As the year comes to a close, we sat down over some java to think about just how far we’ve come in 2017. What did we learn about ourselves and how can we use our experience to springboard into the new year? Well the answer is, LOTS.
As Brand Ambassadors for Poise in 2017, we’ve become more brazen about how we think about and approach living our best lives. While Mara rode the wave of emotional transformation, which helped her feel more physically fit, Randi’s physical changes helped her learn to take care of herself emotionally. But for both of us, change has been a big and inspiring theme.
MARA’S YEAR OF CHANGE
Looking back on 2017, it was a year of great emotional transformation for me. For so many years, I coasted through life feeling like something momentous should be happening, but yet I did nothing to make it happen.
That feeling turned out to be a premonition. Except it wasn’t greatness that I was about to experience, but rather radical change. In fact, over the last two years, I experienced so much change that I began to wonder if anything in my life was going to remain status quo.
So what was the catalyst? Well, in early 2016, my marriage of 23 years ended. I’d been with the same man since I was 22. I didn’t know what to do with myself now that I wasn’t someone’s wife anymore. What did I do? After two months of my marriage ending, I dove right into a super intense rebound relationship. You can predict how that story ends, I’m sure.
And so I began 2017 as a big, hot mess. Separated, dumped, planning for an empty nest, and about to move from my home of 19 years. Much of my time
was spent over-thinking, and over-caring—ruminating in the past and letting worries about the future ruin my present. I seemed unable to unstick myself from this cycle, no matter how hard I tried. I was ripe for a serious regimen of personal development and self-care.
I turned inwards to heal myself, recognizing that joy and peace come from within. After a lifetime of self-doubt, anxiety, and self-consciousness, learning to stop worrying about what people thought about me or if I was pleasing them, and just ‘be’ in the moment at hand was really difficult. I needed to learn how to put myself first and enjoy the small great moments that might occur throughout my days to find happiness. And I also felt bound to go bigger and find ways to shake things up. Something had to change, and my fear of the unknown was the first thing that had to go because that was what was really holding me back.
Throughout 2017, I made an effort to step outside of the box and seize the moment. I tried all kinds of new things, all with the mindset of moving myself past all that fear—of failure, of embarrassment, or reprisal. I’m not going to let anything stop me. Not my aging body with all its aches and pains, and not my pernicious mind. When it came to bladder leaks, I found a solution in Poise, so I could check that box off my list of worries.
Let’s face it. It’s all about seeking out and seizing those moments. I only get one life, so I might as well live it well. In 2018, I will turn 50. It’s going to be my year.
RANDI’S YEAR OF CHANGE
At the end of 2016, something crazy happened. My birthday showed up and instead of spending it pampering myself and basking in all the presents dropping from the sky (OK fine, the Facebook posts), I was down and out. Big time. The word “Fifty” had always had a dirty ring to it, and now it was tarnishing me all over, inside and out. The worst part was that I had no choice but to accept what was happening. The number 50 had claimed me, and there was nothing I could do about it.
People kept insisting that age is just a number, but I gotta say, when that number is yours, it feels like a badge you never wanted to earn but have to wear anyway. For me, 50 is no longer just a number. It’s my reality, and it comes with physical signs I didn’t expect. Like wrinkly skin that is begging for moisturizer even after I have basically bathed in it. And sweats so bad I think I’m coming down with a fever. Seriously, I’m mid-conversation, and it’s as though some evil person has struck a match inside my body and the flames are engulfing me from the inside out. And then, every time I’m enjoying myself enough to laugh out loud, there’s sudden leakage down there that I try my best to ignore. Oh yes, 50 brings all sorts of fun surprises no woman wants to deal with, ever.
Suffice to say that I was not looking forward to 2017.
And then January appeared, and I told myself to suck it up, sistah. I had been tiptoeing around myself for months already, and it was getting old, literally. It was time to make changes upstairs, in my head. The fact is, you can only control what is happening in this very moment. The past is gone and the future is yet to come. This moment is all that matters, no matter what your age.
It was time to stop letting 50 define me, and to prove to myself that I can do whatever I set my mind to, even if it’s new and different. Maybe it was time to be unlike me for a change. Or maybe there was a new me, waiting to be discovered.
So I stopped examining every crease in my forehead, zapped a few deep ones with Botox and watched them disappear. I climbed onto a spin bike day after day and started riding myself into a sweat until I got reacquainted with my abs. I flew around on a jet ski for the first time wearing Impressa’s discreet protection, and even had a blast flipping off and into the lake. And when I started using Poise products, I could go about the business of enjoying this life of mine without any interference from a leaky bladder.
What’s next on my list? Axe throwing! My first tattoo! What else? I am open to suggestions because thanks to 2017, I finally realize I’ve been holding myself back. I’m not too old for anything, because the fact is, I own my body, not the other way around.
We’d like to know: how did you transform in 2017 and what will you bring to 2018?
This article was generously sponsored by Kimberly-Clark but as with all things brazen, all opinions are our own.