What is the definition of "midlife" - and how do you know you're in it? This was a question posed by a lovely woman who was exploring joining the membership hub the other day.
I told her that the commonly held wisdom was that midlife was 45-65, but that actually, in my opinion, midlife is more of a state of mind than an age bracket! It describes a bridge from one stage of life to another - like adolescence bridges childhood to adulthood. It can be confusing and tumultuous, exhilarating and full of promise by turns - just like adolescence! It even comes with hormonal upheavals.
This summer, I turned 60. Unexpectedly, I found my confidence waver a little, just as it had when I turned 50 (when, if you've read my book, you'll know it wavered A LOT!)
Who am I, I wondered, to guide women through midlife when I am fast approaching the next stage of my life? Who indeed. I am not hip (well, arthritic hip, maybe!) fashionable or in the least bit interested in pretending I am...
The Masks we Wear
Recently, I was shooting a large number of headshots in a medium sized company
Why am I sharing this with you? Well, one remark stood out to me and made me pause for thought. This young woman asked for another shot where she wasn’t smiling, because she felt she looked unprofessional.
Does that resonate with you? Do you think that smiling at work is unprofessional?
It made me think about the masks we wear throughout or lives. Some masks simply oil the workings of society, don’t they - smiling at the bus driver even though you feel down, waving at a neighbour when you’re in a hurry. We can wear masks at work, in relationships, at the school gate… do you think that sometimes we forget that we are wearing those masks and start to think that is who we are? Do we forget sometimes who we really are as we get to our middle years?
Depression is often an expression of not being true to who we are. Forcing ourselves to behave in ways alien to us for...
As you read this newsletter I will be coming to the end of a week long practical intensive which is part of a course I am studying about coaching women to step into their power.
There have been times over the past few months when I’ve seriously wondered what I think I’m doing, throwing myself into learning something new once again. After all, it isn’t as if I don’t have history - I studied with the Open University for my degree in my early forties. Then, at 48, I actually went back to a bricks and mortar university to study for a Master’s Degree.
I never used that degree, sadly, so it ended up as studying for studying’s sake. And you know what? I don’t regret it for a minute! I learned so much - not just about my subject, but about myself and what I’m capable of. I got to spend a month in Japan as an exchange student and had an unforgettable experience, one that would not have been available to me as a tourist.
There is nothing like...
I’ve always been a bit of an open book when it comes to sharing my thoughts and feelings. I’m sure that some people might have wished I’d kept some things to myself at times - TMI (too much information) being a thing! Indeed, there have been times when I’ve wondered myself whether I have been too indiscreet, or worried that I have overshared.
Then I’ll get a message like this:
“Unless you have gone through something you cannot say I understand.... you can only say I have an understanding of .... I have said this for many years re many situations so carry on being truthful and share it helps all of us.”
And I know that if just one person is helped by my ramblings, then it’s worth opening myself up to the occasional criticism.
I know I say this a lot - because I have found it repeatedly to be true - but there is an almost magical power in realising we are not alone.
I have always talked with my photography clients. For one thing, I get...
How are you? Fine?
Ok - how are you really?
I talk to a lot of women in their middle years and one thing that many of them say to me is that they feel tired. Not just tired through lack of sleep - though that is a topic in itself - but weary.
Very few of us get to this stage in our lives without worrying and striving and taking wrong turns and picking ourselves up again and again and again. We've seen governments come and go, catastrophic climate events, social campaigns. We've lived through a dizzying period of technological change and, more recently of course, through a global pandemic. And that is just a snapshot. Of course we're weary.
How do you protect yourself? How do you ensure that you don't get overwhelmed by the troubles of the world? It's all very well to put up a screen, to observe without absorbing, but for many of us, negativity, pain and suffering inevitably leech through and sap our energy. And how can we help anyone if we are constantly depleted?
Our Guest Blogger this week is The Midlife Food Guru, Sabrina Zief, who is sharing her 10 top tips for a healthy midlife. Find out more about Sabrina and the programmes she offers on her website: https://midlifefoodguru.com/ You can also listen to my conversation about eating well with Sabrina on the podcast.
Hey, Superwoman, have you lost your mojo? Do you get into a ‘mood’ like the flip of a switch? Is insomnia your new best friend, and weight gain is your enemy?
Menopause can be a time of hormonal upheaval, which brings physical, emotional and psychological changes. For many women, the accompanying perimenopause and menopause symptoms can creep up on them over the years. Yep, that was definitely me.
Current research shows that many women enter midlife and menopause nutritionally deficient. You may think you have a healthy diet, but did you know that stress causes havoc with your hormones and body? Sustained stress puts your body in survival...
Most of us don't like to think about getting older, do we? But often that is part of the angst of moving into midlife - the realisation that we have more years behind us than ahead.
Is it any wonder that hitting 50 can trigger a period of reflection. Reflection that so often leads to changes being made - in our careers, relationships, health... how many people, men and women, do you know who took up a new hobby, left a relationship that no longer made them happy, lost weight, got fit, started a business...? Maybe you did one of these things, or something similar, yourself?*
When we were children, as with so many life stages, ageing was something that we expected to follow a well trod path - the idea that we had choices about how we lived our elder years didn't occur to the vast majority of our grandparents and parents.
For our parents in the UK, the school leaving age rose to 15 in 1947. By the time they came to retire in 1995, both men and women could draw their state pension at...
In the documentary, Davina speaks of the shame she felt about her menopause and how she was advised not to mention it as it was "ageing". Shame has no place in our lives at any age, and certainly not about the privilege of growing older.
In the documentary, Davina demonstrated the power of knowing we are not alone and of gathering to share our stories. That is what The Midlife Movement is all about.
Our latest Guest Blogger is Joyce Connor: a make up artist, beauty expert and owner of Joyce Connor Make Up. She has been in the cosmetics industry for 24 years and loves everything about skin! Listen to Joyce and Jo chatting about skincare on the podcast.
There are so many skincare products on the market that it can be daunting which product to use first. I recommend using water based products on your skin first then oil based products last. Then let the final skincare product absorb into your skin before applying make up.
Skincare Routine Steps
Cleanse – if you’re wearing make up you ideally should do this step twice, the first cleanse to remove your make up and a second cleanse to clean your skin. Always rinse your skin thoroughly with cool water to remove all product.
The arrival of Mothers’ Day can be a trigger to many - if you have lost your mother, a child or if you dearly wanted to become a mother and it didn’t happen, it is probably a Hallmark Day you prefer to avoid.
But what is a mother? Words such as nurturing, caring, loving, fierce - we all need to channel these attributes to mother ourselves. And we need that female energy - present in men as well as women - to heal the growing divisions in our society and to speak truth to power in our quest to save our beautiful planet.
This week, in honour of Mother’s Day in the UK, I’d like to talk a little about mothers - even if we haven’t had children ourselves we all had one! So this is about our own mothers, step mothers, mother figures, our own experience of mothering and the energy of Motherhood in general.
I want to honour the women who shaped me and helped me to become the person I am today.
Sadly, I never met my mother, Carole. She died when I...