The morning ritual remains the same wherever I am – turn on BBC Radio 4 and make coffee. A thirty something woman is saying she wishes she could go back in time and give her bulimic/self harming/laxative addicted young self a hug and tell her how beautiful she is, and how there was no need for all that self-loathing. Yesterday I was flicking through old issues of The Sunday Times Style magazine – June 2017 is all about fun in the sun with a colourful photo of what looks like two thirteen year old girls in bright swimwear accompanying a piece about what we adults should be wearing on the beach this summer.

These flat chested, skinny waifs pout off the page at me and I feel my irritation growing.  I continue flicking…Avocado art is on the way down apparently, but ‘poreexia’, an obsession with the size of the pores on ones face is on the up – who’d have thought either of those was a thing?

Next up; “The Changing Shape of me – from size 8 twenty something to size 18 mother.” Thankfully a more uplifting story, but still riddled with angst. Next headline; “Fail at breastfeeding” – a woman recalls the overwhelming pressure to be a perfect mother in those first few weeks following giving birth, because she couldn’t produce enough milk. Over the page an M&S advertisement inviting you to “hang up, your hang ups”, whilst wearing their slimming swimwear.  All your insecurities fed off and into by the media, will momentarily vanish as you jump off that rock in your fuchsia pink (rather lush) swimming costume….as if.

I decide to gloss over the killer teens headline article and the young people claiming that Harry Potter saved their lives…..I have a quick scan of India Knight telling me it’s ok to put my life before a career – thanks for that positive affirmation India.  All these mixed messages and my coffee hasn’t even cooled down enough to drink yet…Bugger it. I’m stripping off to bake my 61 year old bones in the glorious sun – stretch marks, bingo wings, gaping pores n all. It’s more life-affirming than the media, despite the skin ageing/cancer risk. At least my vitamin d levels will be topped up….

In the interest of research, I bought the first issue of a new French magazine; 50 & Plus Le Mag.

I spent ages painfully translating the articles and I found the content more uplifting and refreshing than all the English magazines I’ve been trawling whilst out here in the French countryside…On the cover is a well groomed but ‘normal’ looking sixty year old French woman. The main tagline is: Le bonheur commence apres 50 ans!  With not a plastic surgery story in sight, it concentrates on the personal individual attempt to attain well being and happiness in all areas of life. We should be taking a lesson from their format…. Which has given me (via my man and yet more coffee)  a brainstorming, fizzing idea – YAY – a positive from initially negative train of thought….A stylish Magazine aimed at the 40 plus market….Watch this space!

Is it any wonder we have lives riddled with insecurity and confusion, when this stuff can reach us even if we ignore the magazines. It sneaks into our brain subliminally via our peripheral vision, on headlines and advertisement hoardings.  It is hard and sometimes isolating to keep walking to the beat of your own drum, especially as a young person when pressure is applied to be doing it all and having it all. I am aware that the same constant vigilance is needed to keep my 61 year old equilibrium in check as it did when at 17 years old, I left a toxic home to start my life adventure. I think that this well of experience good and bad is a major advantage of age, when it comes to cracking on.
It is with great pleasure that I can say personally I’ve found new ground to explore, a new richness and fullness to my life via the wonders of such groups as,, the forever fierce Angie Weihs at The Ageless Rebel and the joy filled Colour Walkers of Spitalfields Market and beyond. Happy day! Dipping in and out of their ‘gangs’, (I can be a little capricious in my loyalty!) hearing and sharing stories of life and loves is like a big therapy session, without any need to attach labels.

Meeting up at events and embarking on new friendships is enriching, entertaining, questioning, challenging and FUN.  Proving It is never to late to meet new people play/work  wise and experience new adventures – some of them life-changing catalysts.

This Invisibility Myth project of mine is taking me to a whole new confident place in my life, opening doors and prompting me to re-asses and close others. There is such a wealth of talent and wisdom amongst us, the baby boomer generation, so much of it accumulated by the access we had in the 60’s and 70’s to self-determination and the road to equality.  Asking any one of the people i’ve met recently that irritating question “what do you do?” is pointless – we are all polymaths these days, with so many multiple layers determining the bigger picture of who we are. This zeitgeist movement of strong minded older people is set to grow bigger and bigger as we live longer, more engaging lives…  How utterly EXCITED am I…can you tell? !!!…..
Now, what was that piece I saw about substance abuse and STI’s among the older generation?????…Yes, I really did….


Not Dead Yet Awakenings

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