I’m on day 2 of my jump rope journey, to see if I can tone up and build core strength through skipping/jump rope. Skipping (as we call it in the UK) was my major pastime at home and in the playground/school yard. Nothing as posh as a proper jump rope, just a length of green rope left over from my father’s water-ski line.
It’s not going to be easy!
I was going to make this video really short, however, I don’t want to make this challenge look easier than it is, because it’s bloody tough! I see young women bouncing all over social media with their jump ropes, like they came out of the womb clutching the jump rope handles, but at 54, it’s pushing me outside of my comfort zone, not to mention trying my patience and giving my heart a much needed work out.
Below are the ropes I am using from Dope Ropes, click here to visit their store use discount code FIFTYSISTER on the Dope Ropes website. Today I tried the beaded rope (the one on the right), which was a completely different experience. Dope Ropes got in touch with me to suggest shortening the rope (I was thrilled they made the effort to contact me) however, I feel I still don’t have the correct length of rope, so I’m reluctant to make the cut. Maybe this is something I should have researched before I started this challenge…?!
Will it be a day, a week, or even a year?
I’m committed to this challenge for 30 days, then I will assess whether I want to continue for another 11 months. It will be interesting to see what I can achieve as a woman in my mid fifties, who hasn’t skipped since maybe the age of 12. I’m not trying to lose weight, I’m determined to tone up and increase my level of fitness, which has diminished slightly since moving to Portugal. I am already thinking about how I can keep going in the heat of summer – I may need to move indoors to stay cool. I will worry about that if I make it that far.
Nobody wants a soggy gusset.
I am OK in the pelvic floor strength department at the moment, but that can change at any time…all the fun of ageing! I will order some washable pads (like the ones below) which I will throw in the washing machine along with my exercise kit after each workout. These pads create less waste, save you money and catch any spillage, to save you jumping with a soggy gusset. I use a yoga mat for my jump rope workout to cushion my feet from the impact on the terracotta tiles.
Stay tuned in for my jump rope journey. If I can do it, anyone can.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you have a beautiful day.
When people come to my home, the first thing they notice is that I don’t have a TV. ‘What do you do instead of watch TV?’ will be the immediate question on seeing the sofa pointing at the view, instead of a TV on the wall. Well, what don’t I do would be easier to answer. You see, I have a fear of missing out – ‘FOMO’ I feel that if I waste time watching TV, I’m potentially missing out on something better. If you thought you had a week to live, would you spend any time watching TV? I suspect not.
The problem I have is, that I have too many projects on the go at the same time, and any spare time is spent trying to figure out how I can squeeze more projects into my waking hours. I’m in the process of sorting my life out and developing a plan to have more structured days and a routine (I hate routine!) so that I can maintain and improve my fitness, as well as provide value to you the reader with interesting content.
You can use code FIFTYSISTER to get discount on the Dope Ropes website – click here or click one of the images above.
I’m prioritising my fitness so I decided today that jump rope/skipping is back in my daily fitness routine. I’m starting from scratch with just 5 minutes skipping today (it’s harder than I remember). Follow my progress to see if I can make it to 10 minutes…or more!
Things I’m currently working on.
Building my home and designing every aspect of the interior, exterior finishes, landscaping and of course I’m managing the budget.
I make videos for YouTube for my construction project, which haven’t achieved the number of views I was expecting, so I need to research how to use YouTube more effectively to ensure people searching for new house construction, can find my video.
I write for Wherever Magazine and also blog as often as possible on here – I’m aiming for posting daily.
I have started making wall hangings again from rope and shells I’ve collected from the beach.
I’m creating digital art of interesting places I’ve photographed around eastern Algarve, which I’m loading onto an online gallery where people can buy posters. I’ve made sales already!
I’m also creating a collection of NFT’s which I hope to mint/publish within the next couple of months.
My T shirt store ships my designs all over the world, but I am struggling to keep up with the maintenance of this store to be honest.
I paint abstract art on canvas with acrylics. I sold all my paintings when I left the UK. I now need to create more for my new home.
