WOMEN OF A ‘CERTAIN AGE’ – TODAY!

I had an afternoon this last week (in the city) where I had a few hours to kill, while Eric was at a meeting. It was an afternoon of peoplewatching, really – wandering around a large shopping mall, sitting in a street cafe and then reading in the local library.

I began to notice all the ‘middle aged’ ladies. In inverted commas, because I was guessing that they’re middle aged – I WAS actively seeking out ladies that were probably about my age! I observed and then wondered how I appeared to other women. There were so many BIG ladies and it occurred to me that if these are my peers, where did we go wrong?

Lower socio-economic (and therefore reduced) circumstances leading to bad quality/poor food choices (no money and little education) and combined with the ready availability of cheap and fast food!? Or comfortably well off and therefore self-indulgent, able to afford to eat when and what we want. And/or in comfortable relationships and no longer needing to try hard? Perhaps, unluckily trapped in a ‘sugar world’ before we realised what sugar does to us!

Of course, there are plenty of middle aged and older ladies (50, 60, 70 …) who haven’t gained weight. And they’ve got it all ticking along nicely – weight, clothes, hair, skin – they could be 70 or 50. And of course, there are large ladies who got that way due to health reasons or genetics – but they won’t be the majority. So we aren’t talking about them!

There ARE MANY unsatisfied people in our Western society. Too many choices and options lead to a lot of decision-making, which causes anxiety and stress and uncertainty. Also there’s a lot of fear (of what, you might say, here in Australia) but I say fear of failure, of what people think, what they might say – what they see when they look at us! Dismay at what we see in the mirror, disappointment at not reaching imagined heights, or failure to be what we might have been and sadness at facing up to a lack of life-time in which to make that mark! Time has been wasted, roads not taken, decisions incorrectly made. In hindsight, is there much you would have done differently?

Children, job choices, love, education, travel – extremes or boundaries – and at the root of all, your personality type and your childhood experiences! How did they mould you and your reactions to the world and the events you’ve experienced and decisions you’ve made – that lead to the hole that you need to fill – with sugar, alcohol, drugs, recklessness or excess just to cope with what you feel is a savage world?!You know you’re doing something wrong; you’re trying to own your own behaviours; you realise that these are ‘coping’ behaviours, that are not REALLY HELPING YOU!! But it is so hard to change!!

What if you let go and nothing changes? If you bring attention to yourself people may notice the change and have opinions about that. You’re now under pressure with the weight of (perceived) expectations. You’ve struggled to make changes, but are you really now you?! For so long you’ve had high expectations of yourself, but low outcomes. Through effort and strength of mind and soul you’ve begun to live … to overcome the self-imposed hurdles … to let yourself be proud of you!! Can I do it? Can I be free and happy? Am I as good as everyone else?

Walking around this shopping area were A LOT of overweight and unhappy looking women, of approximately my age. How many of them are caught in this struggle? Do they put on a brave face before family and friends? Is their ‘true’ self scared, disappointed and unhappy? I’m sure some of them are oblivious; aren’t they? How many are self-aware enough to think about how they got to where they are and how and whether they could change things?!

If you have the urge to beat yourself into submission – remember that change is difficult BUT not impossible! ‘Mentally healthy’ people can find it difficult to understand what these women are going through or how they got there. It was interesting to imagine putting these women into a line and seeing how they fit into the box I’d put them. The more we think we are individuals – and we all strongly hold on to that right – the more we learn how similar we are. Running the same race to death, fearing being forgotten and waiting for someone to fix it for us!

Reach out now. Forgive yourself! πŸ™‚

Forgive others. Let yourself love and be loved. Be kind and charitable – and start at home! Start with yourself! πŸ˜€

We don’t have to be perfect; or the same as someone else; or the best. Try and be true to who you think you are IN YOUR SOUL – and the VERY BEST YOU will find the way!

13 thoughts on “WOMEN OF A ‘CERTAIN AGE’ – TODAY!

  1. Hey Trish!

    Always the deep thinker! It’s really nice to see it expressed so…

    We are cut from the same cloth and these are ideas over which I have angsted, many, many times.

    The ironic thing is, I believe all this is metaphysical. I bring my reality into being by building it in my thoughts.

    I am overweight to some degree because of diet and medicinal complications. But I have dwelt too much and on too many things and I hold myself to myself and away from the world and I need to create space to save me from all ‘those things’. And the weight is space and all the things I carry and the wall of myself that I build to be safe.

    I need to let go and then I can achieve bodily health and mindful health…

    I know the secret to my mental health is my bodily health and it’s really not about weight AT ALL!!

    I just AM…

    Thanks for taking my thoughts there, my wonderful sister!

