If you’re in this age bracket (you've seen those age brackets on various forms… [25-29], [30-34], [35-39])… it seems like back in the day 49 was a big number in an 'old' bracket. Being at the end of my bracket, now it doesn’t seem like a big number at all. Numbers do not equate to years in a healthy mind and body. It's just a number, not a label.
The photo above was snapped last summer when I was 48 and more in the middle of my bracket. There I am, in a balanced position, but also in a balanced state of mind. That, my dear, is the key that unlocks many sticky doors to our living a fulfilled life.
The Big “EEE” See
When I was a little one growing up in small town Wisconsin, our report cards were written in beautiful, cursive writing. Our teacher would take that magic tool that held several pieces of chalk at once and would pull it across the dusty black chal board from left to right. “Screeech.” Eegads, my teeth hurt even thinking about it now. We practiced cursive writing and hoped that someday we could all write like Mr. Shultz did. For our grades, we would either receive an “S” for Satisfaction, or S+, S-, or we may be lucky enough to earn an “O” for Outstanding. No plus’ or minus’ necessary. Then we progressed to the letter grades… A, B, C, D, and E. If you received an E, well, you were out of luck. There was no “F” letter grade given in my elementary school.
Now the big “E” in my age bracket either has to do with exfoliation, or estrogen. We’re learning that exfoliating can actually allow the skin to slurp up the nutrients we're applying and become more hydrated. It can also help to even the complexion and clear the surface of things that may be clogging. We’re also learning that in this age bracket, and the next, as we teeter-totter around and go forward from 50, the estrogen depletes, collagen is reduced, essential fatty acids are more essential than ever, and we try so hard to hold on to our young, supple, elastic skin. Hence, we so love our oils that feed it! It is never too early to start feeding your skin, and it is never too late, either.
Ready to Launch?
Because of my need to achieve better skin and better health, I started tinkering with this business in my early 40s, and launched it at age 46. That, by the way, was a very quiet day. We didn't even have an online shopping cart, and I was still working from the house. “Ready to launch? … Yes!” Crickets… crickets. Since then, friends have asked… “Don’t you wish you would’ve started at a younger age?” No, not at all. Our children are becoming more independent, and I also experienced several more skin mishaps in my late 30s and early 40s – just when I thought I was out of that loop. Having fussy teen skin, ok skin in my 20s, my pregnancy skin was up and down with that pregnancy mask setting in and unexplained bumps, the 30s skin was good, then bad, then evened out for a while and all was tolerable, and then I met those new little laugh lines. Here come the 40s and whoa – what’s that? Here came the sensitive skin, the Rosacea, the thyroid swings, more skin changes, a tango with eczema, reactions to other ‘natural’ ingredients. Finally, the struggle needed to be addressed and I turned to my own love of science and plants. The skincare roulette that I had been playing for years was coming to a screeching halt.
So, on April 1st, 2013, after formulating, testing, researching for a small handful of years (really, this was years and years in the making, but I didn't realize it for a long time), it was time to share and launch Qēt Botanicals ~ on my 46th birthday. After all, when the formulas were finalized, it was like a gift to my own skin, hair, and health from Mother Nature. Giving is a great gift, and who doesn’t like to give stellar gifts?!
The same day the business launched was also the same day that I decided to get serious about my yoga practice. Always being active in and out of the water and on land, having an inner connection with a quiet mind was something very new to my body and me. I’m a do-er, like to be busy and moving, and meditating and all of that was not for me. After doing various levels of activities ~ water skiing, running, weight lifting, surfing, kick boxing, horseback riding, bicycling, pilates, P90X, and a handful of other activities, I decided that on my 46th birthday, on the day that I was going to share this bevy of personal care products with my current and new friends that I hadn’t met yet, and knowing that my schedule was about to get very busy, I decided it was the best day I was going to commit to spend 3-5 mornings a week connecting with my breath, my mind, my body, and a (my?) yoga practice. I knew there had to be something to it… it was everywhere! Sounds crazy – adding more to the schedule as it gets rapidly filled up – and yes, that’s absolutely the best time to do it.
You won't find it if you don't look.
