Posted by: Admin | August 21, 2010


So much to do, so little time…

This week I spoke to Jennie, whose fiftieth birthday next month looms large in her nightmares! I’d heard that Jennie was viewing the event with more than a little dread, so I set out to determine why.

“50 sounds so old! It means I’m middle-aged – a grown-up! I have to be an upright citizen.”

Setting out to find out a little more about Jennie, I discover that, as well as running the administrative side of her husband’s business, she works as a voluntary usher for the local theatre and as a Parish Councillor.

“So you are an upright citizen already!”

She laughs. Jennie laughs a lot – she’s fun and bubbly and a pleasure to talk to. It’s hard to believe that this fun-loving, witty woman is afraid of turning 50.

“It’s just that there are so many things I want to do with my life and feels as though I’m quickly running out of both the time and the ability to accomplish them.”

I ask her to elaborate on these dreams, dreams that, happily married for the second time, she shares with her husband.

“We want to trek up the Orinoco, take a walking safari in Africa and learn to sail so that we can take off and travel wherever the wind blows us. Plus we’re both keen divers and we want to do more of that, especially diving to wrecks.”

These are all pretty physical pastimes – is it the physical aspect of growing older that concerns her most?

“Pretty much. I need to get fit and lose weight first!”

She goes on to tell me that she broke her back in a riding accident several years ago and now has arthritis. She has had to have a hip replacement since then as well as other health problems, so the prospect of what would be involved in getting fit is a little daunting.

Digging deeper, I find that, whilst her step-children have now both flown the nest, both her mother and mother-in-law are in need of care, so the wings that Jennie longs to spread are still fundamentally clipped.

Perhaps this is the crux of her fears about turning 50, I venture: that time is running out and she feels powerless to do anything about it?

Jennie suggests I ought to be a therapist, which I think is her gentle way of telling me to butt out of her psyche. I push it a little further and suggest that she might feel a little better if she’s able to do something, no matter how small, to move herself closer to her goal. Jennie goes one better and announces that as soon as she gets home she’s going to get onto the internet and book a diving holiday in the Maldives, where they honeymooned ten years ago. You go, girl! (Mr Jennie won’t know what’s hit him 😉 )

Send me a postcard, Jennie, and in the meantime, grit your teeth and CELEBRATE that birthday next month!

If you would like to share your thoughts about turning 50, please get in touch! Meanwhile, vote in the project50 poll:



  1. Great interview – what an interesting woman. And may I say Jo, fantastic photographs.

  2. Good interview and photos. As Jennie’s sister, I am well aware of her dread of the impending transition from acceptable 40s to her 50s (perceived by her as the beginnin of the end!). I am three years older and also felt rather depressed at the thought of leaving my forties behind. However….I now love being in my fifties. I am more sure of myself, more certain of what I like, dislike, want and need and, more importantly, don’t presume that my choices and decisions are somehow inferior to other peoples.

    As you so rightly concluded from meeting Jennie, she is warm, funny, bubbly and as grown up as she needs to be already! She is also very very well loved and that is not going to change as a consequence of any birthday she will ever have. Mind you I may have to reconsider if she opts for a short, grey, curly perm within at least 30 years!

  3. Aha! So that sisterly love is conditional, then! Seriously, it was lovely to meet Jennie and I’m so glad you feel she has been properly represented here, Christine. Welcome to project50 – I hope to see you again! (Perhapos you’d like to send me your photo for the gallery?)

  4. I know this is a bit late, but thank you for a lovely interview …. and your very kind words!

    The dreaded day has come and gone and I have to say that I had the best birthday I have ever had. My husband was unbelievably sneaky and, with the help of my amazing sisters, organised a surprise weekend in Cheltenham. It was absolutely brilliant and I will never forget the birthday that I was most dreading!

    Now that I am 50, it actually isn’t so bad. I didn’t wake up on the day to find my life (or I) had fallen apart and quite frankly, I don’t feel 50, so it doesn’t count.

    After the interview, I’m sorry to say that I didn’t go straight home and book our trip to the Maldives, because financial circumstances wouldn’t allow. However ….. it is now booked, HURRAH, so I now have a very good, specific goal for losing weight and getting fitter, which is what I need. So next time we meet, I should be a slimmer version of my former self 🙂

    • Hi Jennie – good to hear from you! I’m so glad you had a good time. We’ll take more photos, shall we, when you’re Maldives ready? 😉
      Here’s to continuing onwards and upwards! Love Jo

  5. […] interviewed Jennie for the blog way back in 2010 when I snatched a couple of shots of her at the cafe where we met. I wanted her to be part of the […]

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