That is from my favorite movie musical ever, The Sound of Music. And just as that song in the movie led to the Von Trapp family climbing over the Alps to their freedom, I’ve decided it’s time to say adieu… to you and you and you.
After five years, I’m wrapping up AgingGal.com and unplugging my baby from the internet.
I want to thank those of you with whom I’ve made friends or reconnected. It’s been fun and more than a little comforting to hear from smart, funny, kind folks especially when I’m of the mindset that such breeds are dwindling. So thank you… to you and you and you.
I will keep alive my personal website for acting purposes and hope to write other projects in various media. Please feel free to keep in touch via HeatherMcPhaul.com.
As many of you know, Bitty is a social worker — a do-gooder. She sees patients of all ages, but, as we live in an aging society, she has many patients of a more mature age.
And they kick ass.
This week, for example, she began seeing a 96 year old whose quick wit and humor is reminiscent of a Catskills comic. Another client decided months ago that it was time to live her dream and enroll in the Fashion Institute of Technology… at the age of 68.
My point? It’s never to late. Follow your dreams. Live your life. Here are some pointers:
1. Embrace Aging. We’re getting older, yes, but we’re not dead. And regular activity — physical and mental — is proven to make us healthier. So go for coffee with friends, join a book club, walk or gym on a daily basis.
2. Don’t hesitate to laugh at the Aging process. Are some changes that happen to our bodies mortifying or, even, horrifying? Absolutely. Go to the doctor when necessary, screen for illnesses as warranted, ask questions of professionals and, even, friends. Then give in to the amusement when you can and laugh. We’re all in the same boat and this is why God, hopefully, gave us all senses of humor.
3. Set Goals. Always wanted to take an improv class? Go do it! Time to write that long-thought-about novel? Go for it! Hankering to travel, work with animals, make a movie? Then (to steal from Nike) Just Do It! Take advantage of all that technology has brought us in the last decade and learn to self-publish your book, make a video with your smartphone, or paint that masterpiece with an assist from computer software.
4. Maintain Relationships. Stay in touch with friends and family who love you for you and will help find the humor in the silliness of life (see Tip 2).
5. Be Prepared. Get all your ducks in a row. Last will and testament? Check. Advance directive? Done. Medical and financial power of attorney? Yes and yes. Talk to those closest to you so everyone is clear on what steps to take if and when the time comes. Then — Whew! — that’s over.
While I’ve made many confessions on this blog, none may be more embarrassing than this: I am bald.
Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration. But in all honesty, I have battled bald spots throughout my scalp since my early 30s. (I remember visiting my doctor in those days and begging for a solution… a solution that never came.) I’ve always had baby fine hair… after I finally grew hair (until I was eighteen months I was fat and bald and nicknamed Mussolini). In high school and college, stylists would comment that they’d never seen such fine, thin, soft hair — and mean it as a compliment — but my hair and I were already mortal enemies. It refused to hold any styling even with 80s-era hairspray.
Little did I know that my hair would up the ante in my 30s and 40s by falling out in baseball-sized clumps with every shampoo. For twenty years, I have been my own shedding Golden Retriever.
By my 50s, I had given up.
And then my knight in shining armor galloped up in the form of Cerafill Defy by Redken.
Now I’m going to show you some photographic evidence, so don’t run away screaming. (Yes, I know, my bald spots light up the front of my crown like a shiny hood ornament; I am constantly self-conscious.) Witness this BEFORE photo:
Ignore all the wiry gray hairs and focus on the hairless cue ball above my left eye. To me, that clump of white skin is mortifying.
So when I learned that I could participate in this promotion for hair-thickening products from Redken, I jumped at the chance.
Redken sent 100 bloggers four samples of their products including Defy shampoo and conditioner, and Maximize Dense Fx thickening treatment and texture effect. I was asked to use the products for two weeks and then share the results.
As for the shampoo and conditioner, I must say they were somewhat medicinal. The shampoo did not lather enough for me, and the conditioner left my hair stiffer than usual. After towel drying my hair, but while it was still damp, I applied the Dense Fx thickening treatment to the roots and massaged it through my scalp. Lastly, I sprayed on the texture effect before styling. Both the thickening and texture products are to be used between shampoos to keep that hair growing.
