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Six BIG Life Lessons From A Late Bloomer

I turned 50 yesterday. No idea how this happened, but here we are.

I am a late bloomer, some might say a very late bloomer. Although things have gone pretty well the last few years, this has not always been the case. Because of some early setbacks, mistakes as well as basic bad luck, I put my dreams and goals on the back burner (for like 20 years) and settled into a routine that didn’t leave much room for anything extra. My husband was living and working his dream and I thought his success was enough for me. But a few years ago, I realized it wasn’t.

One of the big change moments for me was when Pip passed away in 2013. I was completely shattered by this loss and essentially faced two choices – fall into a deep depression or channel the pain into something positive. Somehow I found the strength to choose the latter. I recommitted to writing (one of the dreams I thought long gone) with a focus on changing the perception of rescue animals especially those with special needs or considered less adoptable. This seemed like a perfect way to honor Pip and myself at the same time.

Life lessons from a late bloomer and other underdogs

Six BIG Life Lessons From A Late Bloomer

Don’t wait for the perfect time because there is no perfect time. Life will always get in the way. Stuff will always come up. I spent twenty years waiting for my time to come. But I finally realized my time was never coming. I had to make time my own. Do what you need and want to do NOW. Don’t wait.

Make time for yourself everyday. Protect it, hold it tight as if your life depends on it. Because in many ways, it does. Sometimes it takes sacrifice (in my case, sleep), but it is worth it – you are worth it. Crazy early morning hours work best for me. Find a time that works for you and stick with it.

Share your piece of the puzzle. I’m not an overly religious person, but I do believe we all have a purpose or something to share – a piece of the giant puzzle of humanity. Some pieces are bigger than others, but all pieces matter. Share your piece, your piece matters.

6 big life lessons from a late bloomer

It’s never too late to try something new or head in the right direction. I only figured out what I wanted to do about two years ago (when I was 48). You are never too old, too tired, too shy, too busy, too broke, too frightened for a fresh start. Late bloomers and underdogs are awesome.

Define or redefine your definition of success. My definition of success is not about making lots of money or having lots of stuff (probably why I don’t have much of either). Success for me is about finding a way to combine your talents with your passions to make a difference.

Do what you came here to do. This is a lesson I learned from Kathleen Gage during her session at BlogPaws. It resonated with me on a very deep level and I repeat it daily. Will your life magically work out once you start living your passion? Maybe not, but you will experience moments of peace and great joy when you are completely and utterly yourself and in tune with everything around you. And these brief, but beautiful moments make everything else worth it.

This is what I came here to do.  I lost sight of it for many years. I’m not letting it go again – and I wish the same for you.

Late bloomers are like underdogs and both are pretty awesome.

6 really big life lessons from a late bloomer


  1. Cathy Armato
    April 10, 2017 / 12:47 pm

    This is such a great post. John and I once met an elderly man at the beach, a widower who started talking about life with us. He looked us in the eye and said "DON'T WAIT" to do what you want to do in life. He explained that he and his wife kept waiting to live their dreams but they waited so long she died in the meantime and he was full of regret. It is never too late to follow your dreams. I'm so glad you started writing Kristin, you are an amazing writer! You have so much talent. Thanks for sharing your story with us, it's so inspiring.Love & Biscuits,Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  2. Julie
    April 10, 2017 / 2:15 pm

    Very wise wordsandHAPPY 50th BURFDAY!Hope you had wonderful time celebratingLoves and licky kissesPrinces Leah xxx

  3. stellaroselong
    April 10, 2017 / 3:00 pm

    Happy Birthday. Kristen I just loved this post. I have not blogged for awhile and although I miss it, I am afraid I have let family and lifes struggles take away something that was very important in my life. I am trying to find my way back but it is hard. Your post was honest and I imagine we all, as we read it will find pieces of ourselves in your words. P.S. Pip's book still sits proudly upon my coffee table. deb and stella rose

  4. Yamini MacLean
    April 10, 2017 / 4:22 pm

    Hari OMWonderful, heartfelt words with Loving intent; more power to you for another 50 years!!! (..why not? WE just had three folk over here celebrate various b'days over the 100…) YAM xx

  5. Amanda Yantos
    April 10, 2017 / 5:20 pm

    This is a wonderful post and it definitely resonates with me. My favorite sentence is "you will experience moments of peace and great joy when you are completely and utterly yourself." I've found this to be so true. I used to be miserable but when I decided to take a chance and become a full time pet blogger, I realized that true happiness does exist! What a concept! I'm glad that you are doing what you came here to do 🙂

  6. Kinley Westie
    April 10, 2017 / 5:36 pm

    Happy belated birthday!

