One of the many wonderful things about midlife is how much you now know! I am constantly telling my kids that they should listen to my advice because I am very wise. Of course, they just laugh at me and do things their own way, exactly as I did when I was their age. But that’s okay because eventually they will work out that all my experience does count for something and they would do well to listen!
And I’m not alone. I am surrounded by women who are learning new skills, building businesses and succeeding in their chosen fields by using all the stuff that they’ve learned along the way.
And age is a distinct advantage. When I turned 40 I finally worked out that I didn’t care what other people thought (or at least not nearly as much as I had done up until that point.) Instead of the crowd-pleasing, rule-abiding goody-two-shoes that I’d always been, I started to rebel. Don’t get me wrong – I didn’t do anything really naughty. But I did start to question those in authority if I thought it was appropriate and challenge when I might previous have just accepted. And it felt so liberating.
Since I turned 50 I’ve had another revelation. Not only do I no longer worry about what other people think but now I realise that they rarely think about me at all. Everyone leads such busy life that they don’t have time or energy to waste on what others are up to and we can merrily fly under their radar without them even batting an eyelid. I wish someone had told me that when I was in my 20s.
Someone else who has learned this is curve model Rachel Peru.
Rachel came to modelling in her late 40s and is flying. It is highly likely that you will have seen her in a campaign as she poses proudly for a lingerie shoot showing off her fabulous curves and her beautiful and naturally grey hair. Rachel is on a mission to make older women not only visible but oozing with self-confidence and she’s not alone. You only have to have been to the cinema recently to see how the world is embracing those women who might previously have been overlooked.
As well as modelling, Rachel has recently started a podcast Out of the Bubble in which she interviews women who have, just like her, been inspired to try new things and succeed in midlife. And this week I was lucky enough to be chosen to be a guest.
You can hear us chatting about my journey over the last ten years. It’s an honest conversation where we discuss finding self-confidence, discovering new paths and the dreaded imposter syndrome. You can listen to it HERE.
I bet you’re dead wise too. So what have you learned on the way that you would want to pass on to your children or your younger self? Tell me in the comments below. I’m all ears.