What a week that was! Forgive me if I seem naive, but welcoming a news crew into my home, being interviewed and filmed and then appearing on the BBC isn't something I do very often (ie: never)!
It was interesting, and gratifying that the BBC decided to showcase The Midlife Movement's Face it, Own it! Project. It was also frustrating that they cut all mention of The Midlife Movement from the segment. Nevertheless, over 60 women (so far!) have hunted me down and sent their no make-up selfies to be included in the forthcoming book and exhibition.
The project has clearly struck a chord. I have been inundated with emails, not just with selfies attached, but with messages of support like the one below:
"I just wanted to thank you for taking up the topic of the natural beauty of us all. As a 63-year-old mother and a retired teacher, I appreciate the pressure to conform to a stereotypical, idealised, artificial and unattainable image of womanhood. It's wonderful to see just how...
Skin. When I think about the years I've spent looking after it, moisturising it, despairing of it, taking it for granted...
Skincare regimes need to adapt post 50. For me, it's not about "anti-ageing", it's about keeping our skin healthy, supple and comfortable.
Here are the essentials for skincare at any age, but especially as we get older.
1. Cleanse regularly
2. Exfoliate - gently!
3. Moisturise thoroughly
4. Protect from the sun
5. Drink plenty of water to hydrate the skin from the inside out
6. Eat a healthy, varied diet with plenty of vegetables, fruits and good oils
But of course, you knew that. It's not rocket science. Add to that, don't. smoke and drink alcohol in moderation and you've probably got it covered.
I once read quote by doyenne of romance fiction, Barbara Cartland, that said (to paraphrase) that once we get past a certain age we have to choose between maintaining our figure or our face. She claimed that she had chosen to look after her skin and "sit down a...
That's a dramatic title for a blog post, isn't it? My apologies. But I needed to catch your attention.
As we get older we often start to notice a few aches and pains that never troubled us before. Feeling stiff in the mornings, slower recovery times after exercise, a slower metabolism, feeling tired... it's enough to make you want to give up and sit on the sofa. Which is what I am doing now, actually, as I type this blog post...
I confess, I have never been physically energetic. Mentally, I could win Olympic Gold, but physically... well, let's just say I am more Pooh than Tigger. I also have significant cartilage loss in both knees which makes squatting, running and walking up and down stairs difficult at times. It would be easy to give up and slide gently into old age whilst sitting on my (not inconsiderable) bum.
But here's the thing. The less I move, the more I ache. The more I ache, the less I move - and the more I eat. The more I eat the heavier I get and the heavier...
It comes round, so fast.
One minute, you're learning how to be a parent, how to keep this tiny, delicate human being thrust into your care alive. You help them learn to walk, talk, function. Navigate milestones like first teeth, potty training, first day at school.
Before you know it, you're helping with homework, freezing your bits off at the edge of a [insert appropriate ball-game here] pitch, washing dirty kit, learning the offside rule.
Then there are hormones to contend with, slammed doors, broken hearts, exams...
Until, finally, the day comes when they fly the nest.
It's a happy day, right? After all, isn't this what we wanted? Happy, confident, independent children? We're pleased for them, proud.
1. Recognise your Feelings
So what is this hollow feeling in the pit of the stomach? Why do our eyes smart with tears on the drive home? Why does walking into that quiet, empty house for the first time without them make your stomach turn over?
...there's a way! In this case, a way to ensure that your assets are divided the way you want them to be. This week, Guest Blogger, Dani King of Wellingborough Wills explains why you need to write a Will and what to consider.
What is a Will and why you should have one!
What is a Will?
Essentially, a Will is your chance to say what you want to happen to your assets when you die.
Many people still think that writing a Will is something that you only really need to think about if you are…
…when in reality, there are many reasons to need a Will.
Age, wealth and health are all valuable reasons, but it is generally your personal circumstances that are the most important factors to consider.
Changes in your life can determine when it’s the right time for you to write your Will, or perhaps review and update it if you already have one in place. Some of these life events include:
What would you say if you could write a letter to your younger self? It can be a meditative exercise. I wrote this ten years ago on the blog I was writing at the time, and it is included in my book: "Oh Crap - I'm 50! A Journey from Fearful to Fabulous (Sometimes)" available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle versions, and as a pdf download here on the website.
If only I could stand at your shoulder and whisper in your ear, there is so much I would like to say to you.
If you were still the little girl in the picture I am looking at, I would hold you tight and rock you and tell you that it’s ok, YOU are ok, that it’s not your fault that some of the adults around you are so screwed up. I would tell you that you are a good, kind girl, that you don’t need to be afraid for much longer.
If you were five years old, I’d say, you know that lump in your throat that stops you from swallowing? That’s not your fault either. You won’t...
Neurological symptoms of the peri-menopause can include brain fog, which causes difficulties such as loss of concentration and poor short term memory and impaired word retrieval. Along with anxiety, hot flushes and sleeplessness, they can severely impact a woman's confidence in her own performance the workplace.
Half of the British workforce are female, 3.5 million of those women are aged 50 and over and with increasing pension ages, this figure is set to rise. Studies show that 75% of women in this age group experience symptoms that are attributable to the peri-menopause, with many feeling those symptoms have adversely affected their performance at work. 1 in 4 actively consider leaving their roles as a result.
It makes good economic sense for companies to make reasonable adjustments for menopausal women, just as they do for any other condition. In this interview with Menopause at Work Trainer, Julie Dennis, she explains why neuro-diversity awareness is so...
If someone you care about is in the throes of a bout of depression it can be really difficult to know how to support them. I've been clinically depressed myself and I've supported people who are depressed, so I have experience of this horrible condition from both sides as both carer and cared for.
I've been talking to fellow sufferers and, drawing on their experience and my own, here are my tips on how to support someone who is depressed:
I'm fine, thanks. That's what we say, isn't it, when asked how are you? I'm fine, thanks. But what if you're not? What if you are sinking, struggling, not fine at all?
I live a fairly public life insofar as I have written about myself on blogs and in books, I show up regularly on Facebook live videos, on Youtube and, now, on the new Midlife Movement Podcast. Most people know me as optimistic, generally happy, always smiling.
If you follow my output regularly, though, you will know that I have had my battles with anxiety and depression throughout my life at various points. I always know when I'm starting to "slide".
There are warning signs that I dare not ignore. These include:
Turning 50 made me realise with a jolt that I probably have more years behind me than in front of me. It threw me for a little while, but then I realised my “midlife crisis” could be turned into a “midlife opportunity” if I could change my attitude. Here are just 7 things I learned at 50:
Knees don’t necessarily bend easily forever! You don’t realise how much you take your body for granted until a part of it starts to hurt! At 50 I learned that regular exercise is no longer an option - I have to walk regularly, drag out my yoga mat and lift weights to keep me strong and stop me from feeling stiff all the time. It doesn’t stop me from feeling 101 when I wake up in the morning, mind, but at least I can do something about how strong and flexible I will be at 60, 70, 80 and beyond!
Failing eyesight isn’t always a bad thing. Without my glasses I can’t see my wrinkles, grey hair or whether my legs need waxing! (Maybe the last...