  7. Casey
    April 10, 2017 / 5:40 pm

    What a wonderful and very wise post. Thank you for sharing, and happy barkday!!

  8. Shannon Adams
    April 10, 2017 / 6:13 pm

    Wonderful post. It really resonated with me. ((applause))

  9. Random Felines
    April 10, 2017 / 6:34 pm

    HAPPY belated Birthday!! thanks for sharing your wisdom with all of us

  10. ♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥
    April 10, 2017 / 6:37 pm

    Happy Birthday, dear friend!!! Angel Pip served his time on earth with you in so many wonderful ways, but this has to be his crowning achievement!!! Keep up the great work – you are wonderful.Woos – Lightning and Misty

  11. Brian
    April 10, 2017 / 6:38 pm

    It is never too late to be so wise. Happy Birthday from all of us!

  12. Molly the AireGirl
    April 10, 2017 / 8:33 pm

    The best post ever! Happy 50th Birthday!

  13. tubby3pug
    April 10, 2017 / 8:36 pm

    This is a great post. I agree your never too old. You read my blog so you know how Im very into vintage style and I came to that relatively late, 34 after my dad passed away I just decided life was too short not to do what I loved. I wish I had the ability to sew or something so I could channel it into a business but at least my blog is a reflection of it. Im so excited for you for the future

  14. Bella Roxy & Macdui
    April 10, 2017 / 9:24 pm

    Life is too short, so do what you want. That's our philosophy!

  15. da tabbies o trout towne
    April 10, 2017 / 9:40 pm

    happee bee lated 50 yeerz young two yur mom guyz; we hope her hada soooooper grate day N her getted sum dawg N catz treetz sew her can re gift em two ewe :)we send best fishez fora yeer a head filled with happee nezz & health ♥♥♥

  16. Three Chatty Cats
    April 10, 2017 / 10:09 pm

    This is a great post and you are a very inspiring person. And Happy Birthday!

  17. Denise Gruzensky
    April 11, 2017 / 1:19 am

    What a wonderful post with an amazing message! Your writing is what introduced us. Thank you for ALL you do. Happy birthday again!! 💙🐾🐕

  18. The Island Cats
    April 11, 2017 / 1:26 am

    What an inspirational post! Thanks for sharing this with all of us. And Happy Birthday!

  19. Foley Monster, Pocket and River Song
    April 11, 2017 / 3:22 am

    A very beautiful and honest post. Inspiring too. I recreated my life in the mid 40's. It wasn't easy. And nothing hurts like the loss of a pet. You have done a wonderful job honoring Pip

  20. Ruby
    April 11, 2017 / 3:28 am

    Yuppers, I agree, a fABulous post! I won't tells you how old Ma is, butts I thinks that the Great Wall was just being planned (that was Ma, not me….I'm just a youngin'! bol). You shouldn't wait, fursure, butts you should also never thinks that it is TOO late eithers. I am so glad to wish you a HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY BURTHDAY! ☺Kisses,Ruby

  21. Mark Muller
    April 11, 2017 / 5:50 am

    You shared 6 important lessons, many thanks… and you are right it's never ever too late to start something new…. and there is no waiting and no "let's do it later"… every day can be THE day…

