A Look Ahead…

A Look Ahead…

Last week I celebrated my 40th birthday!  It’s funny, I had no problem turning 30 because I felt like people would start to take me more seriously and I was celebrating the fact that I survived my 20s considering all the really dumb things I did in that decade.  However, I’m not gonna’ lie, last night I was seriously mourning my 30s.  But then when I was on my morning walk, I started thinking about how it really does me no good to dwell on the past because I can’t change it.  And while there were some fun things that happened in my 30s like competing in my first quartet, joining a new chorus, and moving to a new city, there were also some really terrible things like two major surgeries that all but wrecked my body and a new virus that was introduced to the world that’s killed a ton of people.  So rather than have a pity party I’ve decided my time would be better spent looking to the future.  And in the words of Doc Brown in Back to the Future II, “no one’s future has been decided yet and it is what you make of it.” Today, I want to share with you some of the things I’m doing to ensure my future is as bright as I can make it.  After all, this is the blog about adulting, so might as well talk about what it means to “adult” at 40.

First, I’ve been seriously dreading getting a mammogram.  It’s probably going to suck, but there are worse things than getting your breasts smooshed…you know, like getting breast cancer.  But when you think about it, how amazing is it that we even have the technology to detect any sort of cancer cells?  Think about all of the women who died from breast cancer who didn’t even know it because they had no way of knowing.  In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, the 5-year survival rate for breast cancer is 90% which is the average.  But when you look at the localized number, meaning it hasn’t spread outside the breast, is 99%!  I’d definitely call that a win. My mammogram is scheduled in two weeks so if you are 40 and over, you need to get yours and also remember to self-breast exams at least once a month.

Next, if you don’t know how I feel about skincare, you should go back and check out episode 6 of my podcast where I interview Casey Crocker, aka my sister, about all things skincare.  The short version is that if you do nothing else, wear your sunscreen!  I know it’s not something you really think about when you’re young, but trust me, sun damage takes years to show up.  I had some seriously bad burns when I was in my teens and twenties that I so wish I could go back and change because I’m just now starting to see the effects of sun damage on my face in the form of texture on my nose, and dark spots on my forehead.  And never, never, never, ever go to bed in your makeup.  This is a huge no-no and let’s be honest, completely gross.  Not only are you leaving dirt and other crap on your skin, but you’re also spreading it to your pillow as well.  If you’re experiencing breakouts, I’d start there.  For a place to find routines and product information, you can check out Casey’s Facebook group called Beauty, Skincare, Science & You.  If you’re taking a social media break, then I suggest checking out The Ordinary.  You can purchase what you need via Ulta, but I recommend checking out their actual website. They do a great job of explaining how everything works and they advise against buying all the products.  Also, everything is 23% off for the whole month of November!  And no, I’m not an affiliate, I just love their products because you know exactly what you’re getting and it’s extremely affordable.

Third on my list is therapy.  In previous articles, I’ve shared with you what it’s been like on my intuitive eating journey.  It all started when I got bad news about my blood pressure and ridiculously high cholesterol.  After reading the Intuitive Eating book and working through the workbook, I decided that it was time to actually hire a therapist who specializes in intuitive eating.  However, she’s been so much more than that.  I realized that my disordered eating had nothing to do with the types of foods I eat, but from the diet culture nonsense I’d been fed all my life as well as trauma from my past.  The hardest part is accepting that the intuitive eating process is non-linear, which can be extremely frustrating.  It’s not easy making a paradigm shift when all you’ve ever heard is how restriction is the only way to be healthy.  Therapy is not for the faint of heart because it gets ugly some days. It’s difficult to drudge up past trauma, but I truly feel like it’s the only way to heal the past in order to make better choices for the future.  Plus, let’s be honest, 2020 has been a dumpster fire of epic proportions so if you’ve been contemplating seeing a therapist, I highly recommend it because it works and because your mental health is vital to achieving all over health.

Next on the list is about finances.  If you take nothing else away from this post, take this.  It is never too late to start saving for retirement.  Set a monthly budget and start with the 10/10/80 rule, which is how to break down your paycheck.  10% to charity, 10% to savings, 80% to live on.  Start contributing to your 401k if your company allows for it.  Find ways to pay down debt – I’m a huge supporter of the Dave Ramsey method and you can watch his stuff for free on YouTube.  Hire a financial planner who will help take you through the paces of wealth-building.  There are a number of ways to control your money rather than it controlling you.  And remember, money is like food, it’s amoral meaning it’s not good, it’s not bad, it just is.

