Tag Archives: adventure

Top 5 Tips About Turning 40

40When I turned 40, I wasn’t vaguely bothered by the fact I was turning 40. After all, it’s just a number.

But, a lot of people I knew were significantly bothered about leaving their 30s behind. They got depressed, went into denial, all kinds of things.

Why?

It’s not a death knell to having fun and experiencing life. After all doesn’t the saying go “life begins at 40”, and nowadays 40 is the new 30.

In the 16th century average life expectancy fluctuated between 30 and 40 and didn’t actually rise above 40 until mid-19th century

Even in 1905 the average life expectancy was just over 49 years.

So you could say that back then reaching 40 was an achievement and considered pretty old.

Today though, average life expectancy is a lot higher, so why is there still this stigma attached to turning 40?

That aside, here are the top 5 tips I learned as I climbed over the hurdle:

Tip 5 – Watch your weight (aka Middle Age Spread)

You know when you were younger, you could polish off pretty much anything you fancied food-wise and have room for more with no fear that your jeans wouldn’t fit the next day?

Middle-age spread is not a myth.

I’ve always been fairly obsessive of my weight as you know, but when I hit 40 those few pounds I put on were not quite so easy to shift.

In fact, 2 years ago I was probably the heaviest I have been for over 20 years. I mean a lot of people probably wouldn’t even have noticed, but I did. My jeans started to feel a little too tight – and this is coming from the girl who always buys a pair of jeans 2 sizes to big to start with – and I just felt uncomfortable.

Nothing I did seemed to shift the weight.

In the end I radically adjusted my diet. I gave up sugar, completely, for about 3 months and the weight fell of. Then I gradually started introducing the sugar again, and when I felt a bit heavy, cut it out.

And I started exercising more. Nothing ridiculous like 5 hours at a gym every day. No. I found some fab workout DVDs which I could do at home – and yes I know you need the willpower to make yourself do it – but they were 10 minute workouts. If I had enough time to take out to make a cup of tea, I had enough time whilst the kettle was boiling to do a 10 minute workout.

2 years down the line I feel healthier than ever. It is now part of my daily routine to exercise and if I want a piece of cake I will have it, but just cut down on the sugar for the next couple of days.

So, don’t forget to watch your weight.

Tip 4.  Mid-Life Crisis

I guess, turning 40 does make you ponder about your life; what you’ve done, what you regret doing, what you regret not doing, what you feel you should have done, what you feel life is all about.

Of course, the answer to that one is 42!

Hitting 40 does whack you with a reality check that life is passing you by.

Some people go out and buy a sports car, others just inwardly panic.

After all you’ve had 40 years on the planet and what have you done?

I haven’t really done much with my life, to be honest. For sure, I went to  university and got a degree. I didn’t use it. I sort of fell into the IT world (and was part of the gig economy before it was the ‘in’ thing to do), went to drama school because I’d always wanted to give it a shot, had a baby (not exactly how it was supposed to be) and kind of floundered.

I don’t regret a thing. After all I would be in the same place I am now even if things had been different. It’s all down to the choices you make, and I’ve been too scared to do anything most of my life.

But when I hit 40, that was when I started rediscovering me and rebuilding myself.

So rather than a mid-life crisis, I had a mid-life re-birth.

Tip 3. Bloody Hormones

Yup, when you reach 40 those old hormones start wreaking havoc.

For us women we have “the change” to look forward too.

Although the average age for the menopause is about 51, it’s actually more about the ‘peri’. This is the transitional phase between the regular, normal monthly gubbins we’ve been used to for oh so many years and them stopping. Perimenopause can last between 4 and 8 years and normally starts in your mid-40s, but can start earlier!!

To be honest, the symptoms of the ‘peri’ are pretty much the same as the real thing, so once you start the ‘peri’ the end is in sight, so to speak.

But don’t think men have it easy. Yes, our estrogen levels may experience a sudden drop in our 40s, but for men their testosterone is on the decline by 1% a year from the age of 30.

So we may get night sweats, hot flushes and soreness in various areas, but men get to join us in the depression, mood swings, decreased libido and weight gain.

So do we all need to go onto HRT?

No!

The simple things, apparently are to make sure you get enough sleep, watch your weight (see Tip 5), exercise and try not to get too stressed.

Tip 2. Go With The Flow

Let’s face it, we can’t stop time. If we could we would all stop the clock at the most amazing points in our life, wouldn’t we?

Yes, we’re going to get wrinkles, begin to go grey or bald (if we haven’t started already), our joints will start creaking and bits of us might stop working properly.

BUT that’s just life.

Just embrace it.

I’m not saying let yourself go, of course not, we’re turning only turning 40. We still want to feel good and more importantly feel alive.

So take the vitamins, buy the anti-ageing stuff (although personally egg-white face masks and olive oil are a wonder), colour your hair, buy a toupee, anything o ensure you still feel good about yourself.

BUT.

We can’t, and shouldn’t want to compete with the 20-somethings.

