What an amazing celebration my family had on May 12, 2013 when my grandmother, on my father’s side (Grandma Rouleau), turned 100 years old. She lives in Minnesota and many flew from around the country to be part of this special milestone in her life. It was truly incredible to honor her with music, dancing, friends and family.
Note: I’ve spoken many times before about my grandmother, a hairdresser who owned her own beauty salon and served as an inspiration for me choosing a career in the beauty business, but that is the grandmother on my mother’s side. My hairdresser grandmother (who you can read about here) passed away 15 years ago, and I miss her very much.
Throughout the years, including on her 100th birthday, I’ve asked my grandmother for her secrets to living a long life and here is what she has shared with me:
1. Stay active with dancing. She loves to dance and at every family wedding, my grandmother has always been the last one to leave the dance floor. She has never been a professional dancer, just someone who loves to keep moving and did this in the form of dancing. At her nursing home, they have a local band that comes in every so often to play for the residents and my grandmother is the first one to get up and dance. In fact, here’s a video of her dancing at her 100th birthday party. Truly amazing.
2. Keep your mind active by playing cards and reading. She has always been a big reader and enjoys many genres. She’s also been a frequent card player her whole life. She’s a fierce competitor to all in the nursing home.
3. Enjoy your cocktails. My grandmother has never been shy about her enjoyment of alcoholic beverages. Perhaps it was to survive the long, cold Minnesota winters but this was a big part of her evenings for many years. While she no longer drinks, she’s made it to 100 and still going strong, so it clearly worked for her!
4. Get fresh air. She has always talked about her love of being outside in the fresh air and loves to go for walks. She’s a woman who loves to keep moving and not let life slow her down. She enjoyed bowling and golf for many years and in fact, her 100th birthday cake was golf themed.
5. Wear lipstick daily. She was never much into eye makeup but without fail, she always wore her red, pink or coral on her lips every day. Being in the beauty business, I appreciate the fact that even at 100, she still likes to put her best face forward with some makeup.
Grandma Rouleau has always been a very strong, independent woman. She’s never been one to complain about life’s hardships, just a “pull yourself up by the boot straps” kind of person who just keeps moving forward. I have never heard her say anything about wanting to live to 100 but with her inner drive and motivation, I’m not surprised at all. She’s not one to give up; a trait we have in common. I definitely take after her side of the family physically and am hopeful that I’ll live past 100 and continue to embrace all that life has to offer. That’s my plan anyway. And yours?
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As an esthetician trained in cosmetic chemistry, Renée Rouleau has spent 30 years researching skin, educating her audience, and building an award-winning line of products. Trusted by celebrities, editors, bloggers, and skincare obsessives around the globe, her vast real-world knowledge and constant research are why Marie Claire calls her “the most passionate skin practitioner we know.”