2020 wasn’t a complete disaster: Here’s what I learnt

barefoot in park in 2020

I could go all mushy on you, but I won’t because it goes without saying that I’m grateful for my family, my husband and my friends and all the good stuff like that (I mean really, that’s just common sense).

2020 was a shit year, but I did learn a few valuable things along with way, so I’m not writing it off as a complete disaster.

Here’s what I figured out in 2020:

Silk pillow cases are a birds-nest morning hair saviour
Silk pillows are bloody fabulous

Why the f**k did it take me so long to jump onto this bandwagon. No more flyaway morning hair or wrinkle face. I wake up looking like a goddamn supermodel (okay, not really – but I’m grateful for the better morning hair and no sleep lines).

Derma-blading is a godsend for my furry midlife face

This little device that I use at home – yes, I was sucked into an infomercial and I am not sad about it – is one of my purchases of 2020. No more hairy upper lip or peach fuzz. I’m sold!

I should have paid more attention to my mother’s rants about pelvic exercises

Oh, yes I should have! Jumping up and down, sneezing and basically moving is a hazard these days. But, there is life at the end of the weak pelvic’s road. It’s never too late to sort these suckers out. But, proceed with caution and be very careful of those online electric stimulators.

Gas in midlife is a thing

WTF. I can be walking peacefully and gracefully along, dressed up and feeling fabulous and out of the blue, I fart. This has been an eye-opener. Apparently it’s not just me. I feel better. I’ve become a master of ‘the clench’. Need I say more.

There’s something about lying on the grass or walking barefoot on it
Grounding (aka walking barefoot on the grass)

I saw some lady do this on my daily walk, she removed her shoes and walked with the biggest smile on her face. I’m not going to lie, she looked like a right fruitcake, but I was curious. Now, I’m the fruitcake walking barefoot on the foreshore. I love it. A great feeling. I briefly looked into the scientific facts (which there are many on the benefits of grounding – but quickly got bored). For me, it feels good and that’s all that matters. Maybe I’ll try rolling around on the grass next. Why not, life is short.

Wim Hof and his cold shower therapy does work

I started this in 2020 and got caught up in the buzz. I’m glad I did. I’ve got my eye on a trip to the Antarctic. I’ll be barefoot, bikini clad and chatting to the ice gods. Okay, I won’t be, but I’m loving my cold showers at the end of my normal shower. I feel as if I am on a higher plain than all the other mere mortals. I sprout the virtues constantly. The hub loves it (he really, really doesn’t).

I realised I can’t blame my Covid kilos on midlife

It’s the chocolate and chips – as my mother so rightly pointed out in 2020. Her words: “stop scoffing your face”. Good motherly advice.

exercising tips for weight loss in 2020
I’m a much better person if I exercise and take timeout for myself
Exercise and sweating makes me feel good

Even if I look and sound like I’m about to pass out and throw up.

I can plank for two minutes – a miracle in itself for me (and for all you smarty bums that do it for five minutes, stop rolling your eyes….)

The cheap Pantene three minute hair mask works a treat

Better than my $85 one.

The basics in life are true

Get eight hours sleep, don’t eat junk, drink water, move your body. This took 2020 to make me realise I don’t need all the expensive exercise, food and digital crap to move better, eat better – it’s just common sense.

I didn’t have a parasite running rampant all over my body

Those itches were hormone related – never knew that and not happy about it. I seriously thought I had a million parasites raiding my body and the only positive was they could eat my fat. NOT TRUE and wasn’t happening.

I’m all for the poofy dress
Wrinkles are my friend (actually scratch  that – I hate the f**kers)

I embrace ageing because ageing is a privilege, but how you choose to add those years is completely up to you.

Bloating is a bitch

I’m grateful for the current poofy dress phase.

Think before pressing send

Maybe just write my vent/rant out and read it then press delete. Ignoring is more powerful than reacting. If only my younger self understood this! I’ve become more proficient in this during 2020.

Usually you get what you pay for

Apart from the hair mask

Never judge a book by its cover

Everyone has a story, especially those you may be afraid of, those that look different to us and those who are struggling. Those people need our kindness, understanding and empathy.

Don’t cheat on your hairdresser

It will only cost you more money in the end and months to fix. Lesson learnt.

Fuck it, be you, do you

Don’t worry about what anyone thinks. Life is way too short for that shit.

But mostly

I’ve realised that building a community of women and being able to share our midlife is the most brilliant and empowering thing I did.

Happy 2021 x

The co-founder of 50SoWhat has been in publishing for most of her working life. She was general manager of successful boutique media publishing house in New Zealand for several years and boasts an impeccable sales, marketing and management background. When she’s not road-testing the latest cosmetic procedures, or investigating the hottest lifestyle, travel, fashion and beauty trends for over 45’s, Jo is often back home catching up with family and friends, or working on her golf swing!