The midlife...

posted on: Tuesday, 25 February 2014

How much do you really care about everyday things? I tell myself that I care what I wear each day, yet I most often put on gym kit in the morning, even if I am not training or running, just because it's easier for the school run. I invariably change later when there is more time, but the point is - some women would get up earlier and get it right the first time, wouldn't they? I go through stages of washing my hair the night before and sleeping on it. My daughter does this and emerges from her bedroom resembling Brooke Shields in 'Blue Lagoon'; I do it and look like Bon Jovi circa 1989. Do I care if my hair kinks? I say I love clothes and fashion but I frequently opt for comfort over style now that I am a stay-at-home-mum and there is an option between the two each day. Dog walks and heels don't match.

I have stages where I don't watch what I eat. Foods creep into my daily diet that frankly don't belong there. I spoke to a doctor friend of mine (I love that I have doctor friends; so clever and so knowledgeable!) about the risk of early-onset Diabetes. She explained that the sugar content of Western diets is at crisis levels and pointed out some ways to reduce it day to day. Not exactly new news; I understand the rationale, it's just that somehow I had stopped caring enough. Porridge for breakfast and a raw vegetable/salad lunch is really not that hard to achieve. It also seems to me that no matter what medical ailment you try to remedy with diet - the guidance is always the same. Less processed food and sugar, more fruit and vegetables, lean protein and pulses. More water. No caffeine and alcohol. So simple - but why so hard to stick to?!

I do care when it comes to buying stuff that is of bad quality. I have an major issue with cheap clothes that fall apart after one wear. It's just not worth it; not to mention that if the clothes are really that cheap - where were they made and by whom? I talk to my daughter about sweatshops when she comes home from town with items that cost £5. You get what you pay for.

I find I look back on myself in my twenties and wonder what on earth I did care about compared to now?! In ways that I can hardly fathom, I had so little to be concerned about, in reality. Those heady days of just being me, my studies or later on my graduate job, what to wear, who to go out with at the weekend. Simple times. Now there are so many things that I can hardly count them!

But in some ways I have let go of a lot of cares that used to plague me. Wondering who liked me and who didn't, and endless obsessing about my hair (OK, so really that was is still with me, just decreased!). It's true that as time passes you do get more comfortable in your own skin and more able to make judgements about life situations. It's uncanny how it happens; almost imperceptibly through your thirties until now...well now I am a matter of weeks away from my 40th birthday and I am full of these thoughts.

Did I mention I was turning 40? The mid-life crisis is in full swing! How long does this last? Does anyone this time next year will I be through it?!


  1. Ah the midlife - 40 was a few years back for me and wasn't too much of an issue thankfully. Now 50 doesn't seem so far away and that is quite terrifying!!!

    When my eating habits and exercise plan is going great, I feel great. But it's so easy to slip off the wagon so to speak and enjoy those glasses of wine, slice(s) of cake, breakfast out at the weekend (instead of fruit and yogurt at home). It just doesn't work in reverse - i.e. fancying a glass of spinach/fruit smoothie in the evening does it?!

    These days I literally roll out of bed (messy hair absolutely), jump into the nearest sports attire and head out the door with the Lab for a good walk before anyone else is up and about. Only when dog is walked, breakfast is had, Huzz has left for work, 11 yr old is off to school do I actually think about taking a look at myself in the mirror getting ready to embrace the day. It would be very easy to spend the day in sportswear here in Portland - home of Nike and also Adidas - but unless I'm going for a run, I always plan what I'm wearing and often get asked if I am going 'somewhere'. It's in the details, as always. A scarf, jewelry, bag, lipstick etc, along with my skinny jeans and latest Nikes of course!

    Happy Tuesday!

  2. Oh I'm so right there with mind is swirling these days, so much so that I haven't felt like writing much. I don't know how to get it all down! It is the mid-life thing. I feel great about turning 40, really, but there's something about it that makes you evaluate yourself and your life, you know? I do like comparing my (almost) 40-year-old self to my 20-year-old self. Life was simpler in some ways - only worrying about myself, for example. But it was also harder in many. I do enjoy the perspective of experience and life lessons.

    Yes, a healthy diet certainly should be an easy thing, but of course it isn't. At home, I generally do okay. I buy a lot of vegetables, and I simply don't have too many temptations around! (Although just last night I decided it's almost time to reintroduce the nightly ice cream.) But when out and on vacation...well, that's harder. Last week involved some good choices as well as a lot of beer and french fries. I just finished an extra-hard kickboxing class and am starting to recover. :-)

    As far as fashion goes....well, I've pretty much always embraced comfort over fashion, although I strive to at least look put together. Brushed hair (often up), moisturizer, lip gloss, jeans, t-shirt, boots. Since I exercise in the morning, I rarely get it done before the school run, but that's okay. As I work on my resume, I am already thinking about what I'm going to have to do to my wardrobe if I find that elusive "right" job. Gah.

    Having fun catching up on the blog after being away. Hope you're doing well! - Mary

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  4. Ha! I had a major melt-down when I turned 40 Lou and wanted to just stay under my duvet and not surface………ever. However, I heard Oprah say something on TV to someone who had a major milestone birthday. She said, embrace your new age as there are millions of women all over the world who never got there. It had quite a profound effect on me. I hope it makes you see 40 with new eyes ;-) x