I think, my husband definitely thinks, that I may be having a midlife crisis! The weather today most definitely is having some sort of crisis. I woke up this morning with a cm of snow coating the patio, grass and trees ~ it looked so beautiful. Then an hour later it tipped it down with rain, washing all the snow away. THEN we had 3 hail storms ~ with loud bouncy hail stones pinging on the sky light windows and patio. Once they had stopped we had wind and sunshine with speeding clouds amongst confusing grey and blue skies. I haven’t managed to capture any images of the snow because it was pre~coffee and my head was still asleep..
Good old Wikipedia describes the phenomenon of midlife crisis as..
“A midlife crisis is a transition of identity and self-confidence that can occur in middle-aged individuals, typically 45–64 years old. The phenomenon is described as a psychological crisis brought about by events that highlight a person’s growing age, inevitable mortality, and possibly shortcomings of accomplishments in life. This may produce feelings of depression, remorse, and anxiety, or the desire to achieve youthfulness or make drastic changes to their current lifestyle.”
Being of midlife mindset I had two extra large coffees, slipped on my Crocs, grabbed my camera and ventured out into the garden between random snow, rain or hail showers to clear my mind. I took random photos, got wet and cold, came back in, downloaded photos and started musing about life in general ~ hence this rambling blog.
I don’t think I’m alone in feeling a tad wigged out about the big 5~0 looming ~ I feel so weird about this milestone and not in a good way. I was excited to be 20, cried at being 30, enjoyed being 40 and now am seriously unhappy about being 50. Why? I have no idea.
All I know is that I have a massive desire which feels exceptionally urgent to have my affairs in order and any processes regarding any potential decisions or issues regarding my mental or physical health being documented. This will save my family having to make any difficult decisions regarding my health and prevent any stress or disagreement arising between them. That is why I wrote a living will and I have ensured that my wishes regarding numerous eventualities are stated clearly and precisely.
My document is now legal, signed and witnessed, a copy has been given to my GP surgery, hospital, myself (in my handbag) and husband. However, when I saw my GP to give them my document I was amazed that I also need to have my family have power of attorney in order for my living will to be adhered to. It would seem as it stands now, should anything happen to me the doctors can override my wishes, despite it being a legal, signed and witnessed document. The only way around this is to have family given power of attorney ~ the more members the better. This way should something happen to me, even if the doctors don’t agree, my family can adhere to my wishes as documented. SO, I am now trying to organised a time when all three daughters and husband, along with solicitor are all available at the same time ~which is proving decidedly difficult. However, now first born is being relocated with her work to a city much closer to us, this may happen within the next few months ~ fingers crossed.
I also worry about how much I can do for others with my limitations ~ which are infuriating! The new extension, which we hope will be finished before the end of the year, will make life easier. The thing is, it’s a little depressing to think it’s because we need it due to my difficulty with stairs because of joint and mobility issues. It will change our lives for the better, so I suppose I should try to look at the pros instead of the whys.
I am a born worrier and need to try and stop worrying about everything so much. I dye my hair purple religiously because it makes me feel so much better about myself. I have my piercings and tattoos because I think “fuck it” why not! I am not the pearl and twinset kind of person ~ I am jeans, boots, trainers and hoodies kind of person ~ whether age appropriate or not.
I feel like I’m having some sort of inner rebellion, stoically trying to avoid properly looking into why I feel so alarmed by the approaching milestone.
It saddens me that I am still young yet have to accept medications, mobility aids, blue badges, caring support via my husband with cooking and chores, along with outside assistance with physio, opticians, GP’s & other agencies. I take so many medications each week that I have to have a weekly pill dispenser to ensure I take the right medications at the right times ~ I take 112 pills a week, so 16 a day.
I work with a biometric podiatrist who works “with preservation, restoration and development of the function of the foot and its associated structure. Biomechanics refers to an understanding of the mechanics in the body and podiatrists use this to diagnose and treat the lower limb” My podiatrist works alongside my rheumatology physiotherapist to help rectify issues regarding my hips, knees and ankles. It has been noted one leg is longer than the other and that I also require heel raisers. I have issues with both Achilles tendons with constant swelling around them. For this I have to wear Crocs when I would otherwise have walked barefoot or in flip flops. The thinking is that if my ankles are supported then my knees and hips will benefit too.
