Sistah Take A Seat

Sistah Take A Seat: Age Accordingly

The problem with Generation X is that we really ascribe to the Toys R Us “I don’t want to grow up” syndrome. Never in the span of the generations have we come across an age group that refuses to age accordingly. When you got the media reminding you that a certain R n B singer of questionable character is actually 50 years old but he’s dressing like it’s first day of school ’round here, we have to pause and contemplate the whys behind our fear of aging and aging gracefully at that!
No one is saying to turn in your Fabulosity and Swag for dentures and Icy Hot, but goodness! The way a 14 year old wears converse isn’t the way a 40 year old wears converse. Ripped jeans on a 20 year old should look different from ripped jeans on a 40-50-dare I say 60 year old. Future blog on when to give up the ripped jeans ghost coming soon. When I got my first pair of Jordan’s this year (at age 42 at that), I thought long and hard on how I was going to pull it off. Pinterest was no help either.  If I saw one more photo of skin tight jeans and a cropped top with them vampire nails! I had to eventually pair it up with a calf length spaghetti-strapped tshirt dress, the two layer ones, with a complimentary cardigan that framed my mama-inspired hips. There’s levels to aging and being cute. I have no plans to sacrifice one for the other. I just know well enough to stay in my 40 year old lane. 

The point to all this is to not fear the process of aging. I woke up the other day and found a gray hair dangling right above my eyeballs. The pesky thing got plucked and dang it, didn’t grow back! Then there’s this curly one up front and center acting like she’s a conductor of my Sisterlock symphony. She’s got no plans on leaving either. Under my eyes seem kinda tired of late. Not sure if it’s fatigue or age. I look at photos of my younger self and I see the change coming. My face isn’t as full. There’s an angular, leaner look to it these days.  But I can’t find any anti-aging commercials that will point my melanin self in the right direction.  My knees creak more and although I’m not giving up my heels (perish the thought!) I know well enough to keep some cute sandals in the car. Just in case. 

In my Game of Thrones voice “The Wrinkles Are Coming!” Unless you want to “Little Kim” your body into oblivion, accept the progress of time. Embrace those things that just won’t change no matter what you do. Fight fair in your quest for health. Eat right. Drink lots of water. Try to keep some level of activity going. Hang around the younger folks who will keep you feeling younger if nothing else. But accept the fact that the fountain of youth is yet undiscovered and no matter how many times social media would like to make you feel like you need to get your life, remember it’s just filters on that IPhone 7 Plus that’s got them looking like front cover material. What glitters is really never gold. 

Career, Life Coach

Power of the Sistrenhood

The two young ladies were huddled together, holding on to each other for dear life. No we weren’t outside in arctic weather but rather in a conference room filled with professional sistahs. My split second decision to break away from an acquaintance and make a beeline for them was definitely not instinctive but rather a God-thing.

Introvert self-talk begins.  Smile with your eyes Delphine. Reach out your hand. Give proper eye contact and add some soprano to that alto voice of yours. And then connect. What happens next is yet again a God-thing. 

The young ladies had shared earlier to the group that they were just out of grad school. Infants. First real job in the professional world. Toddlers. And scared to be in this great big world about ready to make yet another career move. Preschoolers. So I know they were nervous as hell to be in a room of accomplished women who were there–not to embark on their first journey, but some on their third or fourth. You’re talking married for 20 years. Going through a divorce. Just got married. How does a 23 year old complete with all of that?!

I took less than ten minutes to say what I wish someone my age would have told my younger self back then. I had to first tell them my age. Because apparently being shorter and appearing younger doesn’t carry as much weight as a greying woman in four inch heels. Le sigh…

Disclaimer. I’m about to be 41. Yes I don’t “look” like 40 (whatever that is) but I do have one gray eyebrow to prove it and a morning backache that makes me think twice about wearing heels these days. Lol! 

To my younger sistrens I say …

Don’t be intimidated. Seasoned Black women are a force to be reckoned with.  You put us all in a room and gale force winds begin to swirl while animals scurry about.  A mere turn of our heads and the room is at attention. A slight head tilt and the world moves on its axis. Remember when the black male anchor said “This is an earthquake” and ducked for cover? That was no earthquake! That was a black woman walking in the room. Head high. Hips swaying. And what?

It’s like I read their minds because the head nodding commenced and they were like “Yeah, so many of you are like…wow!” Black sistrens have that effect. 

Lean in and learn. We’ve got some years under our belt younger sistrens. Don’t hesitate to acknowledge (and all hail respect that). Then decide what you want to glean. One of my mentors is a 71 year old retiree. We met on the job. I would take every available free moment of my work day to just hang out with her. She was on that Bal Harbour, Coco Chanel, Hermes status. I’m on that whatever I can get at Burlington Coat, Marshalls/Ross/Target, and Macy’s Clearance sales status. But she never made me feel like a second class sistah. 

Once I got past the facade that others tripped over when they first met her, we became fast friends. I can call her anytime, bounce some ideas off of her and check in as needed. She helped me refinance my home. She helped me message my approach to my husband without getting into a huge tete-a-tete. She’s a wise soul with a take no prisoners attitude. I love her! 

We want to learn from you too. Youthfulness is refreshing. It signifies all things new. Aging tends to take us from a place of motion to stagnancy. For those seasoned chicks who have some more living to do, we know that relevance doesn’t come from talking to our 40-something year old friends all the time. I have some girlfriends who are younger than me doing some crazy, sexy, cool things with their lives right now.  I’m always inspired by younger women (at least the smart and forward thinking ones) who can teach me a thing a two. No, I’m not interested in learning a new dance from you but I would like to know more about IPO’s, the latest productivity app, or leadership movement that’s right around the corner. 

Younger sistrens, you’ve got a lotta learning to do. Don’t be afraid to step out, spy out the land, and make those intentional relationships happen. As long as your motives are right, God will make room for you to grow. 


Risk-Taking Isn’t Just For The Young

Last week I said goodbye to a job I held for ten years. Today I start on a new journey in a new role. My mentors would say I’m young enough to start anything new. But my 40-something brain sometimes think I should be content and not try to make too many waves.

Change seems to be the only constant and with this knowledge we should continue to embrace transition. How many times have you reached the fork in the road and just wanted to sit there? People do and when they get up, five years have passed with no movement.

That fork in the road can be a new profession, a move to another state, deciding to have another child when you said you wouldn’t, or even a new personal perspective on life. There will be the detractors in the guise of friends and family members. It takes resolve to silence the voices and go with your heart.

Taking risks should not just be left to college grads and desperate millenials. Rather it is for anyone who has a yearning to be different, to do different, and make a difference. Age may impact how swift it can take place. Yet with adequate thought, prayer, and planning it can happen.

Take the time to consider your priorities. If there is a family to think of, look at the bigger picture and be sure your decision has factored in how your spouse and/or children will be affected. Failing to count the entire cost could be detrimental. Once you have done your research, considered the pluses and deltas, then you make your final decision.

Once all is said and done and you know change is in your future, then by all that’s good and perfect do the damn thing! Trust me, your heart won’t miss a beat and you will know, that you know, that you know, taking that fork in the road was worth the risk. You choose which side to take–none else.

Ecclesiastes 11:4-6
“He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap. As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything. In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.”