You’ve heard of the seven stages of grief. But what about the six stages of aging? Believe it or not, the female aging process and mourning are not the same thing.
Two authors have defined the six stages we’re all going through in the witty little book, How Did This Happen? Poems for the Not So Young Anymore. In pages devoted to each stage—Insult, Injury, Defiance, Dread, Grit and Grace–Mary D. Esselman and Elizabeth Ash Velez explore the phenomenon they call “Aging While Female” using traditional poems and the non-traditional—twitter posts, snippets of interviews, etc.
Each section opens with an introduction that will have you grimacing, nodding and laughing in equal parts. “[Aging is] something that happens to other people, until it happens to you,” the authors write. “That gray hair. Those apple cheeks puddling into jowls. Cold sweat at the doctor’s and hot flashes at night. Issues cosmetic and cosmic—but wait, how did this happen?” This is a place to start looking for the answer.
More than a million adults in the US attended some sort of summer camp in recent years; would you be ready to join their ranks between now and Labor Day? While some of these programs cater to a younger crowd, there are plenty of options for those of us at midlife, and they are often tailored to people who want to just dip their toes in the water. In other words, you can bunk at these camps for just a few days or a week, versus a longer, “school’s out for the summer” commitment.
Among the most popular are those programs that allow campers to pursue a hobby or passion, while meeting new people and breaking away from the everyday. A few examples:
Think back to your teenage summers. Remember slathering on baby oil, grabbing one of those silver reflective gizmos, and lying on a beach, by a pool, or pretty much anywhere unshaded in pursuit of the perfect tan? Your older and wiser self knows that was not the smartest strategy, but you may think an SPF 30 cream is the best sunscreen you can use right now. Nope!
Skin cancer rates continue to rise, and medical professionals advise you use at least SPF 50, reapplying every two hours that you are out in the sun. Since sun screens are an inexact science – Did you really reach all of your back? Did you sweat some off? – some dermatologists are recommending you go even higher. For instance, Joshua Zeichner, MD, who’s Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, recently said, “There’s been a recent study that looked at sunscreen with SPF 100+ compared to SPF 50 on the ski slopes of Colorado showed that the SPF 100+ gave significantly better protection against the sun.”
To take care of your skin and yourself, look for a stratospherically high SPF. We like Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 100+ for less than $10 a tube.
– Janet Siroto