Category: Confidence

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

 

Social Isolation – the curse of the self-employed

Social Isolation is a phenomenon that is often associated with the elderly.  I do believe that it effects many other people too and can be a curse of those working from home.  This is a long post, but I really hope you read it through to the end.

Social Isolation

I had a visit from a very wise friend recently.  We were chatting about my new circumstances.  A quick update for anyone who may not know I had to give up work in December due to ill health.  I am now ‘pottering about’ doing a bit of writing, working on my blog and exploring opportunities for the future where I can create an new career where I can work part time, but also on my own timetable to fit it with when I feel well enough.

My friend listened to what I had to say and then asked me about social isolation.  I laughed and said oh don’t worry about me I am very outgoing and I am always out and about.  This isn’t entirely true as sometimes I am physically too sore to do too much.

Working from home is becoming more and more commonplace both for the self-employed and for people who have the option offered by their employers.  There are great perks.  You can put a wash on between calls, nip out to collect the kids from school or even to buy a bottle of milk.

There are downsides too and social isolation is one of these.  Social isolation is defined as the complete or near-complete lack of contact between an individual and society. It differs from loneliness, which reflects a temporary lack of contact with other humans.

Social isolation isn’t a choice, it is something that creeps up on you while you are busy.

I strongly believe that there are degrees of social isolation.  An ‘at home’ worker can spend hours a day alone.  I am quite happy with my own company for much of the time, however the value of social interaction is huge.

Spending time with colleagues and friends is one of the best forms of communication.  Conversation sparks ideas and thoughts and generally gets us out of ourselves.

Social isolation can lead to depression, social anxiety and a loss of self-esteem.  This can result in the ultimate vicious circle where you might become more reluctant to interact socially and withdraw even more.

Since I have been ‘home alone’ for the last six months I have been very conscious of the fact that I no longer need to get up in the morning, do my hair and make-up and go off to work.  Although I have not missed all the office politics, I have missed the chats around the kettle, lunches with colleagues and meetings. I have also missed getting dressed up.

I just love meetings.  I love the interaction and flow of ideas.  I enjoy deadlines and the challenges of working as a team to beat them.

So how to ensure that we don’t suffer from  social isolation?

  1. Go to an opening of an envelope

My partner says this what I do.  Seriously though if there is any opportunity to interact I take it.  I have attended coffee mornings, focus groups, blogger events and meet-ups.

Martha Fraser who recently organised the Shine Adventure an event for online businesses facilitates free meet-ups in different areas.  A couple of hours and a cup of coffee with online colleagues – a great idea.

The Women’s Inspire Network started by Samantha Kelly (aka Tweeting Goddess) also holds great networking and inspirational events.

 

  1. Become a lady who lunches (or a gentleman)

Lunch or even a morning coffee (or tea and a scone if you are me) is a great way to break up the day and to have a good natter.  I have been very brave and grown my network by simply asking.  If I have been following someone online that is very interesting, I will call up and ask them to meet me for lunch.  What is the worst that can happen?  They could say no or perhaps they will say yes and you will have made a new friend and contact.

  1. Beware social media it is a joy and a curse

I really enjoy social media and see a huge value in it both in terms of keeping up with friends and family and making new connections.  I have a wonderful group that I created with a friend called Fabulous Woman – it inspires me every day.

The key with social media is to know how much is enough?  I aim to spend enough time to be inspired and connected without spending so long that I start suffering from FOMO (the Fear of Missing Out) and a feeling of isolation – where I start to imagine the whole world is having a better time with more friends and more cocktails than I ever will.

 

I love linking point 2 and point 3.  Meet someone on Social media and take it off-line – invite them to tea!

 

  1. Keep a diary and keep it full enough

A diary has been my constant companion in all the years I worked.  It still is.  It is a great way of not only organising yourself, but also creating balance in your life.  I try to schedule at least one – out of the home office – activity a week.  Keeping a diary also helps to track what I do work on, so at the end of the week I can sit back and reflect on what I have achieved and what did and didn’t work.