The body is designed to move. It can't help it. With yoga, exercise, or any other health-related activity you commit to, forget about the notion that “practice makes perfect.” There is no perfect. However, practice definitely makes possible.” This is certainly true. I’ve learned to listen to my body and pull back when I need to, and also listen to my heart and charge ahead when I need to.
This ‘practice’ has not only helped me to build strength, muscle, and actually change the way my jeans fit, but it also gives me a boost to strive ahead – with new products, new marketing tactics, new public speeches, new excitement. I can honestly say that almost every day when I wake up (usually at 4:48 a.m. to start my day with a bit of yoga from the home DVR), it feels good, I’m excited, and there’s excitement brewing within. Notice: I said 'almost' every day. We're all allowed time to feel a little slumpy once in a while.
You don't have to do yoga, or balance on your head(!), to find balance. It’s important to find what gives you the strength when it feels like all around you is falling, spinning quickly, or a bit too chaotic. Family, children, cooking the family meals, putting the laundry away, taking care of the critters, keeping the household in order ~ all of these things have nothing to do with my day job, but they have everything to do with my day job. If these things lack, there goes my head knowing that things are out of balance, and pretty soon it trickles into this happy little skin studio space we call Qet Botanicals.
This I Know
~ The 20s are fun, in the 30s you start to figure things out, and the 40s bring a boost of confidence and self-assurance. The 50s and forward, I've been told, are all good… but, keep moving!
~ The busier we are, the more necessary it is to make time for ourselves.
~ Collecting moments, events, and making memories is much more important than collecting ‘things.’
~ You snooze, you win! Sleep reduces stress, the mid section, and keeps our inner connections connected. There is a reason they call it 'beauty sleep.'
~ Inspirations, thoughts, ideas… nothing happens with them unless you take action. Nothing can bloom and grow in the dark.
~ Forgiveness is the best gift of all, and we’re the ones that benefit from it, not the ones that started the grudge.
~ There is no need to hold on to anything that doesn’t serve us in a positive way. Let it go… you know the song.
~ Chaos happens every day – we’re either just getting out of it, are stuck in the middle of it, or it’s about to surprise us. How we handle it is what makes us strong.
~ A grateful heart has no time to feel sad.
~ If we’re shaking today – while in a yoga pose, while in a presentation, while confronting something that needs attention – then we become stronger tomorrow because of it.
~ Happiness. This is something that has been my birthday wish as long as I can remember… happiness… (other than back in the day with that blue Schwinn two-wheeled bicycle with the basket and silver bell… joy!). Whether it’s for me, my spouse, my kids, or family or a friend, it's happiness. Simple. It’s something we create from within, and no one can take it away. It’s also very contagious and is something worth spreading to everyone around us. Yes, if happiness came in sneeze, there’s no need to cover up!
~ Giving is a gift. Just think what our environment would be like if it weren’t for the ‘givers’ out there. Everything that we have is because someone has given time to grow it, to develop it, to research it, to put it into production, to share it. True fulfillment is felt when we give from a good place.
“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” Albert Einstein. Mr. Einstein knew a thing or two about giving.
Coming Up ~ We're Introducing our New Scent Suite
The first glimpse last summer:
It's been more than one year in the making, and it is truly a gift in and of itself ~ for us, for you, and for those around you (your scent is your scent – not your neighbor's).
Here's a first sneak peek! They'll be ready to go with you ~ in your purse, in your gym bag ~ morning, noon, night. instant bliss and aromatherapeutic benefits on the go.
Lavender ~ freshly starts and finishes the day. Calming and light.
Jasmine ~ Intoxicatingly uplifing and bright. Feminine and heart-opening.
Rosewood ~ Rich with fresh notes of intimate romance. Grounding and sensual.
We're a little obsessed with fun, organic freshness ~ our fresh, alluring, and uplifting botanical nectars are unique to each woman who wears them. Stay tuned for a limited, special offer coming mid April.
Make a Wish
Next time you blow out your birthday candles, make a Happy Birthday wish ~ literally, a 'happy' wish ~ that can bring meaning into your everyday thoughts. I know what my birthday wish will be, and now you know what it will be as well.
I’m not superstitious. Even though I told you, I know that my wish will still come true. It does every year.