Like RIP Van Winkle, I fell asleep and apparently woke up 20 years later. I don’t feel 20 years older, but there have been a few tell tale signs. Why cry over the inevitable? I can let myself get all paranoid and obsessed with the fountain of youth (fillers and surgery), or I can choose to inhabit my “more mature self” with grace, and a sense of humor. I’m not making any long-term promises, but I am trying my level best to do the latter.

From fast men and cars to the comfort of luxury sedans

From fast men and cars to the comfort of luxury sedans

1). The first sign of aging came when I realized I wanted to date the guy with the comfortable luxury sedan over the one with the sexy sports car. Getting in and out of the cars (and the relationships) were starting to require too much effort. Sports cars are just such high maintenance!

Julie Anne Rhodes in Versace

Julie Anne Rhodes in Versace

2). Then the hangovers started getting longer even if the hemlines didn’t, so it was time for a change. I went from VIP entrances in Versace to service entrances in my apron. Going from hiring the staff to being the staff had it’s own set of life lessons, and the realization that I am the boss after all. Being directly responsible for my own success was emancipating! No more Cinderella, I’ll be buying those Versace frocks, instead of borrowing.

Julie Anne & Tatjana Rhodes at Madison Square Gardens

Bifocals? I'm still rocking out at concerts!

3). Just days after my 40th birthday (which was mildly traumatizing in itself), my opthamologist unceremoniously  announced “you need bifocals my dear.” You could have knocked me over with a feather! Granny spectacles are NOT my style, so I promptly splurged an extra $200.00 for the progressive lenses with the invisible bifocal line. What? That isn’t cheating – it is non-invasive correction.

Perfectly plucked brows

Perfectly plucked brows can be a challenge

4). Then I started growing a little grey here and there. The hair is easy to deal with thanks to my new best friend Clairol. However, the brows are a different story. Mother nature’s private little joke. First she plays with the eyesight, then she has me growing stray eyebrows I can’t find. Now I have to fork over more money to a beautician to pluck them for me. This growing older can be an expensive business!

Julie Anne Rhodes applying eye make-up

Whose eyes are these?

5). Oh, but it does get weirder still. I feel like I’m applying make-up to a strangers’ face these days. As everything begins to  move south, my eyes appear to be a totally different shape than they used to be, but…

Julie Anne Rhodes photo by JennKL
Julie Anne Rhodes photo by JennKL

… growing older has it’s advantages too. Along with the years comes a comfort in knowing exactly who I am, and actually liking the woman I am today. I’ve managed to carve out a fabulous life for myself on my own terms, and a career that continually challenges me to learn and grow in new directions. That excites me almost as much as realizing that with age comes experience, and experience can be dead sexy. In fact, I chose the untouched photo to share with you above, because I’ve decided (for now), I want to wear my wrinkles well. My recipe for accepting life (and age) gracefully? Learn to like a little of the sour with the sweet – like this recipe:

Homemade Honey-Mustrad Dressing for the summer

Homemade Honey-Mustrad Dressing, because summer is on it's way!

Homemade Honey-Mustard Salad Dressing

Sometimes taking the sour with sweet can be very pleasant, especially when it packs a bite from Dijon mustard as well! This tangy, sweet and savory salad dressing is remarkably easy to whip up, and brightens any summer salad. Premium members are in the know. They used it in my lentil quinoa salad recipe on the last weekly menu plan. Want more great recipes and menu ideas? Join now, and save both time and money with the Personal Chef Approach™.

SERVINGS: 4

INGREDIENTS:

3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

In a large bowl, mix the honey and mustard, adjusting to taste. Add the celery seeds, curry powder and white vinegar and mix well. Whisk continuously as you add the olive oil in a slow drizzle until the dressing has emulsified.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS:

Serve cold or at room temperature tossed with greens of your liking. I love this tossed with spinach and topped with honey-pecan chicken strips to round off the meal.

PS. So where do you find the humor with getting older?

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