Last on the list is I want to share with you about my newest adventure.  As you know, I left corporate America a year ago to start my own business.  And it’s been one of the most challenging years yet because there are all these gurus out there telling you how to do everything which makes it really difficult to figure out who’s right and who’s full of shit.  Pardon my language.  For me, I want to align myself with those who are ethical, have proven results, and a positive message they send out into the world.  When I started on this path, I started a virtual assistant business and now it’s moving into more of a coaching and training avenue for nonprofits who are looking to hire administrative assistants or already have them in place and need training for them.  Originally, I set my word for 2020 as momentum, but what it’s turned out to be is metamorphosis.  And this is what happens in life.  We start out thinking it’s going to go one way and then it ends up going in a completely different direction.  And while growing pains aren’t always fun, they are necessary in order to make change happen.  While I’m still planning to cover topics related to adulting on this podcast, I’m contemplating changing the name and moving in a slightly different direction.  Regardless of the title, I still plan to bring you relevant content that I believe will be beneficial to you no matter where you’re at in your walk of life.  Stay tuned for more information on that.

Here’s what I want to leave you with today.  Whilst we were all super excited for 2020 and this new decade, so far, it hasn’t turned out exactly as we’d hoped.  And while we face a lot of uncertainty, it’s never too late to say a kind word to a neighbor, to perform random acts of kindness for your fellow man, or to take time to reflect on how we can each become better versions of ourselves and humans in general.

How to Love the Skin You’re In

How to Love the Skin You’re In

Did you know that your skin is your biggest organ? And it’s the one we so often neglect.

Last week on the Adulting With CJ Podcast, I was joined by Casey Crocker, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu badass and skincare enthusiast (she’s also my sister). Casey grew up with very problematic skin starting in 3rd grade and by 7th grade, she started taking Accutane to try and get it under control.  While the Accutane did help, it was still a long journey trying to learn what was best for her skin, what was problematic, and all the dos and the don’ts.

Here are some of the questions and answers from our interview.

Why are some YouTubers great at skincare or great at makeup?

You essentially have two sides of the same coin. The first side is the group of people who love makeup for the artistry and the creative outlet it provides. So they aren’t necessarily hyper-concerned with what they are putting on their faces. They know the look they are trying to achieve and the skincare aspect is not as high a priority. And, you also have some of the high-up YouTube beauty gurus who are on so many PR lists and getting sent all these luxury items. We, as a society are trained to think ‘this is expensive so it must be good.’ Also, a lot of luxury items smell really nice. Fragrance is really not good for our skin, especially our facial skin. Then you have the other side of the coin with the skin care professionals who have learned to take care of their skin so well that they don’t need to wear makeup. Or, feel very happy wearing minimal makeup like just mascara and lipgloss because they’ve got their facial skin under control.

If you could go back to your 20-year-old self, what skincare advice would you give her?

WEAR YOUR SUNSCREEN! I wear sunscreen, but I know that when I was in my 20s I wasn’t very proactive. I would wear it if I knew I was going to be outside for an extended period of time but I wasn’t good at reapplying it. I feel like the number one reason for skin problems be it aging, hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, it all goes back to sun damage. It is so much easier to prevent those things from happening than repair what you’ve done. It doesn’t matter what your skin tone is, everyone needs to wear sunscreen. Just because you may tan instead of burn does not mean you aren’t destroying your skin. Remember, it can take ten years or more to see the effects of sun damage on your skin.

Do you feel like it’s ever too late to give up on your skin?

It is never too late to start taking care of your skin. Retinol is the scientifically proven ingredient to reverse the signs of aging. There’s no time like the present to start using it. Women in their 40s, 50s, 60s still need to wear sunscreen, steering clear of fragrance, and looking for retinol and oils that are rich, hydrating, and doesn’t clog your pores. Stay away from essential oils in your skincare because they can sensitize your skin. You should also switch from scrubs to chemical exfoliators. Chemical exfoliators clean your skin by sloughing off dead skin cells. It’s so much less abrasive and you’re going to get to the root of the problem versus trying to scrub your face really hard. You should also drink plenty of water and pay attention to foods that may trigger inflammation.

If you want to listen to the whole conversation with Casey and learn more about how to take care of your skin, check out Episode 6: All Things Skincare with Casey Crocker.

Episode 6: All Things Skincare with Casey Crocker

Casey Crocker, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu badass who also happens to be my sister, joins the show today to talk about all things skincare.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Advice Casey would give to her 20-year-old self
  • Why you should ditch your face scrubs
  • How to take care of your skin no matter your age
  • Why sunscreen is a MUST
  • and more!

Resources mentioned:

Connect with Casey:

Connect with Me:

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