Best Knickers Always – Meet the Author
For many divorcees, finding yourself suddenly single in mid-life can be a daunting experience. After her own 20-year marriage ended, personal performance coach Rebecca Perkins realised that midlife does not mean over the hill, and used her experience to write a book to help others overcome the challenges she faced. eHarmony caught up with the Best Knickers Always author…
How did you get into personal performance coaching and what does it involve? How does it help people?
For a number of years I’ve had friends call me and ask if I had half an hour or so as they had something on their mind and needed to talk. I’d agree and at the end of the conversation they’d say things like, ‘I don’t know what you do but I always feel better and have greater clarity after speaking with you.’ So I guess once my children were on their way to being grown up I decided to do something about this and retrained as a coach. I loved it and my clients tell me that I’m very good at it!
It’s probably easier to start by saying what coaching isn’t – it isn’t guidance, consultancy, therapy or counselling, it’s not about giving advice or telling people what to do. Coaching is much more subtle and more powerful than that. Coaching is about listening and asking questions to allow the client to find their own solutions – they after all are the experts on their life not the coach! Coaching enables people to become unstuck in their lives whether that be in their career, their health, their relationships or in their self belief.
What inspired you to start blogging? Where did you get the Best Knickers Always title from?
I began blogging at a very low point in my life. I had ended a 20 year marriage, I had a daughter who was ill, one son leaving home for university and another who had lost the plot at school. I had also fallen head over heels with an old university friend I’d reconnected with on Facebook, when that relationship ended I kind of fell apart. I needed to grieve for so much and I needed to try to make sense of where I was in my life. I began blogging, privately at first and then slowly began to tell people about it. I found that what I was writing about was also helping others too.
I was nursing a broken heart following the ending of my first post marriage love affair. I was not in a good place. A text came in from a girlfriend asking how I was. I told her that I was in a mess and didn’t know how I was to get my life back together again. She texted me back with the words, “All I can say is it gets better. Go gently, be kind to yourself, and best knickers always.”
What made you realise you should write a book?
I had a lot of support from friends who told me they loved my writing and the style of it. They loved my down to earth wisdom and honesty. I was encouraged by them to write a book to enable my words to reach a wider audience. I was heading towards my 50th birthday and it seemed like the ideal time to do something different to celebrate… so I published my book as an ebook in time for my birthday!
Please tell me a bit about what’s in the book
My message is simple. We are all living longer than ever. Midlife is no longer something to be dreaded, but to be embraced and celebrated. My book is filled with the lessons I’ve learned during my life so far. I show how midlife can be the start of a whole new era where you can start living the life you want, by taking small steps to change your life, one day at a time.
You talk about dating in midlife in the book. What are the challenges involved with this? How do you overcome these? How do you see online dating fitting in with this?
Our self esteem can take quite a knocking especially if we’ve been through the ending of a relationship. We’re also nervous about dating again, especially if it’s been a long time since we were last doing it. We get nervous about making conversation, having sex again, we fear letting someone into our lives and getting hurt. So many hurdles and fears. We have busy lives in midlife, especially if we’ve still got children at home and have a full time career. I found online dating perfect for this as I could take it at my own pace. I could spend time getting to know people either by emailing or on the phone before committing to meeting up – this way suited me, it might not be for everyone.
Can you share any advice for people finding themselves newly single in midlife?
Finding yourself newly single in midlife can be a shock. Any ending whether a marriage or long term relationship is difficult whether instigated by yourself or not. It’s important to mark the ending and not be in a rush to fill the void left by that person. Take time to look after yourself, to spend time in your own company and get used to being you again. You’ll know when you’re ready to move on and start thinking about dating again. Don’t be in a hurry!
When that time comes, dating can feel terrifying so pace yourself. Spend some time thinking about what you really are looking for, what you want in a relationship, how you want to feel, what’s important to you in life rather than making a list of requirements. When you mind is clear and your head is in the right place you will be ready to start dating again.
Best Knickers Always is available from Amazon, as is Rebecca’s new book 21 Questions, which offers a new way to think about midlife.
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