Posted in friends, Inspiration, Memorial, Post a week, Uncategorized

Fitting Forty: Flowers

Often met with getting older is experiencing death. It is not uncommon for friends of old to tell me that a grandparent, aunt, uncle, or parent has made their transition. I experienced this phenomenon quite often and wrote about losing my own Father.  Although death has become a more frequent tale, it always takes me a back especially when it is a friend. This post is to honor my friend the way that I remember him.

My friend, Peter Grant, was a friend I met while attending Eastern Illinois University. He was born and raised in Central Illinois and was a son of a farmer. He was raised around corn and soy beans, big farm machines, and was really good with cars. I was only raised around corn I found at the grocery store, I knew the very basics about cars, and big combines scare the daylights out of me (that’s another story)! When we met, I wasn’t sure the farm boy and the city kid would be friends, but we were.

Pete and I pal’d around quite a bit. We were all part of a group of kids that gave their hearts to God and leaned on each other a lot to find answers. We often trudged around central Illinois to different services, revivals, and bible studies held by a family we all adopted namely because they would tell us truth and fed us since we were all poor, college students with a lack of nutritional sense! We laughed, cried, prayed, and would cling on to one another to draw strength to make it through another day, another exam, or another research paper!

I could always  call on Pete as a friend or as a confidant. We would talk to each other sometimes for hours. I remember going to his family home once for Easter dinner. When we sat down at the table to eat, his Father told everyone at the table, “When Cynthia calls, Pete turns into a wet puppy!” Pete replied,”It’s true dad I do!” Although this is a little difficult to do as a black woman, but I turned beet red! All of us kids sat at the table first in awe that his dad actually said that and then burs-ted into laughter because his dad actually said that! Pete was just a sweet guy and he genuinely cared for me. When we would come back late from different events, I would make him drive my very temperamental car I owned at the time. It was a 1988 forest green gas guzzler that was always breaking down that I fittingly named “Diva”. Pete was on the only one that could get that New Yorker bucket of bolts to sometimes act right! When she died, transmission went boom and she was no more, I called him. He told me, “Diva fought a good fight and ran a good race.” No truer words were spoken.

Peter later on married his sweet heart Nina and they went on to have four children. He and I lost touch over the years but we later reconnected thanks to the wonderful world of social media. When we did, we just pick up where we left off! We talked about school, family, what we were into now, etc. He even “liked” a video of me singing at a service I posted on Facebook singing, “My Living Shall Not be in Vain”. His comment to follow was, “I ain’t heard me some good Cynthia singing in over 10 years!” Oh Pete! So sweet, yet sooooooo country! He loved to sing too. I remember him singing at the top of his lungs during worship services we attended together. The song I remember him singing with the most emphatic voice was “Shout to the Lord”.

Pete fought a good fight with cancer but his soul transitioned this past Thanksgiving. I am very sad my friend is gone but I am glad that we reconnected before he left this earth. He was a kind, gentle, loving soul. He was a lover of God, of his family, and friends. I wish that we had more time and I wished I had the chance to express to him in person how much he meant to me. I wish I could give you your flowers Pete. Even if I can’t give them to you personally, I will give them to your wife and children who love you very much. There is a new angel and his name is Peter Grant. He will still be around watching over all who he loved. He will missed but never forgotten.

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Posted in Inspiration, New Thoughts, Post a week

Fitting Forty: Above It All

One of my favorite hobbies is to travel.  For the past two years, I found myself on a plane at least eight to 10 times a year and not for work.  Most of the time, one of my good friends may say, hey Cindy let’s go here or there! Since I have no problem leaving the city of Chicago (especially when it gets cold), I often reply “Lets!” After that affirmation (and a check to my bank account), I am on a travel site, looking for a discount, booking my passage to wherever! She is BOOKED!!!!

When I am at the airport, I will often smile to the gatekeeper; ask politely for a window seat, and majority of the time it’s given to me. If I am really nice, they will assign me to the emergency aisle or upgrade me so I can get more leg room! That is when I really get super GEEKED!

As I take my seat, buckle my safety belt, and get settled in, I start to look out the window. There is that whole safety demonstration speech but I been on a plane enough times to observe the seat belt lights, mark the emergency exits, and figure out how to pull up my seat and use it as a flotation device. After all that is out the way, we are off!  Watching the plane tilt farther up and then the runway fades away until you are up in the clouds!

