The Queen of My Self

By Dani Sutliff

I see “Begin Again” as an ideal theme for the next while. We have the supreme opportunity now in the autumn of our midlife to begin again. How shall we reinvent our Selves? What new programs, projects and passions are on the horizon for us? Please send me your stories of change, transition, and transformation. Our shared experiences serve to inspire and empower us all. 
xxQueen Mama Donna

The young girl that danced barefoot in Golden Gate Park singing about “The Age of Aquarius” is now the mature woman who has lived long enough to actually be a part of it’s dawning.

I have lived out more than half my life and the realization that I have more years behind me than I have ahead of me is a constant prompt to live each day fully.

I am a little dinged and dented in some places, a little worse for wear in others. It’s my grandmother’s cleavage that is now reflected back to me in the mirror, the firmness of my once young body has softened and in some places fallen, and my face is lined with reminders of all the times I stood, squinting into the sun despite all the warnings not to.

People no longer express amazement at how old my children are or that I am soon to be a grandmother because I look “old enough” to have children my age and be a grandmother.

Yes, I have crossed that line of demarcation – living in the societal limbo of being somewhat invisible – not young enough to be the center of attention or old enough to be listened to – too old and yet too young to have doors opened and held for me.

I have the losses that come from 54 years of living out loud and loving with passion. I have my regrets, my wasted moments and lost opportunities. I have the things I wished I had said and didn’t, the things I have said and wished I hadn’t, and the things I did that I wish could be given back to me for a ‘do-over.’

But, so much more importantly than that, I’ve had what can only be described as those times I hit the home run ball so far out of the ballpark, it landed in the next county. The times filled with such incredible joy, abundance, unconditional love, and profound grace that it took my breath away.

It is the marination and culmination of both that now make up my life. Free from the confusion, compulsion and complications of changing roles and hormones, I now stand ready to reclaim me and speak my truth – regardless of whether anyone outside my self cares to listen. It is no longer important whether the world outside myself or anyone in it thinks I have anything of value to share. I know (inwardly) that I do and that’s what matters most.

Every year during DaniMonth I make a handwritten list of what I have learned about life. My truths as they are. It’s one of the rituals that not only marks but also honors another rotation around the sun.

So at the dawn of year 54, here is what I know for sure:

Wednesday: What I Know For Sure – Part 2


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Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to






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