Here are just a few advantages of being a Latin woman over 50
This past week I spent several nights in the hospital nursing my oldest sister back to health after having some much needed neck surgery. The sounds of medical equipment, late night visits by medical staff and the look of pain on her face after her surgery are reminders once again that our health is valuable beyond measure. For as long as I can recall I have always introduced her as my “older” sister and felt she was many years my senior.
She is 58 and I am 51, but this week, for some reason, I felt I quickly caught up to her and it seemed like I was some how the “older one”. Time has passed and here we are both in our 50’s looking like our mom did many years ago. So in this “messy moment” of life as I like to call it, of feeling your worst, with no make-up, hair needing color, tired and lack of sleep beginning to show, I decided to count my blessings, find humor in the midst of a difficult situation and list the benefits of being over 50, a woman and Hispanic.
My sister and I had many hours of idle time and were able to compare many similarities about our Cuban mother and share some special moments. Some things were funny and other things were best left between she and I. We were able to share many laughs, some tears and lots of stories. My sister, who was born in Cuba and the oldest of three, has the most memories. I am the youngest and always enjoy listening to the old “Cuban tales”.
Here are just a few advantages of being a Latin woman over 50 and finding the silver lining as we travel our own “Yellow Brick Road” of life.
Skin….Oh so Soft….
Find pleasure in the softness of your skin. I realize this may not be the popular thing to say, but it sure feels nice. Remember in your 20’s and 30’s how tight everything was and how you thought it would stay that way? Well, wrong! Hello gravity! Tight skin is a sign of a “tight” attitude and a “rigid” heart. Babies have soft skin and we all love them! Love your softness from the inside out! Embrace it, feel it, massage it and learn to enjoy it.
Augustin Reyes Royal Violets Baby Cologne…
”The Cure All”
One of the best-kept secrets of Hispanic women over 50 is traditional cologne known as the “Cuban baby cologne”. While there are many different brands and variations, this is cologne that is sprayed or rubbed on everything from babies, linens, car seats, floors, kitchen counters and bathroom toilet seats. It will reduce a fever (according to some Cuban grandmothers), and works great at the hospital when a shower is not an option. I do recall when my three boys and daughter were in elementary school, their teachers would regularly compliment the smell of their hair, and to this day, when they are sick in bed, I am convinced the “baby cologne” has some magical healing powers! The smell is so distinct that my “American” friends recognize it as the “Cuban baby cologne” and know the smell immediately in my home.
The Power of IRA or an old Cuban Coffee Can
Remember when 59 ½ was so far away? Get excited about how close your getting to access your IRA without a penalty! Remember when it seemed so long ago? I can recall in my 30’s when it seemed like a lifetime. Now, I tell my 18 and 22 yr old sons to open retirement accounts with very strong convictions because I understand with such wisdom the power of time and money. “Always pay yourself first” I tell them! Even if you start by putting money away in an old Cuban coffee can, do it! My mom was known for this. My parents always earned a very modest income, yet always managed to have money stashed somewhere. My mom had “secret” places in the house where she saved her money and it always came in handy. Today, I find myself doing the same thing.
Love your body…Every wrinkle, every dimple, every jiggle. It has lived 50 years plus and that is something to celebrate! It has nurtured others, been a lover, cared for parents, attended children (yours or others). This is HUGE and worthy of getting excited about! Enough said!!
Sopa De Pollo…Chicken Soup for the Soul
You know how to make a kick-ass Sopa de Pollo aka chicken soup! While in the hospital my sister was served “liquids” for 3 days, which included a so-called chicken soup. Needless to say, she could not bare the taste of anything and much less swallow that stuff. One of the first things I did when we got to her home was take out my old traditional Cuban recipe of Sopa De Pollo that heals anything and will bring a Haitian zombie back from the dead! Real carrots, celery, potatoes, chicken (image that…real!), tomatoes and lots of love will heal the heart, mind and body in no time! Again, there is something special about homemade chicken soup and the magical healing powers it has. My grandmother, my mother and I am sure generations before those made something similar to heal the body and spirit. This too comes with age and wisdom, which is why you don’t typically see a 20 year old making this.
So after a long difficult week for my beautiful sister, I am glad to say that her surgery went well. Her recovery along her own yellow brick road will be long and winding but I have all the faith she will get there gracefully. Between her Cuban Sopa De Pollo, baby cologne and Cuban coffee can with some pocket change, she has some plans in store waiting ahead.
Life creeps up on us and is here before we know it, so laugh a little, or a lot, save a little or a lot, just make sure to enjoy the ride with all its bumps and bends as you travel your own yellow brick road.