Category: Confidence

Dating in your 50s – Part 2

 

Getting ready for a date when you are 50 plus gave me some challenges.

a-guide-to-dating-in-your-50s-part-2When you are over 50 chances are that you are not as happy with your body as you were in your twenties.  Things have sagged, bagged and expanded, not necessarily in that order.

I thought I would share a little story about getting ready for a particular date.  Spoiler alert – it was a one-off date.

Don’t despair though for every date that doesn’t pan out – you are one step closer to one that does.

The date …

I rushed home from work, threw myself into the shower and washed my hair.  I have this idea in my head that my hair and my cleavage are my best assets so all date outfits and arrangements start with that!

After pouring myself into my date bra – push them up and make them proud, I started on the make-up.  I love make-up it always makes me feel a little bit prettier.  Tonight’s date was with a man whom I had been corresponding with for a few weeks.  He seemed well read and intelligent.

I made a snap decision – I was going to wear contact lenses.  I very rarely do for reasons that will be revealed but I guess I was feeling a bit insecure and thought that the make-up might shine brighter when not hidden behind metal frames.

Breathe.  I was nervous and had to drive a half an hour to the meeting point at a random pub that seemed to be half way for both of us.  I grabbed my phone as I needed to keep an eye on work emails and realised that I couldn’t read my phone with my contacts in.  Like many of us over 50s I wear varifocals.  The contacts were only my distance prescription.

Time was ticking as I panicked over a solution.  Luckily I lived in the middle of the town and flew down to the chemist as it was closing asking for granny glasses (over the counter reading specs). I grabbed a pair that matched my coat and went to pay.  I glanced down at my phone. It was now twice the size and curved.  I had grabbed a pair that was far stronger than I needed.  The kind assistants made the swap and I was off on my date.

It was an awful drive.  The heavens opened and visibility was bad.  I didn’t know where I was going which didn’t help at all.

(Just an aside – after this date I made a decision that I wouldn’t travel – if they wanted to meet me – they could find their way to a place I could walk to!)

I finally made it into the pub and all I wanted was a nice calming drink but of course I had to drive back.  Blinking to keep the contact lenses in place I was at least glad that he had arrived first.

We didn’t gel.  I employed all my conversational skills over a soft drink and excellent fish and chips (chosen because it was what he chose and I couldn’t read the menu without the granny glasses).  It was simply hard work.

Dating in your 50s is hard work

At this point my next conversational gambit was delivered and landed like a lead balloon.  “I think there is a reason that dating normally happens in your 20s or 30s.  It takes a lot of energy and can be hard work.”

Perhaps I didn’t mean it so directly but I still stand by that sentiment.  It is hard work, but ultimately it is worth it.  I have met some amazing friends and some more than friends.

Suffice to say that date ended pretty quickly after that and I drove home, removed the lenses from my scratchy eyes and settled down to a nice cup of tea.

I waited a couple of days before diving into the dating pool again.

If you would like to read my previous dating post have a peek here

Thanks for reading and please come back for more dating in your 50s advice and adventures.

Kerry x

All the support you need for your girlfriends

 

Yesterday I bought two new bras.  Oh my, you have no idea how good it feels to have the support I need!

good-friends-good-bra-fabulicousfiftyI am quite well endowed and so good support in a bra is essential and to be honest not the easiest thing to find.  Although more companies are making pretty bras in bigger sizes now, it is still difficult to find a bra that makes you feel supported and sexy at the same time.

It is a funny thing about a bra.  It is quite often never seen, other than by yourself. And yet it makes a huge difference to how you feel and to how you look.

Feeling pretty and perky with my support

As I walked around my home this morning feeling really perky in my new spotted number from Debenhams Gorgeous range I started thinking about how much a bra is like a girlfriend.  And how very important the support is in both cases.

My musings include the obvious support that women give women.  I am so amazed by this on a daily basis.  I have been through some tough times and it has been the support of my girlfriends that held me up I felt ok. No mean feat with a GG Cup!

Beautiful friends much like a beautiful bra make you feel like a better version of yourself.  They both make you stand taller and give you that dash of courage to go out and be the best version of yourself.

