One of the reasons I specialised my coaching business on women at that crucial, critical crossroads of life called mid-age, was because of my mum.
I’m 50 next month and as I spend far too much time on Amazon sourcing disco ball baubles to hang from the ceiling at my Go Big or Go Home party, I think about
how different an experience mid-age was for her. Caught in the shit-storm of caring for ailing and dying parents, raising a family, juggling work with the emotional workload of house and home, and having a menopausal breakdown following a hysterectomy that just wouldn’t have happened today, I remember her being fairly shredded for a good number of years.
Now that I actually know how unbelievably exhausting all that juggling is, how overwhelmingly overwhelming, confusing and challenging it can be as we navigate more change than Love Island re-couplings, I realise how MUCH harder it must have been to go it alone.
In the 1980’s the M word was whispered behind horrified hands in the same way as the C word. The biggest crime was to be called ‘Mutton dressed as lamb’ – demonised for the gaul to try and look young when society had deemed you past your sell-by date. Not any more. We still have a long way to go before the mental awareness of the emotional burden women carry, menopause, and mid-life malaise goes mainstream, but it’s a hell of a lot better than it was. Today, there is no reason why any women should suffer anything in silence, and there are many reasons why this can be the time of our lives due to unprecedented independence and opportunities, and a handy extra twenty years of healthy life at our disposal BEFORE we get old.
That doesn’t mean we don’t struggle to juggle the changes with the dreams, and the inevitable disappointments with the opportunities.
Which is why women talking is still one of the best prescriptions for our mental health. Research has shown how protective, nurturing and comforting women talking together can be. And so the idea for the podcast Between You & Me was born… two women (who just happen to be coaches, mid-aged and carrying not a shabby portfolio of life experiences between them) talking about life, and how to live it well.
Earlier this month, writer and rule breaker Elizabeth Wurtzel who wrote the bestseller Prozac Nation when she was 27, died at the tender age of 52. In one of her last essays which looked back on her life and loves, this line stood out for me as she realised how much of her life was lost in the busyness of being busy:
“I am the thing I forgot to do. I am hanging on by a strand of Drybar dry-shampooed hair.”
Through chat, laughter, tender moments, and guidance, my co-host Maria and I hope to make sure no more women leave themselves off the to-do list. Because Between You & Me, this is our time.
Listen to Episode One here.