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On the other side of forty…I take myself on a date

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‘The most powerful relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself’

While I love (and absolutely need) time by myself to recharge and practice self care, I am also a classic extrovert in that I gain energy and inspiration from being around other people.

One of the benefits of being on the other side of forty is that I know what works for me and what doesn’t: Exercise? I may have all the best intentions in the world to walk by myself, but it is only when I have a friend to walk and chat with that I actually do it. And while it may be some peoples idea of hell, I love to shake my groove thing with a bunch of other women in a fun Zumba class.

If you are my friend (and I expect you to be reading this if you are!) then you know I am the one who enjoys organising social activities such as book club, movie nights, and drinks with the girls. Basically I like having uplifting people around me, it makes me feel happy, vibrant, and connected (and I certainly like feeling that way).

But one of the downsides of being on the other side of forty, is that sometimes I get a little too stuck in my comfort zone, and can revert to what is easy and doesn’t challenge me. Hence it was that I recently realised I NEVER go out by myself.*

Now of course I go grocery shopping (or we would starve) and I am happy to wander around my local shopping mall for a couple of hours, (or I would have no clothes) BUT I do not and have never taken myself out for lunch, or gone and seen a movie I wanted to but no one else was interested in. Why is this? I think in the past I assumed I would feel judged as a ‘Scott Nomates’ if I engaged in solitary activities, which of course sounds as daft as it is, even as I type those words.

So when the opportunity arose for me to have a solitary weekend in Sydney recently, I took up the challenge to take myself on a date for the day and this is what I discovered (apart from the fact that I am not cheap, lol!)

  • Sitting having breakfast by myself in a cafe in The Rocks after a big night out dancing with some lovely life coaches nearly half my age, meant I could engage in two of my favourite pastimes: 1. making up scenarios in my head for all the people wandering around the markets in front of me; and 2. eating my bodyweight in bacon & eggs to get over my sore head and feet following the reality that I am nearly double the age of the lovely life coaches I was out with last night!
  • Sightseeing by yourself (particularly without kids) is enjoyable and E.A.S.Y. No playgrounds, no whining, no ice cream bribes: I spontaneously decided to wander over to the Sydney Opera House to marvel at its glorious architecture, and contemplated buying myself a ticket to the opera (although the eye watering price made me spontaneously leave). But I liked the fact that if I had wanted to, I could have, there was no one to answer to but me!
  • After a good mosey around the shops, including the magnificent QV Building, it was getting late, and an early dinner was on my horizon. This was my big test, yet I’m happy to say I passed with flying colours (although it certainly helps to have a phone to play with!) Even better, I ordered exactly what I felt like and never normally eat (spaghetti carbonara) and ate it with gusto and without guilt.
  • For the final leg of my date, I retreated back to my room for some quality alone time (a face mask, a chocolate bar, a cup of tea, and a good book). Now if that’s not the ideal way to finish off a perfect date, then you have clearly been married for a lot less years than me!

But in all seriousness, I came away from my weekend away by myself feeling happy, content, confident, and filled with gratitude for the opportunity to have that precious time to spend getting to know myself a little better. Next on my list is a trip to the movies: I’d invite you, but I think I have a date with a choc top instead!

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modernfam*No, I am not talking about getting all dressed up and sitting in a seedy bar waiting for Clive Bixby to come and hit on me…(although I do think that would be hilarious, I love that episode of Modern Family so much!)

 

 

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14 Comments on On the other side of forty…I take myself on a date

  1. Tracey
    August 26, 2015 at 11:33 am (2 years ago)

    I love this Mel! And I love that you partied with the young crew (stillllll got it 😉 ) I’m the same with always wanting people around me – and this has inspired me to take more cafe lunch dates by myself! Yeow! X

    Reply
    • Melissa Jeffcott
      August 26, 2015 at 3:26 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks Tracey, yep, I’ve still got it (although these days it takes me a lot longer to get over it!) Yes, solo cafe lunch dates are something I plan on regularly doing from now on too x

      Reply
  2. Carla
    August 26, 2015 at 5:16 pm (2 years ago)

    Love this. You are an extrovert if you’ve never been on a date by yourself before. I must be an introvert then (I’ve never taken the test), love going with others but love going out to cafes, or restaurants on my own too. I’ve done the movie thing once, and that was fun too. It is definitely my way to recharge xx

    Reply
    • Melissa Jeffcott
      August 28, 2015 at 11:12 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks Carla. Ye, I’m definitely going to do this more often, as you say it’s a great way to recharge xx

      Reply
  3. Jo @ You had us at hello
    August 29, 2015 at 11:25 am (2 years ago)

    I’m an extrovert and I can totally relate! I’m always the planner and russle everyone up for a gathering! I went to the movies a few times alone years ago when I lived in London. I watched that Sylvia Plath movie and sobbed so much the man near by gave me a tissue and asked if I was ok! Oh dear!!
    I quite like coffee shops alone on my phone or laptop. That rare alone time is easily soaked up and feels good 🙂
    ps. I’m 2.5 months away from “the other side of 40” eeeeek!! ?

    Reply
    • Melissa Jeffcott
      August 30, 2015 at 10:59 am (2 years ago)

      Haha Jo, I’ll make sure I see an upbeat movie by myself! Life is great on the other side of forty, you’ll be fine 🙂 xx

      Reply
  4. Shannon@ my2morrows
    August 29, 2015 at 10:51 pm (2 years ago)

    I’m more on the introvert side of the scale but get my energy equal parts from others and alone time. Taking myself on a date sounds like bliss to me! Must do it sometime! Xx

    Reply
  5. Sonia Life Love Hiccups
    August 30, 2015 at 8:09 pm (2 years ago)

    Oh Mel – that seriously sounds like the perfect date. I am so overdue for some time with myself and just myself xx

    Reply
    • Melissa Jeffcott
      August 31, 2015 at 11:36 am (2 years ago)

      Yes, try and make it happen Sonia: it really is a life recharger! xx

      Reply
  6. Helle
    September 3, 2015 at 3:01 pm (2 years ago)

    Mel, you are absolutely hilarious.

    My favourite part – “for the final leg of my date, I retreated back to my room for some quality alone time (a face mask, a chocolate bar, a cup of tea, and a good book). Now if that’s not the ideal way to finish off a perfect date, then you have clearly been married for a lot less years than me!”

    Hahaha god I can relate! Seriously funny. Wouldn’t have it any other way ?? x

    Reply
    • Melissa Jeffcott
      September 4, 2015 at 10:45 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks Helle! I am glad it is not just me who feels that way, and I’m always pleased to make you smile xxx

      Reply

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