Brandy, Booze, & Badassery in Midlife

Nothing made this midlife whiskey intern grad and future expat happier than discovering there’s a whiskey distillery in Portugal, a little over an hour by car from my soon-to-be home. But then I found out the town where I’ll be living is one of only three demarcated brandy regions in the world — the others being Cognac and Armagnac in France. Brandy is made by distilling wine, and it’s usually from 70 to 120 proof.

It gets better. I found a brandy distillery only two miles from my new home. Walking distance. I’m already thinking about what shoulder/knee/back-friendly internship possibilities I could propose to that distillery. This video shows how they label their bottles by hand. I’ve done that!

Best yet, I just discovered Pingo Doce, a major grocery store chain in Portugal, offers online shopping and delivers to my new address. And…wait for it…they sell booze. This. Is. Life-changing. I’m moving to Portugal without my car, and my Silver Coast digs are two miles of very steep hills from the closest store. I’ve been looking at electric bikes with powerful mid-drive motors for carrying heavy loads (read: cases of wine) up steep hills. But now I think I’ve found the solution to that challenge. Cheers!

Booze news: They deliver!

Image source: Pingo Doce

Little discoveries like these are major attitude boosters now. These fun little nuggets of not-important-but-still-good news from Portugal are welcome distractors from not-so-good issues elsewhere. They’re also needed reminders of what I like to call my midlife badassery — the ability we have to make stuff happen, figure things out, and get sh*t done on our own terms.

My days as a 61-year-old whiskey intern
last year

I believe we all grow into our badassery in midlife, as we become more self-aware and less concerned about what others think of us. Nothing develops badassery like change. The older we get, the more change we experience. Aging is a badassery booster.

My midlife cuppa tea. Perhaps with a wee bit o’ badass brandy?

Brandy and my beloved whiskey are perfect metaphors for midlife badassification. Aging to our own brand of perfection. Distilling down to our ideal essence. Detecting and appreciating our underlying notes. Taking time to allow our unique flavor profile to gradually open. Knowing when we need to chill…or not. Achieving our desired clarity by filtering out what’s not needed. That’s midlife, baby. Both booze and badassery are better with age.

A lil’ badass haiku

It’s easy to become disheartened on our journey when unexpected challenges cause excitement and confidence to waver. I wrote here about tackling midlife moods with gratitude. It’s also important to remember to celebrate tiny wins while navigating big changes in midlife. Every micro-step forward is evidence of our finely aged badassery in action.

I’ll drink to that.

Image source: Brianna Wiest

What about you? What tiny wins are you celebrating? How do you remind yourself of your inner badassery?

All images are my own, except as noted.

The Hot Goddess

Instagram: retired_rewired_inspired

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  1. I can relate to this post after leaving my old job and life to travel to a new job and place that I have not been too. Scary and exciting but I am glad that I took the opportunity to grow. Thank you 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So excited that you found a distillery near your new “pad”! That’s awesome! Loving your “midlife metaphors” too! I completely agree that us midlifers do get better as we age. Cheers to being “your own brand of perfection”! Best Wishes! Leigh

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Wow! Of all the people who could appreciate what your new home offers,it’s you! Looms like you were guided to be there! You badass!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What great synchronicity! I love it! My current midlife badassery involves learning how to weave, embracing imperfection, and not giving up on midlife dating, although I want to every other day, LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I did not seek out badassery. It was thrust upon me. It was either become a badass or let life steamroll you even further. And now that the demon…er…genie is out of the bottle, it can never be put back in. And I LIKE IT. 😈


    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love that piece by Brianna West – so glad you introduced me to it! And your definition, “the ability we have to make stuff happen, figure things out, and get sh*t done on our own terms.” Whew – that’s powerful stuff and I’m not talking about the brandy! 🙂 You go, Natalie!! Because as you do, you inspire so many others!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much for your encouragement, Wynne! ❤️ I love how you share your wisdom and self-awareness with us. Sometimes I think the hardest part of the journey is just figuring out exactly what our own terms are. I don’t think I had any clarity on that before 60.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You are super badass, Natalie!!!! Your move sounds so much more interesting with each post that you talk about it. Super excited for you.
    I’ve had no small wins in the recent past but here’s looking for things to look up soon. 🙂
    To being badass always! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww, thank you so much, Moksha! ❤️ Growing your business and taking risks by putting yourself and your brand out there is badass on steroids! You are more courageous than you know 🥰


  8. Another brilliant post, Natalie. I totally agree that “Nothing develops badassery like change…Aging is a badassery booster.” Also the message by Brianna Wiest is spot on.

    It seems your future home is catering to your needs, discovering places of your interest within a walking distance is great win. And oh, online shopping and home delivery is THE thing, nowadays. Keep focusing on these wins! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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