There’s Nothing Wrong With Contentment

And that’s especially true for many women, who not only hold down jobs like men, but tend to pick up the slack when it comes to the emotional labour required in most families.

However, in my experience, while the thought of an enforced recalibration can be scary, taking the time to sit back and reflect on what’s important is a good thing.

For in spite of the benefits of social distancing — and there have been many — I see very little evidence of a longterm change in habits of people in relation to the frantic pace of their lives.

I mean, surely, some good has to come from this terrible reminder of the fragility of life.

I understand that change takes time, but I can’t stop thinking that COVID should have been the wake-up call we needed to prioritise compassion over power?

SHARE THIS:

The Truth About The Mask Of Mental Illness

So it turns out I haven’t quite finished writing about masks. Today, however, instead of talking about clinical masks, I want to talk about a different type of mask — that is, the mask that society forces people with mental illness to wear.

It might surprise you to know that it is still rare to find a work environment in which you can admit openly that you suffer from depression or a neurological disorder

The main ones, though, are his crippling anxiety and OCD

Few would be aware of the rituals that chain him to his home, his fear of change, or the mental effort it takes to keep himself on track

“Avoiding what makes you anxious provides some relief in the short term, but can make you more anxious in the long term. Try approaching something that makes you anxious — even in a small way. The way through anxiety is by learning that what you fear isn’t likely to happen — and if it does, you’ll be able to cope with it. ” Beyond Blue

I’m his mum and selfishly, I suppose, I wanted him there with us, not only to push back his anxiety, but to help me complete the faux image of the perfect family unit I aspire to

When our son is on form, he lights up a room; but when he is overwhelmed, it’s like waiting for the White Walkers to break through the wall

I know better than to think I can prepare for every eventuality. The unpredictability is, perhaps, the hardest part about mental illness. The three steps forward, and the inevitable four steps back

When family and friends ask us how Kurt is doing, we put on masks too

A person with mental illness may look exactly like you and I most of the time, until the mask slips

They can’t “snap out of it” to make the rest of us feel better

SHARE THIS:

Wear A Mask, Because No One Deserves To Die Alone

The fact is, bowel and colon cancer are on the increase, so I decided it was worth a prod up my ass to make sure everything was okay

For a hypochondriac and over-thinker, that waiting period can be a moment of reckoning

What I wasn’t prepared for was the life-flashing-before-me moment just before I went in

More importantly, I didn’t want to die like this, alone, in a stark white room, with my bum hanging out

Lying on a hospital bed surrounded by strangers and beeping monitors is scary, and certainly not the way I would choose to leave this earth

All they’re asking for in return is that we show some social responsibility

SHARE THIS:

‘What Do Men Have To Do To Stop Women Accusing Them Of Rape?’

Sadly, one thing this pandemic has highlighted is that the sexual abuse and murder of women hasn’t gone away

As anyone who celebrates Christmas with family, a close emotional connection can blur the lines around the rules of battle, and discussions have a tendency to get more personal.

Let me reiterate: I am a feminist, but I do not hate men, nor do I believe that all men are rapists or, indeed, would ever hurt a woman

Parenting never stops, and I have a responsibility for the way my son thinks about and treats women

Thirty women have already been murdered in Australia this year (Destroy The Joint)

SHARE THIS:

Wedding Anniversaries: Does Your Partner Still Buy You Flowers?

Mine doesn’t.

I am a feminist, hence I shouldn’t expect special treatment in the romance department…apparently

Or periods and menopause? Is that fairer?

We’ve reached the professional stage of taking each other for granted in our marriage

I think he said something about us not needing material things to prove our love, and I fell for it

Why is it the longer most couples stay together, the less effort they make?

SHARE THIS:

5 Wardrobe Essentials Every Middle-Aged Women Should Have

And needless to say, she looked back at me blankly

I’m talking fashion, ladies!

And let’s be honest, it’s only a matter of time before I get back on the carb bandwagon

SHARE THIS:

Middle-Aged Women: We Need To Talk About The Necessary Evil Of Exercise

What are “lifestyle improvements”? I hear you ask — not really

And exercising!