    Nearly ready to love the journey again… ❀ ❀ ❀

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    1. Love you so much Lori and I’m happy that your thoughts went there, especially if it wasn’t harmful!
      I have thought many times in my life the possibility/probability that my own weight gain was a way of ‘building a wall’ between me and the world.
      I’m naturally so shy and introvert – I think my natural reserve is enough of a wall – but it all helps!
      Lower expectations of fat people!? That’s a terrific barrier! If unhealthy 😦
      And as for deep thinker? It may be thinking, but it’s in a very ‘lay’ person kinda way! I’m not an intellectual thinker like you Lori! xxx

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  2. Seriously Trish. ..I know you have been told by family and friends but you really SHOULD write a book! You put power into words with such apparent ease (from where I sit!)
    I love the idea of striving to be the best version of ourselves we can be and I am fighting the good fight most days!I I too, am a middle aged warrior against the perceived “ideal” body shape etcetera etcetera….and having
    kept my weight and fitness in check… (up to now)…. I often hear comments along the lines of…”oh you have nothing to worry about!” “Why are you watching what you eat?” ” you don’t have a weight issue”!
    The simple fact though, is that it is a struggle to keep a watch on my diet, exercise often and keep my self esteem in a heathy state! So, as much as I applaude anyone who has “battled the bulge” , I also take my hat off to the fuller figured lady out there who is happy in her body, and also to the slighter figures in our midst that fight quietly everyday to keep the bulge at bay!
    But yes, Trish, love hearing your thoughts…whether travelling or not!

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    1. Hey Deb – this is in my travelling blog because I don’t know how to make a new one – without starting a new account! If you work that out … HELP!! πŸ˜€
      And although this seems to have turned into a weight issue story I think it’s as much about the question of ‘what is lacking that makes so many people unhappy?’. Why is there a hole to fill for these people!
      You are doing an amazing job of looking after yourself – and I keep being surprised when I realise that you do have moments of uncertainty and you can be nervous – because you just hold yourself in a way that says “I’ve got this going on!”. You should feel proud of how well you’re doing – and how your boys have all turned out!
      I have to admit I have also been guilty of asking that question of my slim friends – “what are you worried about” and when they get upset or seem teary about that 5kg that won’t move, I didn’t get it! I couldn’t understand what they were stressed about – but it’s all relative (I have to keep reminding myself!).
      I’m not perfect, remember!!? πŸ˜€

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      1. Hi again. Who says what starts as travel blogging can’t morph into something else… just love that there are people who are reading AND engaging with you in a more productive (I thnk) way than facebook? Hope to get some sort of feedback with my blog too but a lot of invitees seem to be having sign up issues. … time will tell! In the meantime Trish, we may chat more here than face to face at home…. πŸ˜‰

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  3. Great thoughts Trish. I’m approaching this certain age too and can relate with some of these feelings. I think some of it is that woman tend to think of their main role in life as ‘Mum’ (even those who work) and are a little lost once their children are independent. I have a way to go with that one, with having my family late. I also I have to say I’ve seen similar in men of a certain age too. xxx

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    1. Hey Rachel – thanks for responding!
      Although I did write this from my perspective as a ‘middle-aged’ woman (I hate that label!) it really does apply to the mainstream. I fooled myself for a long time about the weight I was putting on – and do you know why it was so easy? Because there were SO MANY people a lot heavier than me – and the ones that I really noticed were the young people.
      There are girls in school (high school) who are two or three times heavier than me – and I’m overweight! So, although I knew I was getting heavier I really thought that I didn’t have a ‘problem’.
      I don’t see many seriously overweight ‘old’ people – do you? I’ve done some volunteer work with oldies the last year – and they’re mostly tiny and sprightly! This is a new way of being – and what I’m pondering are the whys of it!
      We aren’t valuing ourselves – for whatever reason! And there are a lot of modern societal circumstances that contribute to this!
      I admire you from afar Rachel! You have a lot on your plate – and you seem to handle it all with grace and aplomb! You’re going to be an amazing OLDIE! xx

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  4. Trish, thanks for this interesting article. I will now read it again and have a little think about it? Big day for thinking for me and not much time to do it as am leaving on a trip tomorrow and busy doing preps for it. Did you see the article on PTS I posted this morning? A very interesting and thought provoking article I am sure would interest you.be well my little friend!!!!!!

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    1. Hello Bobbie! You’re welcome; just sharing my thoughts. Don’t think too hard though – I’m not really writing to have strong conversation on issues. I’m a peaceful type of person and I’m just speaking out loud (well in writing) but I don’t get heated and feel stressed when other people do. So enjoy the writing if you’re happy to – but … actually I think I’m worried that you’ll come back with some strong counter-argument or something and that might feel confrontational and I wouldn’t enjoy that!
      But I do value your voice Bobbie and look forward to ‘most’ of your thoughts!
      Said with love, Trish xxx

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  5. Hi Trish

    What a lovely article. Thought-provoking, honest, warm and full of hope. I agree it is a hard fight being the person I was meant to be and not having to fulfil expectations of others and society. Just this week, it occurred to me that I am behaving like an animal in a cage with an open door….I am still sitting inside!

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    1. Hello David, thanks for your thoughtful comment!
      From my perspective, you have achieved so many dreams! You’ve embraced your Irish ancestry and successfully combined it with your love of music. You are in a caring career, you’re a family man and you’ve adopted a new country, which means you’re multi-lingual and have adapted to a different culture!
      If I was ever going to be jealous of someone, it could be you πŸ™‚
      I’d be interested to know what else you believe you could have done – or have held yourself back from?
      If you have other dreams – don’t think you’re too old or they have passed you by! If they’re important enough – go for it! πŸ˜€
      Loving vibes!!!! (sent your way) Trish xx

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    2. Hi Trish, you’ve registered the wrong email address for me for this so only just seen it. I don’t know how to change it but you’ve missed a ‘.’ from my email address. Should be Rachel.holdway and not rachelholdway.

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