Being middle-aged

Thursday, November 3, 2016 Permalink

The lovely Janet, from Middle-Aged Mama recently included me in a listing of middle-aged bloggers she’d met.

Another blogging friend made a comment on the use of the term ‘middle aged’. A brief discussion ensued:ย Did we think of the term negatively or was it merely descriptive?

I must confess it depressed me a little.

There’s no denying I’m middle-aged. Gah! Fuck it’s horrible to say that. But I’m 48yrs old. I don’t know how that happened, but it did. Indeed… before this calendar year ends I’ll turn 49.

If I’m really honest my horror at being ‘middle-aged’ is really only centred around one or two things I’d hoped to have achieved or experienced by this age. And it occurred to me I was letting THOSE things affect my perception of my life.

However… these Thursday posts are about ‘lovin life’ so I’ll depress you all with my victim-like ponderings another time. Today I’m trying to do the Pollyanna thing and look on the bright side.

And fortunately (around that same time) a blog post by another friend about some positives of ageing growing-up helped thwart my malaise around the whole ‘middle-aged’ thing.

In her post, How I knew I’d grown up, Jo Tracey talked about having changed from the twenty-something who lived on beer and sausages to the person she is today. In a good way. And I could very much relate. It reminded me that being 48 isn’t all bad.

Indeed, there have been A LOT of life lessons in those 48yrs, andย I realised there’s a wealth of experience that ONLY comes with age – which I touched on in last Thursday’s post.

And although I’m not necessarily past the habits of my 20s: living from pay to pay; drinking more than I should at times; eating chocolate for breakfast or dinner; and not moisturising. I’ve certainly come a long loooong way over the past 20+years.

Check out: christieinge.com

Check out: christieinge.com

I think back to my first apartment with its foam sofa,ย papsan chairs (which I would LOVE now btw) and mattress on the ground. And now… I have a beautiful house (the fourth place I’ve owned) and am wondering if my chandelier is too naff?

Twenty years ago I was easily intimated by those with more money, better jobs or more attractive. Now I’m pretty hard to impress and don’t waste time with people whose company I don’t enjoy.

Even just ten years ago I thought my worth was dependent on my achievements or how I was perceived by others. That one is still a work in progress but I’m living more intuitively and focusing more on what makes me happy and makes me a better person, than on my job title or profession.

I’ve been walking this earth for 48 years… (and crawling for another 11 months before that!) and, though I may not have lived / be living the life I expected, I’ve had a myriad of experiences and learned a lot. About myself and others.

And of course, the thing about being middle-aged is that the implication is that you’re only halfway there.

How do you feel about being middle-aged? Is it something you’re dreading, or are you already there and revelling in it? What’s changed the most since you were in your 20s?

the-lovin-life-linkyI’ve joined Leanne and some other bloggers to help promote “ageing positively” and the Lovin’ Life mindset across the interwebs. You can link up via any one of us!

The Lovin’ Life Team includes:
Kathy from 50 Shades of Age
Johanna from Lifestyle Fifty
Min from Write of the Middle.
and of course Leanne from Deep Fried Fruit.


 

47 Comments
  • Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    November 3, 2016

    Oh, I love this post!!! The best part is we’re only half way there.
    Mine was less sausages and beer and more two minute noodles and beer. Including warm beer for breakfast if there was anything left in the stubby when I woke up …
    I’m kind of glad I’ve moved on from that. Now it’s champagne and canapes without the need to skull the leftovers the next day. So much more civilised, don’t you think?
    Thanks for being part of #teamlovinlife

    • Debbish
      November 3, 2016

      My 20s were actually more ‘goon’ (casks of cheap wine) and cordial to make it palatable! And yes…. thinking I’ve still got half of my life yet (to live) is very comforting!

  • Jo
    November 3, 2016

    I’m not great with the whole mid life thing- I’m still in denial. Yet, despite the body aches & pains & the way my sleep wrinkles don’t smooth out quickly, I’m less likely to do the comparison thing, less likely to do the following thing & more likely to say ‘enough’. I’m happier in my (looser) skin.

    • Debbish
      November 3, 2016

      I had a lot of the negative stuff in this post when I first drafted it Jo – which was after your post (and just after Janet’s). And I’ll probably share that another day – ie. looking at men who could be potential attractions and thinking they look old – then realising I am too (kinda!)… that sort of thing.

