Look at you -- you've made it to midlife. Now is the time to revel in the fruits of your labor, celebrate each glorious day and make this life one for the record books. Before you move too fast, heed the warning signs that tell you if you're failing spectacularly at midlife. You've been successful in many ways over the years. Do you really want to mess up midlife now?
Most of us have fallen into at least one disastrous midlife trap. The good news? When armed with the right information, you can navigate the muddy waters of midlife and surface relatively unscathed.
1. The Agony Of D'Feet
Admit it: you're no spring chicken. Stilettos have no place in your footwear wardrobe. The thought of teetering about on 6-inch heels is enough to induce acrophobia. Sure, they make your calves look amazing, but at your age, the pain, discomfort and bunions the size of walnuts is hardly worth the effort. What's a woman to do?
Sensible shoes to the rescue.
Cushiony, comfortable flats or low heeled shoes are smart choices for the woman on the go. Think of all the amazing feats you can accomplish in them: sprint for the bus, navigate winding staircases, stroll down the street without stepping in a crack and tumbling to the ground. All this and more can be achieved while sporting sensible shoes. But please, don't adorn your feet with shoes that look like they were custom designed for your great great great grandmother. Sensible doesn't mean ugly. Clodhoppers do the world -- and you -- a terrible disservice. It is possible to wrap your tootsies in comfort without stepping into clunkers.
2. Speak No Evil
Everyone has a favorite television show from their past. Warmth and fuzziness ensue when reminiscing about the one cartoon that sent you into a fit of unparalleled hysterics, the sitcom that made you laugh and squirt milk from your nose simultaneously or the program that to this day holds a special place in your heart.
Yes, thinking back on them is fine, as long as it stays in your head. It's when you speak the words aloud that you slip into dangerous territory. Children will stare at you in disbelief. Dogs will flee in terror. Teenagers will be convinced that you've got one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. It won't be pretty.
Ruminate on those shows; after all, they were the ones that entertained you most. However, some shows of yesteryear can have the devastating consequences of dating you, which is why their names should never cross your lips:
Kimba the White Lion, The New Zoo Revue, Adam Ant, Secret Squirrel, Julia, Wonderama, Quick Draw McGraw, UltraMan, Speed Racer, H.R. Pufnstuf, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, The Mod Squad, Grape Ape, Land of the Lost, Captain Caveman, Dark Shadows, The Pink Panther, Rocky and Bullwinkle, The Archies, The Banana Splits, Underdog, Magilla Gorilla, Beany and Cecil, The Bugaloos, Groovy Ghoulies, Deputy Dawg, Lost in Space, The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, Mighty Mouse, Peyton Place, Mr. Magoo, Johnny Quest, Sigmund and the Seamonsters, Flipper, Mister Ed, Petticoat Junction, Green Acres, My Favorite Martian, The Ant and the Aardvark, Hazel, Speed Buggy, Dennis the Menace, Blondie, The Gruesomes and Captain Kangaroo.
You have been warned. Govern yourself accordingly.
3. Calamitous Color Coordination
While this fashion forward statement may have earned you Most Stylishly Dressed Kid on the Playground accolades in elementary school, you're an adult now. Please ... just don't.
When your outfit is so coordinated that you look like you've fallen into a vat of paint, it's time to rethink your wardrobe choices. Admittedly, I've been guilty of this faux pas a time or two. I've draped my 5'8" frame in head-to-toe purple (earrings, necklace, bracelet, dress, sunglasses, fingernail polish, handbag and shoes). My lapse in judgment hinted to some that I was channeling Barney the Dinosaur, a charge I hotly disputed.
The good news is that it's okay to go the monochromatic route, but only when wearing white or black. All other colors make you look like a 6-year-old. That isn't what you're going for, is it?
4. Wearing Your Pants On Your Chest
This is a man thing; it must cease immediately. Once upon a time, in a land far far away, a man grabbed ahold of his trouser's waistband and, with a mighty kung fu death grip that Bruce Lee would envy, hiked 'em up nipple level high. Why? This less than haute couture look adds 15 years to your entire being.
The female equivalent of this monstrous look is sporting the dreaded Mom Jeans, those high-waisted dungarees that not even Beyoncé could successfully pull off. The women of Saturday Night Live, circa 2003, and their hilarious spoof catapulted Mom Jeans into infamy and forever immortalized the sheer wrongness of them.
5. Hair Here, Hair There, Hair Everywhere
This is just scary. When was the last time you stood next to someone in an elevator and saw tufts of hair sprouting from their ear? What about the strands of hair that peek out from your waiter's nostril and flutters with each breath he takes? There's no getting away from the wild and wooly bushy eyebrows that some men have, making them resemble an angry wizard. Then there's that one long strand of hair that dangles from your neighbor's chin -- common sense tells you to look away but, like a train wreck, you're strangely riveted by its presence. Be kind: tell her to pluck that damn thing.
Having more hair on your face than on your head does not turn back the hands of time; it sends it into warp speed. Good grooming habits should not become a thing of the past just because you're advancing in age.
Now that you know the signs, arm yourself and take on midlife like a pro.