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.
Recently, 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 40. I love life, in all its beauty, ugliness and unpredictability. I have no interest in making it palatable for the 'gram.
But I have trodden this path, and crossed that bridge. Or, in the case of this photo, that mountain! (Plynlimon in the Cambrians) And I've been guiding the women coming up behind me for several years now.
The Midlife Movement is for everywoman, not just the super fit, the slim, the high fliers (though we welcome you too!) The Midlife Movement doesn't care if you forgot to brush your hair (just me?) wear knickers that keep your kidneys warm, carry a cagoule in case it rains or like a bit of Escape to the Country on the telly.
You do you. Come as you are. I'll put the kettle on.
PS: There are lots of ways we can help you to enjoy the journey through the sometimes messy "middle":
The Midlife Movement exists to help you to make sense of these sometimes messy middle years. We aim, through community, courses and photography, to challenge outdated narratives around midlife and growing older one story at a time!