Sometime ago I discussed the difference between possessions, assets and liabilities. Provided that assets are all things that ‘put money into your pocket’, your main asset is your labour and you as its subject. In other words, the main thing that puts money into your pocket is you through your paid work. This is also a point that Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin drive home very convincingly in their book Your Money or Your Life: your main source of wealth is your income. Pretty obvious, right?
I don’t know about you, but lately I have noticed that I look better after my possessions than I look after my assets. This includes my main asset: me! You want examples? I didn’t check my eyesight for almost a year. This was obviously affecting my productivity and focus, as well as giving me really bad neck pain when reading and writing because I use varifocals. This was a combination between trying to ‘save’ and disrespectful neglect. There is probably more; but once I figured that I am my main asset and that people ought to like, respect and look well after their assets I started looking regularly in the mirror. I don’t look as I used to do, full of condescension, criticism and negativity, but with newfound respect, acceptance and determination. When I don’t like what I see I start thinking what I can do about it. Here are the things I have learned to check regularly.
I like my hair and like it short. Having very few greys I still like my hair coloured – there are different ways to keep the aging process at bay and this is one of them. I also found that saving on haircuts is not worth it and ultimately cheap ones end up costing you more than an expensive haircut (unless you can find a relatively inexpensive and very good hair-dresser). A good haircut keeps its shape for up to eight weeks, a bad one goes out of shape within two weeks or so. My hair is very important to how I feel, and how I feel affects enormously how I perform. Verdict: hair is important for asset performance and is done every six to eight weeks.
I like my skin feeling soft and subtle, not too dry and not too greasy. I am also very allergic to most face products – particularly the ones that claim to prevent, reduce and reverse wrinkles. For years now I have been using only two products – during the day I use cucumber cream and during the night lemon cream. Both are bought in Bulgaria and still contain mostly natural products. And I may be biased but I look rather well for my age. Verdict: use what feels good; skin products don’t have to be expensive to be good; don’t fall for the anti-aging claims – most of these are exaggerated.
Right, I already confessed my transgression regarding my eyes; unforgivable. Now I have new pair of varifocals and also a pair for middle distance to be able to see the computer screen properly. Neck pain is gone and I may, just may, be able to get away without a visit to the osteopath. Verdict: visit opticians for a test at least once every two years or when necessary; delays can be unpleasant and costly.
I have no complaints about my teeth but I look after them very well. I go for a check up every six months, I brush regularly and long and I use dental brushes. It is bothersome and needs to develop into a habit but saves rather a lot in the long run. Verdict: with teeth maintenance is more important than repair.
We are all concerned about our bodies most of the time: our shape, our weight, specific parts of our bodies we are not happy about. For me this is OK as vanity (and we are all allowed to be vain at least some of the time) but what really matters is fitness. Did you know that until recently it was believed that people lose body mass (muscle) when they get older but the latest research shows that actually people get old because they lose muscle. Exercise and keeping fit is the best way to defeat the aging process – including combat wrinkles. I run marathons – it keeps me fit and it keeps me relaxed (well, relatively speaking). Verdict: exercise is very important for asset performance; put it in your diary, develop an exercise habit, make it a priority.
Aches and pains
Pain is the way for our bodies to give us a warning, to tell us that something is not right. Never ignore pain! Verdict: deal with pain promptly and appropriately to keep your asset in prime condition; don’t just take a painkiller!
What I am finding is that making looking after my physical self a habit and a priority is starting to pay off. The benefits are physical but also mental: I like and love myself more. And guess what? I stopped being invisible as many middle aged women find themselves to be. Certainly worth a go!