Days Eight & Nine: The law of gravity

What goes up must come down.

Now, given this blog has a focus on body image, you might imagine I’m referring here to the effect of gravity on women’s bodies, but I actually wanted to write a short blog about the inevitable highs and lows of feelings. Although I don’t know why I say inevitable because I’m always surprised when a high follows a low – every time!

So, unsurprisingly, a bit of a low followed the high of my 40th birthday weekend. My 40th was a lovely whirlwind of friends, cards, flowers, presents, parties, breakfasts, lunches, a new dress and a certain excitement about this blog. I was shown so much love by so many amazing friends and felt very blessed. In fact, it barely crossed my mind that I was turning 40 and was single and childless – apart from to note that I felt I was exactly where I was supposed to be in my life. Fortunately, I still accept I am where I’m supposed to be – albeit reluctantly at times. It’s also still true, as I wrote the other day, that I feel much stronger and happier at this age than I did when I was younger. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t moments of acute loneliness and sadness.

Funnily enough, I only really feel the loneliness when I stop, and that’s probably why I don’t stop very often. I’m generally doing, working, planning, thinking, striving, cycling, washing, and now I can add blogging to the list! I get stuck in that overdrive setting I mentioned the other day, although to be fair to myself I’ll acknowledge here that I am very gradually learning to take it slow at times. But it’s still scary to stop completely and let the loneliness come.

Yesterday, I did stop and, as we could have predicted, I felt pretty sad. Fortunately, though, at this stage in my life, I can accept those moments of loneliness and sadness much better than in the past, when I might have indulged in some unhealthy behaviour or other to try and make them go away. I still resist them, fight against them for a while by keeping myself ridiculously busy, but eventually I surrender to them and have a good old cry. And the great thing is that I don’t have to pretend anymore. I can ring up a good friend and tell her I feel lonely and, more often than not, she’ll be feeling lonely in that moment too. Or I can be open, honest and vulnerable with my Mum instead of pretending that I’ve got it all together and I don’t need her help. That’s a real gift.

And then, after the crying, the sun generally comes out and wonderful Nature does its thing.

The view from Conwy Mountain, North Wales, March 18, 2011

About Katherine Baldwin

I am a writer, dating and relationships coach, mid-life mentor and motivational speaker. I'm the author of How to Fall in Love - A 10-Step Journey to the Heart and I write for the national media on topics including love and dating, how to change unhelpful habits and have healthy relationships, and other aspects of personal growth. I coach people to create healthy, loving and authentic relationships with themselves and others, and lives they truly love. I lead workshops and run retreats. You can find out more about me at and or read my blog at
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