I’m lying, of course. I didn’t finish it quickly or with any great finesse — because even after months of training, I still HATED exercise with a passion — but I did finish

Tbh, exercise that involves pain is not what I’d thought I’d be doing in my fifties and obviously not something I would normally choose to do in the little spare time I have, because…

But while I would much prefer to go on a brisk walk with my girlfriends — with the added incentive of a wine milky coffee at the end of it — I know that’s not enough

And trust me, it’s a slippery slope once you lose your fitness — one day you can’t get out of a chair, the next you struggle to walk up hills, and before you know it you can’t wipe your own arse

I can guarantee you’ll enjoy that evening wine so much more when you feel like you’ve earned it

SHARE THIS:

Middle-Aged Women: We Need To Put Ourselves First Now

I’m running, without actually getting anywhere

I’m simply not ready to slip quietly into the middle-aged woman box

So what’s really stopping me from getting out there and kicking ass? Am I just a serial whinger or is it truly harder for women our age to kick our goals?

Men have no idea how exhausting it is to have to pretend you’re human when you feel like an axe-murderer on the inside

So, there it is…

But perhaps my biggest problem is self-perception

The truth is that successful people have to be a little bit selfish

I know it may sound crazy to do a complete re-evaluation of your life in your fifties, but how lucky are those of us who still have choices that are denied to so many?

SHARE THIS:

The Sad Price George Floyd Has Paid To Expose Police Corruption

We can’t change history, but we can try and compensate for it.

Fear and entitlement feed corruption in the police force.

Police brutality affects many groups of people — from people of colour to the LGBTQIA community, and the mentally ill.

It is clear that the powers of the police are too great and there is not enough accountability for what they do with them.

Could any of the ideas below help reduce the number of black deaths?

It’s easy to criticise the police, I know…

Sadly, many of these cases point to a sense of entitlement in the police force that increases the risk of violence.

SHARE THIS:

The 25 Best Feel-Good Movies For Lazy Weekends

Are you genuinely still social-distancing?

Check out the movie trailer here:

A bit about the movie…

Who hasn’t loved Renee Zellweger since she dished up blue soup in Bridget Jones?

Did You Know That Ugly-Crying Actually Enhances Your Mood?

Anything that gives us pause for thought and time to reflect on our priorities is a good thing, right?

And remember, the MAIN reason I’m giving you permission to take an afternoon off is because single and family movie passes make a direct donation to this year’s RED SHIELD APPEAL.

Enjoy!

SHARE THIS:

The 5 Surprising Things I Haven’t Missed In Isolation

Below are 5 surprising things I haven’t missed in isolation:

1. People

2. Shopping

3. My Anxiety

4. “The Treadmill”

5. The Weight Of Expectation

Of course, these thoughts may just be symptomatic of middle age

SHARE THIS:

11 Painful Truths About Living With Men

To be honest, I thought I’d done my time in share houses until COVID-19 attacked our shores, but it turns out that the most confronting change brought about by this virus is not my fear of catching it but my forced cohabitation with two men.

Yeah, right!

I mean, it’s not like your average tenant would walk around the house naked or steal your booze and expect to get away with it, is it?

And how come men get so brave in a group?

SHARE THIS:

C-Words like COVID-19 are never good, but most clouds have a silver lining

Historically, c-words have had a bad rap. For example, the c-word “c*nt” is described as a vulgarism for female genitalia on Wikipedia, and the euphemism for “cancer” used to be the archetypal c-word. That is until recently, when a far more sinister c-word entered our vocabulary.

Modern women don’t see women’s genitalia as threatening, ugly or something to be ashamed of

Cancer was another c-word that was only ever mentioned in hushed tones

Even today, medical researchers implore doctors not to use the word cancer (unless absolutely necessary) due to its power to induce panic.

As Martha Carlsen says: “Don’t be afraid of the C word. Go ahead and fear or despise cancer itself and what the treatments may bring. But don’t be afraid of the word. Saying it out loud won’t make the disease worse or cause your treatments to fail or scare your friends away,” here

And now this new c-word has reached our shores

I think some good can come from this virus

Maybe some of the changes it causes will be positive?

On a personal note, this period has reminded me of how lucky I am that I married my best friend

And so, while c-words are never good, it is handy to remember that most clouds have a silver lining

SHARE THIS:

“Clear intentions” may help you focus in lockdown, but treading water is also fine

SHARE THIS:

Follow This Blog Via Email

My Midlife Mayhem

Instagram

--

--

--

Blogger, writer, mental health campaigner, who dreams of being a published author and making the world a happier place.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Louisa Simmonds

Louisa Simmonds

Blogger, writer, mental health campaigner, who dreams of being a published author and making the world a happier place.

More from Medium

I’m an American who spent the pandemic in Guatemala. This is what I learned.

The unvaccinated keep COVID-19 happy. They should do the opposite.

A group of unvaccinated people party at illegal gathering.

Why I sorta kinda gave up on the animal shelter

Some Dangers From Pandemic Fatigue