      But yes, there’s a confidence that I think comes with experience. I’ve still got a long way to go but I’m better at knowing what I SHOULD care about and what I shouldn’t!

  • writeofthemiddle
    November 3, 2016

    Well I’ve got 4 years on you so I’m well and truly middle-aged! LOL I live more comfortably now and have gathered loads of knowledge over my years but being middle-aged doesn’t mean boring. I have loads of fun with friends – I just have to get to bed a lot earlier than the old days! haha

    • Debbish
      November 3, 2016

      Although Min, they do say we need ‘less’ sleep as we get older – although I think I’ve read that more about the elderly. And – of course – we’re a long way from that! ๐Ÿ™‚ My mum (who’s 72) often talks about being surprised to remember she’s ‘old’. Or she hears someone talking about an ‘old person’ and they’re only in their late 60s. I guess it’s all relative, isn’t it?!

  • Lydia C. Lee
    November 3, 2016

    I hate being middle aged because half the time I don’t feel middle aged but sometimes we go to dinner parties and I think ‘Everyone is so boring, no one ever wants to talk about anything interesting’ cos it just becomes talking about houses and schools and other dull crap.
    However, choose your friends wisely and you’ll be fine! I have friends who are turning 70 next year, and we were going to a show and I realised it started at 11.30 pm, I txted them to see if they still wanted to go, thinking it was too late and I’d be tired and they were all “of course – it will be great! We’ll just go for dinner before and it will be fun!” as if I was crazy for even asking. So now I’m all hyped about ti and excited….I also have a friend whose friend has a rule that you only get 5 minutes to talk about your illnesses and aches. If you’re at a dinner party, that’s 5 mins is split between the whole group (they’re mid 60’s). So I think I quite like that rule too….

    • Debbish
      November 3, 2016

      Oh yes… there’s that meme that pops up on FB every so often which talks about how ‘young’ you feel. And then you hang out with some teenagers or twenty-somethings and think, “nope… I’m definitely in my 30s or 40s.” Of course that’s a generalisation. I had a conversation with someone recently (in their 20s) who talked about their array of friends (some doing the share-house thing at Uni living on 2min noodles; while others are coupled-up and thinking of buying their first house!)

    • Janet Camilleri (@middleagedmama1)
      November 4, 2016

      My friends and I have that rule too Lydia!

  • kathymarris
    November 3, 2016

    Well all I can say Deborah is that enjoy the age that you are at! I have 10 years on you and I can tell you I would love to be 48 again before events like menopause, middle aged spread, leaking bladder and my dicky back, shoulder and elbow all came into play! However on the other hand, like you say I have learnt not to suffer fools anymore, have become less competitive and learnt also to love my own company and pursue my dreams. Great post.

    • Debbish
      November 3, 2016

      Thanks Kathy, as yes… I just mentioned in another comment, it’s all relative isn’t it?! Although interestingly I did drive past my old high school the other day and have always assumed I’d like to go back to then (knowing what I know now of course!!!) but thought about it for the first time and thought… Nahhhh…

  • Ingrid Ingrid
    November 3, 2016

    Being middle aged I now know what I like, what I want, what sacrifices I am willing to make and what I am willing to work for. I like looking on the brighter side thinking I’ve got half my life still to live with way more knowledge and life experience than in the first half of my life.

  • Johanna
    November 3, 2016

    I think we have to rejoice in every day. I felt just like you about turning 49 and now I’m facing 59 – where did that time go.? I actually felt more ‘mature’ at 40 than I do now, which is strange given the energy and enthusiasm I still had back then, but by reaching that milestone Big 0 I felt diminished by societies standards. Not any more though! I’m learning to live on my own terms. I think we are allowed to become a little more playful and josh with life as we get older. I liked your thoughts here …. “Even just ten years ago I thought my worth was dependent on my achievements or how I was perceived by others. That one is still a work in progress but Iโ€™m living more intuitively and focusing more on what makes me happy and makes me a better person.” #teamlovinlife

    • Debbish
      November 3, 2016

      I remember turning 40 Jo and thinking I hadn’t quite run out of time for a few things – partner, kids etc… although I was starting to cut it a bit finely. At least this time around I guess I know what’s no longer an option and have moved on from ‘expecting’ or hoping they might be before me!

  • Trish MLDB
    November 3, 2016

    I don’t mind except for the middle aged spread happening.
    I rejoice every day I wake up after 3 x cancer experiences in my mid 40’s. I want my 50’s (barely here and hubby just hit 50 on Saturday) to be fun and fabulous.
    My son just got married and we are babysitting the grandpugs for a month – I am so grateful to enjoy this season of life and the next round coming with the twinions in the next decade.