Conversely of course a bad bra and a bad friend have some similarities.  We have all felt the bite of that escaped underwire that stabs you close to your heart.

So today, hitch up those bra straps and if you need to treat yourself and your boobs to a new bra or two (mine came in a twin pack).  We all deserve support!  Remember those friends who are as good as a triple hook and lacy wide straps.

Thank you for reading and please feel free to share with a friend who understands the value of good support.

Kerry x

 

A Guide to dating in your fifties – Part 1

a-guide-to-dating-in-your-50s

Dating in your fifties is quite different to dating in your twenties.

Everything had changed from when I last went on a date 20 years ago.  Facing fifty, with a few more fat cells and wrinkles and a lot less confidence I ventured into the dating game again.

More people are finding themselves single in their fifties as I did.  Simple math says that there must be men out there feeling just as I did.

Internet dating seemed to be the way to go. Quite honestly it allowed me to hide behind a screen while I flexed my underused flirting muscles, for the first time in over 20 years.

Dating in your fifties – Dare I put myself online?

Filling out the online form is quite daunting. I  felt quite positive – I found that I was thinking quite honestly about myself and what I wanted in a relationship.  Putting up a photo was beyond scary.  What if someone sees it?  What if everyone looks and thinks I am ugly? Fat? What if nobody looks at my profile or even worse people look and nobody contacts me?

And what about the wierdos?  What about the creeps?  And what would my family say?

Feeling brave I pressed the button and put myself out there.  Whew – now I need a cup of tea.  I decided to be brave and not check on replies for two days as I might not get any response at all.

I did get response, but my advice would be not to  wait on men to contact you. Be positive and take the initiative – and then go man shopping.

The best way to get what you want in life is to be proactive and online dating follows the same rules.  Get yourself and glass of wine or a cup of tea and start browsing for what you want.  Set the filters quite broadly and start window shopping.

My advice:

  • Consider people 5 years younger and 5 years older – if you are daring push this out to 10 years.  I met some lovely people who were younger than me.
  • Think about distance and geography – although I initially looked across the country and was actually quite happy chatting with men miles away. This meant that I could hide behind the computer screen longer, it really is easier to date someone closer.
  • Don’t get hung up on too many details and requirements. What is the worse thing that can happen?  You can make an online friend and practice your flirting skills. (I made loads of friends that I value to this day).

Having said that important considerations are:

  • Intent – nothing serious – quite often means married and looking for some adult fun
  • Spelling and grammar – I really don’t mind about someone’s education as we have all been given different opportunities in life.  However if a profile is badly written with text speak and no care – this is a big indicator.  You might also find someone who has littered his profile with xgbnvwein ;voiienm and other random keyboard strokes – he can’t be bothered to fill out the profile properly so don’t be bothered with him.
  • No Image – when I first started online dating I was too shy to put up a photo – I was coming out of a very negative place and I hated what I looked like.  Honesty is the best policy though and when I realised that I didn’t want to chat to guys without photos I put mine up.  Lack of a photo can also mean married.
  • Looking for a fun with a good-looking girl – move on swiftly

The great thing about being online is you can play.  Simply have fun – drop a note and say Hi – try to mention something that you found interesting in their profile.  I often asked about the last book they had read or movie they had seen.  It is a good ice breaker and tells you something about them.

If you are in a similar place and considering dating in your fifties, come back for more dating advice I have a good few posts lined up with advice on Tinder, on getting ready for the first date and of course some good, bad and funny stories.

Seriously, I believe that we all deserve good company so be brave and take the plunge.

Thanks for reading

Kerry xx

 

 

 

Why do I blog? I blog because I love communication.

Why do I blog?  I blog because I love communication.  Years and years ago I went to college and studied communication and this has been a constant in my career and life since then.  Communication is the key to successful relationships.

Communication FabuliciousfiftyAt college, I remember studying Marshal McLuhan and his model of the global village.  In the early eighties this was all a little sci-fi.

