As women reach "middle age" (and really, that starts whenever they begin to feel they are no longer "young"), a common feeling seems to be that no one listens when they speak.
If you have a long term partner, particularly male, there is a theory that men actually learn to "tune out" their female partner's voice over time. How many of us have had the accusation of nagging thrown at us? With the response "if you listened the first time I wouldn't have to nag!" No, wait - that contradicts the "tuning out" theory, doesn't it, as if he knows we're repeating ourselves ("nagging") he did hear us in the first place...
Actually, there is evidence that when men start to lose their hearing, it is the upper register that they find difficult to interpret. Women's voices tend to naturally be higher, so it stands to reason that their long suffering partners bear the brunt of their deafness. According to a recent study, men are also 5.5 times more likely to suffer from hearing loss than women, and...
or 20,000 words a day
She knew she had a problem. Not a small, everyday problem of the kind that others would say, I know what you mean, but an enormous, insidious, dangerous problem that was growing larger by the day.
“Did you know,” she said to her daughter, “that women on average use 20,000 words a day, whereas men only need 7,000?”
“Not every thought that pops into your head has to come out of your mouth, Mum,” her daughter replied through a mouthful of toast, eyes on her magazine.
“If I spoke all my thoughts aloud, I’d never stop talking,” she protested, swallowing back her next words as she caught a withering glance.
“Just think before you speak, Mum. We don’t all need to share your every observation.”
She knew she wasn’t using her daily 20,000 word allowance. She knew because she was constantly biting off the ends of her sentences, or,...
Have you noticed yourself feeling strangely restless? Are you aware of a growing need to express something, to be seen and heard? Do you feel the urge to create something?
Midlife is often a time when people start to look inward, to recall old enthusiasms or create new passions.
“People see creativity as the solution to the midlife crisis,” Julia Cameron, Author of “The Artist’s Way” and “It's Never Too Late to Begin Again: Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond.”
One of the upsides to turning 50 for me was that I experienced a huge surge of creativity. Once the brain fog cleared and I gained a little more clarity, ideas started to ferment in my mind, bubbling and fizzing until I simply couldn’t ignore them!
Since going through the menopause I have learned new skills such as photography, returned to writing short stories, articles and the beginnings of a novel. I’ve set up two businesses and learned...
Are you “there’ yet?
According to Menopause Specialist, Dr Louise Newsom, around a quarter of women report few symptoms associated with menopause, or if they have any, they do not impact their lives to any significant degree. Which means, or course, that 75% of us are affected by the natural, physical process of declining hormone levels as we head towards our 50s.
Symptoms associated with the menopause usually begin several years before menstruation stops.This transitionary phase, known as the peri-menopause, is when the ovaries begin to produce less oestrogen.
According to the NHS (the UK’s National Health Service), the average time symptoms are experienced is 4 years, though about 1 in 10 women experience them for up to 12 years.
The menopause itself occurs when the ovaries finally stop producing eggs altogether and is judged to be complete when a woman has not had a period for 12 months.
Common symptoms (“officially”...
“Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention…”
Those famous lines from “My Way” always struck me when I was a kid. Would I feel that way when I was old (like, fifty!)?
How did one go about living a life where you had too few regrets to mention? I already had more regrets than I could handle - not handing my homework in on time, talking back to my mother, kissing Steven Phipps…
Psychologists believe that regret is an emotion that is first felt around the age of two, when we are first able to understand the concept of “if only…” Which means we develop our perception of regret at an age where we don’t have the discernment to know it is an emotion that will not serve us.
Regrets often arise from the feeling that we have failed in some way. There is a saying that a man who never makes a mistake, never makes anything. Failure can be seen merely as a necessary stage as you move towards...
How well do you sleep?
A change in sleep patterns is one thing that many of us start to notice as we enter peri-menopause. Whereas previously we might have slept happily for 8 hours a night, suddenly we start having trouble getting to sleep and/or trouble staying asleep on a regular basis.
“I used to sleep like a log from 11-7. Now I’m lucky if I manage 6 hours total, and that will be interrupted by at least one trip to the loo! It drives me crazy because it definitely affects my concentration at work.” Sally.
Fiona Clark is a "midlife energiser" and I am very pleased that she has joined The Midlife Movement Membership as a contributor. Her course (which is available to you as part of your membership) covers techniques for dealing with hot flushes, sleep problems and stress to name but a few.
I caught up with Fiona just before she embarks on a really interesting personal challenge. In this 17 minute interview we talk about her upcoming adventures in Malawi, plus her love of cycling - loooong distances!
If you would like to support Fiona and follow her adventure, her Just Giving Crowdfunding page is still open and, as she is self-funding, I know she would be very grateful for any help you might feel able to offer.
(My apologies for the poor sound quality at my end at the beginning of this interview!)
This week was my wedding anniversary. 37 years of wedded. I’d say bliss, but seriously, who is blissful for 37 years straight? In honour of our mutual persistence, and mindful of the fact that September – the prime month for chicks to leave home – is fast approaching, I thought I’d share some thoughts about the upside once the nest is empty!
The sadness some of us feel when our nests empty is real, but it has to be said, once you get past the shock of facing each other across the breakfast table and realising that yes, you actually have to talk to each other unless you want to eat in silence, there are upsides to the children leaving home. So, if the nest is empty at your place, here are a few reasons to celebrate:
There’s no one around to catch you having a cuddle in the kitchen, ergo no one will make vomiting noises
When you return home after both going out, everything will be exactly as you left it
There is food in the fridge
For the August Book Club, (and our very first at The Midlife Movement!) I’ve selected an inspiring summer read from Tricia Cusden, Founder of the British make up brand, Look Fabulous Forever.
I felt this was apt after featuring Cindy Joseph as our first Inspirational Woman, as, like Cindy, Tricia has developed a line of pro-age make up and is a vocal advocate for embracing age rather than fighting it.
“Living the Life More Fabulous – Beauty, Style & Empowerment for Older Women” is part manual, part manifesto, with plenty of food for thought about the way we view ageing in the Western world and, consequently, the way we view ourselves. The author is visible throughout the book in a series of gorgeous portraits (which, as a Portrait and Personal Branding Photographer, I obviously absolutely love!).
Whilst she asserts from the start that:
There has never been a better time to be an older woman,
Tricia also notes:
Our society seems to value older women only...
The first subject of our “Inspirational Women” posts, Cindy Joseph has been nominated by Group member, Joy, who says:
“Another inspirational lady dies too young. We can never have enough of these women who blaze a trail to say age is not a barrier. We do not have to become the stereotypical grandmother beyond the age of 60 but can reinvent ourselves and still make a contribution to the world of work, business and society in general.”
Ms Joseph died on 12th July at just 67. Having been a make up artist for most of her working life, at 49 her long, grey hair caught the eye of a model scout and she started a second career as a model, appearing in campaigns for major brands such as Dolce and Gabbana and Olay well into her 60s.
Having been asked constantly by other women to reveal what “anti-ageing” products she used, she decided to merge her careers as make up artist and model and took the leap into business. “Boom!” by Cindy Joseph claims...