I started the F-list in 2006 as fashion blogging was beginning to take root in Canada. A self-proclaimed enthusiast and consumer of Canadian designer brands, I followed a desire to share my interests by creating this blog. In the years that followed as a recession, globalization and technology revolutionized the industry, I’ve written about these effects on Canadian fashion, influenced by my own experiences as a marketer and entrepreneur.
But life happens and about two years ago I stopped writing. I called it my “semi-retirement” from blogging. Truth was I was still reeling from a divorce and trying to reboot a new life, all while discovering the sometimes unwelcome side effects of being a woman in her early forties.
Then last year someone close to me passed away. My (ex) mother-in-law was in her 80’s, so while it wasn’t totally unexpected, it still rocked my world. I was intimately familiar with her health situation. Over the years I had spent countless hours driving her to doctors appointments in search of relief to the pain and suffering from her chronic health issues: spinal stenosis, arthritis, high blood pressure and leaky gut syndrome. Their solutions came in the form of prescriptions, which required more prescriptions to deal with the side effects. Her bone and joint issues made her vulnerable to accidents. First came the cane, then the walker. One broken hip, then another. She quickly evolved from living independently to bedridden. Without daily movement and activity, she lost muscle mass. I literally watched her body wither and fail her. Then the dementia started. Life is short, but it can also be unbearably long if you’re living in sickness and isolation.
Watching her decline I realized that as much as her lifestyle was impeded by her health issues, a lifestyle of limited activity probably helped create them. It all broke my heart.
Did aging have to be like this for me? The science says no.
Generally speaking, the more we know about the science of aging, the better we humans take care of ourselves. As a woman now very much into the plus side of her 40+ years, it was time to wake up to the specifics. What could I do to age in the best way possible?
Chase Jarvis*, author of Creative Calling, explains that life has two arcs. The first is about acquisition, specifically knowledge about yourself and the world. During your early professional years you’re taking everything in so that at some point – your second arc – you can contribute. The exact point where those two arcs overlap must be middle age. When Roz died I suddenly felt I needed to rethink my approach to aging. I also felt the need to make a lasting contribution that didn’t live on an Excel spreadsheet or a PowerPoint presentation.
Weeks after her passing I signed up for a certification course in group fitness, with no idea how or where I would bring this desire to life. I only knew it felt right.
This year I completed my group fitness certification from CanFitPro with an additional certification working with aging populations. Meanwhile I’ve been on a deep dive in learning how to combine all the available science and tools to help me travel these 40 plus years with style and substance.
From here on out, the F-list expands to include health and wellness – nutrition, exercise, meditation, you name it – in an effort to share this new journey with you.
Now and then I’ll use this space to promote a charity of my choosing, because – since I have your eyeballs – why should I make this all about me? Please contribute whatever you can to help their causes if you’re inspired to do so.
This is the F+ life. Welcome to my second arc.
*Not an ad, but I can’t recommend this book more highly. There’s something for everyone at any stage of their creative path.