“Global village”, was first talked about in Marshal McLuhan’s book The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of the Typographic Man.  In this book McLuhan described the internet as it is today when technology basically shrinks the world into a village.  This was in the early sixties.  During the eighties when I was studying I clearly remember a line in a text-book, which talked about the future of communication.  It posited that photographs might be able to be sent over a telephone line!

As a junior public relations officer I remember photographs and press releases being sent by courier to the newspapers or via telex after being typed into a weird typewriter thing that spat out yellow punch tape.

Fast forwarding out of history to the present and my desire to communicate and connect with people still exists.  I have worked in the industry for many years communicating on behalf of others, but many of you will know it is far harder to talk – or write – about yourself than someone else.

My blog was born after I turned 50. This was a turning point in my life and I was determined that life’s circumstances would not get me down.  I wanted to greet middle age with a wave of confidence.

After careful thought I chose Fabuliciousfifty as the name of my blog and tentatively put up my first post.  Ten people read it and I was delighted. I wanted to blog about overcoming life’s curveballs and still being fabulous and to communicate with people who might be in the same boat as me.  Over the past 18 months now and have written about all sorts of stuff from balance, to fitness and my walking journey, my struggle with pain and social isolation.

The most important thing for me is the feedback.  The little notes and messages that I receive mean that my blog is about communication – two way communication and I wanted to thank everyone who reads my blog for that.

Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards

I am really humbled and honoured that I have been nominated and then voted on by my peers and have been shortlisted in two categories in the Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards.

If you would like to give me a little vote the link is here.

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But most of all I wanted to thank you for reading and giving me feedback.  We truly are living in a global village now.

Thank you for reading and giving me such lovely feedback.

Kerry xx

The Art of Kintsugi – embracing our imperfections

kintsugi fabuliciousfifty

I am 52.  I have wrinkles. I have lived. I have actually been through a lot – we all have really.  No matter what we have been through we are essentially beautiful.

Anyone who reads my blog will know that my personal philosophy is to strive to be fabulous despite what life throws at us.  I wear make-up and do my hair, I like wearing nice clothes and looking pretty. It is not about vanity, but rather about celebration and determination.

The one thing that I have never done though is to hide my imperfections.

I was scrolling through Facebook recently and saw this fabulous meme about a Japanese art form called Kintsugi.  Basically broken pottery is mended with gold – highlighting the flaws and making them beautiful rather than hiding them.  It is also about celebrating an object rather than trashing it.

broken pottery fabuliciousfifty

I found this explanation on www.lakesidepottery.com.

Kintsugi Art Metaphor: “Mending Broken Pottery With Gold”

What Can We Learn From a Broken Pot?

Kintsugi, as the practice is known, gives new life or rebirth to damaged or aging ceramic objects by celebrating their flaws and history. One can consider how we might live a kintsugi life, finding value in the, missing pieces, cracks and chips – bringing to light the scars that have come from life experiences, finding new purpose through aging and loss, seeing the beauty of ‘imperfection’ and loving ourselves, family and friends even with flaws.

What do we do with something that breaks.  We throw it away.  In Japan, the philosophy is to embrace imperfections (Wabi Sabi) and this is the source of the art of Kintsugi.

I don’t often write about my own cracks and breaks.  I do have them though, many of them.  Some from age, and others from circumstance.  These cracks are what makes me.  It is our experiences and life that we have lived that makes us the beautiful humans that we are.

Let us embrace our imperfections.  Celebrate ourselves with our cracks and breaks in sparkling gold.  I don’t mean that we should dwell on the negative, but rather acknowledge it and how much stronger it has made us.

Signing off as a beautiful kintsugi vase, showing off my imperfections.

Kerry xx

 

Do your clothes give you joy?

Do your clothes give you joy?  Or do they make you feel nostalgic? Do they make you feel fabulous?

clothes memories fabuliciousfifty

I was privileged to talk to Marcia O’Regan of Colourharmonie recently and somehow we stumbled on the subject of clothes and decluttering.  She is currently reading Maria Kondo’s bestselling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.  Marcia was telling me about her experience of tidying her closet, and only keeping items that give her joy.

