The Ballsy Issue. Because, metaphorically, women have balls :)
Welcome to issue 4. Good to have you back. And if you’ve just signed up - a double welcome! I hope you find the newsletter of benefit.
This issue is the ballsy issue! I say ballsy, because that’s how a lot of women have to be to get themselves noticed and valued. And to some, me included, it doesn’t come easily. So here’s hoping that a by-product of this wonderful 45 Not Out community that’s beginning to form is the support we can give one another to find our natural “balls” :)
WHAT I LEARNT IN THE RECENT LOCAL ELECTIONS
As I write this, I’m recovering from spending 15 hours the day previous volunteering as a poll clerk in my local elections. Now, I wasn’t covering the sexy Metropolitan Mayor elections or one of the by-elections where the Conservatives acquired a number of stronghold Labour seats and the party is in turmoil. But, I’m not going into the politics of the situation - that’s what the media and politicians are paid for.
No, I want to share with you a thoroughly heart-warming trend that made itself very clear as I sat in the drafty village community centre serving the local voting population. In my village, Holmes Chapel in Cheshire, the only vote we had was that of electing the next Police and Crime Commissioner. Important yes, but not as important as a council leader or metro mayor. So, the actual turnout met it’s predicted figure - only 10%. But it gladdened my heart to realise that a high proportion of that turnout included young people - Generation Z’ers. This generation, and Millenials before them, have been accused of being apathetic politically. That is certainly not what I experienced. So to come and vote for a Police Commissioner of sleepy Cheshire shows a good deal of social and civic consciousness. I totally applaud them and with each ballot paper that I issued to these young people, I manically smiled. Inwardly, of course ;)
WHY YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE FEMALE LEAD.
But, it’s the amazing Female Lead that she’s concentrating on now. I’ve just started to devour the contents of this amazing platform - it’s a complete charity and resource that exists purely to empower women. I’d suggest bookmarking it in your internet browsers and refer to it on those days when you wonder why you’re bothering. We all get those, don’t we? I’m sure as mid-life women start shouting more loudly, it will become more and more powerful. Here’s the results from one of their surveys, portrayed for you in a cute little graphic. Thank you, Canva ;)
BEING BRAVE: STEPPING OUTSIDE OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
We’re constantly being told that to get anywhere, we need to get out of our “comfort zone”. I’m the first to admit I find this scary, I’m very much a “comfort zone” dweller, but an opportunity arose earlier this Spring, that encouraged me but gave me a wobble at the same time. Here’s the story:
About a fortnight ago, I spent a gorgeously sunny and relatively warm Sunday morning taking part in an organised introductory session to cold water swimming.
I’m lucky enough to live quite near to a mere (lake formed by an abandoned sand quarry - common in Cheshire). This mere, Boundary Park, is used for open water swimming sessions and, being a bit of a swimmer (I’m no Rebecca Adlington, mind) I had been thinking about trying open water swimming for a while, but never had the bravery. My family took that decision out of my hands when my Mother’s Day present this year was an introductory session with USwim. So on Sunday 18th April this was me….
I have to admit, as the day approached I was nervous. I was worried I wouldn’t cope and, it being a present, I’d let the family down. Can you believe I tried to acclimatise by finishing my shower each day with a slosh of cold water, extending the time to about 2 minutes? The things we do……
I needn’t have worried, though. On the day itself, I was provided with a good wetsuit and expert tuition from David, the instructor, before we entered the water. Luckily, I wasn’t the only one popping my open water cherry. There was a group of six of us, with 75% of the group being ladies over 45! Go us! David’s instruction and inspirational manner gave us enough confidence to wade into the water and start getting used to the cold. And once you set off swimming, you’re concentrating so much on keeping in the swimming lane and avoiding bits of floating greenery - I’ve never liked seaweed - that you don’t notice the cold. After we’d completed the 400m circuit and returned to the bank, David threw down the gauntlet and asked if anybody was brave enough to come out to take off their wetsuit and return to the water in “skins” ie just a swimming costume. The cold must have got to my head, because in I went, minus wetsuit with just an everyday swimsuit.
Have to admit, that was definitely colder, but I just carried on swimming keeping in the lane and came out, lobster red, but very exhilarated. What an experience! I loved it and as the summer goes on, I’ll definitely be doing more.
How often do you “live” in your comfort zone? Or is there something on your To-Do list that scares the pants off you? If there is, I’d say go do it. And don’t look back :)
45 NOT OUT RECOMMENDATION:
BOOK: THE WARRIOR WELLBEING TOOLKIT
Whilst we’re talking about all things “ballsy”, may I introduce you to a book that helps women to find their inner “balls” (enough balls, now. Sorry!). Basically this is a compilation book, curated by Carol-Ann Reid, taking wisdom and life hacking advice from a wonderful group of coaches and advisors (mainly women) who’s whole purpose is to help clients become the warriors they were destined to be. Since I acquired it, it’s become a total go-to at the times when I need to hear words of wisdom helping me to traverse those negative chasms that we have to negotiate in life, at times. A substitute for a session with the most amazing life-coach, if you like.
And you can tell how often I’ve referred to it by the dog-eared cover - yes, that’s a photo of my copy :)
I’d recommend it to anybody, and, as if you couldn’t guess, it’s available at good old Amazon here
So there you have it - Issue #4. How was it for you? I may have overdone the “balls” theme, for which I apologise, but my hope is that it’s given you a spur to tackle something in your life for which you need an extra boost. If that is the case, I send tons of positive vibes and the strength to see it through.
If you like what you’ve read here and would like more in between the fortnightly newsletter, I’d love for you to join the 45 Not Out Community Facebook group. It’s a group of amazing women who share and support each other. Sign up using the link above and welcome aboard! And if you know someone who might like this newsletter, then please share the newsletter with them.
Till a fortnight’s time, then
Stay safe, strong & well