The zen of aging and the power of now

Five minute zenBY MIKI MARKOVICH

We all know that person who dreaded turning 30, turning 40 or maybe it was 50. Why? What makes 39 years and 364 days so very different than three days later at 40 years and two days old? What if this importance is simply a stigma that entirely too many women have bought into between magazine reading and TV watching?

What if, instead of obsessing over those fine lines no one else seems to notice or milling over that arbitrary goal set a year before graduation, we celebrated our past accomplishments, our present gifts and our future opportunities? And don’t get me started on earned wisdom.

Sure, it’s human nature to get caught up in the tug of war of the past and the future. However, consciously choosing to be present, taking hold of the now and fucking rocking today allows you an unequaled freedom.

So what if, just for today, you were ageless, feeling the sunshine on your face, noticing the crystal blue of your partner’s eyes or enjoying that lovable dog smile of your faithful companion.

As for as the pitfalls, the mistakes, the downers haunting your past? Learn from your life’s lessons, including those happening now. Any frustrations or anger you’re feeling are there to clarify desires and get you moving in the right direction.

Now about those physical imperfections? Know this, people don’t see you in pieces (except for you and maybe your mother). Everyone else tends to see you as a whole person, which is great, because you’re so much more than feet or hair. So instead of focusing on a thicker middle, perhaps consider appreciating those long, lean legs of yours that tote you around. Instead of focusing on that little lack of elastic in your upper arm region, appreciate your full, thick head of luscious hair. You get the idea.

Yes, I’m asking for radical self acceptance. And perhaps, I’m even encouraging you to reflect on everything right with you. Gasp. So, here’s your assignment for the week. Go to a park to sip some freshly brewed iced tea, freshly made lemonade or sparkling water, then make some lists.

• List what you love about yourself. If you’re not up to at least 40 yet find yourself stuck, text your closest friends and family. Not only is it helpful, it’s life affirming.

• List your accomplishments up until this point, including winning the spelling bee in grade two. One hundred sounds nice. What? You’re an amazing woman who has achieved and shared so much. You got this.
• Take time to write down a few things in your life you’re grateful for. This list can be as long as you want to make it, because being alive is good, it definitely gives you a starting point for the next exercise.
• Just to even things out, consider writing a few goals down. They don’t even have to be measurable, but they do have to be specific. If your goal is that you “want to be happy,” then take a moment to define what being happy feels like for you and what you can do to see more of that in your days. Now, write that down.

Be sure to leave a comment, tweet or Facebook me to let me know a goal, an accomplishment or something you’re grateful for. Until next time, be sure to love yourself and those around you.

Miki Markovich is a seeker of beauty and truth, traveler of interesting roads, saver of furry souls, typer of words, iPhone lover and mac head. You can find her on Twitter at @mikimarkovich and @fiveminutezen. If you’re looking to go from pissed to blissed in five minutes flat, find balance or improve the quality of your life through self care, check out her website at

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