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Turning Fifty: Shaken, Not Stirred

August 20, 2010

I turned forty-ten a couple months ago.


I still can hardly bring myself to acknowledge that sinister number “5” that wants to push its way into the front end of my particular age bracket – the evil digit that signifies another looming decade ahead. Or one that has past.


I have noticed that some of the other guys that I work with seemed to breeze right past the big five-0 in their shiny new convertibles (we have had a lot of that going on around here lately) without a second glance in the rear-view. I surveyed some of them in hopes of finding someone to commiserate with, yet nobody is quite as anxious as I am.

“I still feel 18!” exclaims the 53-year old head of sales and marketing, who is incredibly fit and trim and annoyingly happy.

“I never really thought about it.” says another oblivious 51-year old executive.

Denial is what I’m calling it. They’re all in denial.

I, on the other hand, spent months gearing up for fifty, fueled by incessant talks with my wife about teeth-whitening and male hormone-boosting therapy. And then there was the actual therapy. I kept pressing my hands to the side of my face, squeezing back the skin whenever I looked into a mirror to see how much younger I could look. “Who is that guy?” I would ask the sad, wrinkled, man staring back at me with the bulging eyes.

Really, I am starting to see why these people spend money on plastic surgery.

My boss, the Chairman of my company, called me on that day. He wished me a happy birthday, and then in a very somber tone he added, “You know, it’s okay to start slowing down now. You’re at that age…”  His voice trailed off, like he forgot what he was supposed to say next. I took it as an awkward birthday wish, like I was now joining him in some elite, special club that other, younger and better-looking managers were not privy to. And then I laughed it off. Ha! Sure, boss! What, am I going to break my hip and ride around in a scooter now? No worries!

But the truth is, I am tired. And aching sometimes. And not sleeping so great. And there is this inexplicable build up of wax in my ears.

I remind my wife that a couple centuries ago forty-five years was the average life span for a man. Maybe we were not meant to live this long, to be forced to cram our youthful bounding souls into a decrepit and declining body.

I decided, really, that I need to take better care of myself. To slow down some, like my boss said. To get a blood test. To see how I’m doing. I’m not going to be any good to anyone if I’m feeling exhausted all the time.

Like every other guy, I hate going to the doctor’s, getting probed and prodded like that. But they found a couple of little things that I am taking care of. Why pretend any more?

I also backed off of some volunteer stuff. I am only working on the few things that I really want to do the most. It’s still alot. I’m also carving out time during the day to balance these things out better. I am giving myself a break, not pushing so hard. Not acting like I can do everything. 

I am going to get enough sleep.

I am going to be saying “no” more than I used to. I’m protecting myself. So that I will have something to give back.

Photo by Nancy Rosback.

115 Comments leave one →
  1. August 20, 2010 6:06 am

    Forty-ten’s not so bad; think about what begins to move through your head as forty-twenty looms like the proverbial freight train coming down the track. You do have to come to terms with it, though.

    I’m thinking about my father a lot more now; a lot more about the sweep of history and this brief time we each have. I take pleasure in things I used to ignore. I’m writing more, not so much to leave behind some legacy of a life but to try to make sense of the life behind me and what might lie ahead.

    This post is like a gentle reminder of all of that.

  2. August 20, 2010 6:46 am

    I am a much younger person than either of my parents or any of my grandparents were approaching *fifty*-ten. I think balance works – tip the scales of both time and energy in your favor and invest in yourself. ‘Tis better to wear out than rust out.

  3. August 20, 2010 6:54 am

    And what about that hair. Man, it just is sprouting from my ears and nose. Its like all these years I’ve been fertilizing and now the crop is coming forth

  4. August 20, 2010 8:15 am

    Loved this blog – I’m heading rapidly to that number too! It’s a weird but exciting time of life – hell, we know everything by now!

  5. August 20, 2010 8:21 am

    I have a friend in her early 70’s, who, when I am with her, embodies such a young and vibrant spirit. I love it. She is active as ever, and when I am around her, I don’t feel like I am around an older woman. She rocks. You can do it, and best wishes in your next phase of life!

    • August 21, 2010 6:22 am

      Yes, I too have a few friends in their 60s and 70s who seem to have boundless energy and youthfulness. That will be me, I keep telling myself. This is why I want to pursue balance more than burnout.

      • August 22, 2010 9:53 pm

        I’m probably too young to speak up, but this is how I see it. If you aren’t ‘that person’ now, you won’t be in your 60’s and 70’s. My Dad, my biggest inspiration, began running the day he turned 50. He’s been running ever since… and has the rest of us chasing after him!

        your balance fits you perfectly. you are youthful. someone else’s ‘youthful’ might not fit your balance. reenergize because you want to, not because 50 years young!!!

        thought provoking post as always.

