A lifestyle blog from a forty-something mum

Showing posts with label Forty-something. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Forty-something. Show all posts

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

A Menopausal Rant

MenopausalI should warn you that this blog is a rant about all things menopausal. Feel free to not read any further if you wish.

Still here?! Don't say I didn't warn you...

I suspect that the menopause has been creeping up on me for some time. A bit like an unwanted parasite that's impossible to fumigate, worm, or delouse. My periods stopped in January and I'm OK with it - but I miss the months being punctuated by two days of PMS and severe chocolate biscuit cravings. Now I crave sugary snacks all of the time and the PMS never goes away.

I am also...



Ache all over.



Turning into my mother.

I am forty bloody eight.

And no, I wouldn't want to share a house with me either.

I cried the other night because the cat was too adorable. I never cry. OK, it's something that happens maybe, once a year (if that). I suspect that the family pet feels my pain. She came over for a cuddle and fell asleep in my arms. The cat was too gorgeous for words. I may have cried.

Every day is a bit like wading through treacle while my eyes are propped open by matchsticks. Everything gets on my nerves. Inconsiderate drivers. Next door's dog. Indecisive people wandering aimlessly around the supermarket and getting under my feet as I attempt to shop in a hurry and go home again before getting cross and/ or having a flush. People not looking where they are going while texting. Birds twittering too early in the morning. I was even cross when that boat wasn't named Boaty McBoatface. I loved that name. It was one of the few things I had genuinely found hilarious in ages.

Yes, I'd probably laugh at me too.

He's a patient soul my husband, which is just as well as I am irritated by the way he eats ice cream, can't answer a simple question and still has that lone nasal hair dangling from his left nostril that I told him about weeks ago. I know I'm being unreasonable, which is probably why he's developed an interest in gardening (I tend to skulk in the house). He has taken his usual stance and mostly humours me. My new name is Little Miss Stroppy. Still, on the positive side, the garden is coming along rather nicely.

I want to be left to my own devices in a room filled with books and a nice box of chocolates that are calorie-free with the heating on full blast, or an air conditioner - depending on whether I'm mid-flush or shivering in flannel pyjamas, bedsocks and a blanket. I want to be able to do stuff only when I actually want to do it. Yes, I know that's not realistic... I am unreasonable, not deluded.

In real life I've been avoiding people who get on my nerves. I am sorry if you're one of them. It's not you, it's me. Normal service will resume just as soon as I'm post menopausal, or have caved and started taking HRT. I was so going to get on with it. A bit like breastfeeding twin babies, not opting for pain relief during labour and being an earth mother. Ha ha, bloody ha... none of these things happened either.

Apparently symptoms can last anywhere from two to five years. I worry that I might have committed murder by then. I have been trying to self-medicate with a concoction of sports performance vitamins, extra strength cod liver oil capsules and Quiet Life tablets. This is not going well.

I have to remind myself to behave when I'm in company. I have developed a kind of internal dialogue that keeps me in check while I'm out, but when I arrive home there is no release and my hormones (or lack of them) run amok, turning me into a gremlin.

I go to bed and have no trouble going to sleep, but wake up when my husband as much as breathes and immediately want to swat him with a rolled up magazine. It will be hours before I go back to sleep and if he as much as turns over I am immediately huffy.

You know that thing when people ask how you are? What would happen if a person said, 'Actually, I feel rubbish, but thank you for asking. Right now I am probably not the best company - but call me in two to five years and I'll see how I'm fixed.'

If you're still here, then I can only apologise but I did warn you. Thank you for reading.

Rant over. Books online appointment with GP and hopes that 'normal' Izzie will return soon.If anyone has any useful menopausal tips apart from, 'move to Outer Mongolia until you are symptom-free,' I would really appreciate them.

Copyright ©2016 Izzie Anderton

Read More

Friday, 18 March 2016

No Photos Please...

No photosThis is a post I've been meaning to write for a while. I've done a lot of blog reading this week and it was refreshing to find a fellow blogger who doesn't like having her photo taken. Thanks Debs for your honesty and inspiring me to finally get around to writing this. You can read Deb's original post here if you wish.

As bloggers I guess we're supposed to feel comfortable in front of the camera. I'm filled with admiration for those who are happy to smile and post their picture-perfect snaps online. I only wish I could be so relaxed and happy to join in.

