• Rachel Patterson

That's not you...yet


Last year I hit the big five zero and I must admit I was a little bit freaked out. How did I get this old?

Fifty sounded ancient, my parents are fifty, not me (in reality they are actually in their 70s now).

In my head and my heart, I felt I was about 25, maybe 30 at the most. Although my body would disagree some days!

I struggled with the whole age thing. Clothes were also a huge problem. I felt I couldn’t shop in the high street chain stores as they were for youngsters (and those that are smaller than a twiglet). Any of the ‘older lady’ shops were so frumpy. I felt adrift in a sea of fashion dilemma.

Then a very lovely lady, a fellow author, Cat Treadwell put a comment on facebook that changed my thinking completely.

I posted a photo, one of the facebook ‘memories’ that comes up, it was of me, about eight years previously. I had very long, dark hair and it was all put up on top of my head in a sensible grown-up bun and I was wearing a smart ‘adulting’ dress. (Photo below).

Cat wrote “that’s not you…yet. You’ve absolutely blossomed now”.

It was a life changing moment, the penny dropped, the lights went on and realisation dawned. It was a huge turning point – Cat I owe you a big slice of cake!

In my head I am still 25/30 but I am embracing my time NOW.

With children in their teens now and able to fend for themselves (mostly). I realised I could be in control of ‘me’.

Although I like the triple goddess idea, I don’t believe I am at the Crone stage yet, so I am starting to take on the role of Matriarch seriously.

Decisions I make now are for the most part, slightly selfish, this is MY time.

I took a step back and looked at me and my life.

Over the next few weeks I did several things:

I shifted my work schedule so that I had room to sign up for a couple of courses (a gardening diploma and a cupcake one). Things that I want to do for me.

I had my hair cut how I like it, and the colour is pending change, I just haven’t decided what yet…

And my wardrobe was given a major overhaul. Anything dowdy and ‘meh’ was given to charity. Slowly I have begun to change to colour; bright, loud – oh my goodness look at that mad, eccentric ole biddy type outfits. And I feel fabulous!

I think I had it in my head that I still had to look twenty five. However, my dress size is somewhat larger than I was in my twenties and things aren’t quite so pert. It was all about a change of perspective. I don’t need a perfect size 10 body, in fact it would be so much hard work getting there and maintaining it. Life is way too short for that. I love my food, but I do eat pretty well, but I also love treats and do you know what? That’s good enough for me. I am embracing my saggy curves!

I also think I was trying to please other people. With my hair and my dress and the way I was. Doing what I thought I should. Dressing how I believed I ought to. Well yah boo sucks to society and what anyone else thinks. This is now all about me!

And with a funny twist of fate a school reunion invitation appeared. I was in a dilemma (I still am actually) about whether to attend. I loved school, not so much the work but the social side. However, photos that have been appearing in connection to the reunion are showing quite a different image of me than I remembered. Bizarrely I seem to look like a boy in a lot of them! Must be the Human League hair cut…

Reunions do seem to conjure up a lot of emotions. I think the initial thought are “I am old, I am fat, I haven’t done well, I am not successful, etc etc”. I suspect a lot of people feel the same.

Having seen some of the photos I began to realise that I actually like how I look now, far more than I like the image of myself then. Yep, I am older but then so are all my school mates! And as for success? I have squished a huge amount of adventures into the past fifty years, with more to come hopefully. I have a fabulous hubby and wonderful children. My career has been extremely good and I am now a published author – I think I have done pretty well.

It was several of these events that have changed my entire outlook about myself and my age. I am incredibly thankful for all of these seemingly unrelated things coming together.

Having lost a few friends this year at far too young an age, it is a great reminder that life is precious and we should celebrate every moment.

I am embracing my ‘embarrassing, mad eccentric ole biddy self’ and I am loving it.


0 views

© 2019 Rachel Patterson