The beautiful thing about maturing is that you stop giving a damn about what people think and people pleasing. I am not sure when this moment happened, all I do know that it was unbelievably liberating. I bear my all in my blog, laughter lines, expanding waist and honesty.
To start blogging and vlogging, as a 40 pluser, is putting myself out there, but with this new found liberating feeling, I am enjoying it and frankly not giving a S@#t - if I make you laugh, my work is done. In a market where aged 20 something bloggers quip about their ‘journey’, ‘fashion trends’ and ‘lifestyle’ I did start to wonder who the hell will be interested in a 50-year-old woman’s point of view – then I slapped myself round the face with a wet fish (metaphorically of course) and shouted, ‘I am not invisible, or dead, I am 50’.
I reflected upon life, in a speeded up video style moment (VHS of course) and came to the conclusion that I have experience, life skills, wisdom (gets better with Gin) and strength of character – so when I stumbled across a blog on bloglovin’, I nearly pmsl at the title ’25 things I wish I should have done before 30 – and why It’s ok I didn’t' – I had a ‘roll up my sleeves’ moment, and put pen, yes a pen, to paper and started making notes – want to read more?
So, in a paradoxical style here are my replies to the troublesome top 25 things that under 30’s worry about in 2018 and why 40+ women frankly don’t care –
1 Learn to sew a button
Oh, come on, really?! Even my cat can sew on a button, blindfolded!
2. Eliminate debt
In the 80’s if you exceeded your overdraft you were fined around a gazillion pounds, so you didn’t. Credit cards were more reserved for anyone who had slept with their local bank manager and debt was owing the barman a tenner on your tab.
3. Travel to the Greek Islands
Shame on you for not exploring, we are practically neighbours and simply one of the most beautiful places in the world – so if you think it’s a bit old hat (it is cos it’s ancient) compared to the trendy 2018 hangouts, then check it out for yourself or ask one of us oldies where’s good to stay!
4. Lived in my own place for more than a year.
My era, women had just paved the way for us to start flat sharing with our girlfriends and it not be weird, to perhaps contemplate having some space away from the parental home, for independence before we may or may not decide to move in with a boyfriend – to have a boy sleep over at home was not an option – you moved out.
5. Took a long break from dating
In this yester year era of breaking free and trashing the ‘leave school, get a job at a children’s nursery, meet a man from your neighbourhood, church or old school mate, get married, have 2.4 kids, a dog and a happy ever after’ us rebels took pride in NOT dating for too long. We didn’t want to get tied down, we wanted to explore. The ‘liberation of women’ card was ours to use and my god we were going to use it. No need to burn our bra’s but wearing them fashionably cone shaped thanks to JPG and Madonna, his muse.
6. Stop trying to fix people
We loved the broken people, that’s what made the 80’s interesting. Would Boy George have broken down barriers and been the most talked about appearance on TOTP if he had been ‘fixed’ absolutely not. You can’t fix people, people need to fix themselves and sometimes a lot of creativity comes from people who are different.
7. Stay away from toxic relationships
Toxic was something in a bottle we often put in our hair to bleach – because we experimented. Relationships were tricky as the ‘new man’ was finding ways of engaging with the ‘new woman’ remember the 90’s man was the nappy changing, meal making superhero, because of our education and pure defiance of breaking away from stereotypes.
8. Stay up all night to watch the sunrise
Well if you had taken your trip to Greece then this would have been wiped off your list immediately, it’s not a Greek holiday unless you’ve stayed up to do this fine art of dawn watching.
9. Spend less hours in a Gym
I agree with wellbeing, physical activity, but in the prime of my life in my 20’s my ‘fitness workout’ was ‘going out a lot’ and probably danced the night away (until sunrise) at least a couple of times a week, whilst meeting a cross section of people. It was never a worry to spend less time at the gym, as there was too much else going on
10. Climb a mountain
So, if you’re 30 and spent less time in the Gym, or had travelled to Greece then maybe mountains would have been something to marvel at, rather than using as a metaphor for a ‘really tough time’ suffering from FOMO
11. Run a marathon
In our 20’s it wasn’t about running marathons and pushing our bodies to extremes, it was about engagement, connections and getting fired up and angsty with the political and social unrest that ruled our teens. The only time we were running marathons, were at demonstrations against Poll Tax, Wapping and trying not to be killed off by the tumbling tombstone of the AIDS advert. We really did believe we were ALL going to die!