My Instagram had gone on the back burner earlier in the year, because I don’t like how it’s developing into part of the Metaverse, even so, I enjoy connecting with likeminded women all over the world through this platform. I said I didn’t want to enter the Metaverse, but I’ve realised I am already in it. The secret to not being swallowed whole by virtual reality, is to ensure you check out of your online world often, and reconnect with nature, animals and possibly some real humans 😉
FOMO or ADHD?
Two people have recently asked me if I have ADHD, as I’m involved in so many projects. I know I suffer with FOMO, ADHD……well I’m not so sure. My husband said recently, that he’s never met anyone else who has such a broad range of knowledge on diverse subjects. There’s a theme in the conversations. Is there something wrong with me? Am I weird? Do I care? – Not at all. But just because I can do something, doesn’t mean I should. I decided to sit myself down and give myself a good talking to. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and stressed for the past six months or so, not because of moving countries or building our home, but because of what’s going on in the world. I can’t make sense of it – mainly how people are treating each other. It really hurts my heart and mind. So I fill my time and head with new projects to distract myself, but I get carried away until I don’t know which direction to turn.
It’s time for me to focus and ask myself a few questions
What gives me the most joy?
What would I be prepared to commit to on a full time basis?
What is my best skill?
Which project generates the most income?
What activity gives me the most freedom to work where I want, when I want?
What will be my legacy/how would I want to be remembered?
What I am most knowledgeable about?
What skills could I pass on to other people?
….and so the list went on….
Lets get started with my answers;
What gives me the most joy? I enjoy receiving messages from women, who say that my words have enriched their life and enabled them to relax about and even enjoy the ageing process. Women who’ve been inspired to start exercising, eating more fruit and veggies and making a little more effort with their appearance. Women who’ve decided to fulfil their lifelong dreams, making major changes and letting go. My mission is to give women the skills, permission and power to enjoy ageing. I want them to cherish every wrinkle, embrace their silver sparkles and appreciate how blessed they are to be growing old.
What would I be prepared to commit to on a full time basis? Blogging and vlogging. Writing is easy because it just flows, but I enjoy shooting and editing videos.
What is my best skill? Communicating with people. Explaining things in plain English and being able to talk about any subject. I can use words to connect with people and they feel the emotion in my writing and humour.
Which project generates the most income? My blog and my freelance writing is regular income, my additional income is from videos I make for product manufacturers such as cruelty free cosmetic companies, which pays more, but is sporadic and not guaranteed.
What activity gives me the most freedom to work where I want, when I want? Well they all do that, but I can write notes whilst I am out walking, making my porridge, in the car (as a passenger!) or waiting around on the building site. I don’t have to sit at a computer all day, and thats something I am very grateful for. Putting it all together on the website takes the most time, but I enjoy working on that in the evening, making it look slick and adding all the different media content.
What will be my legacy/how would I want to be remembered? I want to be remembered as a woman who encouraged, supported and championed other women (and men!) to embrace who they are, and to be the best they can be, no matter their age.
What I am most knowledgeable about? This is tricky as I will tell you I am good at everything! But, I’ve spent years learning about the technical and creative elements to blogging. Creating content is my thing.
What value do I provide to other people? I know from reading my emails that I connect with people of every age and nationality. However, women over 40 are going through the same challenges that I have been through. Ageing is never ending…oh, well except from death of course, but some women can’t cope with the ageing process and are fighting to hold back the years. Ageing is awesome, I truly mean that, so I can take the stress out of ageing. Then there’s becoming an empty nester, down sizing, going grey, weight maintenance, self-care, dealing with stress and juggling too many things that 40+ women are dealing with. This is my space and I like it.
Streamlining my work life.
I am going to slim down my T shirt store to just offer positive ageing and silver sister T’s. It’s all too much work and I don’t have the time or the budget to grow that business further.
My digital art I will do on demand. If you want a portrait of your dog, a drawing of your house etc, drop me a line and I will see if I can squeeze it in. I love doing it, but I cannot focus on it full time as then it would become a chore.
