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Where does Fab after Fifty go from here?


What Next for Fab after FiftyArticle by Ceri Wheeldon

When I posted on the Fab after Fifty facebook page that I needed to take a break from the website and all that is involved in the running of it, I was overwhelmed at the response I received. Many asked me why, and why I would choose to take a break at this particular moment in time when more than 100,000 women visit the site every month.

When I started the website it was in response to so much negativity in the media and society surrounding women over 50 once they seemed to reach that milestone 50th birthday – that was 5 years ago, although it was some months later before the first version of the website went live. At the time there was no positive resource site offering women over 50 information, inspiration or most importantly a voice. Somehow I had this vision of creating a platform to change perceptions of women over 50 and beyond. If we could challenge the stereotypes portrayed in the media of women in our age group then perhaps we could start to make a difference.

That was the vision. I was naive. I had no experience of websites, social media or SEO – or all the mundane things that went along with creating and maintaining a website – it can take hours to find the right image for a post!  I had absolutely no appreciation of how time consuming the entire venture would become.

So much support from likeminded women over 50

I have been amazed at the support I have received from so many likeminded women, and at the sense of community created.

I lived and breathed Fab after Fifty but there has been a down side. I have seen my words plagiarised, my ideas copied, with very little I could do to prevent this in the online world.

While I was busy researching ideas and information to help everyone else look and feel fabulous about themselves I was neglecting my own life and health.

So, on to the day that I posted ‘I’m taking a break’ post it was at the point of having reached the point of total exhaustion, following a press trip to Paris. Paris may sound glamorous, but when you find yourself having to take the stairs from the second level (in heels) as part of the press progamme and unable to walk the next day it is far from fun!

I had reached breaking point. I was not sleeping, had become a virtual recluse afraid to leave my laptop for more than a few hours at a time, and had not taken an entire day away from my screen for 4 years.

So I packed my bags and took a last minute flight to the South of France, where I have the opportunity to take time out and reflect on the best way forward. I did not fire up the laptop for 10 days, choosing instead to spend time with friends, getting physio for my back, and wandering around the lanes in Antibes. It was time to take time out for me – something I had encouraged everyone else to do but had neglected to do for myself for over 4 years.

I have received hundreds of messages asking me not to give up the website.

Do I still believe in Fab after Fifty? Absolutely! But I also realise it can’t consume as much of my life as it has been. I also realise that I cannot put so much of time into a project that generates no income, as every penny I have earned as a result of the website I have ploughed back into it.

So what next for Fab after Fifty?

I’m hoping that members of the community will volunteer to get more involved. Perhaps write posts, share their inspirational stories. Even act as admins on the Facebook page.

I had already started to work on some video based products and courses – I have filmed lots of style segments with Judith Brady who is a long term contributor to the website for a styling product and we will of course finish these and share hopefully sooner rather than later! There are other projects planned too.

As the site is more about you than about me, I really need you to tell me what you would like to see on the site and Facebook page.

I still believe that Fab after Fifty can make a difference, and have been encouraged by others not to walk away completely. I have had some very long discussions with friends and family who are encouraging me to find a different way of working rather than give up!

Can you help?

I do need your help, perhaps together we can move forward and make Fab after Fifty THE voice for women over 50. The website was also intended to be about bringing together a community of women to share and inspire. Perhaps now it is time to make that vision a reality.

 

I hope so.

Ceri x

 

Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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Comments

  1. facebook_anne.arnott.16

    July 16, 2014

    Good for you for taking what I would say was a MUCH NEEDED break .. it sounds as though you were so attached to your laptop .. I have a friend similar to you.. !

  2. Michele Mervin

    July 16, 2014

    Ceri, you’ve done an amazing job and I think you are i soiring. And I also understand how it has taken over your life, and that’s clearly not a good thing either. I love this site and want it to continue so if I can help in any way then I would be glad to. I’m a communications professional so I’m happy to write stuff etc. so, please don’t feel you haven’t got support out there because you have, both ohysical and emotional. Let me know what I can do!
    Michele

  3. Christine Symington

    July 16, 2014

    I am more than happy to help! I am a qualified coach and am developing a stylist consultancy so can help with those areas. I am a former AOL Host so am familiar with moderating etc. Just mail me if I can be of help! Like your decision x

  4. Jill Humphreys

    July 16, 2014

    Hello Ceri

    Can totally understand all what you did as when these amazing ideas come swimming in we just let the tide take us..and it was a rising tide and did lift an abundance of ships with it..which is what you wanted when setting this up in the initial heady days..

    So lets make this a world platfrom for ladies over 50 with purpose and passion to help others out..
    I am a trained Life Coach/Reinvention Intervention ..I have reinvented myself over the last few years since coming out of a caring role of 7 years for my late mother.. and bringing up my son singled handed these last 5..

    Reaching out with interaction has to be the way..we need to meet marketing and purpose on point where it is right now..and go with the flow of Divergent Thinking..(out of the Box..) because many live in this existence when reaching their 50s ..us life changers and shape shifters are needed out there!!

    Here’s to the continued success of such a wonderful manifestation of wonderment which is Fabafterfifty..brought about by your passion to help others..now we need to help you in order that we help ourselves..its perfect synergy..let me know if I can help..

    I currently do video marketing..Google Hang Outs..training /coaching etc..and I am putting together some awesome programs for self development..

