You know what today is? It’s Gorgeous Grandma Day! Really, see? The odd little holiday is a chance to honor the special women in our lives who are over 50 and crushing it. But before we jump into celebration mode, there are a few requirements that must be met in order to be considered a “Gorgeous Grandma” (brutal, I know). Aside from being over 50, a Gorgeous Grandma:
- Must believe she has her whole life ahead of her, not behind her. . .
- Wants to get the most out of every day
- Wants to thrive, not just survive
- Cares for her mind and body
- Takes the sweet with the bittersweet
- Cherishes herself as much as she cherishes her loved ones
- Refuses to remain static—she’s open to learning, to new ideas, to new challenges and to new experiences
- Loves life and ain’t afraid to show it
What better way to celebrate Gorgeous Grandma Day than with a little gorgeous grandma wisdom? I mean, did you read those requirements? They’re clearly qualified. Here are six lessons we learned from amazing older women of the world:
1. Make today a good day.
Age certainly hasn’t slowed down 95 year-old yoga instructor, Tao Porchon-Lynch. With over 70 years of experience teaching yoga, Tao continues to thrive in both body and mind. Her daily mantra? “This is going to be the best day of my life.” Sometimes, making the decision to be great rather than expecting greatness to find you is much more effective. Who’s got time for waiting, anyway?
2. It’s never too late to start something new.
Would you have guessed this woman is 77 years old? Yep, seventy-seven, and that’s not even the half of it. Ernestine Shepherd started working out a mere 21 years ago, and was subsequently named the oldest female body builder in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2010. So, was it too late to start body building at 56? For Ernestine . . . naaah.
3. Some of the greatest things in your life happen by accident.
Who better to impart life advice than Iris Apfel? The 92-year-old has designed homes for presidents, created her own line of accessories and is a New York City style muse. In spite of all of these great accomplishments, Iris never set her sights on them. . . they all just sort of happened:
“I never had any idea of going into the fabric business. But with me everything that’s been good in my life has just happened. I had a little business of interior decoration. . . I couldn’t find [the fabric] I was looking for because it didn’t exist. I found this wonderful genius of a weaver, and I said would you be interested in doing a fabric for me, and they just took off like hotcakes. Little by little, it grows and grows and grows.”
No doubt about it, setting goals is a must. But sometimes life has a way of guiding you in the right direction. Take heed!
4. Embrace, embrace, embrace (yourself).
Sometimes “embracing yourself” is easier said than done—it takes practice. But oh boy, once you’ve mastered it, look out. Perhaps a little advice from beauty consultant, Joyce Carpati, will help inspire:
“I’m 82 and I don’t believe in lying about my age. I’ve worked hard to be 82 and I’m proud of it! It is a wonderful time of your life if you feel well. You can be who you are. I find I have no inhibitions; I am going to tell you what I think.”
Whether you’re 82 or 22, we should all strive to live this free.
5. Dreams do come true . . . sometimes in the most unexpected of ways.
Jacquie Tajah Murdock grew up in Harlem “always wanting to be a model,” but to no avail. At the time, there weren’t any opportunities for women of color to work as models. That is, until she was selected to be apart of Lanvin’s Fall 2012 campaign. It happened by chance 64 years later, which almost makes it that much sweeter. It was still, in her words, “a dream come true.”
6. Focus on your character. It’s more important than your age.
Sometimes we’re so caught up in the “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts” of our age, we forget about what’s truly important about ourselves. Take it from Lynn Dell. She’s owned Off Broadway Boutique in Manhattan for over 50 years and doesn’t really feel like she needs to limit herself to any age norms:
“How old do I feel? I’ve never felt any particular age. There is no age, I just feel life! Age is unimportant; it’s more about who you are.”
Thank you. The sages have spoken.
Now, go show the Gorgeous Grandma in your life how much you appreciate her. Maybe impart some of her wisdom down below in the comments? Happy Gorgeous Grandma Day!
(A special thanks to Advanced Style for inspiring so much of this post.)