Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Looking good as a full-time job?

An old friend of mine has a very busy life. She works full time, and has a small business of her own, teaching art to kids. I admire her a lot. I keep thinking how on earth does she actually have time for all that, and getting old? Because, as I am thinking these days, getting old for a woman who wants to continue looking decent, is a full time job.

Of course, there is always an easy option of just letting yourself go. It is very tempting. Not only is it easy, and cheap…It also gets approval from other middle-aged ladies. They will never openly admit that they are just loving the fact that someone looks worse than them, they will just say’ Oh, I admire how little attention Sarah pays to her looks! Sarah is not vain at all! She has more important things in life to worry about!' Yeah, yeah....that's just great. 

In the meantime, Sarah looks like this:

My grandmother used to say in Azeri, while applying lipstick on her way out to a food market, Dost var, dushman da var. There are friends, and there are enemies out there. A woman should always try to look her best.

The problem is…if I wanted to look my best right now, there would be endless things to get, apply and/or do that would basically, take all my time. And all my money. 

I am not exaggerating. Let’s just look at this.


There are of course, obvious things, like trying to stay slim and working out. Trying to stay slim does not only mean hours of exercise, but of course balanced diet which means looking into what you cook, what you eat, which for some of us can take a while. It is calculating your fats, protein and carbs...Drink water! 

And back to the exercises...It is not simple. The best idea, really, is to do weight training AS WELL as cardio. Great! No problem. But, don’t forget you have to stretch. So, chuck in a couple of hours of yoga or pilates in your weekly routine.

You start loosing weight, great. But then...omg, your face! 


The more weight you loose, the worse it looks on your aging face. So, you either need to invest in fillers, threads and botox or do some facial workouts. There are plenty of videos on Youtube, most claim to transform your sagging double chin and other problem areas in as little as 15 minutes per day. That’s nothing, right?

Don’t forget about the skin. As you age, facemasks and facials are a must. Feed the skin often. 

Drink water! 

Your hair will need more attention, too. You will probably need to have regular colour treatment. As you kill the hair roots with chemicals, balance it out with keratin or argan oil hair masks and treatments to keep it healthy.

Then, I read somewhere recently that, after childbirth, doing your regular pelvic floor exercises might not be enough if you want to tone up, you know, down below. Right, I thought. Tight muscles everywhere- wouldn’t that be nice? A special machine can be purchased, as I discovered, with various programs, depending on your desired goal. Each program is about 20 to 40 minutes and in order to achieve noticeable results (to feel like a virgin again!) you need to stick to your program daily for 12!!! Weeks. 12 weeks of spending 40 minutes every day doing this bizarre exercise I am not even going to describe here. Thereafter, you could just do it every now and again. 

Drink more water.

OK, so let’s summarize. Hours of working out. Stretch. Some tummy flattening exercises, like vacuum.... Pelvic floor exercise. Some facial exercises. That’s it, right? Right? 

Then I see this.

 7 Super Effective Yoga Poses for Beautiful Breasts

Mother ffff….OK, I should try and do them! Maybe, to use my time in a more efficient manner, I could combine the beautiful breast exercises with the stretching for overall body’s benefit yoga time I already have allocated above.

I hear you scream "enough already!' and cover your ears, but no, of course we have not finished yet. You must not forget about the brain! Last but not the least. The brain, as we get older, needs exercising just like any other muscle of our older body. It needs a program too. Like Lumosity. Probably another 30 minutes a day. Then, as we taken care of all the muscles- facial, vaginal, body and brain, it is time to think about the rest of it, deep inside. We need to take supplements. A lot of various supplements! Vitamin D3. Fish oil. Probiotics. Protein shakes, and CLA for weight loss.

Now, unless I am forgetting something-due to lack of brain exercise, which I simply don't have the time for- we are finally done

Oh, yes and drink more water. 

Friday, 27 January 2017

About feelings.

When I was young and naive, and living in Baku, my cousin had a beautiful Saint Bernard puppy, which she then gave away to her brother to look after, once she got pregnant.  I was outraged then. I thought she was the most heartless, cruel, meanest person that I met in my life. You loved that dog, it was your baby, I thought, how could you give it away?!