I look out the window and look down on the world below me. Everything looks so small. Children look out of plane windows and often tell the parents people look like ants scurrying about and the cars look like hot wheel toys. Trees look like little shrubs that have been placed by hand and houses look like architect models from a mock city. After the people disappear, the cars vanish, and buildings are no longer in sight, you only see clouds. Then once you see the clouds, you find yourself in them.

For however long those hours are you are in the air, nothing else below is in your view. The life that exists below is no longer seen and for a while, it does not exist.  It is no longer where you dwell.

Often as humans, we are subjected to all types of triggers that affect the way we see, think, and are. We are bombarded with life’s stuff. Bills need to be paid; children need to be tended to, responsibilities and obligations need to be taken care of, etc. etc. etc. All this stuff we encounter day by day by day. When do we ever get a break?

Recently, a big part of my life was taken away from me. That part of my life so big to me because it was part of my identity and what I believed. When that was gone, I felt lost. I even found myself in my work stairwell crying because this part of me is now gone and I knew it was not coming back.  Later that week, I went to my friend’s yoga class that ended up being just her and I. We talked, went through a spectacular flow and meditated. While I was in meditation I heard the Universe speak to me and say, “Change your perspective”.

Being back in a plane, you are above all the world. Nothing on the earth affects you. When you are traveling higher and higher in the atmosphere, you do not see what is on the ground. You only see the clouds in the sky all around you.

The Universe telling me to change my perspective meant I needed to change what I saw. When that thing that I held so dear was taking away from me, all I could see is its absence . Since I saw this precious thing as gone, I then felt the hurt of it being gone and it made me cry, a lot! After changing my perspective, I now see it was not a loss. It is an opportunity. This opportunity  freed up my time to pursue other things I am passionate about and even gave me an opportunity to do something else for others. I changed my perspective. I changed how I look at this thing. Now instead feeling the hurt of it being taken away, I now feel joy and happiness because I get now do something I want to do.

Being above it all gives you an opportunity to change your location from being tied to all the earthly things that affect you in a negative way. When you change your location to live in a higher state, what people say to you, what responsibilities you have, or even what is done to you negatively won’t even bother you because you choose to look at things differently.

I recently finished reading a wonderful book called “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. He says in the second agreement Don’t Take Anything Personally, “You create an entire picture or movie in your mind, and in that picture you are the director, you are the producer, you are the main actor or actress. Everyone else is a secondary actor or actress. It is your movie. The way you see that movie is according to the agreements you have made with life. Your point of view is something personal to you. It is no one’s truth but yours.”

Your point is of view is so important. If you find yourself constantly stressing, fearful, and down trodden, change your location. Change how you look at things, change your perspective. Live above it all. Live in the upper atmosphere. If you don’t take things in this life personally, nothing (and I mean absolutely nothing) will hurt you.

I know this is easier said than done. It is like moving. You get excited about living is another place especially if it is an upgrade like a bigger house or great neighborhood, but no one likes to “actually” move. The mere thought of the logistics of moving is so OVERWHELMING!  Packing and unpacking, getting movers and hoping they don’t break your things, etc. The moving process in short, sucks. But once you get to the new home and get it set up the way you want it to look, it is a great sense of satisfaction.

No one likes change but it is inevitable. Change is the only thing that is constant in life. I rather make the change instead of change being for me. I also, decide for myself how I will interpret issues and obstacles that happen in my life. I choose to use my faith to overcome and to get through them. When I do that, I live above it all. The most wonderful thing is this concept is not just for me. It is for anyone who decides to adopt this concept as a lifestyle.  Be the head and not the tail; be above and not beneath. Pay attention to this and observe this daily. Watch your life change for the better.

  • CAM
Posted in Ancestors, Healthy Living, Inspiration, New Thoughts, Parents, Post a week

Fitting Forty: Lessons

A couple of mornings ago, I was up early getting ready for work. I was combing my hair trying to get my fro all the way together and I was having difficulty. I went into my mother’s bedroom to give myself a once over in her full length mirror. I was still trying to pat my fro left and pick it on the right and I was not getting my desired results. She saw my frustration, took the comb from me, and proceeded to do what I apparently could not. She then began telling me, “You have comb the hair down and fluff up. You cannot go against what your hair wants to do.” At first I wanted to protest but she did get my hair together for me just like she use to when I was a kid. She then said, “When will I stop teaching you girls?”