It's just that I really don't like photos with me in them. Never have. Never will.

That explains why there are exactly 4 photographs of me on the entire blog. Instead, you're more likely to find pictures of me disappearing into the distance...

Luxemborg gardens, Paris

Or admiring something in a window...

Laduree, Macaron, Paris

This is the best my husband can manage.

I'm confident in all other aspects of life - I have lots of friends, I'm happy to socialise in groups and also enjoy my own company. At work, I talk to the teens in my charge about anything and encourage them to be the very best they can be. Nothing really fazes me all that much to be honest.

Get a camera out though, and chances are I'll do a runner.

My daughters on the other hand, photograph beautifully. As I'm usually the one behind the camera - this provides the perfect excuse to avoid being photographed at all - yay! I don't however, have permission to post photos of them on the blog - that is their decision to make and I am more than happy to respect it. There are snaps of my daughters all over the house though, and they are truly lovely.

Over the years I've done this...

1. Accidentally 'borrowed' memory cards and deleted any images that have me in them. Family are becoming wise to my antics and have learnt to email one another with the photos before I can get my mitts on them.

2. For years my photo ID for work was concealed by a photo of our cat - fortunately no one noticed.

3. The bio photo for the blog was taken on a professional photo shoot - I loathed every minute of the experience. Over 200 photographs were taken and I struggled to find 3 that I was even remotely happy with.

And I've never ever done this...

1. Taken a selfie.

How scary is the camera on Skype exactly?! As my daughters tend to Skype late into the evening, I am sans make-up and realise that I am turning into a cross between Jabba the Hutt and my mother. Sorry Mum x

It wasn't always this way. This 1973 snap of me aged 5 is kind of OKish - but I still don't like my smile.

Izzie Anderton, aged 5, schooldays
Please tell me I'm not the only one who doesn't like being in front of the camera?

Copyright ©2016 Izzie Anderton

Read More

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Things I Know Are True

I guess the older you get, the wiser you become to many of life's mysteries. You learn how to negotiate the pitfalls by mastering what works for you and knowing how to behave in a crisis. And I guess while this is great in theory, in practice I still have a lot to fathom out.

This is what I've learnt during my forty-something years...

1. I am never going to love eating salad or drinking water just as long as dark chocolate and wine are readily available.

2. The best way to deal with any problem is to tackle it head-on before it becomes an even bigger problem.

Warning: skip no. 3 if you're eating or feeling a bit peaky.

3. When the cat is licking her lips and making a strange knocking sound she's about to honk up a furball and I need to move like lightning if I don't want to scoop this up off the floor.

4. I always write better after a couple of glasses of wine. The following day however, I need to go back and do some serious editing as what I've written will be complete gibberish.

5. There are some mysteries in life that aren't meant to be solved, such as:

a. How did we end up with so many odd socks? and...
b. Didn't I just clean the house yesterday?

6. When conversations with my daughters begin with, "Muuuum," chances are I'm not going to like what they have to say. But being a mum, I'll always listen attentively and do whatever I can to help.

7. I like to think that I'm superwoman and capable of dealing with anything life flings in my direction. In real life that isn't how I roll at all. I'm guilty of taking on way too much and chances are I'll run out of steam before tackling everything I need to do.

 8. Often it's the simple (but daft) things in life that keep me sane. And dancing in the kitchen while listening to Mahna Mahna on my iPod never fails to cheer me up. The kids just look at one another in complete disbelief if they're home.

(YouTube - Mahna Mahna)

I guess if you know something, you don't have to think about it. What could possibly be wrong with that?

Until next time...

Copyright©2015 Izzie Anderton

Read More

Friday, 16 January 2015

Life and Times of a Perimenopausal Shopper

menopause, hot flushI've reached that certain age where shopping has become exasperating. I guess this has something to do with being forty-something and perimenopausal. Once, not so very long ago I used to enjoy a spot of retail therapy with my daughters, but now it's not something I take on lightly as I know I'm likely to become hot (not in a good way) and irritable. However, as I need to replace a few essential items from time to time it's something that has to be done.

I don't crave a walk-in wardrobe overflowing with the latest must-haves, or a hundred pairs of shoes - I'd be more than happy with just a few purchases per season. But here's the thing, I want to love what I own and not be one of those women who wears 20% of her clothing 80% of the time.

