‘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.
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!