Midlife - An A-Z - Part 4 (G & H)Nov 10, 2021
Here’s part 4 of my series, An A-Z of Midlife. The previous parts can be found here. It’s been great choosing what to use each letter to represent as there are so many options - I’m picking my favourites as I go. I’d love to hear what you’d pick for each letter. I’m writing about the things its good to remember in this stage of life as well as sharing some tips on how to make this chapter a bit easier to transition through. We have G standing for going for it, glasses and girlfriends and H standing for hormones, holidays and humour in this article. Enjoy.
Going for it, Glasses & Girlfriends
I’ll start with glasses - this may well be the worst thing about ageing - my eyesight getting worse. It’s certainly the thing I seem to constantly moan about. For years I could get by and still read labels, print (even if at arms length), menus etc but then they gradually got worse and now I can’t read anything without them on. I can still just about manage my kindle but only because it has such a large font setting available on it!
I lose them, I put them down - I’ve got my nice ones and then my cheapy £5 that just get slung in my bag for when I’m out and about and just need to see what I’m actually buying or ordering. I really do get frustrated😂 I sometimes wish my arms were just that bit longer! (I’m sure you all know what I mean).
It has been suggested I get a chain for them but to me that has all sorts of connotations with it - old, stern headmistress - I’ll have to set myself free from the stereotypes soon but at the moment am choosing to just continue losing them!
Friends have been important at all stages of my life. I’ve lost contact with some, made new friends, reconnected, moved away but I wouldn’t want to have to go through life without my friends. We may not see each other as regularly as we once did but knowing they’re there, got your back and can talk about anything is a great feeling. And when we do see each other the talking doesn’t stop!
Having a group who get you, who you connect with is invaluable. Especially at times when you need support or encouragement or just to share some time and laugh with.
Over the last two years, I’ve met some amazing women online too who I would consider friends. I’m sure if circumstances had been different recently, a number of them I would have already met in the flesh and look forward to doing this😀. But, isn’t technology amazing for maintaining and reconnecting with friends.
Value them, love them, tell them what they mean.
Going For It
Going for it relates to courage, confidence, which I’ve already written about in this series. It’s a recurring theme. To me, going for it - whatever it is - a new class, a new challenge, saying yes - can just enrich your life to the next level. Just going for it and believing in yourself, trusting that it will be OK, that you can deal with any outcomes that may not be what you hoped is the aim. Not letting fear and doubt hold you back.
Embracing this stage, to enrich your life - to live the life that you want, on your terms. Allowing yourself to acknowledge your dreams and desires, knowing they’re valid and going for it to reach them. It doesn’t have to be great big strides towards them, the smallest move in their direction counts as going for it and helps you keep the momentum going to get there.
So grab your girlfriends and go for it together - what adventures can you have?
Hormones, Holidays, Humour
I’m sure we’re all aware of hormones - midlife can be a time of life where our hormones decided to take on a life of their own! I’m not a perimenopause specialist nor a biologist so I’ll just acknowledge that hormones can run and cause havoc.
There have been great strides recently in opening up the conversation around hormones, menopause and perimenopause with amazing support available too. Dr Louise Newson is a great fount of knowledge amongst others.
Hormone changes in midlife can make you feel isolated, confused, worried (I know I’ve been there) so dig deep and find the courage to ask for the support you need. Don’t wait until it reaches crisis point - open up and talk.
Who doesn’t love a good holiday? A tropical beach, a cocktail, a beautiful sunset - a distant memory at the moment and not available to everyone. But R&R seems to be needed more in this stage of life - for me anyway. That old saying, a change is as good as a rest has proved itself to be very true over the last 18months or so - a change of scene, a different 4 walls just for 24 hours was found to be a real sanity saver.
We’ve always loved holidaying in the UK so did enjoy a break in Devon in the Summer (accompanied by norovirus!) - I was a bit worried about that end of the country sinking due to the increased numbers of visitors but it seems to have survived.
If you’re not in a position to get away on holiday it’s important to take proper time off - try and minimise the distractions and demands - tell people you’re on holiday and they’ll usually assume you mean away so don’t correct them😂 Or designate a day at the weekend that you’ll not go on your phone, you’ll relax, (not do those jobs around the house that are always there) and do something that is restful for you. Something that when you stop, you realise hours have passed by and you didn’t even notice.
It’s so important to take that time to recharge, wind down and switch off before we’re made too!
It’s a time to reset, rest, sleep, and some adventures if you want!
Humour, I would argue, is a valuable asset at any stage of life but a prerequisite for this stage - failing eyesight, brain fog, running warm as I like to call it to name a few. Humour and laughing can help make you feel better due to the chemical reaction it produces so, yes, if you’re feeling a bit blue fake it and see if it helps. It can also just help you get through the day - being able to laugh at yourself when for the 10th time you’ve walked into a room and can’t remember why, or being able to laugh when you’re emotional and there’s really no reason why. It can provide a release.
Even better, if you can share it with a group of friends who understand where you are in life, you can all laugh at yourselves together😂
I’m not saying laugh to invalidate what and how you feel but being able to inject some humour can release tension, interrupt the cycle and just make you feel better.
In summary, I suppose what I’m saying is this.
Grab your girlfriends, go on holiday, laugh a lot together, probably cry too (hormones) and don’t forget your glasses.
If you’ve enjoyed this blog, check out the rest of the series here.