We have something they don’t possess yet, experience and maybe, just maybe a little bit of wisdom.

Tip 1. Don’t Panic, Just Jump In

Turning 40 does not mean it’s time for the twinset and pearls or pipe and slippers. Definitely not!

It’s time for adventure.

After all, in your 20s you couldn’t afford it, in your 70s you might be too old to enjoy it, so isn’t your 40s the perfect time to start something new and enjoy an adventure or 2?

When I turned 40 I wrote of list of 40 things to do in my 40s – and yes, there are a couple of gaps at the bottom to which I am still open to suggestions. Some of the them are stupid, silly and inconsequential. But they are just things I’ve always wanted to be able to do.

It’s fun trying to think of what to put on there, and even more fun when you do them. I know I haven’t done many of them, but I am confident that I can, and will, get another 10 done this year, at least.

 

The most important thing I have learned is that life is mostly about experiences not things. Things are just stuff, whereas experiences stay in the memory for ever and are priceless.

So, don’t panic about turning 40. It’s easy. Just take a breath, jump right in and enjoy it 😉

 

 

 

 

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A-Z of Life – Faith

faithDon’t worry, I’m not going to write about religion … that kind of faith.

Rather I’m going to witter on about the other definition of the word.

Faith – complete trust or confidence in someone or something.

Previously in the life of this Wonderful Geekette I was too sceptical (what do they want from me?), too judgmental (who do they think they are?), too critical (how dare you?) and too untrusting (I don’t believe you!).

Based purely on life experiences that had led me to believe, rightly or wrongly, that other people were always going to hurt, misuse and abuse me – for want of a better expression – in one way or another if I let them get close.

And, as for me I never even had faith in me, either my own abilities or opinions.

So I just hid away behind my brick wall of safety that I built up around me, letting life pass me by. Afraid of everything and everyone, because each time I did poke my nose above the parapet to take a sniff at the outside world something and/or someone would have me diving back for cover and building yet another layer on the wall.

But then, a couple of years ago (as I’ve said many times), I knew I had to get my act together.

To quote Anne of Green Gables “you’ve shut out life … and now life is shutting you out.” And I was, by hiding away I was shutting out life and doing nothing but existing.

One of the many self-help books I read basically repeated the time old saying that our thoughts become reality and we become what we think.

And I didn’t want to end up that sad, mad (well, no crazier than normal), bitter and twisted old biddy with no kind word to say about anything or anyone – believe me, I think I was on that road.

More importantly, I didn’t want my lack of faith in humanity rubbing off on SC.

So, like everything else I have done over the last couple of years to get from where I was to my present state I have had to start trusting and believing in life and people.

I have learned that life will have ups and downs, but the downs will only make you down if you let them.

I have learned to take the downs as lessons that I can learn from and grow and have faith that there is something better for me down the road.

I have learned to trust other people, although I’m still a little unsure and it takes me a while to fully open up. And by putting my trust in them I know that sometimes I may be proved wrong, but if that happens then I can’t change anything, so as they say I “don’t even worry about it!”

I have learned that not everyone will understand me and not everyone will like me. I get that now, so I’ve given up trying to please everyone, the only person I try to please is me.

I have learned to have faith, that the world is not so scary and that life is an adventure to be lived.

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A-Z of Life – Energy

energyEnergy!

Sometimes don’t you wish you could just jump out of bed at 5 in the morning full of vim and vigour ready to start the day, instead of hitting the snooze button for just a few moments longer whilst you go back to that wonderful dream?

But that’s not really the type of energy I’m talking about.

I’m talking about the life energy you give off in your daily lives.

It is said that we are but mirror images of our innermost thoughts and that we receive what we give.

Sounds crazy, right?

Think about it though.

We’ve all had one of ‘those’ days – you know the one where anything that could go wrong … goes wrong!

Is it just because we’ve run into a spell of bad luck, or is it merely that one stroke of misfortune has turned your life energy for the day from positive to negative and so nothing seems to go right afterwards?

So, thinking forward from that one unfortunate incident, if we let that mar our thoughts then we are emitting nothing but negative energy and therefore will attract more negativity into our lives.

Thinking about it another way – have you ever been out with friends and one friend has done nothing but moan and whine about how awful things are, etc.?   Don’t you feel exhausted after leaving? That’s the result of all your positive energy being drained by so much negativity.

I will admit to doing my fair share of whining … in the past (and I most definitely mean in the past) and now I actually can feel positive energy being sucked out of me if someone is doing nothing but moaning (my crystals are definitely earning their keep in the house I can tell you – sometimes it’s Moan Central!) and I have to either meditate or stroll outside to reconnect my positive energy with the universe. (OMG! Now I sound like some complete nut-job!)

And with all those negative vibes you are emitting you will attract other people on the same negative wavelength – don’t I know that! (But moving swiftly on …)

As you know I’ve crossed the stream from negative to positive over the last couple of years and let me tell you life has never felt so good.

