Be Gentle With You: The Lessons I’m Learning After Forty

Turning forty was, dare I say, easy? There seems to be so much pomp and circumstance involved with the ‘big 4-0’ that I don’t even know if I was paying attention to anything else. There is something fun about hitting this milestone and embracing it.

But was my skin wrinkling more? Was I gaining weight? Was I more bone-tired? Was I feeling more winded walking up the stairs IN MY OWN HOME?

Well, the answer, my friends, was actually yes. But I would have needed to be paying attention to my own body to be able to tell you any of that.

But I wasn’t. I was too busy EMBRACING FORTY. I’m not going to call that a flaw because I don’t have a problem with my age and I don’t wish I was any younger, but I do know I should be more gentle with myself moving forward.

I’ve already started. And friends, I want you to pledge to do it with me. When was the last time you thought about really taking care of you? Making the gentle decisions instead of the hard ones.

You may know that I fractured my right cheekbone last Summer. The short story? Coming off of an exhausting book tour, I had bronchitis and cracked my rib coughing. Late on a Monday night, I took codeine for the pain and woke in excruciating pain. When I walked in to the bathroom, I passed out and hit my face on the tile floor in the bathroom. And for weeks I looked like this.

Got the memo - cheek fracture

You’d think I would have learned to be gentle with myself after that, right? I’m happy to be working with Olay Sensitive Body Wash to be talking about ways we can better take care of ourselves.

I took baby steps last Summer, but it wasn’t enough.

Hitting 41 in January pushed me further. None of my Winter clothes from last year fit. I wasn’t exercising.

And now, I’m fully there. I have stopped feeling like me.

I look in the mirror and see a girl who not only needs to take care of herself, but needs to model that for her sweet daughter.


I have pledged to change my diet, making healthy choices a priority. I opt for green tea instead of coffee. I have re-introduced my body to yoga and meditation.

I am learning to take time for me.

I’m learning to be gentle with me.

I’m teaching her, my sweet Delaney, to be gentle with her.

What do you need to change to be more gentle with you?

Disclosure: I’m excited to be working with Olay Sensitive Body Wash and SheKnows to start this conversation – an important one – but as always, all thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone.


  • Aimee

    Nice post, Danielle. You are so right. Mommies need to take care of themselves!!!