12. Learn a second language
γιατί δεν μάθατε μια δεύτερη γλώσσα – it’s all Greek to you and should’ve booked that trip once again- who’d have thought Greece was such a deal breaker, it was for Shirley Valentine, and if you’ve never seen the film, add it to your bucket list. Anyway, didn't you crazy kids HAVE to take a GCSE in a language? Btw my niece speaks three!
13 Took a coding class?
Now that’s all Greek to me…coding? I take it’s not Morse code, but something technical and beyond my 40+ years capacity. I took an aerobics class, Jane Fonda’s Callinetics but I am sure that’s not what you are referring to. I am ashamed to say at school we didn’t even have a computer…..positively prehistoric I know!
14. Invest in high quality clothing
Classic pieces yes and always have investment buys – we lucked out and had tragically named stores like C&A (child and adult), Richard Shops (eeks I worked there for 6 months, a far cry from my management days at a designer store in Covent garden) plus the beginning of the Next empire – The TV programme, The Clothes Show, hosted by designer Jeff banks and look a likey Selina Scott, reported on catwalks, getting the ‘look’ and shopping on a budget – pure class!
15. Road tripped across country
Shall I tell you what I did before the dinosaur age of 30 with regards to cross country, or cross Europe. I bought a ticket for £50 London to Athens one way. I sat on a smelly coach, with the toilet closed off to store contraband fags (quick detour off the Autobahn in Germany for the transfer). The back seats stored our stacked up, unsupported cases, as the luggage hold was bursting full of electrical equipment that the coach driver and his mate had bought in London ready to flog in Athens. A trip I thought would be unforgettable , and it was, for very different reasons!
16 Scheduled all girls annual trip weekend away
If there is one piece of advice I would give, then that would be, save these girls weekends for perhaps 40+. By that point you’ll be so sick of the sight of your partner, you’ll be dying to hang out with some all-female company – especially if you’ve pushed out boy sprogs and have an all-male, all farting, all eating machines household.
17. Ask questions about family history
Yes, do ask and ask it now, my parents are both dead, my brothers not that bothered, and I have the one scribed family tree from my mother’s side, dating back so long it made Who do you think you are look modern– my Dad’s side I know very little and that’s sad.
18. Read all the classics
I find it hard to believe that this has appeared in the top 25 list, Classics are Classics, take your time to indulge in such pleasures like reading a book, they are not going to disappear, you have a life time to look forward to absorbing every word, from every listed Classic book that everyone SHOULD read (take note of the word SHOULD)
19. Attend a symphony
Kill two birds with one stone and attend the Hacienda Classic tour and go ‘mad for it’ to A guy called Gerald’s Voodoo Ray, Marshall Jefferson’s Move your Body and grab a bit of Bez dancing to the beat of the ….violins?
20. Lived in another country
Do it before Brexit! I lived in various countries, working, embedding myself into culture, intelligently learning all the swear words and embracing cheap everything – not any more folks. How I miss the Drachma, you will discover more about yourself by living in another country than any life coach could guide you, trust me, I am one!
21. Run for political office
Don’t run for political office, just vote, or take note of who says what and what your values are? Our most memorable slogan was 'just say NO', had nothing to do with politics though #roland
22. Make more friends of all ages
How do you ‘make more friends’ in a world of virtual social activity? Going to meet a 65-year-old grandma playing Dota? Reconnect onto Facebook, and check out the ‘parents’ posts, a place where only ‘old people’ go! Why are we not like our European neighbours, whereupon their elders are so highly respected and embraced in their community, it is viewed as an honour to mingle with older, wiser folk, not some sort of embarrassing phenomena
23. Gotten a facial
This is a requirement for every 40 plusser who over indulged in lying under a Cancer Stick ‘sunbed’ as they were the ‘spray tan’ of the day, even GP’s would suggest a roasting under the rays to clear up skin problems. No wonder so many of us look like Bubbles from Little Britain. Facials do get rid of wrinkles, right?!
24.Wrote a book
Why oh why would you want to write a book before you turn 30? The best authors ever known to the book world have always been 40 plussers at least, we are talking books here and not autobiographies by Justin Bieber or Jedward?
25. Threw myself a birthday party
I’m sorry did you say a Half Birthday? What the flip is one of those? If you half your age, then I’m in and thanks so much for the tip!
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Thanks for reading