Does Life really begin at 40?

We all know this well-used phrase but is it true anymore. Are we feeling 40 and fabulous or 40 and f**cked off?

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We all know this well-used phrase but is it true anymore. Are we feeling 40 and fabulous or 40 and f**cked off? This week I have been exploring the origins of the phrase and challenge the fact that in this era, life doesn’t begin at 40! Life begins at any age. Anyway, when did it ever stop?


Welcome to my blog, I am not invisible or dead, I am a 40 plusser. This blog is a 40+ woman's take on modern day lifestyle, championing the fact that at this 40+ age we are more alive than ever and LIFE BEGINS AT ANY AGE


The phrase that ‘Life begins at 40’ is a 20th Century one and prior to that it was more accurate to say ‘death begins at 40’ as most didn’t live much beyond that age! Now our average age for a woman to last is 89.2 years. Double and some. Hence why mid-life career changes are on the increase, as we are working longer and at the 40 plusser age, potentially have another 30 years to go before retirement! Facts are facts and more women are planning for this but prefer to do something they love.


By the 1930s women could expect a decent spell of reasonably affluent retirement, free from work and the responsibilities of childcare, plus mod cons like washing machines! Lucky them! Well, compared to their Victorian mothers, who definitely didn’t have a Bosch.


In 1932 the American psychologist Walter Pitkin published the self-help book Life Begins at Forty. Pitkin stated confidently:


"Life begins at forty. This is the revolutionary outcome of our New Era. Today it is half a truth. Tomorrow it will be an axiom."


However, having researched just a little more, I like the views of the great 19th century German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, who may have been a little closer to the truth:


"The first forty years of life give us the text: the next thirty supply the commentary."




And it is the next 30 I am interested in helping with.



My website explains in more detail,  take a look here


How did you feel after 40? There is life after this age but it begins when you say and not when a 20th Century phrase tells you. What I see are the new pressures of raising young children (as the national age for women giving birth rises to  30 and over according to The Office for National Statistics) compared with our parents' age. This often coincides with a time when those parents start to show their fragility as they age into their 70s and 80s. Careers are often put on hold or turned into part-time positions or working remotely to enable us to manage the juggling act, then BOOM is it all too much?

You tell me


I feel this, I lived this, l hear this situation frequently.


Let’s look at a rephrasing. 


Life wakes you up at 40?


Life begins when you tell it to?


40 plussers prepare yourselves!


Got anything that sounds more relevant to this day and age. Personally, I ran away to Australia and celebrated the big 4 Oh  (that's my 40th picture) and the next 10 years threw me some of my biggest challenges. I am not alone, and this is a new age of women trying to get the balance right.




 Fear not, I am here!


I wish I’d had a life coach then. I did the whole CBT thing to deal with 'the here and the now’ but what I needed was something more. I didn’t know it at the time, but Life Coaching would have been the answer. For me.

*Bursts into song* The Greatest Love of all*  It is true. The George Benson Version (obs)  


My carefully designed Life Coaching Colourful Services have been created with love, thought and experience. I always recommend a call to talk through how I can help. This is FREE and absolutely under no pressure or obligation to take things further. Life Coaching is about finding the right time- 

email here with your call request



In 2018 women have more power, more senior positions, a voice, a choice and more responsibility than you can shake a glow stick at.  As we continue to produce children later in life or decide to dedicate life to a career, how can we continue to care for ourselves?


This week for Mums is like the week from hell. Hot, sweaty and exhausted children itching to finish school, leavers discos, parties and summer celebrations. End of term EVERYTHING, teacher’s gifts and to top it off ‘School Mums night out’! In fact, it is us who need the six weeks off, not the children!

Over the summer, take time to reflect and ponder these two things


  1. Don’t wait for an age to start living your life

  2. 40 plussers unite and support one another 

  3. What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?


However, I believe that also looking at the many positives helps and

this age is so liberating for many reasons


 Top 5 Liberators for our NEW ERA


  1. We look way younger than our parents did at 40.  Fact.




Yes, we do. I remember that most women reached 40 and ended up looking like Mrs Beaton. Box pleat skirts and bow blouses. Gone are the Myths (theFacebook Group of the same name challenges these Myths on Urban Myth Monday) of needing to cut your hair short and in a sensible style. Not being allowed to wear short skirts, leather jackets or anything with colour to attract attention has ended! It is LIBERATING to know that we own this new era, we make the rules. If you’ve got great legs and want to wear a short skirt, guess what, wear a short skirt! And FFS stay away from BEIGE


2. Well-being and self-care is the order of the new day




While wearing black, looking moody and trying to drink snake bites was the norm of the 80s, mindfulness, self-care and yoga is the norm of this era! I know which one I prefer. There has never been a better time to look after yourself. I am not just talking physically but finally we have realised that our mental health is equally as important. The mind, body and soul in balance, in harmony and communicating with each other.



3. Psychologies Magazine  #ambassador



My life saver throughout my 40s was undoubtedly Psychologies magazine. It still is. From this magazine I started my journey into counselling, coaching and decluttering. I finally understood that it was only ME that was preventing myself from finding ME- does that make sense? Jackie magazine and Smash Hits have forever been replaced and long may it continue.


4. Positive 40 plusser attituders – not influencers





Who has been on this journey with us? Oprah, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders the entire cast of Friends, Kylie Minogue, Debbie Harry, Kate Bush even Lorraine Kelly looks fantastic. All with an attitude very different to the 80s and embodying charm, wisdom and inner calm. Role models or peers either way we have changed and seen them do the same, blossoming into women. Understanding that at this fine age that we have never been more alive or heard than ever. Their attitude coming from inner grounding and self-awareness which is in turn reflected on the outside.  They have taken us from shoulder pads to cold shoulders and big bushy eyebrows and red lipstick to…well erm big bushy eyebrows and red lipstick! It’s the retro look.


5. Letting go



Otherwise called not giving a monkeys. Letting go of limiting self-beliefs, letting go of the awkward twenty/thirty something and embracing the woman, letting go of negativity, letting go of bad relationships. Letting go of self-consciousness, letting go of doubt and fear, letting go of toxic friendships, letting go of urban myths, letting go of starvation, letting go of yourself!



My parting gift for you this week is my faithful friend Harry Helona...

If you want to know more about Harry and his philosphy on life read here for how Harry was created




Stay colourful




Clare Percival

Life & Career Coach /Ambassador, Now it's all about me

I'm Clare, a life and career coach, NLP practitioner and champion of people. My aim is to help bring change, purpose and fulfillment into the lives of those who need it the most, by taking action. Learning to live life in colour and going at a pace that suits.


Go to the profile of Susan Henderson
over 3 years ago

Loved your blog Clare. Can totally relate to the madness that is this final week of school; followed by looking down the barrel of holiday activities that start at 10am, finish at 4pm and are going to need an MS Project plan to co-ordinate “working from home” days.