Put Down the Red Pen

Jun 26, 2023

One school year, I had a student who transferred into my classroom from another school. He needed a little extra support to catch up with the other students in first grade. His mom and I met to discuss his academic progress and she shared something with me that I still remember 25 years later. She said his former teacher would use a red pin to circle all of his mistakes.

Page after page of school work would come home marked up with a red pen.

Each week as they went through his school work he would cry because all he could see were the red markings. I decided after talking to the mom that I wouldn’t use red pens to grade papers anymore.

Recently, as I was creating a Midlife Assessment for my Catholic Moms in the Middle I was reminded of the student and the red pens. So often the word assessment can create feelings of anxiety or doubt. It is easy to imagine all of your faults, imperfections and habitual sins circled and highlighted in red ink. Like that student many years ago, seeing all of your failures front and center can lead to feelings of hopelessness and self-doubt.

It is easy to overlook all of the things that you are doing right or to even give yourself permission to celebrate your strengths. 

The goal of the Midlife Assessment is not to focus on all of the areas that you are wrong or lacking. The goal is to take an honest look at where you are, where you want to go and what you need to do to get there. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. The goal is not to eliminate all of your weaknesses. The goal is to be aware of your weaknesses while allowing your strengths to help you overcome them to move you forward towards your goals. 

Midlife is a time of transition and facing new challenges and opportunities.

It is new territory that you are entering. It is a phase of life that can bring sorrow and uncertainty, but it also includes new possibilities and joy. Taking a look at where you are and who you want to be in this phase of life will open the door to new and exciting opportunities! 

Put down the red pen and allow yourself to look within to become the person that God is calling you to be! 


Take the Midlife Mom Assessment to learn what is possible for you in this new season of life. When you are done schedule a coaching call so we can create your Midlife Blueprint! You deserve to make the next season of life your BEST ONE YET!