Midlife Musings in March

March, with its ushering in of spring, is an obvious representation of new beginnings…new life. As such, I see the month of March as a fitting metaphor for midlife — when new beginnings beckon and old lives are shed for new ones sprouting in fertile fields of self-discovery.

I’ve been pondering time and my own midlife changes. The second week of March saw mercurial Mother Nature struggle to make up her mind, and fickle Father Time prepare to snatch one precious hour to propel time forward. As the sun rose each morning I found myself coming back to the words of Brianna Wiest, in her book 101 Essays That Will Change the Way You Think. These are her words that spoke to me this week, and my takeaways:

Life Change

Feeling indifference means you’re on the wrong path. Feeling fear means you’re on the right path. Discomfort is what happens when you’re on the precipice of change. ~Brianna Wiest

Trepidation is a power tool.

The Hot Goddess

An intense need to be alone means you are recalibrating. Insecurity and uncertainty lead to something better. ~Brianna Wiest

I don’t owe an explanation for meeting my need to grow.

The Hot Goddess


Any frame of reference is based on what has already happened in the past. All we know is what we have known. We can’t know what will make us happy because our only context is what we’ve always known. ~Brianna Wiest

Everything I experience is filtered through the stories I’ve told myself from the past. I repeat the stories…I repeat the past.

The Hot Goddess

What you love in others is what you love about yourself. What you hate in others is what you don’t realize about yourself. ~Brianna Wiest

That asshole is a mirror and a microscope. Thank him.

The Hot Goddess

Listen to hear, not respond. ~Brianna Wiest

I will listen more than talk. I will hear more than shout. I will fail at this but keep trying.

The Hot Goddess


Happiness is acceptance. Acceptance does not mean giving up. It’s letting joy build bit by bit. ~Brianna Wiest

I am grateful for this joyful new life I am building through choices that are right for me. I will not apologize for that. I will not assign any outcome in my life to someone or something else.

The Hot Goddess

Happiness is a choice, not a set of circumstances. Don’t choose it all the time. Happiness is not a constant state of joy. Allow bad days. Be fully human. ~Brianna Wiest

All is well. All feelings are valid. I can choose what I do with them.

The Hot Goddess

What about you, dear readers? How do any of these speak to you?

A Confession:

This is not what I planned to post today. As I prepare to move to Portugal later this year, I’ve scheduled Expat Learning posts on my editorial calendar for the second Friday of every month:

February: Residency visa requirements

March: Finding housing in Portugal

April: Taxes in Portugal

May: World Portuguese Language Day

June: Healthcare in Portugal

July: Expatriate is not ex-patriot

August: Immigration appointment tips

September: Moving logistics

October: Meeting folks, making friends

November: Food, shopping in Portugal

December: Christmas in Portugal

Today’s planned post, “Picking a Pad in Portugal,” had to be updated with ever-changing information on residency visa housing requirements. I found my writing was starting to morph into something else on race/skin color, immigration, and double standards here and abroad. I’ve realized there’s a lot I need to write, in a post that goes beyond expat information and vexpat angst, so I’m reworking things in a separate article to come. Please stay tuned for it and the ongoing Expat Learning series. Thank you for reading!

All images are my own.

The Hot Goddess

Instagram: retired_rewired_inspired

If you enjoyed this please remember to Share, Like, Follow, Comment, Subscribe. (This is my “call to action” I’m supposed to include in every post. Thanks so much for your support!)❤


  1. You are the angel message I’ve been seeing all over the place lately in repetitive numbers and things… Every word in this post resonates. Thank you, Hot Goddess! May you find peace to propel forward with an open heart and mind. New opportunities await!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I like your cranky, honest, and real responses to Brianna’s quotes. I’m also becoming more cranky, and less willing to put up with other people’s nonsense. 😋 Keep on reaching for those expat dreams. I’ve started to consider Panama as a retirement landing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think the one about indifference is speaking to me…lately, I just don’t care if I’m late to work—although I tell the kids on my caseload that they are the best part of my day. I’m getting used to feeling like everything is up in the air and not knowing what’s going to fall back to earth and what I’m supposed to do with it…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wynne, thank you! I love “When I’m scared I know I’m alive in the best way!” That says it all. Your support means a lot. 💜
      And it’s Sunday, so I will be heading to your Funnies post, which I look forward to each week.😁

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, John! I think BW’s quotes on happiness are important reminders for all of us. Thank you for reading the Thailand post too. It’ll be a while before I get on one of those again! I always enjoy your Thailand posts. I’ve also wondered about your experience as a world traveler of color.


  4. Thank you for all of this.

    I hope that sharing these posts helps bolster your anticipation and calm your anxiousness (not anxiety) as the moving day approaches.

    When I read them, front and center in my mind will be my good wishes that you get everything you want and need to make this happen. 🌹🌹

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “I don’t owe an explanation for meeting my need to grow.” this speaks to me, right now. Thank you for sharing it.

    You are so organised with your scheduled Expat Learning posts. 🙂 I wish you the best with all the paperwork and requirements to process. They can turn into manifold difficulties, and as you allude, the red carpet is not always rolled out for all of us. Best of luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Khaya, thank you so much for this ❤️! As always, your words elevate everything. I’m glad you could relate to my post, and thank you for the well wishes. You said it perfectly re the red carpet.
      Hugs to you. I hope you are healing from your loss ❤️‍🩹

      Liked by 1 person

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