I did not answer my mom at the time. I was concentrating more on getting out door however I did find myself pondering her question. When will I stop teaching you? The answer is never. You never will stop teaching me.

The first teachers any child receives in life are their parents or guardian. They teach you have to walk, to speak your native language, how to use the bathroom, and they shape the very foundations of you as an individual.

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I think of all the lessons that I have gleaned from my parents over the years. Their opinions were very important to me. I still run key life decisions past my mom because I want to listen to her guidance. I hear her experiences that may be similar to what I may be experiencing. I also know the reason that I like to write is because of her. I would read her old stories and found them witty and insightful. I would wish that I could be just as gifted to tell stories in pen form like her.  I listened to my dad in a similar way. I think about one lesson in particular. There was a time when I was not doing well in college. I had to stop for a time because my grades were low and I did not have any direction. One day, my father said to me, “You keep hitting your head against a brick wall and the wall is quite bloody. One day, you are going to get tired of hitting your head against that wall.”

He was not lying. I got tired. I got back into school and I graduated. I personally know that if he never taught me that lesson, I would have never seen a cap and gown.

Although my mom is with me and my dad has transitioned, both of their lessons still resonate. My mind would wander back to conversations with my dad about situations I face today and I would learn another lesson that I can apply to my life. The same thing would happen with my mom as well. All of my ancestors I have interacted within this life would bring to light teaching moments that shape my decisions and ultimately I gained wisdom from them.

I am not going to stop learning lessons until I leave this Earth. I find lessons all the time. I may even have told myself, “I wish I never did this.” or I may say, “I wish I never met this person.” But if I never experienced certain locales, I wouldn’t gained wisdom. I would not have gained direction. Also, sometimes the lessons that I learned were not always for me. Since I know that life is about relationships, I may have gone through something that someone else could learn from. My lesson could be someone’s direction.

Making it to this age, I can honestly say that I do not know a damn thing. There was a time in my life I thought I had things figured out and life were about absolutes. That was foolish thinking. Life has many shades of gray, and there are more than 50 (spoilers). I am still learning, still processing, and STILL putting pieces together. I think back to certain things that were told to me or done to me and say, “Oh, that is what that meant!” Sometimes that clarity came years later but that’s okay. Some things are not always meant to be revealed to you right then and there. Sometimes the lesson comes right when you need to learn from it or when it is the right time to share it.

Never be afraid of the lessons of life. They come to make you better. They come to make you stronger. They come to make you more courageous and compassionate. Ultimately, these lessons come to make you a more enlightened individual if you let them. As long as breath still fills your lungs, school is in session. Do you have your pen and pencil? Do you have your notebooks? Time to learn.

 

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Posted in Healthy Living, Inspiration, New Thoughts, Post a week

Fitting Forty: Awakening

Monday morning came and I found myself at Starbucks across the street from my job (how convenient) getting some get ‘er done juice (my term for coffee since is this how I function properly) for the day. Like some of my fellow bean fiend’s, I am a zombie without my first cup. I am the very person that would really prefer for you not to speak to me until caffeine has fully permeated through my veins. Hey, everyone is entitled to their vices. Coffee is mine along with gummy worms (don’t ask)! Now that I had a shot of my opiate of choice, I am now awake and able to get through the day! Yay me!

Being “awake” has been a very popular theme I would assess for the past couple of years. Everyone is all of a sudden “woke”.  Then this “woke” theme reached a higher height when Childish Gambino premiered the song  “Red Bone”  along with the movie “Get Out”.  Now it is popular to tell others to avoid the “Sunken Place” and wearing dashikis and necklaces that have ankhs and black fists. Now I am not knocking any of those things because I have a few dashiki pieces in my closet right now and spend a few of my coins on natural hair products. That stuff AIN’T CHEAP! Yes, all those things are well and good, but do you really know what it is to be awake?

Being awake is not all about modern day slang. I dare even say it is not about being fully into one’s “Blackness” or “Whiteness” or anything else of that nature. I do not have a problem with loving your race/culture because there nothing wrong being proud of where you came from. Being awake is much deeper. To be awake is to come into a state where you realize your greatest potential and contribute to the place where you are right now by bringing forth your unique capabilities  – Living Buddhism August 2017 pg 6.

Now that sentence said a whole lot but what does it actually mean?