  1. Keeping up with friends and family – thank you Skype

I also use my diary to remind myself (I suffer from the odd bit of brain fog) to set up calls with my family and friends far and wide.  We are lucky to live in an age of technology where you can have a chat with an old school friend as though they were in your living room.  I have even carried the iPad around the house showing off my cooking prowess.

  1. Walking and exercise

Regular readers of my blog will know that I am an avid convert to the daily walk.   I try to get out every day dodging the showers if necessary.  I was walking a couple of days ago, enjoying the sunshine in my bright blue coat.  I smile and say hi to anyone I pass on the road.  I was walking along in the town and a gentleman looked at me and said – my you have a happy face.  I wished him happy Monday and moved on.

 

These are some tips and ideas that I have used and would suggest.  There is a way to prevent social isolation when you are working from home, and I do believe it needs to be a conscious choice.

May is mental health month and as someone that has suffered with depression over many years I think it is important that we raise awareness for mental health.

Thank you for reading

 

Kerry x

 

Believe in yourself – we all deserve to feel beautiful

Model for a Day(Including before and after pics)

Believe in yourself.  Rather easier said than done.  I have struggled with self-esteem especially related to body image and my looks for as long as I can remember.

I know it will be hard for many people to believe as I appear bubbly and outgoing but for much of my life I have avoided mirrors and weighing scales.  I reached rock bottom in terms of self-esteem about five years ago.  My marriage was crumbling, my weight was ballooning  and I got to a point where make-up was something that gathered dust in the cupboard.

I remember going to a family function and making a real effort with lots of eye make-up including liquid liner.  My eyes were just not used to it.  One eye started watering and then I managed to poke myself in the eye with the mascara wand on the other and had to start again.

Before and afterWhen I was putting this post together I decided to be brave and include a photo from this time of my life.  I couldn’t find one.  I had such a negative belief in how I looked that I had gone through Facebook and untagged any image of me – just to make sure that nothing ‘ugly’ popped up.

I am extremely grateful for the wonderful people around me who have supported me over the last while.  I have worked hard to reach where I am now.  I have fallen in love with make-up again and I honestly believe that we all deserve to look good.  And, more importantly we all deserve to feel fabulous.

I met Natalie Greer at an ITWBN blogger event a year ago.  Natalie is a photographer and we got talking about boudoir shoots (you now the sexy ones).  It got me thinking about how confident you would need to be to do something like that.

The more I thought about it the more I felt that every woman deserves to feel truly special and in my head being a model for a day would be something special.  True beauty and fabulousness comes from within, I know.  However in the society we live it so much pressure is placed on body image and looks that it is important to feel good about yourself.

For some people this might be creating something, or doing something for a good cause, but for me it included looking good, and more importantly feeling good about myself.

Something new and exciting is happening …

I am also embarking on something new in the career line where I will be combining my experience with some new training to offer personal branding services – something that I really believe in.  The more I researched this, I realised that we are a brand ourselves and our image – photo – is part of this brand.

I felt both brave and excited the morning of the shoot.  I had a little suitcase packed with a couple of outfits and accessories and of course my bulging make-up bag.  As I was driving I looked down at my hands and panicked.  My nails are in a dreadful state.  Due to conditions like pernicious anaemia and arthritis and the drugs I need to take, my nails are brittle, ridged and in some cases very short.

I quickly pulled into a pharmacy and bought myself a packet of stick on nails.  Now I was ready for my photo shoot.

Natalie Greer - Always wear your invisible crownThank you to Natalie, for making it so special, and to everyone who has already liked the profile pic on Facebook.  I love the image with me wearing my crown – it reminds me of where all this started.  My first really well read blog post was all about wearing your invisible crown.

Thanks so much for reading this and for looking at my photos.  I really do appreciate the feedback.

I am working on a blog post about personal branding which will include a free downloadable personal branding questionnaire.  So please check back in or subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss it!

Thank you again for your support on my journey.

Kerry x

 

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