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Older Is Better…Right?

For no reason at all, today I was thinking about what it’s like to grow older. I see the hallmarks of age every time I look in the mirror. I chose a couple of years ago to let my hair reveal its natural color. After tossing the bottle of chemicals, I re-covered the time spent on coloring my hair while un-covering my natural shade of silver and black. What a pleasant surprise to find that what was hiding under the artificial color far surpasses the glop I had been squishing onto my hair. 

There have been other changes too, some less agreeable. I suppose the lines on my face add character, at least that’s what I’ve been told. The occasional wiry hair that pops up in the most unusual places is an annoyance. My skin is drier, thirsty actually, and slack in places that used to be firm. I wish I had appreciated my skin when it was the way I wish it could be today.

From the vantage point of my 57 years I can review the seemingly random events of my life and see how they add up to where I am today. I remember being on a job interview with what was then Standard Oil in Chicago. From the lofty heights of a skyscraper overlooking Lake Michigan, the interviewer reviewed my perfectly composed resume. In as flat a tone as I had ever heard, he commented that I certainly had done a lot of different things in my life. I was 26 years old at the time and I don’t think his remark was intended as a compliment. Needless to say, I didn’t get the job and continued on my way doing even more “different things” with my life for the next 30+ years.

I married and lived in San Francisco for 4 years. I divorced and moved to Israel for 6 years. I went from high end advertising sales in California to deep digging in Israel to unearth cities from more than 2,000 years ago. I moved to and from Chicago twice, honed my skills as a writer, editor and graphic designer, racked up another marriage, became an avid cyclist and took up running. Along the way I collected a bunch of medals that did no more than gather dust until I realized the glory existed in my heart, not on what was hanging from a peg in my closet.

My pedals brought me to Indianapolis for the long term and to the soul-filling relationship that will carry me through my last breath. A 12-year stint at a non-profit led me up the corporate ladder and was, as my Mom likes to call it, my MBA. Two-years of schooling at Northwestern’s business school, which I started years ago and never completed, would have been more efficient, but with hindsight I understand my corporate career led me to where I am today – the founder and owner of three yoga studios. Many years ago my Dad planted my entrepreneurial seeds. It just took me more than 30 years to harvest them. 

I look back on my years and see so many fantastic experiences that far exceeded my dreams. I look back on my years and see mistakes I made and people I left behind. I look back on my years and know they are the foundation for more fantastic experiences in the future. 

I don’t know what’s coming, but I feel it rumbling beneath the surface. I know this feeling. I’ve been here before. I know that growth and expansion are accompanied by a sickening feeling that exists beyond the range of my comfort zone. I’ve been here before. The gray in my hair, the lines on my face, the texture of my skin all remind me that yes, I’ve been here before and I’ve busted through it with a drive fueled by vision and excitement. Never mind what the white-collar exec at Standard Oil thought of my resume. I’m not done doing “different things.” I’m just getting better at doing them.

18 Comments

  1. Brett Clark

    “You learn something out of everything, and you come to realize more than ever that we’re all here for a certain space of time, and, and then it’s going to be over, and you better make this count.” ~Nancy Reagan.
    I have this quote on my desk and your story made me want to share it. You have made such a positive impact on so many. I am proud to call you friend.

    1. Mindi Epstein

      My long, lost friend or so it seems! I love Nancy Reagan’s quote and it will be added to my collection. Thank you for sharing it except, of course, I believe that when “it’s going to be over,” it just simply starts up again in another lifetime. But still, we have to make this time count. I’m so glad you’re a part of it.

    2. Terrie Purdy

      I am so thrilled for you..you have mentioned writing so often during our (not enough) times together. I can definitely relate to this blog as I am sure so many others are able to connect…I know it’s one of our connecting bonds…this journey is such an adventure of “different things” and that’s the best part..so thrilled you didn’t get that job at Standard Oil, our connection, friendship, yoga, dancing to MC Yogi, most likely, would not have happened..what a void for me that would have been.. keep your passion in the forefront ..

      1. Mindi Epstein

        You are FANTASTIC, Terrie – thank you for your love and support. Yes, our paths crossed at such a pivotal time – just a few short weeks after becoming a corporate refugee and so wet behind the ears that I was dripping. It has been an incredibly fun ride together, from MC Yogi to Hamilton, and I love that you are always up for an adventure. I am headed to Asheville without you in a few weeks for rest and clarity. I know it was a trip we had talked about doing. I have a few other ideas we can consider when we are ready to hit the road together….

  2. Donna Glavan

    This was very moving Mindi! Thank you for sharing your story. You are an adventurer true to the heart.

    1. Mindi Epstein

      Thank you, Donna. I think you can more than relate to an adventurer’s heart!

  3. Sharon

    Thank you for sharing bits of your life. I enjoyed your blog.
    I’ve thought about tossing the chemical bottle to see what I have under that artificial color. Maybe some day soon; you give me courage.

    1. Mindi Epstein

      You can do it, Sharon! I think you will be pleasantly surprised. It makes life so much easier…and healthier.

  4. Treci Mays

    Thanks for sharing your inspiring story, Mindi!

    1. Mindi Epstein

      Treci, thank you!

  5. Joanne Moran

    What a beautiful & inspiring story, Mindi … thank you for sharing your story with us. So blessed to be part of the yoga experience you make possible for so many of us.

    1. Mindi Epstein

      Oh, Joanne! Wonderful to hear from you. Thank you for writing a comment. I appreciate you!

  6. Barbara Smith

    I tossed the dye bottle years ago also. No more shoving unknown chemicals onto my head and then wondering if my hair color looked natural. I climbed the corporate ladder at a time women weren’t taken seriously. Finally I realized the satisfaction of becoming a public servant and looking inward through Yoga practice. You don’t need to fit into any certain mold. Age teaches us that…and it is so freeing.

    1. Mindi Epstein

      Fantastic, Barbara! Thank you for sharing your story. Like you, I find aging to be liberating.

  7. Rhonda Halcomb

    Wow! Thanks for sharing your story.

    1. Mindi Epstein

      Thank you, Rhonda. I am glad it spoke to you.

  8. Sherri Reagin

    What a beautiful story, Mindi. You are a true inspiration, and gifted in so many areas. I hope to read more of your blogs (and to see you SOON!).

    1. Mindi Epstein

      Thank you, Sherri. I appreciate the nudge. Don’t be afraid to keep prodding! I have missed sharing our Saturday mornings together.

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