Why we should see them and why we should be them.
Do you remember who your female role models were as a girl? A relative, perhaps - maybe an aunt who you perceived as glamorous, or a teacher. An activist, a singer, an actress, even a politician?
How about as a young woman? Were female role models available to you then? Maybe your mother or grandmother (once past puberty and you shed the scales from your eyes ;-) )
Mark Thomas writes:
“Our happiness is very much based on our perception of how our life should or could be and the gap between that and how it is in reality.”
Therefore we are hard wired, if you like, to look for role models to inspire us to become the very best we can be.
I looked up to both my grandmothers. One raised me, the other simply loved me and their influence remains with me to this day.
As I approached middle age, I found myself seeking out new role models - women who shine in their fifties, sixties, seventies, eighties and beyond. Women whose...
There is no one more inspiring to me than a person who is strong and independent, who maintains a happy, positive outlook on life. Randi Skaug is just such a person.
Having spent 26 years as a desk bound executive, Randi quit her job, aged 44, to become a mountaineer. Despite severe back problems, she climbed the highest mountains in all seven continents and was the first Norwegian woman to conquer Everest. What a feeling that must have been!
Speaking to presenter Ben Fogle on an episode in the Channel 5 series, New Lives in the Wild, that featured her, Randi says she placed that feeling in her heart and still draws on it.
"Fear is normal. The important thing is not to fear the fear."
Having skiied on expeditions in Antarctica, Norway and Greenland, kayaking round the coast of Norway and visiting more than 70 countries, Randi bought the 33 acre island of Naustholmen, situated in the Arctic Circle, off the Vestfjord, near the Lofoten Islands.
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!)
A year before I turned 50, I went to see an orthopaedic consultant. My left knee had started playing up a year or so before, buckling without warning and generally keeping me awake at night with constant, nagging pain. Both knees were permanently swollen and I was having days where it was difficult to get around.