Just by thinking that cup is always full, being grateful and thankful for each and day, thinking positively about every situation that life throws at me (even if it’s not that positive I just flip it to make it so) and generally having a much rosier outlook on life (and that doesn’t necessarily mean looking through rose-tinted glasses) life is exciting.

Life is an adventure.

Life is always full of surprises.

So next time life throws you a bum-deal, try not to get down, just try to think of a positive about the situation and your day will get infinitely better.

As they say “one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day.”

So smile 😉

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CHILDREN’S BOOK REVIEW: Winterling Series by Sarah Prineas

winterling

  • Stars: If I could give a million I would
  • Would I recommend it: In a heart beat
  • Age range: 8-12

 

Wow! Wow! and WOW!

Oh my goodness, SC and I have read some fab books but these would most definitely be in the top 3. Possibly even number 1!!

I bought “Winterling” for him a few years ago – as is my normal book buying method I just thought the cover looked interesting – and one night I had to go out so Grandpa was in charge of night-time reading. When I got home I asked my dad whether SC had enjoyed the beginnings of the book to be met with a grunt and “Didn’t make any b****y sense! He didn’t think much either.”

Hmm! I was a little bit surprised as I thought he would like it.

Flash forward to September last year and after ransacking the library over the holidays and devouring pretty much their entire back catalogue, I said we would read “Winterling”. “But Mummy,” came the responding whine, “I didn’t like it before.”

So, I suggested maybe we should give it another go, with me reading this time and if he really didn’t like it then we would read something else the following night.

45 minutes later he was hooked 😉

I won’t give any of the plot away, because that’s not fair, but it’s full of magic, adventure, mystical lands and at the heart actually lies a story about being true.

It’s perfectly written for children (and adults – I’m hooked too)

The best part is you actually start to care about the characters and what happens to them.

Well, we finished Winterling and then found out there were 2 more books in the series – Summerkin and Moonkind. So at Christmas I bought them for SC.

We couldn’t read them straight away as we had a backlog of library books again, but we started them as soon as we could.

And we were not disappointed – you know how sometimes sequels can be a bit of a damp squib? Not these books.

Action-packed and full of magic.

Well, we finished the final book – with both of us blubbing and cries of “But Mummy, I need to know what happens next!” – that’s how much we care about the characters.

Thankfully, one quick email to the lovely author I was told that there was a final book, because so many readers had asked the same question. It is only available as an e-book, so I had to download to my mum’s Kindle (I prefer holding a book!).

And yes, this resolved all the questions and they all lived happily ever after 😉

These were the most amazing children’s books we have read, to date, and I cannot recommend them enough.

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What do you do when you need a call of nature in the middle of nowhere?

…because my problem is that I cannot answer that call of nature behind a bush.woods

It’s a big problem.

I have tried. My sister (an intrepid adventurer) advised me the best way to do it. I was even given a book about it (I didn’t even know such books exist). But despite my best endeavours, it is always a complete dis-ar-ster dar-ling (said in my best Craig Revel-Horwood voice)

I have tried, but the last time…well, it’s a story at any rate 😉

I was out in the middle of nowhere in Europe on a hike with Mr Wrong No. 1. We’d stopped for lunch by a river which was running through the wood. Obviously water needed recycling, for want of a better expression, and there was nowhere to go except behind a bush.

Now, knowing I was rubbish at this I decided to completely (behind the bush I hasten to add) remove my clothing from the waist down – I mean the place was deserted – and just get on with it. All was fine, until a young local man, on a lilo of all things, floated down the river, noticed me behind the bush and shouted “hello there!”. Cue me turning a very dark shade of beetroot from me feet to the top of my head. Called hello back, and dived down again to quickly get dressed and avoid any further embarrassment 😉

So, these days when nature calls and I am not near a facility, I just grin and bear it until I am, even if it is a couple of hours later.

On the plus side it is does my pelvic floor muscles a power of good 😉

On the negative side it does make it incredibly difficult to laugh for fear of – well I’ll leave that to your imagination 😉

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What Would You Write to Juliet?

I stumbled across a film last week on the television called “Letters to Juliet”.G77-503383

Great chick flick, easy watching with a plot that’s easy to guess. But it did get me thinking 3 things:

1.  Franco Nero is still a stunningly gorgeous man – first saw him in the 1960s film version of Camelot (scrummy!) and like a good wine he just improves with age – mmmm 😉

2. Italy is a beautiful country and I am more determined than ever to try to learn the language and explore it – I think I might even take SC on a train trip next summer.

and

3. If I were to leave a letter for Juliet, what would I write???

 

Dear Juliet

I envy you?

You found what most of us spend an entire lifetime searching for.

True love.

That one person who loves you and would be willing to die for you.

One day I hope that I too, will find someone with a good heart who will love me unreservedly, unashamedly and passionately, someone to be my best friend and someone who will be my companion as I walk on my journey through life.

Blessed Be.

x

 

What would you write?

Why not leave your letter in the comments?

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