Our columnist shares her secrets to embracing the life stage you’re at
When I was a little girl I loved nothing more than to dress up in my mother’s beautiful heels and jewellery and pretend I was a fine lady, drinking cocktails and holding court.
As a teen, I wanted to be grown up and worked hard to look older, hiking up my skirt and practising an air of studied nonchalance in the hope I would pass for 18 and get into the local nightclubs. In my twenties, as my career took off, I wanted to be both sexy and serious. Clever and capable of taking on the most challenging roles, whilst still being desirable.
At 30, it started to change. As the very first signs of ageing crept in and my career direction changed, I felt the first gnawing of anxiety. My weight got harder to manage, and I missed the early twenty years when I could eat largely what I wanted without worrying.
My 40s were the age of upheaval; a time when I hit menopause, when my every priority changed and what it meant to be a woman had to be redefined for me. I would, at one point, have been any other age.
But now, in my 50s, I am delighted to celebrate the age I am. I’ve never felt more attractive, connected to my body or excited about the future.
Sadly, I’ve not quite perfected the art of distilling the insight that age brings, however there are some lessons I’ve taken from it, that I think could make it easier to remove the barriers a focus on our birth dates can bring:
Ditch the ‘rules’ around ageing
At every age we’re told there are some things we ‘should’ be doing and some that are definite no-nos. These rules are nothing but nonsense. Whatever age, size or style you are, wear what you love. If you enjoy a particular hobby – do it. If you like to hang out with people of a certain age, enjoy them. Your life is yours for the living and constricting ourselves to narrow standards is the fastest way to wish we were something different.
Age your way
Want to go grey and celebrate your silver strands naturally? You absolutely should. Hate those lines on your forehead and want to try botox, there is no reason not to go for it. There is this argument that there is a right and a wrong way to get older. I simply don’t buy that. Do it whichever way you want to.
There is a curious thing that happens after your early 20s. Time quite literally speeds up and the years disappear in a heartbeat. Sometimes I stop in shock at the fact that I’m in my 50s.
I’ve learned to lift my head from work and child rearing and make time to mark each and every change in season. I have rituals and affirmations for each time of year. I take photos to mark my favourite bits and I take time to review the previous month’s at the start of each new transition. I consider it time-fulness. Like mindfulness but present in your place in the calendar and working in harmony with nature.
Patsy Kensit her beauty range, Preciously Perfect, is available from Ideal World. Search idealworld.tv to discover the full collection.
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