Launching into Life – Fab@50 Series

This is either going to go horribly wrong or wonderfully right!  But I’m launching an experiment.

One of the things I’m really noticing when coaching women (whether it’s on jobs, overwhelm, life purpose, health or whatever), is that inevitably what usually comes up, in some form or other, is a lack of confidence around giving themselves permission to invest time, love, energy, money, space on themselves. 

We’re all so busy being busy for others, it’s hard to justify getting busy on ourselves (blame cultural, societal, patriarchal programming!). It’s as if we are somehow less worthy causes than all the other causes in our lives.

Coaching shows them where those blockages are, and helps them find the wonderful mindset where they can sign their own permission slip to live a life that serves them as much as everyone else.  Then I realised I should really be taking my own advice!

 

In just under 4 months I turn 50 and there are two ways to approach this.  There’s the creeping, quietly hoping no-one (including me) will notice way, or there’s the launching like a rocket on steroids way.  Fuck it.  I’m going for the latter.

 

My 40’s have been challenging to say the least, and although there has been lots of fun (thank goodness for friends and Gin), it’s been the hardest time of my life. But I’m the person I am today as a result of all the good and all the shitty, so I’ll take them as a package because I love where I am; soon-to-be divorced, single mum to 3 amazing girls, freelancing and running my own career, and in the throws of a hormonal happy hour not seen since puberty, with an incredible feeling of intrepidation and excitement that I’m launching into the best part of my life.

I actually wouldn’t change a thing (Ok, I would change a couple of things – a self-cleaning house and calorie, hang-over free wine. I would like those please).   

As a Recovering Perfectionist, I’m (mostly) no longer driven by the expectations of ‘If Only’ and ‘When I Have’ and have learnt – slowly, painfully – that the only time that matters is now. As it is. Take or leave it.

I’ll take it, thank you. 

There are things I can’t change, but with the things I can, I’m taking full control of that rocket ship. To do that, I’m giving myself the permission to invest in myself.  (Hint: no-one else ever will).

 

So I’m on a mission to be as fit, healthy, financially in control, mentally well, and beautifully balanced as I can before I step into that rocket and take off into my 50’s decade. 

I’m also going public with my goals because I know that’s my greatest chance of success.

 

(When coaching someone who wants to achieve something – be that weight loss, fitness, less overwhelm, establishing a business – the first thing I do is find out what motivates them. By looking back at past successes, we then replicate those motivations. For some that’s the accountability of telling someone else, for others its financial investment, for some it’s fear, and others it could even be proving someone wrong. It doesn’t matter what the motivation is, only that we know and use them.)

So I know that my motivation is massively driven by accountability (with a little bit of financial investment thrown in – such as paying for a ton of classes up front rather than paying weekly and being able to skip with no guilt.)  There is one more motivation for me.  Although my mum was a lot older, I still think about the half-read book on her bedside table, the clothes she had left out for the next day’s lunch with a pal, and the make-up on her dressing table – all suspended in time the moment her stroke stole the life she was living, though not her life.  That unfinished book taught me to appreciate every single moment of this hard and wonderful life because we just never know what’s next.  I don’t want to wake up on my 50th birthday and not feel I’m the best I can be, and that I didn’t make the best of this precious life.

 

So over the course of the next few months I’m going to share my goals and progress on a number of areas in my mission to be Fab@50.  I’d love feedback, encouragement and to hear your own goals – chances are mine aren’t unique at all.

I want to maximise the **life** in MidLife. Fuck ageing gracefully. I want to age powerfully.

So here’s a list of things that I want to improve, learn, overcome, fix, deal with, loose, gain, and become in the next four months. Deep breath.

Each week I’m going to update my current status (accountability) and then also explore one of my goals in more detail to share some of the research, experiences and results, such as cellulite, IF (Intermittent Fasting), skin firming etc.

 

Activity

Current

Goal

How

Health

Current: Generally good but hormonal as fuck

Night sweats and insomnia

Goal: Feeling I’m in charge of my body and moods, not the other way round

Have an MOT (bloods, hormones levels, dex scan of bone density, mammogram, etc)

Weight

Current: 9’12 (62.7kg)

Goal: 9’5 (59kg) (for my party, with then a sustainable weight of 60/61 kilos after that

Cut down carbs

Intermittent Fasting 4/7

No wine during the week

Exercise*

Fitness level

Current: Running 3km

Goal: 10km

Runs 3/7 increasing one run each week by .5km

Parenting

Current: Getting there but still succumbing to the screaming banshee moments of overwhelm (also linked to hormones methinks – see health)

Goal: Calm and stress-free household where my children do all their chores voluntarily.

