In a world where 50 year olds are shopping alongside their teenage daughters in Top Shop (hello, me!) and giving those Lulu Lemon clad 20-somethings a run for their money in the gym (hello, me! Oh. Wait. No, that isn’t me. But it is women over 50 that I know) then I reckon we can drop the middle-aged tag and just be us. Age-free, fuss-free and label-free!
Talking of having been in this world for a while then, I’ve realised there are a lot of things that make me happier now than they did when I was younger – things that are cause for celebration, such as these…
- KIDULTS I have my days when I would do anything to roll back the years to when my babies needed me…holding their soft little hands on the school run; giggly, sleepy bedtime stories and snuggle days on the sofa where they would stare intently at the Disney film while I would just be staring intently at their gorgeous faces, mesmerised by their every expression. I’m hoping I’ll have all that baby love back one day when I become a glamorous nanny! But in the meantime, how cool is it not to worry about babysitters when Stressed Husband and I want to pop out and how I love the grown up chats we can now all share over a cocktail. Mostly, I love how I can look at the kidults who are on their own paths as bright, confident and happy young adults and know that all that love, patience and parenting worked out better than I ever imagined it to. Being a parent is an all consuming smorgasbord of emotions – as intensely joyful as it is bloody hard work. One thing it isn’t, is easy, but with trial and error, wobbles and wins – we all get there in the end!
- FRIENDS It’s not that I’m not open to making new friends now – it’s just that the friends I have just can’t be beaten! A mix of amazing women that I’ve met throughout my life who have stuck by me through thick and thin – cake and gin 🙂 We don’t have to see each other all the time, but when we do – it’s just as if we haven’t been apart. And with those I do see all the time, we still always manage to have something new to talk and laugh about. When I was younger, I used to try to be nice to everybody in the hope that they would like me and want to be my friend. This was especially true when I started work in an industry that I wasn’t sure I was good enough for and sometimes, I looked up to people who didn’t really deserve to be looked up to. Now I have more confidence and know who my real friends are and I celebrate that!
- LETTING IT GO Not an euphemism for breaking wind (I know that’s what Stressed Husband will be giggling about!) I’m talking about letting go of those things that you used to worry about but can’t do anything about anymore. I am not going to be an Olympic swimmer and I’m not going to be a high-flying editor of a women’s magazine. I was almost there with both of these things but now I’m not – my life took a different direction and that is fine. Actually – it’s better than fine. It’s great! Letting go doesn’t mean giving up, simply adjusting the sails of life and moving into a new direction which will bring even more exciting adventures. Letting go of things such as being a size 8, owning a mansion in Beverley Hills and starring as lead in a West End musical are okay too… 😉
- DREAMS Contrary to the above point. Never, ever give up on your dreams…perhaps just take a reality check so that you don’t walk around spouting off about stuff that makes you seem as if you’re living on a planet that hasn’t yet been discovered. I now celebrate dreams about travelling with Stressed Husband and we are working towards making this happen. I dream of writing a book – and I am working towards making that happen. I dream of being able to sing like Barbra Streisand…Oh. Ok. There I go again…off on that planet. BUT, I do love singing for fun and I am going to take lessons in the New Year so that I can enjoy it even more. You get me? Never give up dreaming!
- BEING ME One of the best things about being of a certain age is that you really know who you are and you don’t try to be anybody different just to try to impress or make anybody like you more. If people don’t like you the way you are now, they never will and being true to yourself is the best and only way to be. We are all different and how wonderful is that. Just know who you are and don’t apologise!
- BEING HERE. RIGHT NOW This is perhaps the biggest celebration of getting to a midway juncture in life. You are still here. Living life. And whatever your life may be you always have the ability to change something you don’t like, the opportunity to make new dreams and be with the friends and family you have right now. Aren’t we lucky!
What do you celebrate about getting older and being a midlifer?