What’s it like to be 50?

I really want to know –

How they will feel on reaching their 50s?

What will be their need?

I’m not sure if I’m going to get their real need, even I personally talk to them.

Sarah Bowman
Sarah Bowman, Writer & Researcher, volunteer at Atheist Secular Humanism

I think your questions have already been adequately answered but on reading them my first thoughts were: I just turned sixty and I’m still going strong. This kid is just dealing with the thought of having parents turning fifty. It seems old to the kid because for so long Mom and Dad used to be in their forties.

The reason you won’t “get their need even if you talk to them” is probably because they haven’t got a need. They’re not old; they don’t feel old. They can easily remember life before you existed and it probably doesn’t seem all that long ago. It certainly wasn’t long ago that I was turning somersaults with my siblings, running races and playing hide-and-seek.

According to the calendar, it must have been in the late fifties or early sixties but the sun still shines the same way and the grass still turns green every spring like it has always done. Some of the people that made up my world back then are gone but there’s others here; the world is still as full of talented and capable people as ever. This aging thing happens only one day at a time and you don’t really notice it until life catches you by the neck and makes you stop take a good hard look.

That happened to me a couple years ago when my knee gave out for no reason but doctors and physio-therapists got it working again and I’m good to go. I walk the street with people twenty and thirty years older than me, not at the pace I went at the age of twenty I’ll admit. I’m glad there’s lots of strong young people to take the place of us baby boomers who are seriously into old age by now. But your parents aren’t even touching the top of the hill yet, they’re just starting to turn a few grey hairs to make them look wise and mature.

I know it’s true that some people die of heart attacks or other fatal diseases before age fifty but that seems not to be your question. Just relax and enjoy your parents as they pass another birthday. Come to think of it…What I felt at age fifty was pride—pride at having lived half a century. To be healthy and strong and have half a century’s worth of life experience packed away somehow seemed impressive at the time, as though it was in some way significant. Your parents might like having that acknowledged.


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