Because every woman needs a little Therapy...

Monday, 9 July 2012

THE BEACH.......

Before I start the blog proper I just want to say a big "Thank You" to all our lovely customers who supported Independence Week, we had a great week and hope you all managed to get those yearned for things with 10% off!

The other week when Laura and I went up to the big smoke on the train to do a buying appointment we bought a magazine to read on the way back and this article caught our eye! So true! So enjoy......

Blasé on the beach...

I have just returned from holiday with two middle-aged female friends. It was gloriously relaxing, but perhaps the most relaxing aspect was that none of us cared a whit about how we looked. There were no frantic pre-holiday 'get bikini-ready' diets, no exhausting comparisons of 'Oh my god, her thighs are thinner than mine' and no planning for the perfect holiday wardrobe. As far as I was concerned, the only essential part of the perfect holiday wardrobe turned out to be a large box of PG Tips, because builder's tea is a luxury I simply cannot live without.
So there we were, slouching around in all our lumpy, bumpy glory. No make-up, no hair straighteners, no dressing for dinner - unless you call knotting a sarong getting dressed. It was so liberating that, for the first time in years, I climbed into a bikini, blissfully unselfconscious about my body, which, with the advent of children and the passing of time, is no longer as bikini-ready as it used to be. In fact, there was a time when the very idea of a bikini used to send it, and me, into a state of shock.
I guess we all know that the fastest track to unhappiness is comparing ourselves to others but when there are no comparisons (or rather, judgements) to be made, all our feelings of not being good enough fly out of the window or, in this case, out into the wide blue Caribbean yonder. Those friends could not have cared less that my tummy now resembles a tea bag after the rigours of pregnancy or that the skin on my thighs and arms is heading south, in a gentle slide that even the politest observer might describe as looking like crepe paper.
Despite the tea bags (a holiday preoccupation, obviously), nobody else on the beach gave a damn what I looked like, either, probably because, just as I had once been, they were more concerned about the way they looked rather than the sight of a middle-aged woman idling along the sea shore. But it did make me wonder why I had spent all those years fretting about the way I appeared in a swimsuit rather than enjoying the freedom of sand between my toes.
I fretted at 46, I fretted at 36 and I even fretted at 26, but now, when I look back at old photographs, I see an acceptable body - not perfect, but perfectly acceptable - and although I am a firm believer that regret is a pointless waste of time and energy, I can't help but mourn the fact that I did not enjoy what I had when I had it.
Now I am 56 and I really don't want to look back in 10 years' time and ask myself what the hell I was doing sunk in self-consciousness rather than wallowing in an azure blue sea.
My body, although ageing, is still strong and serves its purpose well. The element in which I feel happiest is water; after a childhood living overseas, I can swim like a fish ( my mother says I could swim before I could walk) so every day, I swam and swam. My body was happy and I was happy and if there is any greater bliss than the harmony of body and mind, I really don't know what it might be.
And although, apart from swimming and reading, I spent most of the holiday comatose under a palm tree, it was a proper wake-up call to enjoy what I have rather than mourning what I don't.
So, hello to imperfection and let those of us lucky enough to enjoy strong, healthy bodies celebrate them - lumps, bumps and all.

Thank you to Sally Brampton for her words of wisdom. Sally is a journalist, novelist and agony aunt. She has a column in the Psychologies magazine which this article came from.

So ladies I think we should all learn from this and celebrate our wonderful bodies!

Take care and don't forget next Monday we shall be opening at 9am as the Olympic Torch is in Petworth on that morning! Excited......

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