    • Debbish
      November 3, 2016

      Oh yes, very true. We should be grateful to still be here when so many aren’t… xx

  • seizetheday20
    November 3, 2016

    I hear you Deb. I hadn’t really thought of myself as middle-aged until someone else said I was. I guess it has negative connotations for me. To be truthful, I do struggle with the label. That being said, I’m enjoying this time of my life, with greater freedom, more confidence and less care about what other people think. I’ve lightened up from what I was like in my 20’s and 30’s, that’s for sure! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Debbish
      November 3, 2016

      I guess I think of my parents as middle-aged – back when they were and am in denial that THAT is where I’m now at… surely I’m still just a youngster. (And then I exercise and spend days recovering!) ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Sydney Shop Girl
    November 3, 2016

    Wise and inspiring words!!

    SSG xxx

    • Debbish
      November 3, 2016

      Thanks. I can fake it when I need to! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Denyse Whelan
    November 3, 2016

    Try being described as elderly!!!! I see this in the media and look at the age..it can be anything from 60 onwards. I am 67 next birthday and feel 47!! However, my body says differently. What I remember about ‘your age’ was that is had some really good things about it. No longer competing in some ways re ‘appearance’ and happier within aspects of myself career-wise (I did become a principal aged 49 and by some people’s standards I’d left that a bit late!). Happy within our own skin is more about being happy in our own minds dont you think? I am s l o w l y learning self-acceptance and self-compassion. Highly recommend doing the Brene Brown and Kirstin Neff Course on-line …ask me more if you want. It’s been eye-opening. Denyse x

    • Debbish
      November 3, 2016

      Oh, I’ll contact you about the course. I think the biggest struggle with the age thing Denyse is being single… so the appearance (etc) stuff still feels a bit more relevant than it does to my married or once-married (and no longer interested) friends!

  • leannelc
    November 3, 2016

    I hate the term “middle aged” (it sounds like a history lesson!) and I go with midlife as my description. It’s like I woke up somewhere around 50 and found a new and vibrant life – I’m loving being my own person and not trying to please everyone any more. I love my empty nest and my new job and I especially love midlife blogging!
    Leanne @www.crestingthehill.com.au

    • Debbish
      November 3, 2016

      What a great attitude Leanne and I did read your post and love your positivity!

  • whisperinggums
    November 3, 2016

    Poor you! I was out with my reading group last week, and one of our members, a year younger than I am described herself as “late middle-aged”. Cripes, I thought, I suppose she’s right. We are both in the early middle-60s! I’ll let you work that out! We are certainly, though, not “elderly” as the news seems to describe people in their early to mid 60s when some drama, like a road accident, happens to them. My question is, when do I become “elderly” and is there an “old” between “late middle-age” and “elderly” or do we just jump from one to the other?

    I didn’t find “early middle-age” too confronting as I was still working, still fit, etc. My 50s were wonderful years. I retired in the middle of them, and felt great. But since hitting my 60s I’ve become very aware of my reducing years. However, I’m of the mind that there’s nothing I can do about it except to live as well as I can. And, although little bodily things are starting to make themselves felt, I’m still fit and healthy and enjoying life. In the end, it’s not the name that counts but how we feel, what we do, and how we treat others.

    • Debbish
      November 3, 2016

      My mum’s 72 and is shocked when people her age are described as elderly. She talks about the ‘oldies’ she deals with at church etc and they’re mid 80s and older. I feel like I had a somewhat delayed start to adulthood so have been catching up all of this time!

  • Shauna 'Round the Corner
    November 3, 2016

    I don’t know if I’m there or not Deborah. I’m 43 and from what I’ve read around the blogging traps I might just be on the cusp. Would you agree? I don’t feel it. Middle aged that is. But if I am? It feels….alright I guess. In fact, I think I feel happier in my own skin than I ever have. I care less about what people think now (I still care….just less) and I find that the friendships (new and old) I have now are more genuine than ever and that makes me happy. I too have some regrets but I’ve learnt to accept that they have played a part in shaping me into the person that I am and if you ask me, I’m not such a bad ‘old’ stick. Haha.