    Warm regards to you Ceri and a Massvive welcome home 🙂

    Jill Humphreys

  5. Jan Burns

    July 16, 2014

    Hi Ceri, I am now 60, and an avid follower of your site…and I agree women over 50,are made to feel old and at 60 older….I like to I think I don’t look my age , but many days feel it…love your site..some of the best advice I’ve ever read. Xxx

  6. Kay Newton

    July 16, 2014

    So pleased to hear you are having Sensibly Selfish time. Amazing things happen when you look after number one first. Big hugs.

  7. Judith Franklin

    July 16, 2014

    Hello Ceri

    I’m a counsellor in private practice and my focus is on helping clients in mid-life and beyond, including women going through the menopause. I have shared so many of your posts on my page and had such a positive response to them. I hope the site continues in some form as it offers a much needed forum for women of our age and upwards. I would certainly be willing to share any blogs I’ve done which are relevant to the site.

    Best Wishes
    Judith Franklin

  8. Joan Harris

    July 16, 2014

    You have been inspirational and I love you site. I celebrate 70 years this month but am enjoying good health, probably better than some much younger people. I certainlyt don’t feel old. You certainly can’t keep working like you have been for the past years and I’m sure there are other FabatFifty ladies who can and will contribute to enable you to move forward in a good way.
    Best Wishes
    Joan Harris

  9. Gillian

    July 16, 2014

    Thanks Ceri. Glad to hear that the website will remain. Feel free to email me for help with articles, life experience etc. I’m in the age bracket where work seems to be something I have to keep doing. I was originally in a mind set for retiring at 60. Now that seems more likely to be at my state pension age of 66 based on my date of birth. And you can’t get a bus pass until you reach state pension age either! So the state does not think I am elderly as I am approaching 60 and still feel like a 30 something. In some ways we are a sandwich generation often with elderly parents and (grand)children to amuse and look after, while still working (often as self employed or a portfolio of jobs). I would like to hear and discuss more. For me, the long school holidays are challenging.

    • Margaret

      July 16, 2014

      Do you live in London Gillian?

  10. Jo Carroll

    July 16, 2014

    Do what you need to do to stay well, Ceri.

    I can’t possibly put in the hours you do, but if there’s something you need that can fit in with the general uncertainties of my life, then do ask. But look after yourself first.

  11. Lesley

    July 16, 2014

    Hi Ceri

    You know sometimes in life we have to let go of things in order that they come back to us. I have no idea how I can help, but I would love to. I’m 61 now, but I believe I have so much to offer and feel this would be the ideal place…

  12. Anne Stormont

    July 16, 2014

    Ceri, well done – for all the wonderful and inspiring work on Fab After Fifty, bot also for having the courage to say enough and to take timeout.

    Sharing the load is a great idea. Health and wellbeing – both mental and physical is something that interests me as does the portrayal of and provision for the older woman in the media and culture in general. I’d be happy to write post(s) and to share my own story/stories.

    All the best to you.

  13. Joanna Marsh

    July 16, 2014

    Dear Ceri,

    I am so pleased that you took some well deserved time out. Hopefully you were able to ‘take stock’ of things and you have come back feeling rejuvenated and refreshed. I agree with everything that has been said so far. This is a wonderful site, and we have all gained so much from it…..help, support, advice etc. I can see that for one person alone to manage something so big and time-consuming is too big a task. I have seen it grow, blossom and bloom in such a huge way over the years. If there is anything I can do to help….perhaps write a blog post or write a review on a product, I am very happy to offer my services. Whatever I can do…..I am here and happy to offer help/support

  14. Sarah

    July 16, 2014

    I wish I could ‘like’ all these comments! I too would like to become involved. You have created a great forum Ceri, so let us help you to maintain it. I am sorry that you got to the point that you did ….. but I still find that it is only at moments like that, that I realise the need for change. I look forward to joining your ‘Fab over Fifty’ team in some capacity 🙂

  15. Sarah

    July 16, 2014

    Ooops, ‘FabAfterFifty’! There goes my claim to be a proofreader ….

  16. Sharon Clephane

    July 18, 2014

    Ceri – you are so inspirational and you have made FabAfterFifty women connect and feel supported as they approach/have just approached/are well ensconced in, their 50s. I am very happy to help either by contributing stories or help with admin. Please don’t feel as though you are an island as I know, after reading some of the above comments, that there are many of us out there who want you to continue and who are happy to support you to do so. Thank you for all your hard work so far and I have to say, FB and life would be very dull without the bright colours of FabAfterFifty!

    My offer is there – email if you can use me!

    S xx

  17. Doris Russell

    July 19, 2014

    So glad you took a break Ceri. I am just a housewife and feel burn out sometimes. Take care of yourself and don’t work so hard. That’s why I write on WordPress. I can write whenever I want to. I haven’t in awhile now. I’d like to see more of the way you think and feel on the website instead of that number.

    I neglect to put my age even on this website because I may be one of the oldest or oldest. I was really born august 4,1943. However I am often younger than women who are younger than me. I think it’s because I think differently. I don’t’ try to. I’M JUST BEING MYSELF.

  18. M-T

    July 21, 2014

    Gosh, I can really relate, Ceri. I’ve just run across your Blog and this post jumped out at me. As an over 60 Baby Boomer, who started a very modest Blog as an adjunct to my image consulting business, while managing a family, a house full of very spoiled cats and a 90-plus-year-old Mother who needed constant care and attention, not to mention serious surgery with an uncertain outcome — all within a five-year period — I suddenly realized I was thoroughly exhausted and really needed a break. I took it, and so should you. I came back all the better for it, and so will you.

    Cheers, M-T

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