50s: Here I come!

September 13, 2013

Today is the last day of my 40s! Somehow I can’t help but take stock of the last 10 years: to compare where I am now with where I was in 2003 and the journey between.

Ten years ago I had a bit of a crisis as I was approaching 40. A year or so before that birthday I saw a photo of myself and got a shock. I looked fat and frumpy and middle-aged and my outside didn’t match how I felt inside (and no, I’m not going to show you the photo!). I wasn’t dissatisfied with my life. I had two lovely, but sometimes challenging children, and a job I loved. But I was often stressed. I often felt guilty – because I felt I wasn’t doing a good enough job at home or because I wasn’t doing a good enough job at work. I felt depressed about turning 40. It sounded OLD! My picture of how the world was for women in their 40’s didn’t seem very appealing. So in desperation, as I approached 40, I overhauled my eating habits losing close to 20 kg over a year and I started to exercise, running a few times a week (though never more than 5km).

I’m probably not the best judge, but I think I probably look younger now approaching 50 than I did when I approached 40 (those of you who have known me that long may well disagree)! For sure I have more grey hair and my skin is gradually succumbing to gravity. But I weigh 5 kg less now than I did AFTER the pre-40 diet, and I’m much more toned – not to mention fit! When, I see pictures of myself, I look pretty much how I feel inside. My life is also totally different now. My children are still lovely and still challenging, but as teenagers they demand much less of my time. I still love my work but I’m rarely stressed and rarely feel guilty. I now have a lifestyle where, being self-employed, I have control over how I use my time and what I prioritise. Sometimes it’s work, sometimes it’s training for an Ironman, sometimes it’s family time, sometimes it’s hanging out with friends or reading a good book. I decide!

For sure the journey here has been very different than I would predicted 10 years ago, with ups and downs as there always are in life. On the up side I have run 3 marathons and done an Ironman; I dared to take the risk and become self-employed; I learned to swim; I’ve made new friends; I could go on! On the down side I have lost some people I was close to, including my Dad; I went through a rough time at work at one point; and of course the big one, the one that still, in my consciousness, overshadows everything else over the last 10 years, I got cancer.
However I know that my life wouldn’t be the way it is today without every single step of the journey: the good things and the bad.

So today I don’t feel depressed about turning 50! Apart from anything else, I’m just really happy still to be around! On top of that I’m kind of excited about what the next years, how every many they are, are going to bring – the good and the bad. Mainly because I don’t care what the world expects of women in their 50s: I know I can do whatever I want to do if I put my mind to it and that is just what I’m planning to do!

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2 Responses to “50s: Here I come!”

  1. Anne T. Hartkopf Says:

    Tillykke med 50 års fødselsdagen! Håber at du må få en dejlig dag! Vi ses vel på fredag? Anne 🙂

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