  6. Rhiella permalink
    August 20, 2010 8:35 am

    I bet those guys were going through the exact same thing you are about reaching 50 and are most certainly in denial. But at the same time, 50 really isn’t old. There’s no need to be feeling that way. Aging is totally natural, roll with it and enjoy the wisdom it (apparently!) brings 😉

  7. The Weddington Adventures permalink
    August 20, 2010 9:42 am

    @40, denial begins to creep into the consciousness. We begin to think how we were 25 just yesterday and where did all the time go?I realized that it’s a natural life cycle and it’s all about how you handle. Good luck in your journey:))

    • August 22, 2010 10:15 pm

      Agreed! I’m not at 40-10 yet, but at every single step of the way, you’re dealt certain cards, and it really is in how you use them, use your strengths whatever they may be…at 50 you have the advantage of already seeing patterns in life, and you can shortcut through the B.S. that most 20 and 30 year olds are still negotiating…anyway Happy Birthday! Enjoy!

  8. August 20, 2010 9:56 am

    Fifty is not so bad (my husband is 55). I had a problem with 30. Forty was fine because I ran off to Paris for a month. I’ll have to top that one for 50! Do something great for yourself.

  9. August 20, 2010 10:07 am

    Congratulations on your decision to slow down. It doesn’t matter what age you are, life is to be savoured. I’m a little in fear of what my 40-10’s will bring considering the worst decade of my life healthwise was my 20s. I guess I’ll eventually just cannonball into that stage of my life and see what happens…

  10. Lindsay permalink
    August 20, 2010 10:20 am

    I love your writing style. Forty-ten is pretty funny, too. I just turned 30 and felt very ambivalent about it until my 60 year old friend told me that 50 is the new 30. So embrace it!

  11. August 20, 2010 10:38 am

    can i get plastic surgery for my whole bod?

  12. August 20, 2010 10:39 am

    Dude, 50 is nothing! I’ll be 47 in a few months and in the best shape of my life. I’m still powerlifting and may latest goal is to become a tattoo model. Do not let this get you down. You need a plan stan, an awakening. Shoot me an email if I can help in any way.


    • August 21, 2010 6:25 am

      Thanks Joe, that is inspiring (and a very nice offer!).

      One thing I failed to mention is that at least I am not fat. (not yet). I do work out (not enough) and have maintained some semblance of conditioning and muscle tone. Except for the gut, of course. Which will take an entirely new force of discipline to manage through that!

      I love your goal of becoming a tattoo model – I never knew such a thing existed. Go for it, buddy!

  13. August 20, 2010 10:40 am

    Man, I can relate and I only just turned 30. I’m too young to be this old.


  14. August 20, 2010 10:47 am

    I liked this post, very well written, especially the last line 🙂

    Though I’m miles away from that age-number, thinking of my parents I can relate to the stuff you said. Will tweet a link to this post.

  15. August 20, 2010 11:08 am

    My co-authors and I have talked to thousands of people, age 50 plus, about this hilarious, amazing, frustrating, confusing, and ultimately incredible time of life. I like to say age is a possibility, not a number. And the amazing thing is, I believe it.

  16. vincent wilson permalink
    August 20, 2010 11:13 am

    From someone who has reached the double nickle I think there are two ways to look forward. 1. Back off, slow down, take care. 2. All fired up, I’m gonna go till I drop. (Ozzy)

    Tom Petty said “If you don’t slow down you’ll never grow old.” Did he mean we will die young if we don’t back off as we age? Or did he mean slowing down sucumbs us to age? I think the latter.

    Even though I don’t choose the direction you’ve decided upon, I really enjoyed your story, it proked a lot of thought.

  17. August 20, 2010 11:23 am

    As one who is long past 40+10 and not far from 50+10, I’m happier now than I was in my ’20s and ’30s. Think of it as a mere state of mind. Sometimes the body cooperates, too. Also, I just read about a study the other day that demonstrated how much wisdom those of a certain age have. Because I believe that’s true, I also believe we have to apply it. So, wisdom says, don’t worry about tomorrow; it isn’t here; don’t worry about the past, it’s gone. Just be present.

    (Btw, age-related comments have no place in the workplace.)

  18. August 20, 2010 11:24 am

    You know when I turned 50 two years ago I adopted a new slogan: I’m 50! I don’t have to take this shit anymore! More than anything else that turning 50 meant, it meant a new attitude towards life. Truly, I felt like I was being given another chance. Do I have aches and pains? Sometimes. But, I refuse to let that define who I am at this age. I’m going out kicking and screaming! Oh yeah, and happy!

  19. August 20, 2010 11:25 am

    I just blogged about the very same denial and I’m turning 40 in a few weeks. I think denial will get me pretty far, actually. Why give in? My gram was in denial and lived to 100.

    • August 21, 2010 6:29 am

      My gradmother also must have been in denial, lived to 100. When we’d tell her how old she was, (Grandma! You’re 96!) she would give a look of shock and say, “Why, I still feel like a young girl!”

      Maybe denial is not such a bad thing!

      • August 22, 2010 4:00 pm

        I think it has awesome powers! My gram was riding bikes in her early 90s. She didn’t care what people thought. Very important to living a good life.

  20. August 20, 2010 11:43 am

    What about crazy eyebrow hair? Ear hair?
    You must be doing something right if you’re not battling either one of those. Or maybe that comes at 60. See what you have to look forward to? 🙂

    Forty-ten used to seem so old, and now you’re a spring chicken, at least in my book. Really, look at the other 50 year olds. They’re making time for fun along with the work, and they have the wisdom and experience to go with it. I’m following a few years behind you, and it makes me happy to look at More magazine and see all these cool women enjoying who they are.
    You know who’s really good at enjoying age? The French. I want to be more French as I get older–satisfied with who I am and how I look.
    Hmm…now I want a cheese plate and a glass of merlot.
    Great post!

    • August 21, 2010 6:31 am

      Yes, I failed to mention the eyebrow hair and ear hair and a few other little issues. But why bring everyone down with all those details? At least I am not fat. Not yet.

  21. August 20, 2010 11:58 am

    Age is only a mentality. You are as young as you choose to feel!

  22. August 20, 2010 12:49 pm


    Oatmeal, grapefruit, coffee without caffeine.

    When one of our very important family members could effectively balance a plate on their belly while sitting down on the couch, the family came together and asked that this family member hire and work with a personal physical trainer.

    When you love someone, the fright that sometimes accompanies conflict and unsettling feelings no longer seems that scary.

    See ya BJM.

  23. August 20, 2010 1:06 pm

    Sorry, no sympathy here. Just a head’s up.

    Times have changed. Nobody looks to elders for wisdom anymore; they Google. So do I. I’ve learned more on the internet than in all my years in school and 84 years of living.

    You kids will just have to find something else to justify living longer than is really necessary. Read my blog or my book: “Getting Lucky at Eighty.”

  24. Joan permalink
    August 20, 2010 1:09 pm

    I’m forty-twelve and I’ll tell you this: once you get past the initial HUH? of turning 50, things get really interesting. My BS meter is unerring and perfect so now I put up with a whole lot less of it, I have realized that I am actually pretty smart and know a LOT of stuff, I am able to filter out most all of the crap I used to put up with to please others and can now use that time and energy to please myself. It’s been a complete watershed experience – I wish I felt this way and knew this much at 20 but I’m happy as hell that I have it on board now.

  25. August 20, 2010 1:23 pm

    I feel that at 50 we are becoming the “elders” of our tribe. We must learn to exude an air of wisdom, that we are above it all, that we are “entitled” to the privileges of our longevity. After all we are “Boomers” and we will rule until we die! Rock on! North Coast Muse @

  26. August 20, 2010 3:12 pm

    I’m 25 and your post made me dread and look forward to 50 equally. I dread it because I worry about the regrets and the health problems I’ll potentially have. But I look forward to it because I want that balance now – and I still have 25 years before I can feel entitled to it. I want to say ‘no’ more, and I want to take of myself better. Is it too soon?

    Happy birthday. 🙂

  27. August 20, 2010 3:44 pm

    I wrote a blog called “Getting Younger Every Year”. I’m 53 and have truly enjoyed this process of aging. Honest. I swear. 🙂
    You’re gonna love your 50’s.

  28. Betty permalink
    August 20, 2010 3:48 pm

    I’m about 355 days away from forty-ten and I can relate to everything you’re saying. None of the other “milestone” birthdays had much of an impact on me or my attitude but I find myself fearing 50.

  29. August 20, 2010 3:52 pm

    It’s not so bad. I heard someone say the other day, “50 is the new 30.” Wow! That’s not so bad – I’m not sure it’s at all true, maybe the new 40, though. Great post.

  30. August 20, 2010 5:01 pm

    One of my girlfriends and I have been preparing ourselves for the advancing years since we we turned 20, thank God! How did we do this? Well, when we were 28, we started saying we were 30. When 30 came, it was no big deal–since we had been “30” for 2 years already. And when we were 37, we started saying we were 40. By the time 50 rolled around, we’d already been 50 for at least a good three years!

    We never lied about our age (to others), we never lived in horrible anticipation of those “milestones” in age that most people look upon as some sort of death sentence, and we always tried to talk positive about what it would be like to get older and be grandparents one day.

    I will admit, however, there are days when you just can’t deny your age and the limitations it tries to put on you. And when that happens, I don’t feel one bit guilty for grabbing a nap on the couch or turning down an invitation to go out late to someplace that once used to seem full of life and fun, but now just seems loud and obnoxious. Nothing wrong with grabbing a good movie and popping it in the DVD player while you curl up with a blanket because your “just cold!”

    I think your attitude really helps. I can still get outside and mow my lawn and work in my yard all day long! Lots to look forward to still!

  31. August 20, 2010 5:33 pm

    Well. I like the “saying” that says, life starts after 60. enjoy your up coming days. my father just turned 50 and he’s fine with it..

  32. August 20, 2010 5:39 pm

    I just wish I safely get there where you are now…

  33. August 20, 2010 5:44 pm

    I’m Forty-twelve 🙂 You zoomed in on one of the biggest tricks of aging; the energy management thing. There is not as much of it but, on the other hand, you’re more aware of the choices you have on how you use it. Wisely, one hopes.
    The topic of aging well is definitely in the air. Today’s post on blog and hot topic on The Art of Aging Facebook Page:
    Are You Anti-Aging?

  34. August 20, 2010 6:02 pm

    Wow, I’m exhausted after reading your piece. I next year will be faced with the ..fifty-ten B-day, and I’ll tell you what..I will NOT slow down, if anything I’m going to pile more life on top of more living! I survived a brain aneurysm this year, so maybe sky diving next year will be the ticket.

    I thinks it’s all perspective…

    My grandmother taught herself how to swim at 69 yrs. old.

    I think I might take up Mandarin Chinese this year.

  35. August 20, 2010 6:10 pm

    I’m doing the 50 thing in a week and have already started writing my post about it. The age itself doesn’t bother me so much as the change in other’s views and the advertising demographic simply due to the number. (stay tuned, aug 27th,

    Besides, I’ve been going gray since my 20s, always preferred older women, and drive cadillacs. I’d say I already fit in fairly well.

    Now to go order that walk-in tub they’ve been trying to sell me…

  36. August 20, 2010 6:11 pm

    This was fun to read since I turned 40-10 last November and I remember thinking the same things. Can’t say I’m over it yet. I’m not really looking forward to this November. LOL Thanks for the great read. It made me smile.

  37. August 20, 2010 6:15 pm

    As the great Alla Pugacheva said, age is just a number. You will at times be careless like 20 year old, love like a 30 year old. Care like 40 year old lets say. And, yes I’m 14 but I don’t get why women hate getting older. You need to live not exist. And I can’t wait until I’m 20 and move from my parents

    • August 20, 2010 9:15 pm

      Oddly enough, blehh, your parents will smarten up over the next 10 years or so. Happened to me on both sides of that equation. That said, you are spot on about living vs existing and that is a hard thing to balance, especially early on. And yes, I said balance. You must do the things to exist first so you can live. The trick is making them as close to the same thing as possible.

      • August 21, 2010 7:45 am

        there is no chance for my parents to smarten. I just don’t get why is it that people are so freaked out about getting old. It’s not like you’ll lose all ur teeth in one day and look awfully bad. In fact some people look a lot better older than younger

      • Donna permalink
        August 21, 2010 10:33 pm

        Just believe “I’m not getting older, I’m getting better” With age we shed our hang-ups that we have to conform or BE a certain way. We finally, in our 50’s come to that magical place called The Isle of Being Me. Finally the mental freedom to be ourselves. Don’t worry about the destination, just enjoy the ride!

  38. August 20, 2010 9:37 pm

    Enjoyed your post and approach towards handling your new forty-ten. You know yourself best and if slowing down a little (at least for now) feels right, you deserve it!

    Hitting the next __-ten myself and sure I wish I was younger sometimes but at the same time I look forward to enjoying even more experiences in life.

    For those who don’t enjoy growing, remember we all grow in age at the same rate! And, I never thought I’d say this when I was younger….if only I knew then what I know now! Thanks for the great read, LB

  39. August 20, 2010 10:13 pm

    Eh. Forget age! It’s all about how you feel. If you feel like shit, it doesn’t matter what age you are. 😉

    If you’re feelin’ good, 50 ain’t got nothing on you!

  40. August 21, 2010 12:08 am

    The patriarchs in the Bible lived to be 120. And more and more of us are making it to 3-digit birthdays. I figure I’ve got a good chance at it, so at 54, I’m not quite middle age yet.

    Not slowing down, just shifting gears.

  41. August 21, 2010 12:51 am

    Is it the number that’s associated with the length that your physical body has spent in this world or is it more true that we all need to know our limits, which when we are youngER, it’s so not cool to think about? After all, we are limited by the flesh and bone that we are made of.

    But I guess it’s still great to come to realization some time, better than not at all… 🙂

    Happy belated birthday!

  42. August 21, 2010 12:55 am

    Wow!… you think fifties bad I just wonder how you’ll react to sixty?
    The important thing to know is that people have been doing fifty for thousands of years and nearly all of them are dead now. (if you didn’t chuckle at that then you’re probably fartin’ dust.) I all I’m sayin’ is that if you don’t live, laugh, and love you’ll feel older than you already do. Live a little…You made it this far!

  43. August 21, 2010 2:12 am

    for me, 4 and 10 or 5 and 0 are only numbers.. numbers don’t matter to me.. what matters most is that we stay healthy and strong.. just live life to the fullest with no regrets then life will be worth living for.. stay happy, healthy and strong… 🙂

  44. sayitinasong permalink
    August 21, 2010 3:41 am

    50 is still some 10 years away for me…. well, give or take a few years (as in less than 10…) but I somehow view that as a more “serious” milestone than turning 40. 40 was a breeze to me… a weekend in Italy with way too much Limoncello and hey presto you were over the hurdle and it was quickly forgotten. I don’t know what it is about 50 that scares me. Maybe it’s the half a century that sounds… old.

  45. August 21, 2010 4:30 am

    Amazing post, really enjoyed reading a mans take on this. I am surrounded by women who fear the big 50, but I always had the impression it’s more ok for a man. Really touched by your honesty and sincerity. I am soon 50 and feel better than I have done for a long time. Yesterday someone asked me if I honestly didn’t want to be 25 again, and to my surprise, when thinking about it, I said no. I like being where I am now. Wisdom comes with age, and if you stay healthy – which is very much up to yourself – this is a fine age to be! As for being choosier with how you spend your time – good for you! This is how to live life – from lust. Enjoy all your coming years and turn them into whatever you want them to be. Go for it!

  46. August 21, 2010 6:32 am

    Thanks everyone for your great advice and hilarious comments. Savoring each and every one! (like a belated birthday card!)

  47. August 21, 2010 7:24 am

    Great to hear your perspective. I can imagine how intimidating the number 50 could be, but I truly believe in the saying that age is just a number. When I turned 40, I started blogging about it. It wasn’t an issue of aging or looks for me. At 40, I actually felt energized, like hitting that mark was a bit of a rebirth, that it made me realize what I should be doing and what kind of positive changes I should make now for my future. Like you, I was hit with this feeling that I want to focus on what matters and what really makes me happy (in other words, we’re not screwing around anymore in our 20’s, and we should make the most of our time!). Good for you – stay fit, do what you love and let go of what you don’t, and try to get some sleep – we all need that!

  48. Dabir Dalton permalink
    August 21, 2010 8:05 am

    When I turned thirty my Dad threw me a party and made a big deal out of it but turning fifty was no big deal just another mile on the odometer of my life.

  49. August 21, 2010 8:20 am

    ha ha. i will ask my parents to take a look at this one!

  50. August 21, 2010 11:16 am

    I found your post on ‘Freshly Pressed’ and really enjoyed it. I am rapidly approaching a big birthday only mine is fifty-ten, but I feel good about it. They say you are as old as you feel! Well, inside my head I still feel 20 something and my wife is constantly telling me to grow up. Why I would want to grow up I can’t think.
    I find that being almost 60 and recently retired is great fun. I can now do all the things that I’ve promised I would do for years. One of my favourites is to have the time to discover new blogs like yours and write my own. Enjoy being fifty – it only gets better from now on!

  51. August 21, 2010 11:56 am

    I love this post, Bradley, more than all the others I’ve read. You write it so well.

    Maybe it’s because I’ll be 49 in a few months and I’m noticing those weird changes. Like tiny wrinkles in just in front of my ears, bags under my eyes, loosening skin…

    But the bigger picture is, I’m a whole lot smarter about managing myself and getting the most our of my time than I ever was in my 20s and 30s. I’ve learned something from all those frantic years of family life when I tried to pack too much into a week. I’m taking much better care of myself, too. As a result, I’ve weathered our 20 month sojourn-in-between-jobs so well, I am amazed! (And I tend to be hard on myself)

    What have I done? Changed my diet to low-fat, whole-foods vegan. Taken to walking long walks and making my life one of prayer and listening and noticing. I wake up energized and eager in the mornings now — in spite of the fact that we have nothing on our horizon but fog.
    As my feet hit the floor, I feel it — the new creative energy surging through from my Creator…and I put the words on the page. It is joy greater than all the offerings from a fallen world.

    This is a life of faith, though, and not without its battles. I have moments of despair. There is a profound sense of loss which comes to us as we approach 50. We know that we will never get those years back. There will always be the life we didn’t live, yes, for each of us. I have to choose to believe that God has plans for the future and that they are good.

  52. August 21, 2010 12:41 pm

    Do most have a fear of getting older because of the fear of death or do they just miss their youth? Perhaps both? I’m still young, so i’m afraid I can’t give much input on this topic, but on the contrary of being shaken, I’m stirred.

    • shimano permalink
      August 22, 2010 11:31 pm

      People don’t fear aging, they fear the limitations brought on by a body passed its prime. The older you get, the higher the odds you will meet with debilitating illness – most of us anyhow. I have always been fit, but at my age (58) I can’t run all day and play all night like I used to. But, like the song says ” I’m not as good as I once was, but I’m as good once as I ever was” . One thing I appreciate about being older though, is spouting saucy one liners without getting embarrassed.

  53. Charles H permalink
    August 21, 2010 12:57 pm

    The comment I remember most from others when I hit 50 was:
    “It’s all downhill from here” – yea sure – it’s the Destination I’m not so tore up about.

    I discovered the fountain of youth however – in my case ( smaller person ) it
    came in the form of a Honda Metropolitan – and if I were a tad biggier it would
    have come in the form of a Harley.

    When I get on that thing – poof – I lose 25 years right off the top. Oh sure I could
    lose 50 years if I’m stupid on it – I know that – but there is NOTHING I have
    found that brings the feeling of freedom than riding that scooter – and getting
    110 MPG ain’t a bad feeling either after spending $2.00 on a fill-up.

  54. August 21, 2010 1:38 pm

    I’ll turn 40 soon and have similar views…. oh well!!!



  55. August 21, 2010 2:24 pm

    I loved this.

    Did you know that the adult brain is, in some ways, more capable of learning than the child’s? Did you know that Frank Lloyd Wright designed his masterpiece Guggenheim museum when he was in his 80’s? Or that Eva Zeisel is a designer famous for her beautiful ceramics, and at age 103 she is still designing?

    You are just a kid. Wait until you get to be 50-50. 🙂

    • August 23, 2010 8:56 am

      I love hearing about people who achieved astonishing feats in the second half of their lives. I read recently about an artist who is still going stroing in her 90’s. We must pursue our passions, yes. yes. yes.

  56. August 21, 2010 4:17 pm

    happy birthday!!!
    50 is the new 30 🙂 mind over matter

  57. August 21, 2010 7:46 pm

    When I turned thirty my Dad threw me a party and made a big deal out of it but turning fifty was no big deal just another mile on the odometer of my life.

  58. August 21, 2010 8:13 pm

    oh, and dear people. don’t blame plastic surgeons. they are kind people who attempt to help and one glorious day I will become one.

  59. August 21, 2010 8:53 pm

    Thanks for this thought provoking insight. I still have a few more birthdays before I hit that mark but its nice to get some insight ahead of time. Your writing style is excellent-keep it up!

  60. August 21, 2010 9:53 pm

    Thanks for this post….I’m a woman anxious about being 30 ten.

  61. GKrishnan permalink
    August 21, 2010 10:41 pm

    55 years young. Too old to rock and roll, too young to die ( Mick Jagger, that )

  62. August 22, 2010 12:06 am

    I work as a Sales Quality Verifier and spend my day listening to Sales agents convince Life Insurance holders to avail of another type of coverage. Most customers were born in the 1950’s or 60’s. It takes them one and a half minutes to finish saying a 15-word sentence. I need to fast-forward the recordings so I can verify more calls and to keep myself from zoning out. There are some, on the other hand, who came into life in the 20’s but surprisingly sound like they are only 16, has a memory of a law student, and rants so fast that I need to rewind-and-replay repeatedly to catch what they say.

    I agree with J DUBBS that 50 is the new 30. That makes me a bouncing 6. 🙂

  63. Orlando Juan Vicente permalink
    August 22, 2010 2:04 am

    Turning Fifty: All revved up and ready to go

    I’m about to became 50 years old this year, and after having gone through so many things -good and bad- well, I guess it’s about time for me to play it cool and not worry too much about life matters but care for what’s really important. I rather put it this way: “The best of life is yet to come”, folks.

  64. nosheen shan permalink
    August 22, 2010 4:01 am

    Great perspective on things and an excellent read. All good to know!

  65. Jawellnofine permalink
    August 22, 2010 5:19 am

    I heard something today that made one heck of sense: An old person is just a young person wondering where the heck it all went

  66. August 22, 2010 8:30 am

    There is some truth to the thought that age is but a state of mind. Society does so much to program us to feel less than as we get older when really its quite the opposite! Think of all the lessons learned, the wisdom collected over the years.

    Thanks for a male perspective on aging though — there is so much focus on the aging of women (god forbid we show signs of aging) that we often forget that men are going through the same process.

    Congrats on being freshly pressed and thanks for the post!

  67. August 22, 2010 9:09 am

    Great post!

  68. August 22, 2010 11:57 am

    I live in a building with many people in their 70s, 80s and 90s. We have two 96-year-old women, both of whom live alone, dress well, get manicures, smile, go out all the time. They’re my role models.

    There’s an 80 year-0ld woman on my floor who’s had surgery several times this year. She’s in pain and annoyed, but still gets well dressed and does her hair and laughs.

    This society is terrified of aging when many others, more wisely, celebrate it — and don’t shun those 10-30 years older than they. Find a few cool role models and ignore anyone who focuses on your age as opposed yo your energy and health.

  69. August 22, 2010 3:39 pm

    enjoyed the post. check out what i am doing for my 40th. u might be inspired! 🙂

  70. August 22, 2010 5:22 pm

    I found myself smiling while reading your blog. Very well done, and congrats on being Freshly Pressed. 🙂 …I think it is impossible to experience burnout when you only do those things that make you feel good and feed your soul. You’ve got all of the good stuff ahead of you on this adventure called life!! Hell, Colonel Sanders was 65 when he started KFC and that was ages ago!

    • August 22, 2010 6:07 pm

      ah, i just came across something, and had to add it as well: [WISE WORDS QUOTE] “The phrase ‘growing old’ suggest that the only thing that is happening in the passing of time and the deterioration of the body. I think something else is happening–a metamorphosis. Something happens in the human life cycle as we enter the second half

      • August 22, 2010 6:14 pm


      • medhag. permalink
        August 22, 2010 10:41 pm

        hello, an excellent post.I have 4 more reach there !but I do not have
        the blues as yet. I noticed that my aunts & uncles who are in their 80’s are still
        active.Also my uncles who are in their 70’s are still working.So, my friend take
        on this age too in the same spirit.Just have a few regular check ups.
        After all its all in our minds. So just change your mindset.

  71. August 23, 2010 12:34 am

    Happy belated bday, friend! I couldn’t stay on the sidelines … and join in the good wishes!

  72. August 23, 2010 2:30 am

    It is true, you don’t feel old on the inside. My husband and I was in the hot tub the other day. My son, who is 12 was swimming in the pool. He heard these people, probably in their 20’s say “I am not going in the hot tub now, there are two old people in it.
    It is strange to be perceived that way. When I was younger, I didn’t hate older people.

    • August 23, 2010 8:54 am

      I hate that too. As I am going through the process of college orientation for my daughter, I look at all the parents of the incoming college students and say, “Ugh! They look so old!” So I am just as bad as your 12 year old son.

      I ask my wife, “Do we look so old like those other parents?” My daughter says no, that we look younger than all the other parents. Bless her heart.

  73. August 23, 2010 5:06 am

    When I turned 50, my husband asked if I wanted a party. I said, “No. I want a camera.” We picked out a Canon Rebel XT. My life began! What is your passion?

  74. August 23, 2010 7:36 am

    I’m celebrating the same thing right here with you. But don’t you think for a second that the drivers of all those shiny new convertibles haven’t had a mind-altering self examination session.

  75. August 23, 2010 8:31 am


  76. August 23, 2010 9:00 am

    Yes, those other guys ARE in denial! 🙂 Happy birthday and congratulations on reaching 50! At least you know what to do to live and feel better. If it makes you feel any better, I’m just in my early thirties yet sometimes, I already feel 60!

  77. Tapper permalink
    August 23, 2010 9:20 am

    I’m 53 and aging has crept up on me too. Aging knees are the worst. However, none of that seemed to matter to my mental state until my wife & I moved into a 55+ condo. We didn’t change addresses, we changed lifestyles. Suddenly I realized we had jettisoned into a different world & honestly, I love it. I wouldn’t trade this life for being 25 again in a million years.

  78. August 23, 2010 9:28 am

    Wait…you’re only 47? You seem so much older than me. Snort! The secret to staying young is immaturity. Works for me.

