderful Earth for another year.  Alas it would not be so easy as I neared security and he took one look at me and asked for my ID.  My mother who was with me just shrugged and shook her head. I asked the guard if he really needed to see my license.  Of course once I made this declaration his curiosity was now peaked and he insisted that I turn the photo ID over to him.  He took it and then tried to contain his surprise as he gasped out loud and his eyes sort of bugged out of his head which caused the other guards to come over and have a look.  I love when this happens although when I was much younger I thought it was a curse.

When I turned twelve I was excited because it was the last year of being a tweenager as I like to call it.  Then I would have the term teen in my age and that would really account for something.  I just had no idea that I would be twelve until the age of twenty-one!  When you are younger you always want to look older than your age and then when you are older you want to look younger than your age.  I believe this is a rite of passage in life but unfortunately I didn’t get to experience looking older than you are.  By the time I turned eighteen I embraced this odd phenomenon and decided that I would just go with it.  I remember graduating from high school and then college telling my classmates I would age like a fine wine!

Then I remembered seeing Lean Horne for the first time in my teen years and my mother told me of an article she read about her where she stated at age nineteen she prepared for getting old.  This made sense to me and I promptly went out and bought my first skin care cream.  I introduced eye cream when I was eighteen although friends laughed at me stating I wouldn’t need it for years but I didn’t let them sway me.  I was going to be like Ms. Horne and I was preparing for growing older.

When I was in my twenties I was normal and I partied a lot and probably drank more than I should but one thing always kept me from going overboard.  I listened to my body.  I hit the quarter century mark and my body decided that I couldn’t drink more than two glasses of alcohol or I was going to be sorry in the morning.  Partying every single night in a week was no more.  It had had enough and restricted me to the weekends and maybe every once in awhile during the week.  Amazing the signals your body will give you if you just listen to it.

I hit my thirties and going out in my early thirties became a twice a month deal until I didn’t really need to go out at all.  I could go for weeks without a martini and I didn’t even realize it.  My skin care regime changed as I developed adult acne which I found was worse than acne in your teens.  Being a late bloomer does have its downside but thank god for Proactiv.  The mid thirties there was a shift in the weight and I actually was no longer 98 pounds or a size 00.

The forties came and so did the dark period but emerging from that I now live a healthier lifestyle.  I could say that some of my youthful appearance is the blessing of genetics and my parents and grandparents never looked their age but I do believe that anyone can slow down the aging process by listening to your body and giving it what it needs.  Exercise is key as well as a healthy diet but I am not saying give up the bar-be-que and mac & cheese.  It just needs to be in moderation.  Life is beautiful and it is a gift.  To enjoy this gift to the fullest and live out our true purpose we must take care of our bodies and it will take care of us.

I am often asked, “What will you do when they do not card you anymore?”  I simply smile and say, “I will be carded to prove that I am a member of AARP as well as when I get to 65.”  The next question then is how do I know it will happen.  I just smile and say, “They carded my Grandmama at 80 to prove she was over 65 to give her a senior discounted bus pass!”  True story because it tickled Grandmama for a week.