To truly know what means to come into a state where you realize your greatest potential and contribute to the place where you are right now by bringing forth your unique capabilities, you first have to know what “potential” means. So what is potential? Well, the dictionary defines potential as having or showing the capacity to become or develop into something in the future. Simply put, potential is untapped ability. It is the energy/gifts that are already in you that have not come to light.  As humans, we have a habit of keeping our potential hidden because we are afraid of it. We fear what we are capable of. We fear being great because we get comfortable being mediocre. We fear being powerful because we are used to acting like sheep instead of being lions. We fear because we do not know and chose to live in darkness because ignorance is bliss. To live in fear is to remain in a place of slumber.

When you realize your potential you come into know who you really are. When you come into knowing who you really are you awaken from slumber. You become more aware. You are aware of yourself. You are aware of what you like and dislike. You are aware of others and make decisions accordingly on how to deal with them. You are aware of your environment and learn how to interact with it. You realize your place in the universe and begin to walk in your purpose. When you walk in your purpose, not only do you change your life for the better, you affect other lives around you for the better.

Living in an awaken state  involves our capabilities shining the brightest when we take action for the happiness not only for ourselves but of others. We awaken people to their unlimited potential and empower them to become happy. Awakening means coming face to face with the innermost essence of your own life. It is knowing the ultimate meaning of why you were born and why you are alive. There is no greater joy, fulfillment or pride than that which comes from awakening to your eternal mission (Youth and the Writings of Nichiren Dishonin pg. 12)

Being awake means to live with purpose. The purpose would be tapping into potential and using the gifts that are inside. Finding what your gifts are (I say gifts because there is always more than one) will tell you what your purpose is. When your purpose is revealed, you will then affect the life of yourself and others around you for the better. That is what will bring true happiness, fulfillment, and life lived more in abundance.

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Why stay in slumber? Why walk in fear? Why cut yourself off from your own potential? What are you afraid of? Do you want to live life as a sheep or as a lion? In The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, Ikeda writes this:

“Let us always press forward steadily, come what may, choosing cheerfulness over gloom, encouragement over envy, enthusiasm over anger. Let us live our lives with unwavering confidence, demonstrating a spirit of tolerance, not authoritarianism, filled with hope instead of despair, taking action instead of complaining, and engaging in dialogue, not violence. Those who fight against their own weaknesses and keep pressing forward resolutely – challenging themselves instead of giving up, and taking personal responsibility for victory instead of criticizing others – triumph in the end and attain happiness. Moreover the efforts we make now determine not just this existence but our past, present, and future.” 

These are the principles of being awake. To live intentionally in purpose. To affect your life positively and those around you. Choosing to act with compassion instead of arrogance and with courage instead of fear. As stated before, the efforts we make NOW determine not just this existence but our past, present, and future. Isaiah 60:1a says, Arise, shine; for your light has come. The alarm is ringing Beloved. Time to wake up.

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Posted in Healthy Living, Inspiration, Post a week

Fitting Forty: Your Mirror

Here is a funny story. I remember when I was 25 years old and I was visiting my Grandmother in her apartment. I was living outside of Chicago and I recently went back to school to finish my degree while working a full time job. Not easy by the way but I digress. I was sitting with her and just chatting. During our talk, my Grandmother paused and looked at me silently. I looked back at her pensively and asked her what’s wrong? She then said to me, and please imagine a very thick Jamaican accent, “Cindy, you’re not married, you don’t have children, you don’t have a boyfriend! G’yal, what wrong wit ya’? Ya’ G’YAY????” If you have not guessed, the last word was an attempt to spell in patois phonetically the word gay. I kind of looked at her and then began to laugh. My Grandmother was a very matter of fact woman and never took time to hold her tongue about anything. Pretty much, NO FILTER! As much as I wanted to give her an answer, I really couldn’t because I was too busy laughing at what she said to me. Really Grandma??? That’s how you feel??? You had to have been there!

At the time, I did not date. On the surface, I was focused more on finishing school since I messed up the first go round. I wanted to get it right and make an attempt to educated myself and become a self sufficient adult. The underlining reason I did not date was because I was obese and I did not think myself attractive and I did not think anyone would think I was attractive either.

Fifteen years later, I am much like my former self in my relationship status. I am still unmarried, I still have no children, but no I am not gay. I have dated since that conversation (or should I say accusation) I had with my Grandmother but nothing really panned out in my favor.

