From spurning unflattering dresses to spending large sums on fancy lipstick, Lucy Mangan has her priorities sorted…
Drinking is no longer worth it
Simple maths proves it. The amount of alcohol required to obliterate the size and intractability of the problems that face us in midlife is simply too great to be processed by our slowed metabolisms in under three days. By which time, all the intractable problems left unmanaged for 72 hours have increased at a geometric rate, which means the amount of alcohol required… well, you get the idea.
You can switch to pills
But only if you’re lucky. Modern GPs are very down on patients self-medicating their way to numbness. Even if you tell them it’s that or alcoholism. I am told things were simpler in the old days, when doctors actively encouraged women to become zombie-like dutiful wives and mothers by handing out sedatives like Smarties. But now it’s all, ‘Just deal with your problems’, ‘Attack root causes’, ‘Go to therapy’. As if anyone has time…
Attacking root causes and going to therapy does acutally do the work
I have friends who have successfully done at least one of each of these things and they are very happy. They are all divorced too. I don’t know if this is statistically significant and, if so, whether as cause or effect, but I cannot feel that it is unrelated.
The wrap dress is not the answer
It’s not even an answer. It is touted as the solution to fashion ills and body shapes, but this is absolute nonsense. It suits only the tall and willowy. Just because it has an adjustable waist, it doesn’t mean it’s proffering sartorial salvation.
Throwing money at a problem is sensible
Of course, you need to be privileged enough to have spare cash. But if you do, now is the time to start reprioritising what you spend it on. Namely, things that make life better for you, chores easier, journeys shorter on the feet. Better moisturiser, nicer lipstick, more expensive clothes, and more ready meals. Things that save you energy and time – key resources we are only now realising are finite and need to be conserved and replenished.
Another way of protecting your resources. Just say no to extra work, to nights out, to things that people ask you to do for their benefit only, or will leave you knackered, enraged or heartsore. I bet you can think of three things right now that you’re booked to do out of a misguided sense of duty. Cancel one of them. Go on. See how it feels?
Go for a walk
I know, I know – only annoying people say this. But I must be annoying. Walking is good. Walking clears your head, dissipates anger and above all it reminds you that there is a world beyond your desk, outside your home. And it’s not like swimming or a stupid sport; you can do it for five, 10, 15 minutes, and you need no special equipment. Just stand up – see how full of achievement you feel already?! – and go.
See if it’s menopause
So many things are. See your doctor. Tell them everything that feels different to you about yourself. Don’t feel anything is too small or insignificant. Give them the full picture and see if bunging some replacement oestrogen and progesterone into your body might be the thing that restores you to yourself.
If you don’t like something by now, you never will
Be it arts and crafts, sex, people or, of course, expensive chocolate – you have given it long enough. Cut it all loose. Replace it with things you do like. Top alternatives, according to science, are: cats, Netflix, comfort food, researching couches for a purchase you never plan to make, and lying on the old couch doing sweet FA.
Fancy chocolate is rubbish
It’s nonsense. Give up trying. A big bar of Cadbury Dairy and you’ll remember what pure happiness tastes like.
Feature Image: Pexels