Getting older: how to be the best version of you

Getting older brings its own set of challenges for women. And it’s something I’ve been giving a lot of thought to lately.

Getting older, best version of yourself

A few weeks ago I went to London for a few hours to do a photoshoot for The Sun online.

It was a great day out and a lot of fun having a stylist, make-up artist and photographer. But the article I was to appear in was all about how badly the menopause can affect some women. Mine in particular meant extreme mood swings.

I found it to be a scary lonely time. I felt I was out of control, especially when I totally overreacted to simple things like trying to find a pair of jeans that needed ironing. Once I even smashed the kitchen up when I got home from work because the kids had actually helped and tidied it for a change.

Luckily I came through it. Life for me now couldn’t be better but because I work in retail I can’t help noticing that some of our, shall we say, more challenging customers are older women and I think I can understand why.

There’s a lot going on for an older woman

Let’s just take a look at what getting older could mean. For some of us life probably hasn’t worked out how we expected, possibly divorced and raised children on our own. Maybe even having had to have sold the house and get a smaller one in a different area. Trying to manage on less money than what we were used to, while trying to build a new life.

Older kids might have left home and now we’re feeling the effect of the empty nest syndrome, wondering what the hell to do next with our life. And let’s not forget that “how to be invisible” cloak that someone threw over us when we weren’t looking.

During all this we have to deal with the menopause. Like I said, there’s a lot going on. If we’re not careful it can make us bitter, hardened individuals that no one wants to be around.

Believe me I know. I was that woman for a while and I had to flip my way of thinking otherwise I wouldn’t be where I am now. I’m grateful every day for what I have instead of focusing on what I don’t have. But it’s not been easy.

Being bitter is being in pain, blaming anybody and everybody for where life has taken us and not being able to share in anyone else’s happiness. It’s holding a grudge against an ex for whatever reason, wallowing in self pity and thinking that quite possibly, we might never be happy again.

Who the hell wants to be that woman? If this is you, I can assure you that there is light at the end of the tunnel. You have to take charge and remind yourself how fabulous you once were and that you can be that fabulous creature again.

Live your best life. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Do the things you’ve been putting off because you’re ‘waiting for the right time’. Tell your friends how you feel. There’s nothing worse than thinking you’re in this on your own.

But most of all, remember that this feeling of loss, regret and emptiness will one day be behind you. You’ll be the butterfly emerging from the cocoon.

menopause the change for the better book

Available now from Bloomsbury, Waterstones, Amazon and good bookshops

Jacqueline Wright

About Jacqueline Wright

I'm a 50+ woman living in Manchester with my lovely gay housemate and loving it. Apart from going on the odd date I like to read, do a bit of writing and rather a lot of socialising. I'm really enjoying this chapter of my life. Follow me on Twitter