Moving Forward With a Gentle Nudge
Lots of us are ready for something new at we head towards our late 40s and early 50s but sometimes it's hard to know what's the best direction to take. Mags Clark-Smith is going to help us to tease out some of the threads and identify our priorities.
'Warning' by Jenny Joseph
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me....
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I love Jenny Joseph's poem, mainly because of what happened at my surprise 40th birthday dinner party organized at home by some of my closest women friends. Caroline, a good friend, confidently recited 'Warning' after dinner with a twinkle in her eye. She responded positively to our giggles as she recited with a Shakespearian air super confident with arms outstretched and flailing. I can still see her, and my heart brims with fondness.
As she delivered the closing line:
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple
We roared with laughter. Caroline stood with her skirt in a perfect pool around her feet, she had undone the zip during dinner to make room for a second helping! Carried away by her recital she hadn't noticed until the end and howled with laughter at the irony of her words matching her actions. She was 38 at the time.
You will perhaps have similar treasured moments from girls nights, and perhaps like me, you felt turning 40 was a big deal, how could I really be that old? Rachel, who organized the party knew I was sensitive about this milestone and she had asked each of the guests to prepare a 'turn' for after dinner, Jane Austin style. Hence Caroline's poem, it was hilarious. Rachel's 'turn' was to show us fabulous photos of her when she was 15, 21 and 30 in each case we saw how fresh faced she was and recognized her infectious smile. She is a mental health nurse and always maintains a smile is a gift to give freely and frequently. Her point, aimed at me, was that as a 15 year old looking at her first photo she was horrified by what she looked like, but at 21 she quite liked it and at 30 she thought she had looked great. At 40 Rachel loved that photo of her 15 year old self, she saw her youth, exuberance and love of life. She didn't see any of the things her 15 year old self had seen, that she was ugly, too 'lumpy' and spotty. She said the same thing about each of her photos, the moral of her 'turn' was for all of us to love who we are now and not to wait 10 years before we like ourselves.
Age can give us perspective and confidence.
As we face changes approaching or immersing ourselves in our Second Spring we may need a little boost of confidence or a fresh perspective to help us. In our Second Spring life circumstances, our body and hormones may be changing, it's a time when we might lose both our sense of perspective and some confidence. We can gain so much from the warmth of other understanding women, a little gentle direction and laughing together as we explore what confidence really is and how to use it. As I found out on my 40th birthday, the time is now, back to Jenny Joseph's poem:
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
If you are tempted by the idea of being slightly adventurous but don't see the appeal of wearing purple, I hope you can join us on one of The Moving Forward with Confidence courses designed for My Second Spring starting in Tuesday 10th May 10.30 – 12.30am & Wednesday 11th May 7.30 – 9.30pm for 3 weeks.
Please look here to find out more.
Are you stuck in a rut and fearful of your future and potential changes?
Do you realize it's time to make some changes but don't know how?
Do you want more joy and fun in your life?
In the midst of caring for others, have you forgotten how to look after yourself?
Is your body letting you down?