I have my new varifocal glasses with distance, intermediate and close vision ~ they are to be worn all the time. However ~ I’m very vain and so don’t wear them if I am going out and keep them safely in my bag incase I need to whip them out to read something ~ such as a menu ~ and then pop them back in their case again ’til I get home. I was surprised to find out that it’s highly likely that the Fibromyalgia is the culprit for causing me the declining eyesight and not the Hypermobility Ehlers Danlos. I have issues that mean I can no longer drive when it’s dark as the lights from oncoming cars cause blurring vision. I also can’t look up at the screen on tv if Dave is flicking to see what to watch, or at any film of hand held recordings such as films like Blair Witch or mobile phone videos, as the movements make me feel nauseous. Oh the joys of chronic illness and ageing eh?
I need hip support cushioning, so sexy ~ I wear a memory foam support between my thighs at night to hold my hips in the right place and prevent unnecessary pain. I have the u pillow on the sofa which holds my hips bilaterally in a supported position during the day and occasionally I need my wedge support pillow to support my back. I am queen of support cushions.
Then for mobility I have smart crutches and my blue badge ~ the exercises via both physio and podiatrist are religiously practised twice daily ~ only a few reps right now but to build up slowly and then join Tai Chi for arthritis led by another rheumatology physio in a few weeks time.
Accepting I’m not the same and don’t have the physical or mental capabilities of others my age is a bitter pill to swallow. I can’t work, party or go shopping like they do. I have to plan, rest, do, recuperate ~ so I need to just accept this and move on instead of dwelling on it.
I am enjoying my last born doing beauty at college as I am enjoying a variety of body massages and facials on a regular basis by being her “body” for practices and assessments. One upside of having HEDS is that I have good skin, all be it on the dry side ~ thank you menopause. My daughter did a fabulous facial treatment with a special enzyme exfoliation mask. I would have bought it but it was £70, so I didn’t! Youngest however found me a alternative product which is cheaper by £60 and makes my skin feel amazing..
My hair is growing pretty well I suppose since I did the whole head shave thingamebob and is now cut to all one length in a bob, with a slanting fringe ~ I’m too insecure to go fringe free, so operation fringe grow out has been cancelled. I colour my hair with Manic Panic Deep Purple Dream ~ it’s really hair friendly and needs no bleaching prior to application. I just get it out of the pot, whack it on my head, wrap head in cling film and just for extra measure pop on hotel acquired shower cap and finished with a turby towel. The dye can be kept on all day or overnight as it’s like a conditioner ~ then all you do is wash it off with tepid water. ALWAYS with tepid water as hot water makes the dye really come out and fade more quickly. The colour is much darker and richer on my hair and has differing tones but shines bright in light because I don’t pre~bleach it,if I did it would be as bright as in the photo below.
I have also converted to the Paul Mitchell tea tree shampoo and conditioner for colour treated hair. You only need a pea size amount of product as a little goes a long way and my scalp especially as well as my hair is thanking me for it. I tend to leave the shampoo and then the conditioner on for a little while because it is so soothing. It’s not cheap and so my daughters have a hands off warning ~ if they use it they need to replace it!
To all of you who have passed the 50th milestone ~ how did you approach it? How do I stop this feeling of dread about this silly birthday? I know I’m going to be the same person the day before, on the day and the day after this birthday, yet my mind isn’t listening to me. At least I will be away in beautiful Amsterdam for my birthday, so might just get baked on the day and go with the flow.
Is 50 the new 40? What will happen post 50? I am rebelling, I am refusing to conform to any uptight fuddy duddy way of life. I will continue to be a scruf in my jeans and hoodies, my leggings and my trainers, my hair will remain bright purple, piercings and tattoos on show. Surprisingly ~ to me ~ I am embracing bird watching and gardening ~ which is surprising and I’m no expert, expect may blogs sharing my hit and misses in the garden. In 2 weeks, weather depending, my greenhouse and vegetable plots will be ready for me to start growing “stuff”.
So that’s that really, I am a work in progress and I have no idea where my remaining time on this planet will take me. My years of nursing, working, parenting and homemaking are in the past. Now my girls are adults forging their own way in life and it’s largely just myself,Dave and the dogs now.
Let the new chapter in my life begin ~ bring it on!