Earlier this week I braved the shops. On my list were two of my least favourite items to shop for, jeans and swimwear. 
Mr A, who will only shop under extreme duress had decided to be brave and come with me. He had my deepest sympathy.

Mr A is ever hopeful that everything I take into the changing rooms will be splendid, he waits patiently outside and announces, "Yes, that's lovely," in the hope that I'll,

a) Make a purchase.
b) He can go home again.

As I'm dubious that the look isn't quite as gorgeous as he'd like me to believe his tactics often backfire as I retreat to the cubicle thinking only, where next?

Shopping alone isn't any easier. I'm overwhelmed by indecision, followed by optimism that something more flattering will turn up soon - as long as I can muster the enthusiasm to keep looking.

I am absolutely brilliant at spotting something I love that isn't available in my size. I spied a skirt in Coast that was two sizes too small this week. At home I searched online only to discover that it was sold out everywhere. And not only are there none of my preferred brand of jeans in stock, but the shop in question actually no longer sells these in-store or online. After trying on a couple of swimwear options, I'm unimpressed and not tempted to try any more today as I suspect my hormones are on the rampage.

Giving up on swimwear and jeans, I book a bra fitting at a well-known department store instead. I had my suspicions that I was wearing the wrong size, but was astounded to be measured as a 32D. "Really," I said... and with that the helpful sales assistant vanished, only to return a couple of minutes later with a selection of lace-embellished options in an assortment of eclectic colours. I have no idea what was going through her mind as she made her choices, but she leaves me alone to wrestle with the bra straps, (always set on minimum and designed to inflict pain if you don't lengthen them prior to trying on) and struggle into the first one. It fits perfectly, my cleavage looks svelte, sculpted and none has escaped from the confines of the cup. There's just one problem - it's perfect just as long as I don't need to breathe. Defeated, I replace old faithful (my aged bra), share my observations with the helpful sales assistant and leave the store feeling the familiar beads of sweat forming and questioning whether or not it's actually possible to melt during a hot flush.
Mr A is waiting patiently for me and suggests that now might be a good time to break for coffee. I shoot him a reply and say, "Are you kidding? Why would I want a hot drink when I'm about to self-combust?" He heads to Costa while I treat myself to a small tub of ice-cream and stand outside (it's 4°C) until the flush subsides. He's a sensitive soul Mr A and I feel dreadful for snapping at him. It isn't his fault that my hormones are making me bad tempered.

Glancing at the list that had only two items on it, I'm left contemplating why I've ended up buying two T-shirts (100% cotton and not a synthetic fibre between them, hence perfect for perimenopause), a pair of sunglasses and a birthday gift for a friend.

I head for home without swimwear or jeans.

Is anyone else experiencing the delights of perimenopausal shopping too, I wonder? Any tips to help save my sanity?

Until next time...

Copyright©2015 Izzie Anderton

Read More

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Then and Now...

As a teen did you ever think you'd grow up and stay exactly as you were? Trapped forever in the seven years that defined your teenage years... only with a car and a house and the money to indulge in all the things you loved at that time?

I guess it's normal to never want to grow up and turn into a fully-fledged adult and I'm not sure I had any concept of what it meant to be older... why would you?

I even made a promise to myself that I'd never change and would stay tuned into Radio 1 and reading Smash Hits. How times have changed...

Way back when I was a teen... I wore heels, watched Top Of The Pops, listened only to Radio 1, bought every copy of my favourite magazine, ate a lot of crisps... any flavour, (except ready salted) shopped at C&A, drank Babycham, loved any music my dad took a dislike to... especially Dead or Alive, had no plans to fall asleep in front of the TV (unlike my parents) and thought that I'd never be too old to go clubbing.

Here's the bit where I justify each and every one of those changes now that I'm 46 years of age...

Heels... you're kidding right? Wearing a pair for any great length of time makes me ache in places I took for granted would always be supple when I was younger. I'm happiest in a pair of ballerinas or Converse and so... that's what I wear most of the time.