Now please do not get my wrong. This post is not an all men suck rant because that is simply not true. Recently, I felt myself very low and I did not know what to do. I sought some spiritual advise and the main thing that was told to me was, “Here is a mirror, you need to look at yourself”.

I really had to ponder. What does that mean? Before I get into explanations, let me ask some questions. Have you ever been in situations that just did not work out? What were the situations? Did you try to start a business, date, or lose weight and it did not work in your favor? Why didn’t it work?

If you really look at each situation you find yourself and it did not work out, you have to look at the common denominator. That common denominator is and will always be you.

Often times, stuff doesn’t work out for a lot of reasons. In order to truly analyze and find solutions to problems is always best practice to look at yourself and see the part you play in it. This is what it really means to look at yourself. Look into yourself. Reveal all parts of yourself. The good, the bad and the ugly.

Recently, circumstances forced me really to do some serious soul searching. In a way, I had to break out my spiritual mirror and start looking at myself. I came across a quote during my introspection that I like to share.

  • A mind now clouded by the illusions of the innate darkness of life is like a tarnished mirror, but when polished, it is sure to become like a clear mirror, reflecting the essential nature of phenomena and the true aspect of reality. (The Winning Life – The World Tribune Press)

In life, we are often bombarded by different situations that can cloud our minds and cause us to be blind essentially walking in darkness. If we continue in that state, we never realize our true potential. We often find ourselves reacting and never truly get down the road of our lives.

I personally decided I need to polish my mirror everyday. I have to look at myself, everyday. I say have to instead of had to because this work never stops. It is essential if I personally want to realize my goals and endeavor to becoming a better human being.

Is there something in your life that is keeping you from moving forward? We all have something. No one is immune. Problems, situations, and circumstances are all part of living.  I encourage you to break out your mirror. Really start to look at yourself. Polish your mirror everyday. You’d be surprised on what it will reveal. Take heed to what you find. You will be better when you commit to doing the work.

-CAM

Posted in Dads, Healthy Living, Memorial, Post a week

Fitting Forty: His Hands

June 18, 2017, was Father’s Day. I decided that I should spend the day with my Dad. Most people will take their Father’s to a restaurant, maybe go to a ball game, or even make a grand dinner. I however spent time with my Father at his grave.

My Dad had a battle with prostate cancer that he lost on January 2, 2012 . He ashes are interned in a Veteran’s cemetery outside of my hometown of Chicago. He was a Korean War Veteran  that served in the Navy as a Seaman. He ended up doing 2 tours staying in the Navy for 8 years in total.  Although he served his country and held several titles in his life, the one he held for me is my first Love.

My Father and I did everything together. When I was a kid, I would spend my weekends with him. He had a 1977 charcoal convertible Volkswagen Beetle. The car had no heat so you could only drive in the spring/summer. It had a pull out radio just like the movie McGruber. He and his friend Rip rebuilt the car from the ground up and he would go to an auto parts store called Wachowski’s in the South Loop constantly buying car parts because the thing was super uber sensitive!

I loved that car. I supposed I loved it so much because I knew that every time I got into it, it would be an adventure that only he and I would share together. The adventure could be as mundane as going to dentist or the grocery store or as fascinating as  a Chinese dinner in Dalton or China town. My Dad and I shared a deep love for stir fry.

I often reflect back on the times we had together, like watching Miami Vice on Friday Nights (it was cheesy but we cared not!), practicing the piano in his living room (He loved Beethoven), or watching him build a doll house for me that we go to the north suburbs for parts (drove my sisters crazy he built it for me! ha ha!). No matter what we did, it was always special to me because I was his running buddy and his reflection in female form. I looked just like him from the speckles in this hands and feet to the wide smile that paints our faces when we find something funny. He loved to laugh.

When I visited his grave, I put my hands on his name stone. I often look at my hands and if I stare at them long enough, they look just like his. The more they look like his hands, I start to hear his voice. I hear him talking to me about when he was growing up, him giving me a chore to do (he really liked doing that) or hearing him sing a jazz song like “Angel Eyes” or an opera aria sung by Franco Corelli. The main reason why I have such a deep love for music (especially classical music) was all because of him.

My mind often wanders back to him and without trying. I would hear a phrase, a song, or see something as I walk by that would remind me of him. Even when I have life decisions to make, I think to myself “What Would Daddy Do?”

