Welcome to ‘From Forty With Love’.
This blog is an intermittent diary of my journey from 40 to 50 and beyond.
It’s a precious space for me to share the twists and turns of my life and everything I’ve learned about singleness, love, dating, relationships, childlessness, self-care, wellbeing, 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 romantic relationship work, who had a habit of choosing unavailable men and pushing the available guys away, who lived alone in a flat in North London and who spent far too much time doing work that wasn’t aligned with my authentic self.
I’m now 51 and married to a wonderful man, living by the sea in Dorset with a gorgeous cocker spaniel called Layla. I am writing a novel (80,000 words and counting), I have published one non-fiction book, How to Fall in Love, and I have built a beautiful coaching practice, through which I support others to love themselves, create lives that they truly love and find love.
I do not have children – the result of a complex and complicated journey that you can read about in numerous posts on this blog (search motherhood, ambivalence, childlessness and baby to find the most relevant posts).
This blog is about authenticity, vulnerability, truth, change, blossoming, flourishing and thriving. It’s also about the pain that some of us have to go through in order to get to a good place in our lives. It’s about the work we have to do on ourselves to create the lives and relationships we deserve.
Since starting this blog just before my 40th birthday, I have transformed my life, my relationship status and my career.
I used to be a news journalist, a foreign correspondent based in Mexico and Brazil and a political reporter based in the British parliament. I reported on tsunamis, earthquakes and terrorist attacks and travelled the world with prime ministers, until I burnt out.
I now coach, write and speak, from the heart.
I write for the national media and speak on various stages on topics including love, dating, relationships, the challenges of mid-life, self-care and wellbeing. My writing has been published in Red, Psychologies, The Daily Mail, The Sunday Times, The Guardian and Good Housekeeping, among other media, and I’ve appeared on national TV and radio, including BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.
In 2017, I published my first book, How to Fall in Love – A 10-Step Journey to the Heart. The book mixes heartfelt memoir and self-help with the intention of supporting others to find love and create lives that they love.
I now lead workshops, coach individuals and groups and host retreats in the UK and abroad. Explore www.katherinebaldwin.com for more information.
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?
I hope that my younger self, by reading this blog, would find truth, wisdom and encouragement to live authentically and freely.
About me: I love to write from the heart, to share my experience with the hope of helping others. I love to laugh, dance, exercise, enjoy Nature, connect with others on a deep level, 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, low self-esteem, 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, more grief following the death of my mother, 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 51 now and I still struggle to follow my heart but that is my desire and I wish the same for everyone.
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 people 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 others to seek help?
I hope that the truth I share on this blog helps you to find your way in life and love.
Thank you for reading!