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Things I wish I’d Appreciated When I Was in My Forties

brown dog lying on bedOn my twentieth birthday I felt like I was over the hill.  I mourned the passing of my teens, dyed my purple hair back to brown and bought a duffle coat. The feeling lasted about a week before I decided that twenty wasn’t so bad but thirty was old. In my thirties I did a degree alongside the eighteen year olds which made me feel ancient but nothing prepared me for that forty feeling.  I dreaded it so much that I stayed off work for a couple of days hoping that nobody would remember. They did and I received a lovely bunch of flowers which whilst very much appreciated, made me feel older still.  Age is relative though and I can see now from the vantage point of sixty that twenty and thirty are young and forty is actually a fantastic age. If only I’d known then what I know now…

1 It’s young. Especially when looking back when you’re over 50.

2 You’re still counting ahead to the future, not counting backwards from when you might die.

3 Your arms are still as youthful as they were when you were 20. Appreciate them before they go overnight in your fifties and you develop upper arm envy.

4 You’re young enough to master a skill before the meno-brain fog kicks in and you can’t remember what you had for breakfast.

6 Your skin still fits your face.

7 It’s easier to change jobs. There may be no age discrimination but when employers see O Levels or GCEs on your CV rather than GCSEs they think you might be hard to train – like an old dog.

8 All that time spent moisturising and nourishing the epidermis is a waste of time. Nothing stops the ageing process so concentrate on the exercise – getting into a walking habit  is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

9 Drinking alcohol is a pointless waste of time.  Life is so much better when you kick it into touch.   I read Kick the Drink Easily by Jason Vale and happily never touched another drop.

10 Fifty is nothing to worry about.  My fifties were fantastic.  I trained as a fitness instructor, belly danced on stage and set up fitness classes using hula hoops. (the insomnia has it’s uses, but don’t worry about that yet).

photo of birthday birth about to blow birthday candles
You’re never too old for cake – just be careful with those candles.
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Carole Ludlow

I was terrified of going through the menopause and whilst I glided through relatively unscathed, I didn't entirely escape its attempts to knock me down I firmly believe there is a positive side the menopause and to being an older woman in the 21st century. In my fifties I trained as a fitness instructor, which I did as a side hustle to my regular job of a college librarian. I also took up belly dancing and danced on stage in a city theatre and created my own fitness classes with hula hoops. Last year at the age of 61 I ditched the library job and now buy and sell vintage jewellery, run fitness classes and work part time from home in a customer services role. It ain't over till its over.

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