  22. Team Beaglebratz with Lady Shasta
    April 11, 2017 / 5:57 am

    Mom Kim here – WOW! Great post – woke me up and got the thinking cap back on and running. I had planned on going to bed at least an hour ago – oh well. Lady Shasta is sound asleep on the sofa so I am good here for a bit. If you say you are a late bloomer at 50 then what does that make me at a few months past 60 – still wondering how it happened.Before I say anymore, I do want to wish you a belated Happy Birthday and hope it was a good one. I don't know how you are with birthdays but with me, after you get to be a certain age (which I reached a few decades ago) birthdays just start running together.I love your 6 life lessons and like you – Don't wait is at the top of my list. Yes, stuff does come up – there will always be those things that get in the way so what do I do about it? I have had plenty of stuff and I have let it interfere – the trick is learning how to get around it – that is where I am right now. I also believe that each one of us has a purpose – a reason we are here on earth. I have given this some thought off and on over the years and again after reading this post.You also talked about your reaction to Angel Pip's passing and somewhere on your blog I read he was your heart dog. I didn't know this – that my Shiloh was my heart dog until he became an angel in March of 2016 – at that time my reaction to Shiloh's passing was much the same. Lady Shasta is still with me so the depression is eased somewhat but I still find it difficult to blog at times. And then you talked about sharing your piece of the puzzle – and that lit up that light bulb and maybe, just maybe, gave me clearer insight into what purpose or at least that passion or what brings joy to my life. Angel Shiloh was an amazing therapy dog for a Beagle – and I was able to train him myself. He was also a Reading Education Assistance Dog – he loved the little kids who loved to read to him. And I loved sharing him in this way. In another part of your blog, you mentioned that you disliked "schedules, boring routines, being practical, feeling trapped or bored" – all things I don't like either and I wonder if maybe the schedules, boring routines, being practical is what can lead to feeling trapped or bored. That is why I came to hate my job after 26 years – luckily by my 29th year I was able to retire. Ok – now that I have turned this comment almost into a short story, I better stop. But I'll be back – there is just too much good here that can't be left unread.Again, great post!

  23. Emma
    April 11, 2017 / 11:02 am

    Excellent post! Mom has already hit that milestone, but it took a bit longer for her to start figuring it all out. She says many women her age didn't understand living your dream until they were older. She dropped everything and made her big leap last fall. It has been a bit of a rough road, but overall, it makes us all happy! Happy belated birthday, and good luck chasing your dreams!

  24. The Menagerie Mom
    April 11, 2017 / 11:25 am

    This is simply fantastic. Your words ring so true here. I think we have such a habit of pushing our dreams and goals aside, and your words here are such an inspiration to do just the opposite of that. Thank you for this. I know I needed this motivation, so thank you!

  25. Madi and Mom
    April 11, 2017 / 4:46 pm

    Kristin the loud cheer you just heard was Madi and Mom!!!WTG, what a beautiful post!! And YAY YOU!Grab the gold ring young lady and keep on keeping on!Hugs to you and to Angel Pip for inspiring youCecilia and Madi

  26. Caren Gittleman
    April 11, 2017 / 6:09 pm

    This post is SIMPLY FABULOUS and LOADED with great advice! 50? You're a BABY!! I am 61!! about "late bloomers"………….I STILL haven't "completely" bloomed!!! I must be a dead weed! lmao!!! Happy Belated birthday!! DakotasDen

  27. Murphy
    April 11, 2017 / 7:04 pm

    Pure wisdom!Your Pals,Murphy & Stanley

  28. Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat
    April 11, 2017 / 7:38 pm

    I'm a late bloomer as well. I wasn't happy until I learned to be happy with what I have. For years, I chased things external to me … losing weight, a career, money, achievement. It wasn't until Bear came into my life over 10 years ago that I realized I could be happy without all that – by just appreciating what I already have. Does that mean I've given up on more? No. Starting my blog was a big step … and was being open to a relationship … both scary … but both expanding my little world to more than it ever was before. Did I need either to be happy? No. It was just icing on the cake. When I focused on external things … I was always on the chase … as soon as I fulfilled one goal, I was off to the next and nothing was ever good enough to be content. I admire you a lot. I admire you putting together this post and setting an example on how to be authentic. Most of all, I'm proud to call you my friend.

  29. Mary McNeil
    April 11, 2017 / 9:21 pm

    Great post. Thank you !

  30. pilch92 15andmeowing
    April 12, 2017 / 1:02 am

    Happy Belated Birthday! Better to bloom late, than never. 🙂

  31. Nichole Burke
    April 12, 2017 / 3:37 pm

    These are all great lessons. We try to practice #1 and #2 every day!

  32. Lorie Lewis-Ham
    April 12, 2017 / 4:05 pm

    I turned 51 on Monday, so I can totally relate to a lot of what you've said here. While I didn't completely put my dreams on hold, I have never quite given them the attention they deserve until more recently. Great that you are going after yours!

