I have spent way too many years saying "I'm sorry" for way too many things! At times it feels like I've used it as a punctuation mark or a way to excuse having an opinion on something that might be different or less acceptable.
Part of this is the baggage that comes from being a woman who grew up in a conservative, male dominated home. Part of it comes from being a people pleaser. Part of it comes from lack of confidence in myself. Part of it is feeling that my opinion doesn't really count in the grand scheme of things.
But midlife comes with a few bonuses - one of those is that I don't have to apologize as much any more. I can accept myself and my opinions - I know I have worth, I've put in the hard yards and I'm entitled to speak up. I also know that I am more aware of when to keep my mouth shut - so if I think I have something worthwhile to say, then I don't want to have to feel apologetic for speaking out. A considered opinion has value - and so does the person giving it - and that would be me!