 

Now I am a long way from being a tidy (a very long way) but this really resonated with me.  For quite some time now I have only bought clothes that I really love.  Part of this was financial but I also found that when I was wearing something I really love, I felt more confident, and I suppose a little bit fabulous.

I really believe we dress for ourselves and even though people around us get the pleasure of seeing us with a pretty dress and make-up, how we look does for some of us impact on how we feel.

After the call with Marcia I returned to household chores which of course included the endless laundry.  As I was hanging up my clothes I realised that almost every item of clothing carries a story.

These are some of the little one line stories my clothes have to tell ….

  • A pretty blue floral dress that I call my party dress.  I bought it with gift vouchers in South Africa on a visit home.  The first time I wore it was for my birthday 4 years ago.
  • I have quite a few maxi dresses, all similar in style but in a wide range of fabulous prints.  These are dresses that arrive in boxes from Dubai.  My lovely sister sends me care parcels and each time I wear one of my dresses I think of her – it is like a fabric connection.
  • A royal blue chiffon jacket was a gift from my Mom from the fabulous Queenspark in South Africa.  It is sheer and light but adds not only colour but style to anything it is thrown over.
  • I won a prize on Facebook of a voucher for Liberties in Westport.  I thought I was too fat to be able to choose anything from this wonderful boutique.  When I went to visit I was treated really well and fell in love with a long dark purple top that I wear often.  It covers a multitude of sins.
  • My current favourite dress summer or winter is a LBD – it is really simple but beautifully cut and when I wear it I feel great.  I stumbled across it at the time of the month when you shouldn’t find anything you like.  It was a big decision, and meant a few lean days before payday but it was worth it.

One thing I realised when I was walking down memory lane in my closet was that I keep my clothes a long time.  I have a beautiful cardigan that I paid quite a bit for and literally wore it until it fell to holes.  I then begged my mom to use her embroidery talent to create little flowers over the holes.

I am committed to doing a bit of decluttering and tidying up very soon, but I know that some of my lovely clothes will stay with me.  That way I can wear my memories and joyful moments.

I would love to hear some of your clothes stories – I bet that a visit to your closet will bring up many happy memories.

Kerry x

 

 

Be Brave – take the first step

Be brave, take the first step

Being brave is huge!  It means different things to different people really but it is really a very powerful emotion that can propel us forward in a really good and positive way.

What does brave mean to you?

For some people attending an event or a function is brave. For others it might be attempting something that they never thought they could do.  We all have our comfort zones and when we take a step outside of this lovely comfortable place we are being brave.  For me it is stepping out into the unknown.

I am being really courageous this year.  Due to my health, I have had to start again.  Literally.  Imagine almost 52 and having to find a new career which will fit in with my current life.  It isn’t easy, but I am reading and learning and hopefully will be able to work part time very soon.

I have also had to be extremely brave and face some of my exercise demons.

This time last year I was living in Westport, working as the Head of Marketing for a financial services company and generally living it up.

Now my life has changed and I am living in Galway and trying to get my body as strong as possible in ways I can control.  I think this is really important as I cannot completely control the arthritis or fibromyalgia (never mind the other issues), but I can control my fitness levels.

I was brave in February when I did a 10km walk for charity.  I felt this way again when I did the Darkness into Life walk earlier in May.  I felt terribly brave when I went to my first yoga class.  Granted it was a yoga class for people with joint pain, but it was still hard to walk into a room and realise that you might be the biggest person in the class and more likely the least flexible person.

Fast forward a few weeks and I am lying on my back with my legs up against the wall, and trying various poses.  It is still a long way from the downward facing dog, but I am proud that I am taking these little brave steps.

Every day we have a choice, to be brave and take that step out of the comfort zone or stay cuddled in the warmth of the known.

I do both.  One thing I have learned though is that every time I take a brave step, the reward is there.  It isn’t always immediate, but it does come.

Please feel free to stop by and tell me your stories about being brave.  It honestly doesn’t matter how small the step, it is a step in the right direction.

Thanks for reading

Kerry x

 

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