10 signs that you're a midlife risk taker

Annabel Rivkin and Emilie McMeekan
Are you a midlife risk taker? - Getty Images

Life sometimes feels as though it’s all about risk management. And this is because risk – though unnerving – is the magical thinking, the component in our most subliminal calculations that tells us relentlessly: go on, do it. Or lose the chance. So maybe that’s why we go and do crazy stuff like this? Never let it be said that we are not rock stars…


  1. Petrol light laissez-faire. The petrol light is flashing. But you are not going to stop at this petrol station. Or the next. Or *slightly anxious voice* the next. You are the boss of this situation. Just keep pushing it, a little further. 
  2. Buying anything violently on-trend. Picture the scene. You are in a shop and you are magnetically attracted to a hologrammatic bumbag. Or cycling shorts. You know you shouldn’t. You know that there is a 99.9 per cent chance that you will leave the house looking like Edina from Ab Fab. But there’s also a 0.1 per cent chance that you’ll look magnificent and find instant Insta-influencer fame. So you proceed, unapprehended by common sense or self-knowledge. I do not wish to discuss my leopard-print safari jacket. 
  3. Sticking cashmere in the washing machine. Because the cashmere is dirty but dry-cleaning is expensive. And it doesn’t get little stains out. It’s more of a suggestion of a clean than a deep clean. And I am only serene when life is deeply clean. So I put it on ‘delicate’. Surely it will be fine? Forty-two mins of Sartre-esque angst later: it’s doomed. We’re all doomed. 
  4. Scrolling through Instagram in the bath. You have eyes on your phone at all times. You are manic about the safety of your phone. It has more protection than your house. And yet, when it comes to a scroll in the bath, you are totally cavalier about it. You barely consider the terrible consequences of immersion. Get you.
  5. Decaf derailment. You know those days when you over-caffeinate and spend 25 minutes with sweating eyeballs, talking yourself down off the coffee cliff? Well, what about those days when you under-caffeinate? When you listen to that healer/homeopath/ acupuncturist and make the moronic decision to have less coffee. A decaf, even. And you realise that you are more sloth than human. But still angry.


  1. Being chippy with chips. Because sharing is not caring when it comes to chips. I will never take this risk. I am sharing-chips averse. If I go out for breakfast/lunch/dinner and someone thinks that, because I am nice 99.9999 per cent of the time, it means I will share, you are wrong. I will not. 
  2. Taking afternoon naps. You know when you think, ‘I’ll just close my eyes for a second’? DO NOT DO IT. Anything could happen. You don’t know if you will jolt awake suddenly and it will be 2027, and you will be naked. Without your handbag. Or your phone.
  3. Wearing uber-high heels. For power- dressing purposes or a Guilty Feminist podcast recording, as I ironically did, the other night. Fast-forward to later – I’m weeping on the sofa rubbing my bunions. Who’s sexy and empowered now?
  4. Dusting off the sewing kit. Everything is too long, too short, could do with an extra stitch or two so you don’t flash the world your bits. Sure, you could buy it and alter it a bit; I mean, how hard can hemming be? Is that even a word? It is a word and turns out it’s quite hard. 
  5. Looking in the mirror. Don’t do it, don’t do it, don’t do it. Oh, you did it. 

The new series of the Midult podcast,  I’m Absolutely Fine!, is available on iTunes; themidult.com