Thursday 6 May 2010

Approaching 50 - a mid-life crisis?

In the not-too-distant future, I am going to be 50. That’s a big milestone. It’s one that I’ve certainly seen looming closer on my journey through life, but I’ve only recently started to think what it means to me.

So, for the next couple of days on A Bad Witch’s Blog, I’m going to be covering some of my musings on the subject – and reviewing a book written by someone who claims to be an expert on the subject.

Last autumn a PR company sent me a press release entitled Quest for Beauty Leaves Women Wanting More. It went on to tell me that middle aged women were rushing into cosmetic surgery as a way of covering up their underlying confidence issues. It suggested that they could become addicted to surgery and become even more depressed.

Fair enough, I thought, but hardly relevant for my blog about witchcraft and paganism. When I read further and realised the press release was primarily promoting a series of 10 seminars called Age with Attitude by NLP trainer Lindsey Agness. I was mildly interested, but then nearly choked when I saw the cost - £2,000, working out at about £200 per session.

Those of you who read my blog post last week in which I said I thought £120 was too much for a single day's workshop know my thoughts about the cost of training. That was way too much for me even to consider.

I ignored that press release, but over the next few months the PR company sent me several more on similar subjects. I ignored them too.

Then, in March, the PR agent emailed me: "At the end of last week I sent you the below press release from successful best-selling female author and entrepreneur Lindsey Agness. Was this of interest to you?"

I thought about it quite hard, then replied: "It did interest me, and I've been thinking about the subject. The reason I haven't written about it yet is that I think the issue is rather different for pagan women. Most mature pagan women I know seem to be brimming with confidence, but I'm not totally sure why they differ from the image put forward in the press release. I suspect it might be because pagans honour the triple goddess in the form of maiden, mother and crone and therefore see the value of wisdom gained by years of experience. If Lindsey wanted to give a quote specifically on that subject then I would certainly mention it."

The PR agent didn't get back to me on that topic, but did send me yet another press release.

It arrived on a day when I was feeling down. I'd been trying on clothes for a party and realised I had seriously let my waistline go. I'd also had a letter from the opticians saying I was due for an eye test. If there is one thing I hate about getting older it is the fact that I've had to wear glasses for the past few years; and my eyesight is hardly going to improve with age. My 50th birthday was looming and the future wasn't looking so bright that I'd be buying prescription shades.

In that context, I read the press release with a little more personal interest than I had the previous ones.

And I discovered that this one wasn't for a series of seminars that were way more than I could afford, it was for a book by Lindsey Agness called Still 25 Inside: 8 steps to feeling happy, healthy and fulfilled - whatever your age.

The press release said: "It is a journey of discovery for women in the middle of their lives - an age often dismissed as 'past it', but worthy of re-assessment as a fantastic time for personal development."

OK, £2,000 might be too much, but £12.99 for a book was certainly affordable. Better still, the PR company was offering me a free review copy.

Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, and thinking it just might be worth reviewing on my blog even if it didn't solve all the problems of my mid-life crisis, I emailed right back: "Thanks very much indeed, please send me one."

It arrived, I've read it, and I'll be reviewing it on my blog. But before posting what I thought about the book, I felt I wanted to explain the background and my thoughts and feelings before I started it.

I do think that mature pagan women tend to be confident. I don't think they often fall into the category of those rushing to have boob jobs and face lifts to feel good about themselves - they tend to value the assets that nature and the goddess has given them. They also recognise that age brings wisdom, which more than makes up for the odd extra curve or laughter line.

But, nevertheless, there are those days when we wish we were young again. And Still 25 Insideis a book for those days.

You can read my review of it tomorrow on A Bad Witches Blog.

I chose the picture of dandelion clocks above because to me they represent the passing of time, and wishes for the future.

Still 25 Inside: 8 steps to feeling happy, healthy and fulfilled - whatever your age.


GB Steve said...

Apparently 50 is healthier than under 50, according to this new report:

You shall have serenity.

raewytch said...

An interesting post. Im 2 years away from 50 and find myself thinking about it too. I dont fear ageing - i think you're right in your ideas as to why pagans feel 'differently' on the whole, but we are still bombarded by adverts, tv etc trying to tell us we should be 'fighting the signs of ageing'.
Incedently - when I turned 40 I had similar comments from friends 'aha the big 4 zero' etc. I celebrated my 40th by having friends for dinner where I read a statement I had worked on looking at each decade of my life, what I felt I had achieved and claimed the next 40 years. It was a good evening and I plan to do the same when I am 50.