On Bodies and Middle Age: Out of the Mouths of Not So Recent Babes

In the land of the future it’s now Sunday morning and this generally means weekend newspapers and a leisurely breakfast.

The front page of our paper today features a picture of a stunning Elle McPherson under which is written the headline “The Body at 50”. A quick turn to page 7 reveals that Elle turned the big 5-0 yesterday and that The Body still has the body. The article outlines her various business and fashion successes and notes that Time once named Elle the “body of our time”.

I am sure there was no consultation between our respective mothers back in 1964 when they chose to give birth to girls within a couple of months of each other. However, I have had the spectre of being the same age as Elle McPherson hanging over me since the dawn of my time. In what is a perfect case of ‘comparison could really be the thief of joy”, I have tried hard to avoid such folly.

There is no doubt Elle looks fabulous in her now half a century body. And why wouldn’t she? The article tells us she is a devotee of exercise via skiing, surfing, yoga, swimming and hiking, drinking three litres of water daily, completing 500 sit-ups and running up and down four flights of stairs five times every morning in her twenties – Sun Herald, 30 March 2014. If that’s the case, then Elle deserves the way she now looks.

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Me? I am still struggling with the notion of being able to do 500 sit-ups and running up and down flights of stairs on a full bladder.

So in a moment of comparison insanity (because even the Curtain Raiser sometimes succumbs on weekends), I held up the front page photo next to my face and asked my eldest son “Do you think I could be confused with Elle McPherson?”

Not missing a beat, he replied “No mum, Elle McPherson is not good looking.”

Just goes to show there are some things that not even 500 daily sit-ups and three litres of water can buy you.

There are better things than being perfect, this is just one of them.

Come join me in April when I explore further the concept of being perfectly imperfect in the A to Z Challenge April Blogging Challenge.

 

The Great A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal: Perfectly Imperfect

To prove that bloggers are not only creative but also ingenious, the folks at #TeamDamyanti are hosting the A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal. A blog hop within a blog fest, today is the day that more than three hundred bloggers reveal their theme for the A to Z April Blogging Challenge. A to Z Theme Reveal They have answered the age old question of to Theme or not to Theme with a resounding yes and have put their theme out there.

Last year, I decided to run with a theme for the first time. It was so much fun, that I’m doing it again this year. Last year I blogged a twenty six step permission slip, allowing myself to do, experience and think about things in a way I had never done before. The whole April journey was enjoyable, revealing and cathartic. In a similar vein, my theme for this year is….

The A to Z of Living Imperfectly

In today’s world there is a real pressure to try to have it all and be it all. Society pressures us into acting and thinking a certain way and whilst there is some wriggle room within those confines, it is not always enough. From what we do for a living, to what we wear, what we eat, how we parent and how we spend our leisure time there are enduring expectations. If you are a certain age you are expected to behave a certain way (or not to behave in a certain way), if you are a parent there is incredible pressure for perfection, a pressure we tend to project onto our children’s’ lives all too readily.

If perfection is the key to success or the road to happiness, then I have failed miserably to find that key. And yet I feel successful and happy. This spurs me even more to push my personal boundaries and grow, much to the chagrin of my peers who have certain  views on the perfect midlife hair, fashion, etiquette, social activities and more. My views are somewhat different, no better or worse, and it just means that I have eschewed perfection for authenticity. When I talk about perfection in this context, I mean acting or thinking in such a way that is generally regarded as the best way to act or think.

To my mind perfection is an illusion sort of like the equation X +1. You think you have hit X only to find there is always one more step so you keep on striving and others keep on judging. This is not to say don’t do your best, but making perfection one’s life quest is fraught.

In April, I am going to explore the concept of perfection looking at certain areas where society expects perfection and conclude why it is more than acceptable not to be perfect. I hope it will serve as a beacon or a flair for those who have decided that perfection is not all that it is cracked up to be or who are thinking about taking their first tentative steps away from perfection.

perfectly fine

I hope that my struggles with perfection will give you some insights and demonstrate that we all have our individual struggles with it and that is OK.

Come join me in April for some imperfect living.

And to wet your appetites just a little more, here are a few more WordPress bloggers who are partaking in the Challenge and who revealed their themes today:

  • Carrie Anne, who blogs at That Dizzy Chick revealed her Challenge theme of inspirational quotes. Get set for a whole month of inspiration
  • Linda Maye Adams who blogs at her site of the same name, revealed her theme of what is it like to be in the military. According to Linda’s blog she is an author and a soldier having spent 12 years in the Army. Sounds like some unique insights in store for us in April
  • A Short A Day is an author’s blog and in April this author will blog a story. One hundred words every day starting with the relevant letter of the alphabet.
  • Lainey who blogs at laineyrain, revealed her Challenge theme of be braver . This will be a series of blogs about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Go Lainey!
  • Precari0us who blogs at Sumptuous Living revealed her theme of letters to my daughter, a fictional series.

With this sort of variety April is shaping up to be a great blogging month. Sign ups for the Challenge have now reached the 1400 mark and it’s still not too late if you want to join in. You can sign up here.

Eight days to go to A Day!!