A little while ago, I was asked to give an interview by the delightful Melissa Jeffcott – life-coach, blogger and mother-of-three – about life after 40 for me. This particular blog series is called Fabulous Women on The Other Side of Forty. She flatters me with that title, and I have to laugh. I have felt fabulous from time to time, especially when I finally tart myself up for a night on the town…
… but really, I join the ranks of every other woman I know who’s managing herself, her partner, her family and her life. Hardly fabulous- just tripping from one day to the next, in a world that feels like Groundhog Day.
Well, it’s been a few months since I put pen to paper (life with a real job eh?!), and didn’t realise just how much I’d missed it until I started to think about what life in my 40s means to me. A friend writes about the decade she was last in, with the wonderful bird’s eye view of hindsight. I prefer to write as I go, in case I miss something or start to glorify those years in my forgetfulness. Bound to happen really – I can’t remember what I did last weekend, let alone last decade!
Take for example my 30s – I could easily tell you how much I loved my 30s- great relationship, best friends, fabulous career, awesome overseas adventures. Well, yes, that was true, for some of the time. But if I really dig down deep into that time, there was illness, anxiety and unhappiness. They were fun but hollow years.
I loved my husband but I wasn’t living the life I wanted – I was shadowing his adventurous spirit. Yes, I had fun and did crazy, wonderful things I would never have attempted on my own, but they were still his things, not mine.
I had forsaken my role as a nurse and counsellor, in order to sell my soul to the pharmaceutical devils and their loyal subjects. I loved having a job that paid well with lots of perks, but hated having to be nice to people who treated me badly.
I had awesome friends, but they made me drink a lot (okay, I really did have awesome friends!)
I had 12 operations in 2 years, too far away from my Mum, which could have prevented me having babies when all I actually wanted at this time was to have babies.
I travelled a lot, all over the place, but after a while, I just wanted to go back to the place I called home. Australia.
So before I turn 50, it’s important to look at what 40+ has given me to date… but you’re going to have to visit Mel’s wonderful blog, The Other Side of Forty, to find out!
And for the record, Melissa Jeffcott is an amazing woman over 40, who successfully juggles a spirited husband, three beautiful children, a successful business as a life-coach-in-demand, and a blog with a lot of beautiful things to share. Let’s read a little about her, shall we? Enjoy x
Hello there! I’m Melissa Jeffcott, a life coach helping women on the other side of forty reignite their spark for life.
Since starting my blog ‘The Other Side of Forty’, I have rediscovered my long lost passion for writing, my eternal love of making people laugh, and my new found love of helping other women discover or rediscover what brings them passion and joy. I really hope that in the few minutes you spend reading one or more of my posts, you will leave with a smile on your face, and something positive and uplifting to think about.
A bit about my journey to the other side of forty…
When I was 39, and thinking about turning forty, I felt a little bit like ‘life as I knew it’ was over. I had spent all of my thirties either pregnant, or with young children, and while there is no doubting they are my proudest achievement and my greatest joy, I often felt as if I was missing the true essence of who I was.
I had quit my never-ending part time Masters in Psychology when pregnant with my third, as the all too familiar road of chronic morning sickness, and debilitating pelvic instability, once again hit with a force. My promising career in child psychology and parent training disappeared from my radar in a blur of sleepless nights, nappies, and kinder and school drop offs. With no family support nearby, and a husband actively pursuing his own passion-fuelled career change, the myth of ‘having it all’ proved to be just that- a big fat lie.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have loved being a stay at home mum to my tribe, and I know I am extremely fortunate to have been able to have had that choice, but as some of you know, the constant ‘Groundhog Day’ routine of life at home with young children can get you down if you let it. While I was happy with my life in many ways, I felt like I hadn’t yet given myself permission or time to discover my true authentic self. Certainly I put my own wants and desires at the bottom of the pile.
As part of my 40th birthday ‘Festival of Mel’*, I found myself walking along a beautiful deserted beach in north-east Tasmania, feeling a sense of peace and stillness, not usually associated with my busy noisy life at home. With no one else nearby, I found myself truly in the moment, when a voice popped into my head and said ”hello Mel-it’s nice to see you again”. I was either losing the plot, or having an Oprah ‘aha’ moment (I choose to believe it was the latter!) I realised that in order to live your best life, you have to listen to your own needs and act on them. It is ok to put yourself first now and then!
Since then, I have been on a mission (that sometimes gets derailed by day to day life) to find my life’s purpose, and to listen to the inner guiding voice in my head (but not the inner critic). To live my life with intent, authenticity, and FUN, and to continue to grow and learn as a mother, wife, sister, friend, and most importantly as ME.
So grab a cup of tea or a glass of wine if the kids are asleep (unless it’s their morning nap!) and let me help remind you how to put yourself first, to feel good about who you are and where you’re at, and to be the most fabulous version of yourself you can be…no matter what your age.
*By the way, this is something I highly recommend doing when you turn 40- but not a festival of me personally, that would just be weird!