This week we are featuring as our Woman of the Week, Janey who is a lady who continues to smile and light up a room no matter how much her private life is falling apart. Her story and tips for a better life will resonate with many of our readers.
Tell us a little about yourself. I have been separated now for 5 years and have two wonderful sons who are 22 and 20 years old. I currently work as a wedding registrar which I love enormously, it is always a privilege to be part of someone’s special day and each ceremony is unique. I have only been doing it for a couple of years but I cannot see myself ever wanting to stop as it is such a special and enjoyable job.
Most of my adult life was spent working for a major airline, I worked on the first class VIP team which was amazing and challenging! You never knew who you would see each day and every day was different. Of course I got to meet all sorts of people, royalty, politicians, film stars and celebrities but my favourite passengers were always the Grannies travelling to meet new grandchildren or family they had not seen in years – their excitement and joy was infectious.
How have you changed since turning 50? I have changed dramatically in the last few years since turning 50 as my life has been turned upside down. My marriage ended and I went from being a busy mum in a house of four to living on my own. For anyone who sometimes moans about their lives with a husband, children, elderly parents or cleaning, shopping, laundry, cooking etc., all I can say to them is be careful what you wish for. For a long time in my life I felt stuck at 37 and it was a good age but now I think of myself around 47! However the experience of dating again is certainly not as much fun as people think.
Where have have you lived? I grew up in Surrey and have also lived in Windsor and Brighton but I now live in Henley-on-Thames. I have always said that I want to retire to a coast somewhere but I haven’t decided where yet and I think it’s still a bit too soon.
What do you do in your free time? I have a lively puppy that I enjoy walking each day regardless of weather. There is no such thing as bad weather just inadequate clothing! I do yoga and Pilates and I have recently started rowing and I also do HIIT classes a couple of times a week – I enjoy the feeling of my body being strong.
Do you have a fashion secret? My fashion secret is mixing good quality classics with accessories and bargains from H & M or Primark. I buy clothes, especially suits and dresses, from Hobbs and L K Bennett – they help give me my confidence at weddings although I also have a couple of lovely dresses from Me & Em that I always get compliments on. Every summer, without fail, I buy a new pair of white linen trousers – they are a staple I could not do without!
Have you embraced technology? I love technology and admit to being an Apple fan! I have an iPhone and iPad and I use iTunes all the time – I love having music on the go.I currently have a favourite app called ‘Calm’ and it helps me to meditate and switch off. As crazy as it sounds I listen to bedtime stories – I always drop off and so far have never heard the end of any of the stories!
Do you have a beauty tip that you can share? If I could only ever use one beauty product it would be my lippie and I am rarely without it. I have tried lots of brands but I now use a lip primer and Mac lipstick with a dash of Lipcote to keep everything in place. I also use primer on my face under my tinted moisturiser – I still sometimes find it hard to regulate my body temperature and the primer helps everything from just sliding off.
Do you have a favourite food that you cook? I love food and am much healthier living on my own – lots of salmon and chicken with roasted root vegetables and salads but in the winter I do still love my slo-cooker to make casseroles and chillies with jacket potatoes. I make in bulk and then I freeze portions.
What is your tipple? I love Italian food and Italian wine but my favourite tipple is Tanqueray gin with Fever Tree Elderflower tonic.
What is your favourite book? It has to be I am Pilgrim and I think the author, Terry Hayes, has another book out in the spring which I can’t wait for!
Do you watch TV? I love TV dramas – Broadchurch/Dr Foster and I am currently enjoying the new series of Cold Feet. But my favourite this year has got to be Big Little Lies with Nicole Kidman and Cameron Diaz.
I know that you love listening to music so what is your favourite? I love Coldplay and Ed Sheehan but I also love the music I grew up with from the 70’s and 80’s and cannot get my head around the fact that I know all the lyrics of songs from 30 years ago and yet I can walk upstairs and forget what I went there for!
We have heard of your likes but what could you not live without? That’s easy it would be my sons. I am lucky because they are in touch every day and have been so supportive of me over the years.
Do share with us your top tip for women over 50? My top tip is to never give up and keep pushing yourself. You never know what you can achieve until you try! In the last few years I have climbed Kilimanjaro, run a marathon and backpacked around India, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. I strongly believe that the more you put it into life the more you will get out of it!
Enjoy reading about Janey? Why not check out our other wonderful women of the week: click here