I can’t let go of the NFT project, as I spent a lot of time researching this and it’s a challenge I want and need to complete. I am going to put it somewhere in my free mind space, to think about rather than taking any action the moment.
A BIG thank you.
So here I am, where I am meant to be. I’d like to thank my friend Rowena, CEO and editor of ‘Wherever’ magazine for encouraging me to write. She is a professional writer and has worked with the biggest brands and publications for many years. To be honest, I was a bit embarrassed when she first asked me to write a column for her. I told her “I’m not technically a good writer, I haven’t been trained and I know I make lots of grammatical errors”. She told me I am a good writer, because ‘people like reading my words. It’s that simple’.
I have lost my FOMO (fear of missing out) and can now focus on making this blog the best it can be. Stay tuned for regular content and guest appearances from some of my 50+ online friends and collaborators.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you have a beautiful day. Gail x
I don’t want to appear younger than my years. It’s perfectly OK that I look my age.
I know the beauty industry tries to convince us that we need to look at least 10 years younger than our true biological age, but why? I’ve received messages telling me I look ten years younger, and also 10 or more years older, it really doesn’t matter how old I look, its how old I feel, and I feel the same as I did when I was 18. I eat a varied whole food plant based diet, exercise daily, limit my time on social media and I spend lots of time in nature. It takes effort to feel good, sadly there’s no magic pill. I feel full of energy and ready to take on any challenge. More on this another day, I write less on Instagram posts as the limit on the number of words is too challenging for me!
I took this shot on arriving home from the construction site. My hair was covered in dust and was happily doing it’s own thing. I wandered into the bathroom and picked up the scissors. You see, my hair is falling out. … It’s normal. I have an under active thyroid and it causes my hair to wave goodbye to my scalp by the handful. Sometimes more than others. It’s OK, it’s only hair. 10 minutes of snipping and I have a shorter style.
It doesn’t matter if I look 54, 64 or even more. I just hope I look healthy and happy, as that’s my only wish.
“When you stop worrying about; the grey hair, squidgy belly, flabby arms, wrinkles, crinkles and all that comes naturally with ageing, you have found freedom, and most importantly, more time to enjoy life without self imposed limits”. – Gail McNeill.
A fresh makeup free morning today. I love wearing makeup, but I also love for my skin to feel wild and free. Just a generous application of @ravenbotanicals Raven Botanicals facial oil, after shaving my face – yes, shaving my face is normal! (I shave every couple of months to prune my flooffy face. It feels good!).
Low key brows today, it’s all about the red lipstick. This one is from my favourite cruelty free brand @muacosmetics ‘Reckless’ Velvet matte liquid lip. Photo straight off the iPhone 12 Pro on portrait mode. I do appreciate the good light here so much.
Pity nobody will see my lipstick as I still have to wear a facemask everywhere in Portugal. We are only allowed to remove it whilst sitting in a café or restaurant.
My hair has a little bit of salt spray to give it some texture, but I really do need to give it a trim and tame it a little. I’m having trouble finding my hairdressing scissors, which is surprising as I live in such a small place!
I have my first project meeting about my house build today. It’s only taken 4 years to get this far. Patience is key when building your own home. It will be worth the wait I am sure. You can find the design here: loulehills.com if you want to see the design of the house. If you follow any interesting accounts who are also building a home, tag me in or send me a DM. I’m keen to find other crazy people!
Seb has booked a flight and will visit in one month. I’m so excited to see him again. He’s had some brilliant news this week, an offer of employment from the company he’s been contracting for. We are so happy for him! He’s had a crazy year – from working as an officer on a cruise ship, to a contract bringing an unsafe vessel from Greece to Portugal (and rescuing a young man floating in the water) to the perfect job for him. It’s with a great company who will support him and develop his career to Captain. Hoorah!
This week seems to be going on forever, or is it just me? Not a bad thing. Time is so precious, if it’s going slower it’s a bonus.