‘From Forty With Love’ is an intermittent diary of my journey from 40 to 45 and beyond, a space for me to share the twists and turns of life and everything I’ve learned about love, relationships, self-care, spirituality, finding and following my path, understanding my heart’s true desires and accepting my circumstances as I’ve moved into and through middle-age.

I began this blog as a 40-year-old single woman who fully expected to be a mother, who struggled to make a relationship last, who had a habit of choosing unavailable men and who lived alone in a flat in North London. I’m now in love, in a healthy relationship, living by the sea in Dorset, accepting it’s unlikely I’ll have children and finding ways to use my gifts to create a fulfilling, purposeful, joyful and abundant life for myself and help others do the same. This blog is about authenticity, vulnerability, truth, change, blossoming and flourishing.

So why ‘From Forty With Love’? Initially, the name was about writing love letters to our younger selves, to share all the things we’ve learned to help our younger selves navigate their lives and perhaps avoid some of the heartache and pain we’ve gone through.

So if you could do this, what would you say? Would you tell your younger self to focus on staying slim above all else or to heed the opinions of others over her own? Would you advise her to work harder at her career and to concentrate on her achievements? Or would you tell her to follow her heart, to stop and smell the roses, to walk through her fears, to stay true to herself and to cherish love and relationships first and foremost? And what if those love letters could help younger women who are following on behind or encourage older women who are facing similar situations? What if your insight and wisdom could help another woman choose the path of the heart instead of the head, take a leap of faith, find help with her addictions or find comfort from her pain?

The aim of ‘From Forty With Love’ is to bring us all closer to that sometimes elusive place of freedom and contentment. It seeks to combine the power of collective wisdom and of storytelling with the value of learning, inspiring and mentoring others.

Katherine on her 40th birthday, March 2011

A bit about me: I am a journalist, a writer, a blogger, a coach and a teacher of writing and journalism. I love to write from the heart, to share the stories of inspiring men and women, to have a positive impact on those around me and to share my experience with the hope of helping others. I love to laugh, dance, exercise, enjoy Nature, share, explore and to go on adventures.

I have had my own struggles: compulsive overeating, undereating, bingeing and starving from an early age, negative body image, an excessive drive and a thirst for achievement that led to burnout, grief and depression following the death of a father I felt I hardly knew, relationship difficulties and losses of other kinds. At 40, when I began this blog, I was beginning to discover the true meaning and value of freedom. Freedom is all about following my heart, trusting my instinct, accepting myself just as I am and, one day at a time, throwing off the chains that restrict me from living a contented, abundant life. This isn’t always easy. I’m 45 now and I still struggle to follow my heart but that is my desire and I wish the same for every man and woman.

‘From Forty With Love’ is a space for women and men of all ages. While its focus will be the trials and experiences peculiar to women in their late 30s and 40s, its themes are universal – love, relationships, self-care, wellbeing, recovery from harmful behaviours, perfectionism, anxiety, managing stress and so forth.

This site follows on from my first blog Just As I Am – An Experiment in Self Acceptance, which I began on March 9th, 2011. Throughout the 40 days of Lent, I tried to abstain from negative thoughts about my body, appearance and achievements and I blogged about the journey. I shared about my unhealthy eating behaviours, my struggles with perfectionism, procrastination and low self-esteem and my feelings around not yet having children. I incorporated the stories of individuals or organisations that were championing positive body image and self-acceptance. That blog took me through my 40th birthday. Turning 40 is a milestone in any woman’s life but it’s perhaps particularly significant for women who are single, without children or in career transition. I was all three, which is why I felt that was an exciting time and one worth writing about.

My own experience over the past decade or two is testimony to the power of shared wisdom, particularly among women. I feel passionately that we are doing each other a disservice if we don’t share with each other, support each other, reach out to each other and write it all down for others to learn from. What if someone out there is struggling with something that you also struggled with in the past? What if you could ease their pain or help them find solutions faster by sharing your story? What if we could help women choose a more loving path by sharing how we dealt with situations of grief, loss, ill health or heartache? What if your admission of an addiction or a health disorder prompts other women to seek help? Sharing, learning, inspiring, mentoring – that’s what this site is all about.

If you have a story to share, please get in touch and feel free to comment on any of the articles or suggest topics that you would like to see covered.

And thank you for reading!

7 Responses to About

  1. jan beacham says:

    how did I not know you were doing this…. shall i read each day?

    will your journey bring you here?

    love you and miss you as always x

  2. Hey Jan,
    Welcome to my site! Please do read as often as you can – and feel free to comment and contribute – either anonymously or otherwise, however you prefer. Or feel free to just read too! Great to hear from you. Love and miss you too x
    PS I hope my journey will bring me Down Under some time in the not too distant future. Hope you’re really well. x

  3. trying to make sense of all this says:

    Hello Katherine,
    I have recently turned 40, am single and childless as opposed to childfree, and struggling to come to terms with my situation. Good to see such a generous blog, look forward to reading more.

    • Hi Claire,
      Thanks for getting in touch and reading my blog. I’d say ‘welcome to the club – the 40-something, single, childless club’ if that didn’t sound too insensitive. I relate to your plight and sympathise, but you’re definitely not alone. This club is growing in numbers and it can be very supportive. Nice to have you as a reader. Do check out my friend Jody Day’s site too – http://www.gateway-women.com – there’s a lot of great information there.
      Best wishes, Katherine

  4. Larisa says:

    Hello, Katherine,
    I’ve turned 40 last year, and I love it. Like you, I finally made some time to start my blog, and do what I want. Here is what I wrote about my “milestone”: http://touchedbytherain.com/2014/01/30/turning-40-or-a-girl-and-a-bike/

    I am looking forward to reading more of your stories.

  5. hanbarker says:

    Hi Katherine
    I just found you via JodyDay’s book recommended reading and wanted to say hello. I like what I have read so far in your blog and will delve more, but before I do I’m reaching out. I’m 42, born 1971, same as you which is oddly comforting about. when I turned 40 I was single, about to start a new job and being child free/less was about to hit me like a ton of bricks. 2.5 years in and I’m with a wonderful older man who can’t&won’t have children. I’m in a big unhappy funk, going through a turmoil and trying to reach out, read, take the thorny question on (rather than sit in the pain confusion and stagnation of it) and reach a decision thus to get on with having&creating a good life future. I have Jody’s book on my lap and an actual and literal (train) journey ahead to take the next step. (My train journey takes me to a weekend away with my best girlfriend who just decided to keep her unexpected pregnancy- ooh!ouch!gosh! etc) so, hello, and I look forward to my reading, and perhaps sharing. Love. Han x

    • Hi Han,
      Thanks so much for getting in touch. It’s great to hear from you and hear a little bit of your story. There are a lot of us in the same boat, around the same age. You’re definitely not alone. Well done for taking the thorny question on – a lot of us keep our head firmly in the sand until it’s too late. It’s such a difficult one. Good luck on your journey. Look forward to hearing from you again. Best wishes, Katherine x

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