Making it to this age, I hope within my being that he’d be proud of me. If anyone wanted me to get my health together, it was him. I know I say I made the decision to get my health together to save my life, but I also say to him, “Dad, I did it. I finally did it.”

He was and still is my motivation to press forward in life. Although he isn’t present physically, I still feel him with me because I refuse to forget him. But why would I? He is a part of me and forgetting him would be forgetting myself. I miss him dearly but as time goes on, it does not hurt so much that he is not on Earth. Rest in Heaven Daddy. Please know, I love you.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Healthy Living, Post a week, Women's Health

Fitting Forty: All for Health’s Sake

An integral part about getting older is really being conscious about your health and well being. Let’s face it, you are no spring chicken and your body sends subtle (and no so subtle) hints this is the case. I know for me my hints come in the morning. Picture the sun starting to send it’s rays through your bedroom window. Your eyes start to flicker as you hear a faint tune of Morning Song by Grieg playing in your head (at least you wish because what you actually hear it that stupid alarm on your phone going off at 6:00 am in the morning!)  I am sorry, let’s go back to the ethereal scene. You then smile thinking of how great it is to be alive, how you are going to just Carpe Diem the hell out of the day, and then you decide to sit up and hear CRUNCH! That will be the sound a few joints you have to rub while you desperately try to gather yourself out of bed! Yeah, that did not happen when you were in your twenties! That was a case of cold reality hitting you in the face like a bucket of ice water!

This comes with the territory. Joints not always responding like how you want, your body not really doing what you want it to do, and you wanting to find some relief in it all. You think, should I exercise? Should I eat better? Should I go to the doctor? Should I drink this entire bottle of wine I picked up from the grocery store on my way home from work (Riesling being the favorite.)? I am going with wine!

Although wine is good choice for any occasion, getting older means being more serious about how your body is functioning. Since this is all about being 40 (read the title), I personally met another health milestone I had to take care of. The dreaded mammogram! Now, the only reason why I call it dreaded was because I would listen to my mom describe to me in mitigated detail her experience with mammograms. She described the cold plates. The two plates coming together like a car compactor smashing your breasts together and squeezing your very existence making you regret being a woman! Also, the walk of shame leaving the room because you subjected yourself to this torture!

I had all of these thoughts in my head when it was time to get my mammogram. I first had to get over the whole I am actually old enough to be considered to get this done part. When I got through that, I had to get past all the stories and the building fear coming to roost in my throat! “Okay Cynthia”, I said to myself, “Put on your big girl panties and take this like a soldier!” I step in the lab where the machine is, follow the instructions of the lab tech, and went through all the different positions and squeezing. My conclusion was that the mammogram was not that bad. The lab tech was also very nice and walked me through everything because she knew it was my first time and I was a bit nervous. But can you blame me???

Accepting this whole mammogram business is all a part of being very aware of your age and health, at least it was for me. Leading up to the mammogram, my doctor and I had a chat about what women of my age should be doing in order to maintain their health and well being. Here are a few things women in their forties should be doing:

  1. Do regular check ups with your primary care physician to make sure they have a base line for your overall well being and can monitor any changes. This should be done at least once a year.
  2. When reaching your Forties, get a mammogram to make sure your breast health is in order. If the breast have no abnormalities, this does not have to be done for another 10 years.
  3. Do self checks breast exams. Feel for any lumps or bumps. If you feel one, see your doctor to check them to make sure they are not cancerous. Often time lumps and bumps can be a result of acne or just cyst that are harmless, but it is good to stay on the side of caution.
  4. Stay on top of your pap smears. My doctor said you should getting one every 1 to 3 years. Also if you are sexually active, make sure to get tested for any sexually transmitted diseases. Getting tested should happen every six months to be on the cautious side.
  5. Adopt a healthier way of eating and exercise. The older you get, the more you are subject to heart disease which is the number one killer of women but often times can be prevented by making changes in this area to keep your heart healthy and happy!
  6. Find a way to live a more stress free life. Pick up a hobby or do something for yourself to make you feel good! No one can be better to yourself than you!

Getting older is inevitable but it does not have to be a strain or something to loathe. The best way to embrace your age is to make sure your health is in order. I said it before, I am in better shape and my health is better now at 40 than at 30. That is only because I decided to take the necessary steps to get that way. It was not rocket science, it was just taking one step at a time. Remember, only you can make this life the best for you. No one else can do it for you. You only have one life to live. Make the best of it!