A Tribute: 10 Pro-age Lessons We Learned from Cindy Joseph
Today, we celebrate a truly magnificent woman.
Here at BOOM!, she was our founder, our leader, our mentor, our visionary, our pro-age revolutionary and our dear friend… Cindy Joseph.
It’s hard to express how much Cindy meant to all of us at BOOM! Over the years, Cindy was our trusted mentor. She was the visionary behind the Pro-age Revolution. She taught us so many life-changing lessons about aging, beauty and approaching each new year with a sense of adventure and gratitude.
Cindy inspired us (and so many other women around the world) to celebrate life at all ages. She would want us to continue that celebration of life.
Today, we’re honoring Cindy in the best way we know how—by sharing a few of her pro-age lessons that shaped our lives. Read on to hear these 10 lessons…
1. “Aging is just another word for living.”
This was Cindy’s mantra. When we’re born, we start living. From that same day, we also start aging. So aging and living are one in the same.
As Cindy always said: Aging is just another word for living, so how can aging be a bad thing?
2. “Every decade brings another kind of beautiful.”
To Cindy, every new stage of life was beautiful.
As she used to say, when you’re first born, you’re a beautiful infant. Then that newborn beauty passes away, and you become a beautiful little toddler, just learning how to walk and talk. Then you start growing into your body, and you become a beautiful little kid who can do more amazing things like run, play, ride bikes and learn fast.
Next comes your adolescence, your teenage years, your young adulthood—all of those are still beautiful. It’s just a different kind. It’s a new kind of beautiful that brings new experiences, new loves, new knowledge and new discoveries about yourself.
To Cindy, your beauty didn’t stop there. It continued when you reached your 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond. With each new decade, you gain more knowledge, more skills, more experience, more love, more joy, more sorrows, more self-awareness—in short, you become more of yourself.
That “more” is always more beautiful.
3. “There is no such thing as the ‘prime of life.’ You’re living your prime, right now.”
Cindy used to say this often.
Almost from birth, we are trained to think that the “prime of life” ends at 30 or 35. We are taught that this magical age is somehow the end of what’s good or great in our lives.
It’s pretty ridiculous when you think about it. Many of us live to our 70s and beyond. So if you reach this mythical peak at the age of 30 or 35, it means you spend over half of your life out of that so-called “prime.”
To Cindy, this whole idea of a “prime of life” was a flawed concept.
As Cindy used to say, “There is no prime of life. You’re living your ‘prime’ right now. Right this minute. And the next minute, and the next. Every minute of your life is another prime.”
4. “The Graph of Life: Think of your life as a V, not as a mountain.”
Cindy challenged women to see their lives in a completely different way.
In our society, women often see their lives as a mountain. They reach the “peak” of that mountain in their 30s, and then the rest of their lives are a slide back down the other side. That’s why we often hear people say “you’re over the hill” past your 30s.
Cindy didn’t believe in any of this. She told women to flip this idea of a “mountain” on its end, and think of your life as a “V” instead. Think of the first half of your life as a slide down into the center of that V, as you’re learning and growing. Then when you reach the middle of your life, you’re on the climb back up to the other side of that V. Your life is on the rise.
When you think of your life as a V, you think of your life as getting better with age. As Cindy said, we add to ourselves as we age. We add to our wisdom, our education, our family, our loves—everything as we get older. So we do get better.
5. “We commit ageism against ourselves.”
We are often the hardest on ourselves.
As Cindy said, we often let the subtle society messages seep in that we’re not worthy, simply because we’re aging. In doing so, we commit ageism against ourselves.
Every time we look in the mirror, we get nervous. We criticize ourselves for the latest sun spot or fine line. We become the ageists. We tell ourselves we’re less valuable, less beautiful just because we’re aging.
In reality, the opposite is true. We’re getting more valuable with age, not less.
6. “It’s not about getting love. It’s about giving love.”
Cindy mentioned this during a Q&A once. It’s worth repeating. She said: “It’s not about getting love. It’s about giving love. It’s a decision that you make to love or not to love.”
Cindy gave this example. She said: Think back to the first kid you ever really, really loved in grade school.
You thought about the kid constantly. Maybe you wrote that kid’s name all over your notebooks and folders. It went on for weeks, yet that kid never knew a thing. You never interacted with your crush in any way. The object of your love never even knew you existed.
Then one day that kid says something to you. Perhaps the kid is mean to you. Then it’s over and you can’t stand the kid. Love stops. You’re miserable. Your parents don’t understand why you’re upset. It’s because you stopped loving the person.
But it’s important to note that you never actually got love from that person—it was all about you, giving it. You can give love without receiving it.
7. “I wear all signs of aging on my body like medals of honor.”
Cindy saw every sign of aging as an accomplishment. She loved every fine line and silver hair on her body. She encouraged other women to do the same.
She would challenge women to see your silver hair, your crow’s feet, your age spots, your turkey necks, your fine lines, or your jowls—as “medals of honor” or “merit badges.”
In other words, be proud of the years you have lived, and the subtle signs of that experience on your body.
To her, it was living proof that you had lived a rich passionate life.
8. “Are you doing this out of fun or fear?”
Cindy gave this advice whenever a woman was considering a new beauty tactic—like a new hair color, a new type of makeup or even a new plastic surgery.
She would ask: What’s motivating you to do this? Are you doing it out of fun—like trying on a new pair of earrings or outfit? If so, then go for it.
On the other hand, if you’re motivated by fear, then you’re doing this because you’re afraid of something. Maybe you’re afraid of aging, or how you look. If that’s the case, then that fear is going to show through, no matter what you do.
As Cindy said, when you’re doing something out of fear, you’re not celebrating. You’re not excited. Ultimately, your joy, your happiness, your self-confidence is what makes you beautiful.
So when considering a new beauty tactic, always choose what’s fun—what will bring you happiness. Never choose fear.
9. “Relish the unknown. Not knowing what’s next is part of the excitement and the thrill.”
For Cindy, everything was an adventure.
Aging was just another reason to have more adventures. She used to challenge women to relish the unknown. Embrace the new excitement and thrill of what’s coming next.
Allow the possibilities to unfold when you’re in your 50s and beyond. Make room for new possibilities, new business ventures, new love, new skills, new hobbies, new adventures.
As she said: Have gratitude for your life. Let it surprise and delight you.
10. “Aging is not about slowing down and being weak. It’s a celebration of life.”
To Cindy, nothing about life was weak. She celebrated life until the day she passed away.
She often said aging is not about slowing down. For Cindy, life was always a celebration.
That celebration involves sharing your wisdom with others. She challenged women to lead your daughters, your nieces, and your friends who are younger than you into the continual celebration of life. Because that’s what it is.
These are just a few of the many, many lessons we learned from Cindy. We would love to hear from you too.
What are your memories of Cindy? What’s surprised and delighted you about this amazing woman? We would love to hear below.