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Turning 50: Realizing that Age Really is Just a Number

By Margaret Manning February 01, 2015 Mindset

If you are turning 50 this year, you may be a bit apprehensive. After all, life in your 50s is a time of transitions. If you had children, they have probably left the house and are beginning the long process of building their own lives.

You may be starting to think about retirement – by choice or necessity. Perhaps you are even using this milestone to think about your purpose on this planet and the impact that you want to make in the coming decades. All of these thoughts are completely natural.

As the founder of Sixty and Me, a community of 150,000 women in their 60s, I have quite a bit of insight into the aging process. I’ve watched women 10-20 years older than you deal with the decisions that they made in their 50s. I listened to their concerns and celebrated their successes. At the end of the day, working with thousands of baby boomer women has taught me one important lesson – age really is just a number.

Turning 50 is an Opportunity

Ok, I know that this sounds a bit simplistic – maybe even a little clichéd. But, let me explain. I’m not implying that age doesn’t make a difference. One look in the mirror tells me that I’m not 18 anymore. I’m simply saying that there are better ways to measure our lives.

True success at any age comes from the impact that we have on the world and the relationships that we have with others and ourselves.

As John Lennon said, “Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.” I love this quote because it reminds us that success in life is a matter of perspective. How we frame the situation matters.

“Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.” - John Lennon

Turning 50 is an opportunity. It gives us the chance to pause and take stock of our life and the people in it. So, rather than being apprehensive about your aging body, celebrate your growing perspective. Rather than worrying about your changing relationships, embrace the opportunity to make new friends with people who share your interests.

If you are turning 50 this year, congratulations! Let me be the first to welcome you to what should be the most dynamic, exciting and stimulating period of your life. Now is the time to celebrate your accomplishments and plan for the future.

Is your 50th birthday this year? How do you feel about that? Do you have specific concerns about life after 50? Or, are you treating this milestone as “just another date?” Please join the discussion.


Here’s a short video that I recorded on turning 50.

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The Author

Margaret Manning is the founder of Sixty and Me. She is an entrepreneur, author and speaker. Margaret is passionate about building dynamic and engaged communities that improve lives and change perceptions. Margaret can be contacted at

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