I'm partial to Radio 2... many of the DJs I used to listen to on Radio 1 as a teen now present on Radio 2 instead. It's a lot like listening to an old friend and Simon Mayo plays Mahna Mahna on his Drivetime show every Friday around 5:15 pm... what's not to love about that! And... gulp... given half a chance I find myself listening to Woman's Hour on Radio 4.

I used to think that ready salted crisps were for old people. As a teen any flavour, no matter how weird was likely to be devoured with much enthusiasm. Is anyone old enough to remember hedgehog flavour? They tasted rather peppery if memory serves... but I kind of liked them. Now I only ever eat crisps when I have an attack of the munchies after a couple of glasses of wine. I can't justify the calories unless I'm inebriated and couldn't care less.

I've started shopping in M&S (other stores are available) they stock underwear that's sympathetic to the  forty-something figure, as well as a damn fine selection of food and wine. I'm also partial to placing orders with Boden and White Company and shopping at White Stuff, Fat Face and TK Maxx. I have a feeling the fact that C&A closed all of its UK stores back in the year 2000 had nothing to do with this decision whatsoever.

My passion for nightclubbing has been replaced by a love of dancing all over the house while listening to my iPod. But my all-time number one way to spend the evening has to be... curled up in front of the fire with a large glass of wine, a good book and being left well alone. And I guess I could be tempted by a glass of Babycham, but only with a generous measure of brandy.

My devotion to Smash Hits had wavered long before it ceased publication back in 2006. Currently I have Good Housekeeping and Red magazines on subscription and don't plan on changing my reading habits any time soon.

Are some TV programs narrated to make you nap I wonder? The soothing dialogue on the latest series of Who Do You Think You Are? meant that I failed to catch any episode in its entirety without taking a catnap halfway through. Maybe I should use this to my advantage and watch it on iPlayer as a cure for insomnia...

I'm just wondering if you turned out the way you imagined you would in your teens? I look forward to reading your thoughts...

Until next time...

Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton

Read More

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Older, None the Wiser

Back when I was a teen, I had no concept of what it was to be 40-something. I guess if I'd asked myself back then how things would be going in my forties, I'd have expected to have life fathomed out quite well. Who knew that life would be peppered with compromise and I'd be getting it wrong even now?

Here's the low-down:

I'm happy that:
  • I still love pop music, even if my offspring think this is tragic.
  • My wardrobe is considered enviable by my daughters and sometimes they even borrow stuff. I still wear skinny jeans and bikinis and have no intention of giving up either anytime soon.
  • My hair is longer now than it's ever been and I really couldn't care less that my mother hates it.
  • In my mind, I'm still 21-years of age and who wants to be a grown-up anyway?
  • Finally I have mastered the art of running a house (in a fashion), cooking a half-decent meal (and if it's rubbish I ply guests with wine so they think it's good), and faking being a grown-up when it's absolutely necessary (although I can only manage this in short bursts) .
And here's what I don't really want to admit:
  • Cat naps are my new guilty secret and staying awake after 11pm is becoming a challenge.
  • Whenever I'm wearing heels, you can guarantee there are a pair of ballerinas at the bottom of my cavernous handbag to change into just as soon as no one's looking.
  • My reflection in any changing-room mirror scares the life out of me.
  • Curling up in front of the fire, clad in PJs, with a good book and a glass of wine is my idea of nirvana.
Even more scary is this:
  • Mr A uttered the word 'comfortable,' while out shopping for a new pair of trousers last week. He was immediately chastised, and told never to say that word again as I selected a pair from French Connection and told him that they were perfect.
  • There are tentative signs that I'm turning into a crazy cat lady. 
  • Without the perpetual influence of the kids at home, we may have started to develop a few habits that are bad. Mr A asked for a cocoa the other night when I suggested a night cap, we've also started to intentionally watch the news.
  • A friend recently bought me a gift for my birthday and although, it was nice that she'd remembered, I was horrified to receive a set of tea towels. Isn't that a gift for grown-ups? I immediately gave them to my grandmother.
  • I'm far less tolerant of people who irritate me and have perfected the art of snarling quietly and then biting my lip, rather than say something I'm likely to regret.
And so, my only questions are these? At what age are you finally considered a grown up? And can we ever have everything sussed at the same time?

Until next time

Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton
Read More
Powered by Blogger.

© The World According to Izzie , AllRightsReserved.

Designed by ScreenWritersArena