HRT, Midlife Crisis and Me

#TheTruthAboutMenopause

Last night on the BBC, the wonderful Mariella Fostrup lifted the lid on prime time television about the menopause. Yes, it was only an hour. Yes, it focused a lot on technology and drug treatment.

But it was a start!

The menopause is a vast subject and I predict you’re going to be hearing a lot more about it now. Hold on to your hats! (or your portable electric fans  - ladies, am I right?)

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7 truths about midlife women you need know NOW

My hair is grey. My midriff is expanding. My bones ache. I still have combination skin. I’m more than halfway through my career and probably my life.

I should be driving around in a sports car by now, having traded in my first spouse for a second, younger model. Instead, I’m caring from my 11-year-old daughter and taking my parents to doctor appointments. And the sports car? Forget it. I drive a car with a big enough boot to fit my groceries AND the stuff that needs to go to the tip. That’s sexy.

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Work-Life Balance is a Lie

I sold my house. I bought a campervan. I took my daughter and our dogs on a 6-month adventure around Europe. I cut down on my work. I made afternoons family-time. And I still didn’t have work-life balance!

And I was angry with myself. I’m meant to be the work-life balance lady. Yet I didn’t feel balanced at all! Then it hit me. There is no such thing as work-life balance…

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The simplest tool to help you flow through your day

It’s all 99% perspiration, and feel the burn! He who wakes up first and goes to bed last wins!

I do wonder, however, what exactly is that person winning? Does first prize go to the person who sacrifices the most in their life? At a time when there’s increasing evidence that working fewer hours leads to more productivity and now that machines are learning to do many tasks in mere moments, it’s really important that we break our relationship with force, with pushing, with pain and suffering and embrace flow instead.

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If you’re alone, you’ll go home

You’re about to see me in a way that I rarely share on social media.

I carefully manage my public image, “my brand,” as I’m sure most of us do. On social media, we share our wins, and we share our struggles after the fact when we have some perspective and have had the chance to tidy our hair and fix our makeup for a camera-ready “tell-all”.

Over the last six months I’ve had some of the most incredible moments of my life. However, I’ve also been fed up, tired, bored and frightened. I shared some of my ordeals as they happened. But not all.

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Changing your situation won’t change your state

The biggest misconception about happiness is that is it the result of our situation. If you have money, a nice house, a relationship, healthy kids and a job that befits your talents you will be happy. If you lose that job or your child gets sick or your relationship breaks down you won’t be happy.

We know this isn’t true. The evidence is everywhere. We operate from an “If only…” perspective and focus our attentions on changing the hygiene factors in our lives - the jobs we do, the place we live, the holidays we go on, the throw cushions we just have to have that will make us feel so much better every time we walk in to the living room….

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And then the dog ate the fruitcake…

Life on the road has many, many advantages: lower costs and being able to go where the wind and the work takes you. As a digital nomad, you can be free from the repetition of the standard 9-5 workweek.

But, life on the road also comes with an amount of unpredictability. While that can be thrilling and adventurous, it can also be stressful and tedious. Wandering around someone else’s back garden waving your laptop in the air, trying to catch a mystical wifi signal to send an email or find something on the internet is agitating and not the best use of anyone’s time.

However, the stresses of ‘mobile emergency’ situations can be limited by three “contingencies” and every digital nomad should have them in place to successfully live and work during their travels.

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The benefits of a nap

I was all geared up for today. I envisioned spending two hours working on my coaching programme pilot, an hour writing a blog for you guys, a bit of business finance, a few items on my to do list and the afternoon doing some sort of French thing. After all - we are in France - we should make the most of it.

But I woke up with a headache. I spent the first hour of my day thinking about my coaching clients - what they need and what I can do for them. Nursing a cup of tea, I was into that. It was fine - fun even. An hour went by in a flash. But then I found myself an hour behind my “schedule”. My headache returned; my daughter woke up and wanted attention; and I tried to power through.

How often do we do that? We have our plan for the day and, whatever happens, we are going to make that plan a reality.

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