So, years later, remembering that story, when I was pregnant myself, I sat on the floor with my Rottweiler and re-assured him, over and over again, that I would not, in a slightest possible way, feel any different about him once my baby girl arrives. You are my baby; I used to whisper in his floppy ear, and nothing! will ever change that.

And then, the baby arrived. And I suddenly felt different. Just like that. Of course, I did not give the dog away. I still loved it, but now it was not the same. Yes, I felt bad about it. And I did everything I could to maintain the same level of attention and affection towards the dog as before. But, deep inside, I knew I felt differently.

And then, when time came for us to consider having another baby, I kept wondering, looking at my first daughter, how would it ever be possible for me to love another child as much? I was convinced it was impossible. And then, of course, when my second baby was born, I was in for a huge surprise.

What I am trying to say is that the funny thing about feelings, and I mean true feelings, is that they are completely unpredictable. They are impossible to plan for or calculate in advance. It is pointless to justify or explain them, even to yourself, and most importantly, it is totally impossible to make yourself feel a certain way when you don’t.

I had a girlfriend who has always been a bit, you know…funny with me. She would be very friendly, attentive and helpful and always made sure she kept in touch, however more often than not, when I suggested to get together, she would come up with some silly excuse; until I stopped asking. I realized, that she simply did not really like me. I thought about it, and realized that, she probably wanted to like me. I know you think I am talking nonsense now, but what happens, I believe, is that people think they should act and feel a certain way when deep in their hearts they do not. It is like telling yourself you believe in god when you probably don’t, if you are very honest with yourself. So, with this friend, she probably thought I was a good friend for her. Our kids were close, our husbands got along well, we lived nearby, she probably liked certain things about me, maybe found me useful in some way or another. But, somehow, deep in her heart, she just did not feel that close to me. She did not want to see me that often, and hang out like good friends would, and I just had to accept that she just was not a friend, even though she might have tried to be. And whatever I did, however nice or friendly or helpful I would be towards her, it would not help.

And recently, I came across an article on relationships that received a lot of praise and likes from the readers on Facebook. It was one of these girlie articles on the mistakes we, women make in relationships, and how to avoid them.  It was full of advice of how not to fall in love with the wrong person, how not to allow yourself feel a certain way. Oh please! I thought. How on earth is that going to be possible, to teach yourself to feel or not to feel a certain way? OK, you can probably stop yourself doing something, but surely, the whole point of feelings is that you should not be able to train yourself in or out of them?

Another friend of mine, recently divorced and trying to date again, often discusses recent developments with me. Recently, she broke up with her partner of over a year, and started going out with a new guy. Suddenly, the old guy was back, asking to get back together. What to do, she asked. What to do?  And, as I am reading her struggles of choosing one guy over the other, I can’t help but wonder if she feels anything about either of them? This one is quieter but more reliable, she says, and that one is funnier but a little fickle somehow…Look, I said to her, please don’t get offended but if you had any feelings towards either, this conversation would not be taking place. It should not be a choice. It cannot be a choice. It is that simple. The very fact that you are sitting there calculating the best option means that neither of those guys, sadly, is right for you. You are lonely, and you are middle aged, and you are divorced…It is all pretty miserable; I get it…but please, don’t let all these factors influence your judgement. Of course, like in that article, you could try and convince yourself that you have feelings and you could, I am sure, go quite far in that. People do, I think, have an amazing ability to talk themselves into anything they want to believe is true, when it isn’t. But in the end, the truth will come out and make it all pretty shitty.

So no, I don’t like these articles that teach you how to feel or not, how to make sure you choose the right person, whatever that even means. It is quite depressing, really, that the young single girls out there are reading these self-help articles on social media, learning how to be practical and sensible about their love lives. It is not a fucking job. You don’t need to plan for it, calculate it in advance and break it all down on excel sheet. Make mistakes, go for the wrong person, live life.Allow those butterflies into your stomach, because another funny thing about feelings is they never last. So enjoy them while you can.