Now, Redken advertises “up to 9,000 more hairs after one use!” I’m not sure about that, but, yes, I did see some buds growing (albeit my fuzzy little fine hairs — why can’t I have Barbie-esque locks?). For me, it took the majority of the two weeks to witness a difference in hair growth. I also relied on their tips to maximize your hair, including using a diffuser on my blowdryer, crimping my hair, and creating a zigzag part to disguise my thin spots.
And here (again, please don’t run screaming) is the AFTER photo:
Between the products and the tips, I do feel my hair is thicker. If there’s one product I will continue to use it is the Dense Fx thickening treatment. It seems to be the crux of the product line and, honestly, there are menthol-infused Tea Tree shampoos and conditioners out there that I prefer.
But check out Redken’s products — and tips — for yourself:
The bottom line is that this experience helped give this 50-Something back a little confidence. Maybe I’ll never have the exact hair I want, but I can have more of it and I can style it better. That alone makes this Aging Gal content.
Here’s the skinny: I am participating in a Vibrant Influencer network campaign for Cerafill powered by Redken. I am receiving a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with Redken and do not earn a commission or percent of sales.
Disclosure: I am participating in a Vibrant Influencer Network campaign for Depend. I am receiving a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with Depend and do not earn a commission or percent of sales
Okay, gals, I’m gonna go there: What happens when we start to leak?
I’ve certainly had occasions of laughing with friends or trekking a strenuous hike when I wondered, “Did I just pee a little?”
Well, our friends at Depend® are here to help. Aging Gals everywhere can continue to lead active lives — laughing and hiking and more — thanks to Depend Underwear with new Fit-Flex Protection.
In fact, this underwear feels just like that — underwear. It flexes with our legs’ movements, has Lycra® strands for a smooth fit, and is reinforced with a soft underwear-like waistband for comfort. Plus, it absorbs and traps in odor, so we don’t have to lose our confidence.
Plus, you can find tips on managing your condition. They have advice that leads to better health for all of us, such as pay attention to your diet and drink six to seven 8 oz. glasses of water a day. Some foods — citrus fruits — and drinks — caffeine, alcohol — can irritate the bladder; learn what triggers your leakage and eliminate them from your diet. Not only can staying hydrated keep the lining of the bladder from getting irritated, but it dilutes urine and prevents that strong smell.
Above all, don’t let leakage keep you from living your life. Keep moving, learning, and thriving and let Depend® assist when necessary. After all, isn’t that what friends are for?
Twelve year old Casey Wilcott was declared the winner today. By default.
“He was always most comfortable with a gun in his hand,” Casey’s proud mother would have said if she was still here.
“Casey is clearly the best shooter in the 6th grade, probably in the whole school. Nobody handles an Uzi like Casey.” These were the last words of Principal Miller of Williamette Middle School before being gunned down.
If Casey’s classmates were still alive, they would give Casey one last wedgie and tease him about mining for gold up his nose. Alas, Casey made sure they can tease no more.
Of course, Casey will now be forever attached to his reviled braces after shooting his dentist dead during his last orthodontic adjustment. Casey should have pulled the trigger after his orthodontia was removed. But then hindsight, like Casey’s aim, is 20/20.
Now Casey has literally no one to bully him, love him, worry over him, or fix his overbite. But no matter, like some old episode of The Twilight Zone or Grimm’s Fairy Tale, he is the last man/boy standing. He is the king of the world. Or at least of America.
As he ages and his hormones get the best of him, Casey could try to make his way to Canada, or swim an ocean to Australia or Europe with the intention of procreating, but he would, sadly, have to leave his arsenal — and his talent for wielding it — at home.
Again, no worries. No doubt whatever Casey decides will be the right decision. The best choice for him. Because, now, he is all that matters.
Yippee, there’s a new Star Wars movie on the horizon and, hurray, all the original 1977 cast members are returning! So it’s set in an adult day health care center, right? Let’s get a preview of where they are now: As a result of a critical cloud car crash, Luke Skywalker went through extensive rehab. This led to his patent pending invention, Skywalker (TM). It’s a walker for Galaxy boomers — those from a long time ago and far, far away. The device even allows for yoga-style exercises which Luke is also developing under the name Death Evader.