  33. M Dawson
    April 12, 2017 / 8:07 pm

    We tried waiting for the perfect time, then Dash was killed and we simply had to keep going. The perfect time is now, and you use it as best you can. We try our best to do well, and even if we don't succeed we have done as well as we can!

  34. Debbie Bailey
    April 12, 2017 / 8:26 pm

    These are great tips… I LOVE #1 Don't wait for the perfect time because there is no perfect time and #4 It's never too late to try something new or head in the right direction. Both are excellent pieces of advice! <3

  35. Sonja Lishchynski
    April 12, 2017 / 8:28 pm

    I too am a VERY late bloomer. So from one to the other KUDOS. I also think that late bloomers are often more grateful because … more aware.

  36. Jackie Bouchard
    April 12, 2017 / 8:44 pm

    Great post and such good points. Defining your own success is the one that really resonates with me. As an author (as with SO many things in life) you can always find someone who is doing better than you and feel like you're not doing that well. You have to have your own definition of success! (And I do think I've succeeded according to my own definition!) Good for you for figuring out all these big life lessons! And I don't think it's "late" at all! And happy birthday!!

  37. Jana Rade
    April 12, 2017 / 9:31 pm

    It's never too late while you're still kicking.

  38. Felissa Hadas
    April 12, 2017 / 10:43 pm

    I struggle with the make time for yourself everyday. I am usually so exhausted by the time I am done with my day that I just want to go to sleep. I 100% agree that it is never too late to try something new or go down a new path. My mom is a Professor and she has a good number of students that fall into the non-traditional category. She will often have a women and men in her program that get to bring their grand babies to graduation.

  39. Fashion Beyond Forty
    April 12, 2017 / 11:12 pm

    Hoping your birthday was amazing and that you are still celebrating! You had me at #1 and I absolutely agree! Waiting on the right "time" seems like a cop out we get used to using. Grab the world by the … whatever and GO FOR IT! Whatever IT is. I would not look at yourself as a late bloomer. You just had an internal clock that said when you did bloom you would BLOSSOM SO BIG that the world was not ready for you yet! 🙂

  40. Unknown
    April 13, 2017 / 12:17 am

    I really love this post. You can decide what you want to be when you grow up at any age, and blooming late is better than never blooming at all! Love, Dear Mishu

  41. meowmeowmans
    April 13, 2017 / 2:36 am

    Awesome post, Kristen. Learning and growing and becoming are every day of one's life things, aren't they? Happy birthday to you! 🙂

  42. Neeko
    April 13, 2017 / 3:29 am

    What a Pawsome post dear Kristin!Excellent advice. Happy, happy birthday ��Hugs,The Spaulding Pack ��

  43. Tenacious Little Terrier
    April 13, 2017 / 7:33 am

    Great advice. I'm trying a number of new things this year and it's been an interesting experience!

  44. Beth Patterson
    April 13, 2017 / 3:00 pm

    Late bloomers are great! I like to think that I am a perennial and will bloom several times in my lifetime. I've had jobs where I think I am doing exactly what I want to do forever, but then life changes and so do I. One thing I try to tell my children is it is okay to figure out things as you go, you don't need to make a plan and stick to it if the end result isn't what you want.

  45. Lola The Rescued Cat
    April 13, 2017 / 5:16 pm

    This post resonated so deeply with me, Kristin. (And probably shouldn't have read it at work!) I, too, am a very late bloomer. I always put others before myself and just went with the flow of life. I'm getting better with this, but there is still room for improvement.

  46. Jan K
    April 16, 2017 / 12:36 pm

    Happy Belated 50th! From the photos I've seen of you, I never would have guessed you were turning 50!I am a late bloomer myself, and this post really resonated with me in many ways; especially "it's never too late". I could not agree with that more as we are making big changes and I've got almost 6 years on you!

  47. Marty the Manx
    April 17, 2017 / 2:39 am

    Happy Belated Birthday!!! I am late bloomer too and have never been so at peace with myself as I am now with my 51st coming at the end of the week. I believe we are the lucky ones 🙂

  48. Princely Paws
    April 17, 2017 / 8:43 am

    What a lovely post, i agree with you completely it is never too late to begin in the right direction

  49. Bocci
    April 11, 2018 / 3:48 pm

    Thanks for the inspiration, Kristin!

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