What’s up with Grace?

I’m sure that we’ve all learnt valuable life lessons from being in lockdown. Deprived of our usual routines, we’ve had the luxury of time to take stock and see what’s really important in our lives. Hugs, Sauvignon Blanc and peroxide highlights are definitely in my top ten. As we are gradually being let out for good behaviour, even a committed introvert like me is eagerly looking forward to making the most of the here and now. When Boris confirms it is OK to do so of course. Does this mean I am having a teeny weeny midlife crisis?

Lockdown has made me realise I need to maximise every new day. Yes, the simple (and usually free) things in life are great and I will always value them above all else, but I’ve decided I’m going to say ‘yes’ to (practically) everything that comes my way from now on.

I’ve made a start by wrenching myself away from my computer and mobile screens and adhering to a new work routine. I’m still very much enjoying working long hours on this website, but I’m now more disciplined and consciously making time for other activities.

Then, like everyone else, I’m starting to socialise again. The other day we lugged out the Weber, put outdoor cushions on the freshly jet washed garden furniture, dusted off last year’s Factor 15 and congregated with friends in the required socially distant manner. We lay on sunbeds to soak up that eternally pleasing element called sunshine and it was absolutely blissful. Well, what’s new about that I hear you ask. Well, all my long held inhibitions about not showing my bingo wings, plump knees and dimpled thighs were consigned to “that was the old me” section of my life and I lay there sun worshipping like a lardy porpoise. I simply didn’t care. When the temperature soars, so does my soul and I just had to relax and carpe diem. Life is just too bloody short to worry about minor things.

A few years ago, my son’s tales of pint glasses filled with G&T, raucous dinners, all night partying and finally crashing out on sofas at dawn made me somewhat nostalgic for the wilder life I once knew (many, many years ago – a fair amount of which I spent with Annabel). Over the last few years, my idea of a crazy time was getting up the energy to take the train to London to meet friends for lunch/dinner and a dose of culture. What happened to the super-relaxed, up for (almost) anything woman I once was? Well, she’s back…

If this is a midlife crisis, it has come a bit late. Unless it’s on the cards that I am going to die aged 134.

But hang on, aren’t midlife crises things men have? How many times do we hear about balding, paunchy men recapturing their youth by buying a sporty car or, as is more likely these days, taking up cycling (and wearing oh so tight lycra) and, if they can find one, running away with a younger woman.

Grace thinks she may be having a teeny weeny Midlife Crisis

Well apparently, a midlife crisis isn’t gender specific. Research shows it’s just the triggers that are different. Males suddenly panic about being less attractive to the opposite sex, of not achieving their work/status goals, of becoming ill and dying. Women, however, are more likely to want to do all those things they were unable to while raising a family.

Actually, the more I think about it, the less I think I am having a midlife crisis, mini or otherwise. It is more of a realisation that I may have narrowed down my choices too much. Got stuck in a comfortable routine. A routine that is stress-free because it is so familiar. I definitely feel happier and more secure than I did when I was in my twenties and thirties but am realising that I need to get some of my va-va-voom back. I won’t be attempting any world records or driving solo around the UK coastline, or otherwise testing my physical or emotional boundaries. But I will be taking a fresh look at my life and how best to live the rest of it.

11 Comments

  1. MID LIFE CRISIS JUST NEVER HAPPENS IT IS A MYTH….YOU MAY GET THE MENAUPAUSE BECAUSE THAT IS PHYSICAL AND I CERTAINLT DONT REMEMBER HAVING THAT EITHER….IT IS YOUR STATE OF MINDTHAT CAUSES ALL THESE DISCOMFORTS IN YOUR LIFE. IF YOU THINK POSITIVE AND TRY NOT TO BE NEGATIVE THEN LIFE BECOMES A GREAT DEAL EASIER…..I AM 89 AND HAVE BEEN THROUGH SOME PRETTY TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCES, ESPECIALLY AS A YOUNG GIRL DURING THE WAR……BUT THESE HELPED TO SHAPE ME AS A STRONG PERSON.MY HUSBAND WAS IN THE ARMY, WE WERE SEPERATED VERY FREQUENTLY ESPECIALLY WHEN THE CHILDREN WERE YOUNG”WHY DONT I HAVE A DADDY LIKE OTHER CHILDREN” WAS MY DAUGHTER’S FREQUENT QUESTION….I COPED, NO OTHER OPTION.
    I HAVE ENJOYED ALL MY LIFE, THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE EXCITING, NEVER BORED THAT IS FOR SURE.THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING NEW OR EXCITING TO DO IF YOU LOOK ROUND…LIFE IS TO BE LIVED GET ON WITH IT WITH A SMILE.

  2. Absolutely right Grace! I had coffee with 3 friends this week. 2 are very slim, very chic and I always feel like a bloated whale, although they are good people. My other friend couldn’t care less,just arrived on her bike, and made us all roar with laughter. She is very comfortable in her skin, and I am determined to emulate her attitude. I’m never going to be slim, I cook and eat too much, so I might as well relax, stop awful envious comparisons, and be grateful. Jenny.

  3. i love your chats.I’m almost 84,and until this wretched lockdown,I was still leadiing a very full life.(I too have a younger man, 9 years younger) he was still working ,in fact retired on march 19th. We had holidays and weekends away arranged for the whole of this year, so we feel robbed, all cancelled, so life seems to be on hold, we have been locked in for 14 weeks and now, at my great age I’m too scared to go out, with the majority of the country now behaving as if all is well when it clearly isn’t. I love your enthusiasm about everything, I hope I can find mine again before its too late, I haven’t got time to waste. I now have a VERY clean house and a very neat garden, but I need a bit of fun again .

  4. Hi Grace, you always mention your son never your husband, unlike Annabel who always mentions her other half. Is your husband having a mid life crisis!
    Patricia

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