    • Debbish
      November 3, 2016

      Perhaps 50 is the new 30, or something… isn’t that what they say? (Or maybe I’m a decade out?!) Sometimes I feel as if I’m still young (mentally or emotionally) but then am reminded of my vast years! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Kathryn
    November 3, 2016

    Heh heh, middle aged sounds good, wait till you’re verging on something a little more along! However living what we are now is the best.

    • Debbish
      November 3, 2016

      I guess it’s better than the alternative isn’t it!? #eek

  • Emma
    November 4, 2016

    I’m not far behind you in years and have to say I am generally a happier person than I was in my 30’s and definitely in my 20’s. I don’t beat myself up anywhere near as much as I used to – though there are times I can’t help myself and have to say I do. The main difference is comfort – I need it – no more sleeping on couches or blow up beds for me and camping is definitely out. I love your attitude of trying to see the positive and probably need to do that more. If I remember I will link up next week ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Debbish
      November 4, 2016

      Would be great to have you link-up Emma. And yes… I need to remind myself of all of the positives and not focus as much on the negatives (re life in general!!!!!).

  • B.B. Toady
    November 4, 2016

    Beautiful post! Other than the frequent body aches, I don’t miss the younger me one bit. I am wiser, care less about things that aren’t important, feel more confident, know that things pass, etc. It’s a wonderful place to be, whether the beauty industry, movie industry, and internet know it or not.

    • Debbish
      November 4, 2016

      Ah yes, good point – not everyone recognises or appreciates the wisdom (etc) that comes with age, but (when ‘forced to focus on the positives) I was reminded of the many MANY benefits experience offers.

  • Rita @ View From My Books
    November 4, 2016

    I just turned 58 this month so I’d take the middle-aged label in a heartbeat, ha.
    I don’t mind saying my age because I certainly don’t act it. Age truly is just a number. There are younger folks than I am, who are more rigid, stuffy, and focused, and probably act more mature. You can’t assume we “older” folks are mature in our thinking, just because we’re mature in our age.

    • Debbish
      November 4, 2016

      I honestly feel – in terms of my emotional / mental maturity – I’m a couple of decades behind some of my contemporaries Rita. I’ve wondered if it’s been because I’ve not had family etc… I remember announcing to colleagues (in my mid 30s) that I was ready to start dating and most – who were a similar age and married with kids – thought that was hilarious!

  • Michelle Weaver (@pinkypoinker)
    November 4, 2016

    I’m only middle-aged if I live to 112. I think I’m now verging on senior citizen. Now that’s a worry!

    • Debbish
      November 4, 2016

      Oh I think you’ve got at least 120yrs in you Michelle!

  • Janet Camilleri (@middleagedmama1)
    November 4, 2016

    I’m so sorry that my blog post made you feel depressed!!!!! I read something the other day and apparently middle age is now 51 so neither you nor I are quite there yet?!!!

    • Debbish
      November 4, 2016

      Ha… no, it wasn’t your post Janet – the reminder if you like that I am middle aged. But it was nice to flip that on its head and think of the positives that come with it!

  • Kat @anaussieinsf
    November 5, 2016

    Oh crap. I think I’m middle aged too, except my apartment still looks like the place you described from your 20s. So maybe that means I’m a tragic middle-ager who hasn’t achieved much AND doesn’t have cool things to show for it. Damn.

    • Debbish
      November 5, 2016

      That’s actually how I feel most of the time Kat. The depressing stuff I said I wouldn’t include here is that stuff for me (lack of partner, kids and so forth).

  • yinyangmother
    November 9, 2016

    I love this post Deb – I think the biggest thing we face in middle-age is reconciling our own expectations. I’ve learned to loosen society’s grip on directing and judging what I should have achieved by now, but my own critic is still active. If you need another middle-age linky team member I’m in.

    • Debbish
      November 9, 2016

      Oh okay Kathy, I’ll let Leanne know! And yes… very very true!

  • Jane the Raincity Librarian
    November 22, 2016

    I really appreciate this post – I often feel like I’m surrounded by bloggers who are so much younger and hipper than me, and I feel like I’m an uncool old lady who’s “too old” for social media, even though I’m (hopefully – knock on wood!!!!) not yet middle-aged. But you know what? To heck with expectations!! Life’s too short to worry about things like that, right? Or so I try to tell myself… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Debbish
      November 22, 2016

      Ah yes, in the blogging world it’s easy to feel ‘old’. I was commenting (in a private FB group) about some beauty and style blogger gatherings which predominantly comprise rather young women.

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