Alas, studly Hans Solo found himself pained with gout and prostate issues. But it was worry over loss of testosterone and a mid-life crisis that led to an affair with Ally McBeal and a subsequent divorce from Princess Leia.
Princess Leia has battled both the bottle and an addiction to Chips Ahoy. Ironically, it was the attention of her former captor Jabba the Hutt that brought Leia to her senses. He convinced her that all men are giant worms, whether literally or figuratively, and that she had too much to offer not to move forward with her life. Leia is now a born again Christian and organizer of AA meetings at the Creature Cantina.
When do we reach the tipping point on bad behavior? Aren’t we saturated yet? God knows, I never need to see another “real” housewife from anywhere or keep up with a single Kardashian. But, for me, the tipping point came when I heard about Self magazine making fun of a woman running the Los Angeles marathon in a tutu. Now, I personally think that ANYONE who has got the guts and tenacity to run over 26 miles in one day should not only be celebrated but probably be elected to Congress because they have got more character than I (or most Congressmen) will ever muster.
But, evidently, the sultans of style at Self think anyone running in a tutu is lame (I shudder to think how they’d judge me). So they ask this runner for permission to use her photo in their magazine and she says yes and is excited to be in the magazine and then sees this under “BS Meter — what’s lame this month”:
And here’s the kicker (wait for it…): the tutu-wearing runner is running her first race… After. Surviving. Cancer.
Now the lame editor of this lame magazine has apologized — perfunctorily — and gotten a whole bunch of press (although I think Sheryl Sandburg needs to buy up this rag and fire the whole lot of them). But my point is not merely that ridiculing a sick person is evil, it’s that this constant state of one-upmanship that has been trending — and gathering steam — in social media is evil.
There is a tsunami of bad behavior that has invaded our television channels and our magazines and, well, us. I can’t watch it anymore. I can’t read it. Look, I’m no Pollyanna by any stretch and, yes, I love sarcasm and banter that is witty and intelligent and helpful to individual and cultural growth. But this epidemic of bad behavior fueled by the 24/7 infiltration of media is, I’m convinced, going to lead to society’s downfall — a bunch of self-absorbed, snarky, entitled cliques interested only in their own shallow needs who thrive on degrading those of us simply trying to get by. Did our ancestors fight and win World War II so their heirs could watch trash TV and take non-stop selfies and surf the internet all day? Really?
We’re better than this, America. And the only way to prove it is to stop watching, stop reading, and stop buying this crap. The one thing of which I’m certain is this: If we don’t buy it, watch it, wear it, or tweet it, the media will stop producing it. Show that we are more discriminating in what we consume and we will rise above this degradation being shoveled at us.
I vow to turn it off and tune it out. Anybody with me?
It dawned on me the other day that I never look in the mirror anymore. In fact, I don’t think I’ve looked in the mirror since 1988.
I look inwardly a lot, constantly self-evaluating and analyzing. But, since I never look outwardly virtually at all, I still think I look like I did in 1988.
So my mind’s eye sees myself as a svelte 26-year-old while my real self is a 51-year-old who’s rapidly losing the war to muffin top. No wonder I haven’t really looked in the mirror in three decades.
Now this wouldn’t be a problem — and I’d certainly be happy to continue living in my river of denial — if I weren’t an actress who auditions in front of other people for jobs that require me to be in front of the camera. This is the revelation I had the other day upon leaving a meeting with an agent and noticing that 1) I had failed to notice my blouse had come unbuttoned and was exposing my bra and that 2) a watering eye had caused my mascara to smear the side of my face. I looked like Ray Lewis in drag. Well, at least I’m not a vain actress…
Still, is it better to not look at yourself at all or, as is the trend lately, to look at yourself all the time? I say this is a recent trend because a study just came out stating that elective plastic surgeries are on the rise because of selfies (photos taken of yourself via a smartphone). So young women — beautiful young women — are getting unnecessary Botox, facial peels, and nose jobs because they look at themselves too much. Come on, ladies, you are more than your imperfect nose, your thin lips, your porous skin. At least, this muffin-topped, slightly rumpled Hollywood actress thinks so.