Category Archives: Personal Posts

Are You A Perennial?

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Move over millennials, there’s a new kid on the block : perennials – a new term to describe people with a no-age mindset.

The term was coined by US internet entrepreneur Gina Pell, 49, who explains, ‘Perennials are ever-blooming, relevant people of all ages who know what’s happening in the world, stay current with technology and have friends of all ages. We get involved, stay curious, mentor others, and are passionate, compassionate, creative, confident, collaborative, global-minded risk takers.’

Perennials, unlike millennials, is an ideal that ignores the notion that same age equals same interests… and companies should take notice.

As a 47-year-old mom of three (two adults, one teen), I like much of the same fashion and beauty products as my daughters. I wear skinny jeans with sneakers or flip-flops, jeans shorts, and even tank tops. I’m still the same size I was as a 20-year-old. Sometimes, we even borrow each other’s clothes.

That said, I’m under no illusion that I’m 21 and I don’t try to look like my college aged daughters. I’m very comfortable in my own skin. But I know I live very differently from the way my grandmother did at my age.  I also don’t feel middle-aged. In fact, I feel as young and vibrant as I ever have. I’m full of energy with a quest for fresh experiences. My friends range from age 24 to 75. I can have a meaningful conversation with any age group.

What has changed is that women (and men) my age and older no longer accept  being told what things “should” look like… and how we “should” act. We look and act the way we feel. We want to defy generational stereotypes.

In today’s landscape, classifying groups of people based on their year of birth is so limiting since people will age differently. Some may want to slow down at 40, others start a new career at age 50.

My daughters who are big fans of Electronic Dance Music festivals urge me to attend. They don’t care that I’m 20+ years older than most attendees. While I’m not a fan of electronic dance music, I think my kids are so cool for letting me into their world.

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The definition of perennial is something lasting or existing for a long  time; enduring or regenerating. But Gina Pell, founder of “The What,” wants to extend that definition to a new generation of consumers, one that surpasses the boundaries of age and continues to explore and learn.

Companies that only pay attention to millennials, create missed opportunities.  Instead of focusing all their marketing efforts on one age group, they should concentrate on others who may share the same interests, despite being outside the age-range.

Amazon and Netflix use algorithms to suggest new products based on past buying history and viewing habits versus customers’ age. Companies can benefit by measuring attitudes and interests instead of age and income.  It’s not always about how old people are or how much money they make: Companies should be more interested in how consumers think and feel.

As Gina Pell puts it, ‘Defining people by their birth year is so antiquated.’

Only One Handbag

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I recently had a conversation with co-worker who has a passion for handbags. She has lost count of the number of bags she’s collected over the years. She stores them in a big trunk and says she could open a shop.

Needless to say, my co-worker was shocked to learn that I only own one handbag. Yep, only ONE. I like to keep things to a minimal. Same goes for handbags. My mom was the same way. She used to own just one decent handbag at a time and wear it until it fell apart. I do the same. I wear the purses into the ground until they fall of my body and then get a new one.  Not every woman owns a closet’s (or trunk) worth of handbags.

Some would argue that two handbags are necessary. One for regular use, and one small clutch for “special” events like weddings, funerals, etc.  True, but I don’t go anywhere dressy enough for an “evening bag”.

Not only do I own just one handbag, but I like mine plain. I’m not a fan of buckles, chains, and other decor on my bag. Some of my earlier bags came from thrift stores. I carried them for years as they had plenty of life left in them.

Three months ago, my old purse fell apart ( I wore it for three years) and I replaced it with a simple brown handbag. Originally for Target ($40), I found it at Bargain Hunt for just $4.80. No, it’s not a designer bag, but it’s sturdy and practical, and I know I’ll be able to use it for several years. It’s large enough to hold my essentials, a water bottle, and my camera.

I know a lot of women love handbags and may even get addicted to buying them. I firmly believe  the prices of these handbags are often inflated because of the brand, but anyone willing to spend a few hundred or thousand dollars on a bag should be willing to make it worth its money. That said, I still don’t understand the obsession with expensive bags.  It’s a name you’re paying for! Same goes for shoes, dresses, or perhaps worst of all blue jeans.

Anyway, one bag is enough for me, much less complicated.

What about you? Could you or do you wear one bag until it dies?

 

What Do You Like About Aging?

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Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about aging and what I like and don’t like about growing older.

I’m 47 years old. Although I like who I am now, I’m still trying to figure out how that happened, because in my head and body, I feel younger and stronger.  I know young people in their 20’s who are full of angst and worry about what people think. I long ago gave up having any effs about those kind of worries. I always like to say that it’s only numbers and you’re only as old as you feel. Is this true?

I guess you could say that I embrace getting older.  Possibly because I often remind myself that I love my life and every experience was meant to be.  The good stuff has been joyful, the bad stuff  has led me to where I am now. It has shaped me into the woman I am today. Sometimes, I am wide-eyed at the wonder of it all and how this one body of mine can contain so many versions of me. I wouldn’t change it for the world.

I try not to obsess about each grey hair or wrinkle I get. There’s no point. I’ve never tried botox, cosmetic surgery or even expensive serums/creams. Beauty products can only do so much. That said, I do love taking care of myself. I live a very active lifestyle and enjoy eating healthy foods. Being active is good for my body, mind and soul.

The best part about getting older is forgiving yourself. It’s a real blessing. I am now harder and easier on myself. Yes, that’s possible.  I count my joys and try to overcome my sorrows.

I am more assertive, more confident, and undoubtedly more outspoken, too. I’m happier than I was 10 years ago. I don’t feel the urge to be polite and proper all the time. Don’t get me wrong,  I am not a rude person. But now I can tell people to “go away” when they are upsetting me. Time is too precious.

I find myself more comfortable in my own skin than ever before and more able to handle with perspective whatever life throws my way. I’m definitely more myself now than I would have allowed myself when I was younger, as I simply don’t have time for negative thoughts and worrying about what others will think . One of the biggest concerns that I find as I age isn’t necessarily for myself, but for the health of my mom and other older relatives and friends.

Time marches on no matter what. I have days when I wish time would slow down a bit. I want the good stuff to slow down.  Sometimes, I wish I could go back in time and stay 32 with my babies forever. #nevergrowup  All the wisdom and patience I have now… If only I had it then.

Graduations are always hard on me. They are a reminder that my babies aren’t babies anymore, and they have the diploma to prove it.

When my children were younger, I swore I stopped mentally aging myself. So in my head I was always 24. I think part of it was that my specific age ceased to matter once I became a mom because my life became more outward focused rather than inward. Also, playing with children makes you feel young. You get to delight in all the small wonderful things that dazzle them like chasing bubbles or jumping in puddles.

With age comes wisdom. I love the realization that most stuff is small and not worth worrying about.

The other day, I was thinking how the year 2007 feels like yesterday. I was a mere 37 then, yet it’s hard for me to conceive that it was a decade ago.

As I get older, I try to get a little better each day. Just a little.  I’m only human after all.

Growing old isn’t always easy, but it beats the alternative. Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.

Tell me, what do you like or dislike about aging?