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This is Midlife (not The End of Life)


Article by Carolyn Hobdey, the Midlife Mistress/Author De-Twat your Life

midlife is no longer the preserve of hand-knits and Hush Puppies; these days it can be - and is - more heels and holidays. image

Do you have that sinking feeling that there is more life behind you than in front of you?

Welcome to Midlife.

It’s a tricky moment, that’s for sure. A blend of crossroads and precipice with a touch of slippery slide – and not the kind you used to enjoy as a child.

Our perceptions of midlife are long ingrained and hopelessly outdated. We still have this idea that it is the beginning of the end, and that the end will approach rapidly. It’s time to adjust our varifocals and start to see midlife differently. With increasing life expectancy, improved healthcare and modern living conditions, midlife is now no longer a euphemism for ‘old’, but instead describes exactly what it is. It’s a midpoint. Just a way-marker in a life that still has so much more left to live.

Ok, so that may get trickier as old age descends upon us – this isn’t the film ‘Cocoon’ after all – but our mindset about midlife and beyond could do with a shake-up. It’s overdue a make-over – for it and for us. We need to recognise that midlife is no longer the preserve of hand-knits and Hush Puppies; these days it can be – and is – more heels and holidays.

midlife and high heels quote image

Yes, its the era of medical check-ups, elderly dependents, empty nests and menopause – for men as well as women – but that doesn’t mean that life is over. Fun Fact! Over a third of a woman’s life is now lived post-menopause. It’s time to enjoy yourself – you’ve dealt with and survived most of life’s crap, so you’ve earned the right to kick back and have a little fun!

You can choose for midlife to be a time of confidence. From a work and life point of view, you’re likely at the top of your game; you have experience, wisdom and insights that cannot be bought, but must be valued. When you observe the tragedy of the crippling physical insecurities of the younger generation, midlife is a time when you realise that your body isn’t so bad after all and learn to accept it with an appreciation of what it has carried you through – in fact, time to take a little better of care of it for the remainder of the journey, right? I’ll leave that thought with you.

Midlife ought also to be a time of freedom. Financially, as the pressures of children living at home and of mortgage payments typically ease, this allows for greater time and opportunity to explore and broaden your horizons – this is not the moment for playing safe and staying home!

Midlife is an opportunity to take stock

Midlife is an opportunity to take stock. Ok, so that might sound a bit scary… Yes, you likely run the risk of regrets and guilt for all the things you have or have not done. Let’s deal with that first. Regrets are pointless. They anchor us in a past we can do nothing about. That was then. This is now. I appreciate that might seem overly simplistic, but its the rock-solid truth. If you don’t like something that happened (or didn’t) in your past, use it to motivate you to do something different in your present – only that can change your future. Beyond that, lay down those regrets or guilt, step the hell over them and walk away – they are serving no-one, especially not you. Right, now that’s sorted, let’s focus on taking stock.

From this midlife point, you have a whole chunk of life left. Ok, so not all of that will be sky-diving and wild adventures, but this is the segment when you need to focus on what you want your life to stand for. Past mistakes, wrong decisions, unachieved ambitions… forget those and think about what the legacy is that you want to leave. Whether that is on the people immediately around you or on wider society, that’s for you to decide, but this is about you want to be said about you when you’re no longer around. Morbid? No. Honest. We’re all going to die, let’s just accept it and appreciate the opportunity we have to make our mark during whatever time we have left.

That’s why I’d encourage you to write your eulogy. Yes, that’s right! Actually think about the words that you want to be said about you. What impression do you want to have left? Which words would you want to be used? What kind of stories do you want to be told? Then decide who you need to be to deliver that eulogy. Now here’s the toughest part – take action. That’s where most plans fail – we do nothing about our big ideas. So stop making them ‘big’. Chunk them down to their smallest parts and then start with doing only the first one; this will avoid feelings of overwhelm. Beyond that, see each action as a stepping stone. Step onto it. Complete it. Step to the next one. Before you know it you will have travelled quite a distance.

Midlife is not a time to wind-down and wait to die. It’s a gorgeous opportunity to grab hold of what remains and leverage all that hard-won experience so that when your time does come you can look back – no guilt, no regrets – and smile that you smashed it.

De-Twat your Life  is out on 22nd May, available online at all eBook retailers and www.carolynhobdey.com

 

Author bio:

Carolyn Hobdey is the author of ‘All The Twats I Met Along The Way’ and founder of the Redefining SELFISH community. She lived a life of shame and blame so is now passionate about pioneering new ways of thinking to ensure we live without guilt and regrets. As CEO of MayDey Ltd, Carolyn is a regular speaker and media commentator on issues of toxic relationships, self-esteem, women’s health (including the menopause), selfishness, narcissism and many other imperative, topical women’s issues.

 With over 20 years spent as an award-winning Human Resources professional in some of the world’s largest employers, Carolyn earned a seat at the boardroom table leading internationally recognisable brands. En route, she gained a Masters in Lean Operations at Cardiff University where she was the first HR specialist to undertake the course and became the winner of the inaugural Sir Julian Hodge Prize for Logistics, Operations & Manufacturing.

Carolyn lives in Harrogate and enjoys boxing, dancing and socialising with friends.

 

 

 

 

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