This is the website I never intended to write. When I set it up in the peak of the pandemic, I had just turned 45 and the fact that I was suddenly middle-aged crashed through the door uninvited on a cold, dark, wet and windy night. Like most things that terrify me, I turned to the tool that helps me cope best – writing. And thus My Messy Middle was born.
I got a few posts published and then this site withered to very near death. Not because I lost interest as many new bloggers do – elsewhere on the Internet I’ve been blogging for over 10 years on the topic of travel. I do have some staying power. And I planned to do the same with this but on a more personal note. I was excited to dig in… then life pulled the plug on my health.
To be more accurate, life has been pulling the plug on my health for years (six of them to be exact). But it was only recently I got a diagnosis of my particular health concern – fibromyalgia. There’s every chance you’re here because you also have fibro or perhaps you’re worried that you might have it. If you don’t know what it is, it’s a long-term condition where you feel pain all over your body. It’s about as fun as it sounds. Unsurprisingly, that pain has some knock-on effects including bad sleep and zero energy. It’s the kind of illness that has flareups where I can’t do much besides lie down and wait for it to pass (which can take days, weeks or months depending on the strenght of the flare up). But there are also periods where I feel almost fine.
So, what had started as grand plans for a midlife blog is very likely to turn into a midlife fibromyalgia blog. Because, as I said earlier, like most things that terrify me, the best way I find to cope is by writing.
Let’s see what happens…and if you are interested, here’s what I originally planned to write about – and if I can kick this fucking fibro into the back of beyond, I may just get round to it.
The middle is a reference to my hitting middle age and all the messiness it seems to entail.
I suppose my blog name could also be a reference to my messy middle, literally, because, let’s face it, unless you’re a ripped mid life instagammer who chews down 20 kilo weights for breakfast and regularly says hashtag ripped, your stomach, you tummy, your middle, does look a little bit messy by the time you pass your forties. Mine certainly isn’t as neat and trim anymore. And that’s without having had kids.
Oh, so that’s a bit more about me. For one reason and another…and another, I skipped the procreating part that most people go through in their 20s, 30s, and sometimes 40s. I’m sure there will be more on this at some point.
What have I been doing instead? Well, I have collected a lot of passport stamps and yes, I know that’s not quite the same. But I’ve also created a few online businesses. To me, that is the same. They are my babies. Judge me if you will. * notes down another blog post idea *
What else..let me see:
- Ex-husband’s – one
- Former careers – one (lawyer)
- Other websites – two (both travel)
- Kids – none
- Pets – none
- Boyfriends – answer is subject to volatility and market conditions (subsequently updated to 1 wonderful boyfriend)
- Surgeries – two
- Ego size – quite small, bordering on insecure
- Anxiety levels – higher than average
- Travel insurance claims – too many to count
- Portions of cake per day – 1 to 2
- Daily coffee quota – high enough I lie about it to health professionals
- Country of residence – England
What am I going to write about here? That’s kind of a work in process. I’ve shared a bit about why I’m here in this post. The main focus of My Messy Middle is going to be a lifestyle blog about navigating mid life. But most of all I want this to be a positive space because, when I googled middle aged women to see what was already online, the first post was from a very popular health website titled: Mistakes Women Make In Middle Age. And I thought, well, fuck you…sorry, let me add to the list above:
- Number of swearies you can expect – many.
- Number of apologies for swearies – not nearly as many.
Back to that article: who else is sick of being a) a woman and b) not a woman of youth and c) being told (probably by a man) that despite wisdom being your only defining feature, since beauty left the building in your late 30s, you’re still fucking in up. I couldn’t even bring myself to read the article. I hope it was just click-bait, with positivity when you got there. But all the same – urgh.
I have no doubt this site and its content will morph over time but at the moment I want to share some of my non-travel related thoughts. I want to talk about health (in a positive way), work, self-development, dating, relationships, friendships, death, illness, loneliness, anxiety, depression, yoga, meditation, books, recipes, coffee. So much coffee. With cake.
Look, I’m nobody special. I’m just a normal woman who, somehow, somewhere between a trip to Spain in my 20s and coming back from a few months in Central America, I apparently got old. Old enough to be middle aged, anyway. And it’s terrifying me.
What you’ll find here is my thoughts on ageing, but I want to hear yours too. I want to know if you’re also googling saggy boob exercises at 3 am (why always the 3 am googling?), whether you’re having an existential crisis (and are you doing anything about it?) and whether you prefer to look in the mirror without your glasses on because your face looks that bit smoother and, admit it, you can rarely remember where you put your glasses these days anyway.
There will be a few things I won’t talk about, because I can’t. I won’t have empty nest issues because I filled my nest with countries and high-fat snacks. I can’t talk about how to keep a 20 year old marriage alive. I couldn’t keep mine alive for five minutes (though subjectivity allows me to allocate the blame elsewhere for that).
So, that’s kind of it. Drop me a line if there’s something specific you’d be interested to read about. Or if you just want to say hi.