Ok, I’ll settle for a calmer environment where I spend more energy on connecting with them and less on trying to get them to do stuff

Continuing to work on my triggers and incorporating team building policy rather than irritated dictator.

Continual coaching work on staying present and not being ruled by the curse of expectation

Financial acumen

Current: A deep desire to be in better control of my finances thwarted by a slightly terrifying phobia of budgets and bank managers

Goal: Fearlessness of my finances with the freedom to thrive in my life

Embrace budgeting

Ask for help and guidance

Face the fear of the known rather than the fear of the unknown

Mental Health

Current: Appreciative of my life, energised by my potential, passionate about learning, loving, laugh and connecting but interspersed with hormonal hazards of mood swings and overwhelm

Goal: Living as consciously and connected as I can,

The most rewarding gift in my life is the learning that has helped me manage limiting thoughts, understand my triggers and learning the practise of responding consciously rather than reacting unconsciously. It is, and should be, a daily, life-long practise.

So I just keep at it. Practising gratitude, self-learning, self-love, and living with intention as much as possible – and not being too hard on myself when I don’t always get it right.

Body

Current: Feel better than I have in a year or so, but very much a work in progress. If I was an exam I’d be a C+ / B with a side note of ‘Could do better’.

Goal: This isn’t about not looking my age, or pretending I’m something I’m not. But I’m realising my metabolism has slowed down, my weight distribution has shifted, and if I want this body to keep doing all the things I want it to, I can’t take it for granted. 

My goal therefore is to treat my body with the respect and gratitude it deserves.

Increase and maintain resistance exercise to build strength through pilates

Admit my boobs have changed size and buy better bras

Deal with cellulite

Take better care of my skin

Alcohol

Current: Anyone who knows me (and my Gin collection of over 20 bottles of Irish and international batch gins) knows how much I love gin and wine so this is a biggie for me. So I’m not going nuclear and stopping all together, but the old ways of consumption no longer serve me, and I have to adjust.

I also hate putting this in as a category as it really relates to / affects many of the above – health, weight, exercise, fitness.  But it’s also about the wasted time the next day as hangovers seem to be much worse, and the impact on my already dodgy sleep.

Current situation is that I’ve already cut out that automatic evening glass of vino during the week, but still have a penchant for many when I do indulge.

Goal: Drink wine sensibly (ie not before a big morning of work, overdo it)

Find a good balance of enjoying my rare nights out with keeping a healthy eye on its impact.

Find a way to divert critical health funding into research on calorie-free/ hang-over free wine.

Failing that, keep wine for ‘out out’ occasions and where possible, replace wine with Gin and slimline tonic.

Drink red instead of white.

Always eat carbs before any wine consumption.

No home alone glasses allowed.

Skin

Current: Showing signs of wear, tear and tears, and damage from years of sun worshipping. (I grew up in an age when my mum and her pals would lather their skin in OIL to get a tan!)

Starting to invest financially and timewise on it.

Goal: Love my face for all its features, and prioritise skin care in terms of choices in investment.

Use appropriate creams

Always wear Factor 50 sunblock

Treat my skin like a child – give it love, care, attention, and lots of sleep and water.

I’m a big fan of the Stoic philosophers and philosophy to keep me grounded. (The originally meaning of the word stoic has been slightly diverted to mean unfeeling, but it’s an ancient philosophy of life that maximises positive emotions, reduces negative emotions and helps individuals to hone their character, reminding us what is truly important, and providing practical strategies to get more of what is valuable.)

So, history / philosophy lesson over. I love this quote by one of the Stoic philosophers, Seneca, who marvelled at how stupid even the smartest people are when it comes to protecting their time (one of the major issues I help women with), and for time I also read investment and permission to pursue actions that serve us.  Seneca wrote:

“No person hands out their money to a passerby, but to how many do each of us hand out our lives? We’re tightfisted with property and money, yet think too little of wasting time, the one thing about which we should all be the toughest misers.”

Investing in ourselves is an act of love, an act of defiance, and an act of kindness.

 

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: