Over 50 life

It’s All in Your Head: What I Learned After Turning Fifty

Updated October 30, 2023

What It Really Means to be Turning Fifty

If you’re approaching or have passed your fifth decade, being middle aged no longer seems like something that happens to someone else! It’s the middlepause.

Fifty is proof positive we’re at the half way point of our lives. Ha, even that’s an ambitious thought unless you’re sure you’ll live to be a centenarian!

Is turning fifty the beginning of the end?

Perhaps the end of our youth. Turning fifty is the final “I can’t ignore seeing gray hairs and wrinkles in the mirror” kind of wake up call. The realization that all that frollicking on the beach we did in our youth is coming back to bite us big time.

Age spots, sun spots, hand wrinkles (the worst!) and crepey decolletage may all gently creep into view as our fifth decade rolls around.

The physical manifestations of turning fifty are one thing.

Have you ever woken up and said, “What the hell am I doing here? How did I get here? Who is this person I used to know?”

Along with the wrinkles, we’re now faced with potentially seismic changes to our daily routines. Kids leave the nest (or don’t), husbands may leave or retire too soon. Our careers don’t feel as compelling as they once did. Or perhaps we’re at that point where we’re tired of the daily fight to be heard.

With all the changes, we often feel too tired to really give a damn about anything. We’re wondering what happened to our mojo.

Who are we? What do we want now?

Just before I turned fifty I ended my 21 year old marriage. After a brief stint of singledom I then moved across states to begin a new relationship. Convinced I had figured out this whole midlife transition thing, I leapt to an exciting new life with the certainty of a 21 year old. Instead of using my 49 year old brain, I acted without fear or common sense. When the dust settled I realized I hadn’t acted in my best interests at all. Just some fuzzy notion that things would magically work out. They didn’t of course.

My 50 year old self then lived through a very painful soul searching meltdown. I’d given responsibility for my happiness to someone else instead of making it my priority. Which only goes to prove you still have a lot to learn at fifty.

What’s this got to do with turning fifty and feeling life may be half over?

The pain of failing at love, work, or relationships is enhanced, no magnified at fifty or older. We’re supposed to get it right. We’re supposed to know what we’re doing!

In a way we do. We’ve had five decades or more of experience and that’s nothing to sneeze at.

My conclusion is that turning fifty is a beginning not an end. It’s not a semi colon to the rest of life. We can find the wisdom to know we’re the agent of change. Becoming a failure at mid life is NOT an option!

What turned fifty around for me was changing my thoughts.  It will change your life too.

This may sound overly simplistic, but it’s not. Paying attention to your thoughts and intentionally changing them takes practice and perseverance. You may be working on a lifetime of negative or self judgmental thinking!

What I’m suggesting is, don’t allow negative thoughts of growing old. You look at yourself with love and appreciation. You focus on the good and the positive aspects of your age.

Aches and pains? Got em. But I don’t say to myself these aches and pains are a product of getting older. They’re just there.

Gray hair and wrinkles? Me too. I do what I can with hair color and face cream and don’t wear my glasses when I look in the mirror. You can steal that trick too 😉

Finding love over fifty? Love over fifty isn’t any different than any other time of life. If anything you’ve had practice! You know who you want to spend the rest of your life with.

What I’m saying is aging is mostly in our heads. We put the thought in there. We allow ourselves to absorb negative thoughts about growing older and I swear it puts a slump in our shoulders.

Start a positivity tracker to help you keep your thoughts optimistic

How to Turn Around Turning 50

  • Reprogram yourself to stop negative or limiting thoughts about aging.
  • Focus on what is good at the moment, even if it’s not having to pee as often!
  • Take yourself to a spa or pamper palace. Repeat often.
  • Make a point of treating yourself well by eating for your health not your mood.
  • If it doesn’t support you or make you feel positive, let it go.
  • Repeat a calming mantra. “All is well, only good lies before me” anytime you’re stressed.
  • Try a new hairstyle, color and cut.
  • Smile often.

Don’t think about aging. Take care of yourself, do the best you can and be grateful you’re here. Put a smile on your face and walk with purpose. Oh there will be those days, but in the end we get to decide how “old” we are. There are many good things about turning 50. Grandkids, time to do what you want, confidence and financial security for starters.

Be ageless and fool them all.

About Author

With over 30 years in a creative role in advertising and publishing, and a lifetime of journeys between the US and UK, I've created Hipoverfifty for you. I hope my journey and perspective will guide you on yours.