  79. August 23, 2010 9:34 am

    A great post Brad . I have downsized my involvements as well. I am thinking more about how to conclude an active occupational life and still be meaningful employed as that time comes closer. A quote that I have taped to my desk is giving me some guidance as I read it from time to time ‘The mature person realizes that life affirms itself most, not in acquiring things, but in giving time, efforts, strength, intelligence, and love to others.” Thomas Merton

  80. August 23, 2010 9:35 am

    Does the 100th commentator receive some sort of a prize! Just kidding! Congratulations on turning the big 40+10. Looks like you’re taking the right steps to making it another 40+10!

  81. August 23, 2010 9:58 am

    I’m 81 and despite some serious physical inconveniences, I usually feel about 28, still married in all senses. Forget the hormone treatments, get in the the gym for three heavy (to you) workouts per week and use your common sense about the rest of your life. The best advice I ever got about growing older was from a country neighbor here in the Catskillls, who had worked hard physically all his life. He said”It’s no trick at all to be as tough as ever in your 60s; a better trick to be as tough as ever in your 70s; a good trick to be as tough as ever in your 80s.”

  82. August 23, 2010 12:16 pm

    Me to my husband just the other day: “Just think. One day we’ll look back and fondly remember this time when my hip and your shoulder were the only things that hurt all of the time.”

    Did you buy a convertible?

  83. muselady11 permalink
    August 23, 2010 12:18 pm

    Must admit as I approach the final years of my reproductivity at 53 (and many of my female friends have made the transition), I’m actually looking forward to not being driven by hormones, although there’s a little “death” in this shift from mother to crone. But crone life means peace, wisdom, and freedom from taking care of helpless beings.
    Go find your balance, yes. Slowing down is good any time, actually, but I plan to enjoy the freedom and watching my children blossom as adults.
    And I’m still beautiful and sexy as always, at least that’s what my husband says. 😉

  84. August 23, 2010 7:32 pm

    I’ve scrolled through the comments twice , because I can’t remember if I added mine. ( I did read this when it first appeared) .
    and the irony is obvious.

    Happy Birthday dear friend. Looking forward with you always.

  85. August 24, 2010 12:54 pm

    The full impact of my age hits me every time I see teenagers behaving quite unpleasantly in public. Once, I felt like yanking a teenager girl off of the arms of her way too clingy boyfriend at the mall. Another time, I felt like dragging a girl out of a movie house when I noticed her date’s hand on her thigh. These reactions used to belong to my mother! 😉

  86. August 24, 2010 10:08 pm

    You made me laugh out loud. When I turned forty, some quack company sent me an ad for this magic wrinkle cream. They tried to make it look like a card from a friend. The next day, my life insurance company sent me a birthday card. On the back was a list of recommended procedures for one “my age”.

    I was stricken.

    But…there’s only one alternative to getting older. I’m not ready to sign up for that! Sounds like you are growing “older” gracefully, Bradley. Bless you. 🙂

    Nancy’s picture is beautiful.

  87. August 25, 2010 9:45 am

    Brad, I thought you might be additionally suffering from attention deficit here – you know, with so few comments (Whatever!) – so here’s my two cents: Congratulations. Here’s to a second half-century of making this world a little more like the Kingdom.

    Glad to be kicking it off with you,

  88. August 25, 2010 10:04 pm

    Well, I am only 40+5, and I have made a decision to slow down in some ways, and in others to kick it up a notch, lol! I wan’t to make sure I live until I die, rahter than dying but waiting another 20+ years to be buried!


  89. January 2, 2011 3:52 pm

    And another advantage of posting your stats is it gives people like me, who come late to the party, to wish you a happy 40+10 — and to up your count to 114!

    How cool is that — great post. And so true. I’m a 40+10+experience and I think my 50s are my best years yet. Though I love what Cassandra wrote about that sense of regret of knowing — we’ll never have ‘that’ life we once dreamed of.

    I figure I’m getting a better life instead!

    PS — Thanks for visiting me today and leaving your comment. I started my blog almost 4 years ago — and still hover in the 90 – 100 range a day — and I think that’s awesome. I don’t write for page views. I write because I love to do it and I have made some amazing friends here and we support each other.

  90. January 3, 2011 9:40 am

    Just saw this and I triple-love it. Gonna have to start stopping-by regularly. 🙂 I need an extra day a week just to read terrific blogs…sigh…


  1. Turning Fifty: Shaken, Not Stirred (via Shrinking the Camel) « Sail to Explore
  2. Growth Cycles: The Breakdown Comes Before the Breakthrough
  3. Growth Cycles: The Breakdown Comes Before the Breakthrough « Shrinking the Camel

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