Your Best Age is Now! Chat with Dr. Ludwig
I recently had the the privilege of chatting with Dr. Robi Ludwig author of Your Best Age is Now. Your Best Age is Now, teaches us to Embrace an Ageless Mindset, Reenergize Our Dreams, and Live a Soul-Satisfying Life. We’ve been conditioned to think that “middle-aged” is practically a four-letter word. It’s been connected with labels like “old,” “over the hill,” “losing it” – whether “it” was marbles, a job, a spouse, or looks. The reality is, however, that more and more, women in their forties, fifties, and sixties are living younger, vibrant, fully engaged lives. While some might be dealing with empty-nest syndrome, others are busy raising toddlers, or have tweens, teens, and grandchildren. Some women are reaching the pinnacle of a long career at midlife; others are reentering the workforce.
Women’s relationships are at different stages: married, divorced, partnered,
single, dating, and more. Their future is looking bright, yet so many women beat themselves up, live with anxiety, and fear they won’t be relevant in a world geared toward young people or that it’s too late for them to have the life they’ve always dreamed of.
Dr. Ludwig offers specific advice on how women can revolutionize their own concepts of midlife and make the best of it by:
• Identifying the false thinking, stereotypes, and misconceptions that are holding them back
• Letting go of stress, cultivating resilience, and creating a more balanced life
• Finding meaning and purpose while leading a life of gratitude
YOUR BEST AGE IS NOW provides the guidance women need to reject the status quo and find the kind of happiness they may have never thought possible. There is a future women can look forward to and get excited about; in fact, they are most likely coming into the best time of their lives.
Kathy - What was your inspiration in writing this book?
Robi ~I suppose there were a couple of incidences that influenced my decision to write this book. The first and most powerful one was when I was asked to reveal my age during a TV job interview I was sent out for. I remember thinking that I'm not insecure about my age, but I wondered how this "reveal" would influence the interview and my potential to be hired. "Would it knock me out of the running?" Which triggered the thought process, "Have my best professional years come and gone?" I was able to snap out of this mindset, but it did heighten my awareness that we do unfairly malign certain ages more than others in our culture.
At the same time I had this interview experience, I also noticed the midlife women around me. They were fit, successful and appeared to be having the time of their lives. This didn't fit the narrative we've been socialized to believe about midlife, that's it's a time of decline. Patients of mine in this age range, especially after working on themselves in therapy, were also growing into their best selves. They were starting to enjoy achieving the goals they had always wanted to achieve for themselves. It was really eye opening!!!
Before 'Your Best Age is Now', I could not find any books that were accurately describing what I had been observing. Many of the books about midlife seemed to talk about midlife as a time of loss and/or invisibility.
According to them, the only gain during this time appeared to be weight gain. Not the type of gain most of us are looking for (lol). I felt it was important to compile the latest research which was telling a very different story about this stage of life. One that was more modern, positive and way more accurate, so I did.
Kathy - I believe as woman we tend to believe in false/negative thinking, how do we break free from that?
Robi ~ I've often discussed this during talks and interviews that I've done. It's a lot easier to feel bad than it is to feel good. Some evolutionary psychologist believe this tendency may have evolved as a way to keep us on our toes, and to be on the lookout for danger. If we're feeling too good, we may not be as protective of ourselves, which can put us at risk.
While we may not be able to entirely break free from all of our false negative thinking, when it comes to our age, we need to rebel against this false narrative. Midlife is the time when we can validate ourselves without looking to the outside world to tell us who we are. At this point in our lives we know who we are better than anyone else. Embrace all of the nuances of who you are. Focus on what's unique and good about yourself. Know everyone has weaknesses that can be worked on. Work towards becoming who you want to be. Take action. And bottom the line is, try not to focus too much time thinking about yourself or the negatives in your life. The more you can lose yourself in the beauty of everyday living and give to those around you, the happier and healthier you will be.
Kathy - How should we take back control of our lives, what top steps do you recommend?
Robi ~ I think the best way to take back control of our lives is to think about what we want and what's important to us. To set your intention about what you want to do, who you want to be and what you want to accomplish. Follow your goals not your feelings, because our feelings can change from one moment to the next. Just keep moving in the direction you want your life to go in.
Kathy - Staying relevant is huge! What recommendation do you have in doing so? How do we go about it?
Robi ~ Part of staying relevant is staying flexible. Be open to what's new and modern.
Stay in touch and on top of what's going on in modern culture. Find ways to feel young. People who feel younger are more optimistic and hopeful about their future (they also have more productive workouts). People who feel younger tend to look younger, too. Find ways to feel and look your best. Be your own creative art project. And use role models both older and younger to remain relevant and inspired.
Kathy - How should we decompress and let go of stress?
Robi ~ The best way to decompress and let go of stress is to take care of your emotional hygiene. Take inventory of what you say to yourself. Everything you say to yourself has power. In the same way that you edit what you say to others, you can do this for yourself as well. When your critical voice gets too loud you can tell yourself to "stop right now"! A healthy diet, exercise regimen and meditating have also all been found to be useful tools for reducing stress levels. Setting boundaries, learning how to say "no" and relying on those we love is also the perfect recipe for a less stressed world, especially during midlife.
Thank you Dr. Ludwig for your time and I recommend this book to women of all ages. Your Best Age is Now, would be an absolute hit for book clubs. If your book club chooses Your Best Age is Now, email me for topics of discussion and I will be more than happy to forward you the list.