Here I am smack bang in the middle of what they call mid-life.
When you read or hear people use the word ‘they’ who are ‘they’ referring too?
Is there a guru that imparts vast amounts of knowledge?
Yes, they said I should
Um, they suggested that I
When I phoned, they said
There have been some well thought out misdemeanours along the way, but the following is true:
- My boys are still talking to me albeit they refer to me as ‘mother’ come hither
- My boys aren’t embarrassed to be seen with me as long as I don’t cut my hair and end up looking like Arnie (Terminator)
- I go topless on the beach and they aren’t bothered, not yet!
What are the six things I’ve learnt
1. Don’t feel guilty
Don’t feel guilty about eating that cream doughnut or cake or whatever.
Life is an indulgence, and we should enjoy every bit of the ride while we are alive, and while we still can.
Do friends or family make you feel guilty for not calling or for being unable to attend a party or social gathering?
I am at the age where I don’t need to justify myself to anyone if I don’t want to go, I don’t go.
If I forget to call, I expect my friends to understand that I am a busy working woman.
And I don’t have the luxury of being at home all-day, phone in one hand, sky remote in the other.
Real friends accept me for who and what I am.
They should know that I genuinely care, and if the shit hits the fan, I will drop what I am doing in an instant because nothing is ever that important.
But I am busy, and they aren’t at the forefront of my mind every day.
It doesn’t make us wrong, it merely means we are busy
2. Accept your parents for the way they are
It has taken me some 54+ years to reach a friendly relationship with my parents.
We have had some significant ups and downs over the years.
Many incidents have been as a result of poor communication by them and lack of instructions from me.
I learnt that to keep our relationship in harmony requires me to issue a set of instructions, for example, when they came to us for Christmas.
I emailed them a list of things they should bring, like the breakfast items they have, and we don’t.
We don’t drink white wine, and although we had some in stock, I didn’t want to get the blame for not having the right brand or type they like.
The list worked
There were no fireworks and no accusations of being inhospitable because I didn’t have mixers in stock.
I’ve accepted that my parents are from a different generation, the ‘silent generation’.
They are pre-packaged, and I will never change them or expect them to see it from someone else’s point of view.
I have come to accept the way they are with me and that I am a byproduct of them.
I have let go of the past and sought to adopt a happier disposition free from guilt and regret and aim to make the most of them before they are too old.
It is sad watching your parents age and no matter how good their health is the ageing process is a wretched one.
It happens to all of us, and we can’t stop it nor should we but in my fifties, it is hard to imagine my life without them being there.
3. Use the menopause for every mistake and excuse and for god sake take HRT
Ladies, you are seriously deluding yourselves if you think you can make it through the menopause without taking HRT.
I started taking a low dose in 2012.
When it stopped working for me, I went to my Doctor talked it through and changed to a new concoction in January 2019.
I haven’t looked back since.
I put loo rolls in fridges and cheese in the bathroom.
I misplace stuff a hundred times a day.
I have on average 4 hours of quality sleep a night, and I share my bed with a man that snores like a walrus.
The anxiety can be overwhelming, and my heart rate feels like I’ve run a marathon.
I talk to people and instantly forget their names.
I talk to myself to strangers and anyone else that happens to overhear my self ramblings.
I forget where I put things, and I am forever going up and down the stairs remembering what I should have taken upstairs when I get downstairs.
It is a constant battle, and I hate it.
I’ve tried yoga, a bit of meditation, I do loads of exercise and eat healthily and still, it makes no difference.
It is a bodily change you can’t fight it, so go with it.
Without HRT, I wouldn’t cope with work, family and life FULL STOP.
Besides, use menopause as an excuse to your boss, policeman, traffic warden, male and female retail assistant for that matter and it gets you out of whole lotta trouble a hundred times over.
The other day I walked out of Primark with underwear under my arm.
Having already paid for the other stuff I had purchased in their eco-friendly paper carrier only to get stopped as I was about to step outside.
“Cuse me madam, have you forgotten something”? Derrr…..nooooo!
Ohh… Yesss…. Sorry, Sir, it’s the menopause!!
I’m so forgetful these days; I forget my head, dear me did I really pay for all this and then leave the store without paying for these?
It’s the MENOPAUSE.
No problem madam, yes, yes, go and pay for them.
See it works wonders.
Now I’m not suggesting you go and nick knickers, but it does have its dispensations.
4. Speak frankly with honesty and without hurting people’s feelings
I am the world’s worst, I admit it.
I am like marmite you love me, or you hate me it is as simple as that.
Guess what I don’t care.
I don’t believe in deliberately hurting people for the sake of it even if the dress they wear looks like a sack or a new hairstyle that looks like it’s been cut around a mixing bowl
No, I’m all for being courteous but truthful if asked.
I live by the following:
Don’t ask me an honest question if you don’t want to hear a truthful answer.
When I was asked many years ago by a good friend ‘am I fat?’ I looked her in the eye and said ‘yes you are’.
But she did ask me, and I couldn’t lie?
It’s not fair on her, why should I make her believe that she’s not fat.
She was obese, and I was concerned about her health.
She didn’t speak to me again, but our paths crossed many years later, and she’s still fat
5. Don’t compare yourself or your status to anyone
We are inundated by impeccable social media updates from celebrities who look like they’ve stepped out of a Vogue shoot.
Even our friends and friends of friends can make us feel that bit jealous.
“Look at them, look where they are, look what they have…”
Darlings it’s all shit and photoshop no one looks like that first thing in the morning or late at night.
Not comparing ourselves to others makes us less anxious.
Be happy with your status and what you’ve achieved or are achieving.
It’s alright to have dreams, aspirations and goals but be YOU.
We are unique and individual so comparing ourselves to others and imagining what they are doing, where they are, and who they are with is a waste of time.
I do fall foul of this myself and have to pull myself up and tell myself look what I have and what I’ve achieved.
There is always someone who will be better off and worse off than you whether monetary, job, house or car.
Deal with it and accept it.
6. When I sound like my mum or, maybe my dad but I can live with that
I’m like my dad and I hear it when I speak with the boys. It’s strangely frightening but also reassuring.
They have imprinted their personality on me, not always a good thing granted but I am the person today because of them.
My father is a hoarder, so am I until very recently when I purged my extensive collection of bags.
I am a self-confessed bagaholic.
Things I do don’t have any bearing on my parent’s, some things I say are descendants of my parents.
Don’t go out with wet hair you’ll get a chill? How!
Wear a t-shirt or vest (yes, I know) under your shirt, so you don’t get cold? Derrr….
You can always take off, but you cant put on (when it comes to layering up for winter etc.) Ok this is a good one
Everything in moderation – food, alcohol, exercise, sex? (boring)
If you eat a proper diet, you don’t need to take vitamins?? (Don’t be stupid, extra vitamins, especially probiotics are brilliant)
Don’t wear white when travelling it gets dirty? (So…..!) that’s my mum’s favourite
Do you wear those to work? (4″ heels give or take)
Don’t have unprotected sex. ( I made that one up)
Always start the day with breakfast (this is a good one)
I know many who don’t eat anything in the morning preferring coffee.
I don’t know how they do it.
My chiropractor, who looks after my back believes in self-starvation.
Every Sunday he has a light snack at 7 pm and then doesn’t eat anything until 1 pm. He swears by it.
I tried it and almost died.
I need three meals a day with nothing in between and it works for me.
Reaching my fifties has had its ups and downs, and I wish I knew what I know now back in my thirties.
I am trying to have fun, and that is all that matters.
What about you?
Further reading for you