I'm 50 and Loving It!

By Naomi Braun, MPH, MSW • Published 5/28/2024

Photo of Naomi Braun celebrating and loving being 50+

When I was a kid, the thought of being 50 felt ancient. When I was a young adult, 50-year-olds were in such a different phase of life it was hard to imagine being there myself. When I turned 40, only 10 years shy of 50, I became a bit fearful of being that age. But now I’m 52 and feel like I just hit my stride.

So, what is it about the age of 50 that overwhelmed me (and so many others)? For me, I think it was a few things:

  • Half a century. Let’s face it, 50 is halfway to 100. Half of a century. More likely than not, when you reach age 50, you’ve already lived more than half your life and the number just solidifies that fact.
  • Body changes. There are some inevitable physical changes that happen as you age, including greying hair, wrinkles, sagging skin, and general aches and pains. Of course, everyone’s experience with these things is different but more likely than not, you’re going to experience some changes.
  • Maybe menopause. As we well know, everyone’s experience with and timing around menopause is different, but according to the North American Menopause Society, the average age of menopause is 51. So, in my mind, being 50+ years old marked a turning point for my body as well.
  • A big number. Saying my real age felt overwhelming. It was always a barrier for me. I was self-conscious about it and never wanted to admit to others how old I was. I feared turning 50, which feels like a substantial number, would make that feeling worse.

As it happened, all these fears turned out to be the catalyst for a new me. I’m not exactly sure at what age one goes from being excited to turn a year older to wanting to stop the clock. Is it 25? Or 29? Maybe 30? I’m not sure. But for me, somewhere between age 49 and 51, I decided to lean into my age in a way that I hadn’t up until that point. I realized that age is truly just a number and something to be proud of, not hide behind.

Naomi enjoying being 50+ traveling and enjoying life

When this happened, I noticed that I started to feel considerable pride in my age. I began to focus less on my negative thoughts of getting older and the unavoidable changes that go along with aging. I began to focus more on gratitude for all that I’ve experienced and accomplished so far in my life. I also decided that sharing my age and my experiences would enable me to connect with others more deeply, which has always been a core value of mine.

My Personal 50+ Tips

So, what have I learned about age and living life in the half century that I’ve been alive? Here are a few tips that I can pass on to those who are still on the fence about giving an honest answer to the age-old question, “How old are you?”.

Own it

There’s nothing to hide when it comes to a life lived. You’re the age that you are. Nothing is going to change that and that’s okay. The sooner you accept that every year, you’ll turn one year older, the more you can appreciate all your accomplishments, as well as the challenges you’ve faced in your life. Once I started to look at things this way, it really enabled me to embrace my true age and all the chapters that go along with it.

My family and I have a tradition at the end of the year. We sit down together and list all the highlights, both highs and lows, of the previous year. We write them down and store the list in a place where we can easily see it and review it. It’s amazing to look back at years past and remind us of all that we did, all that we lost, and all that we learned.

Share it

In my 50+ years, I’ve learned that when you share, you also learn. In my experience, the more I’m willing to share my story, including my age and my experiences, the more others are willing to share with me. By opening up and being your true self, you can gain a lot of insight from the people around you.

Naomi in Paris living life to its fullest and traveling

Live it

You only have one life to live so live it well. Live out loud. Share with others. Learn from others. Spend more time accepting who you are, the changes in your body, your look, your shape, etc. and less time trying to be someone younger than who you are.

While it’s still important to take care of your body through healthy nutrition, physical activity, sleep, and stress reduction, do what’s best for your body now — not for the body of a 20-year-old. Always check in with your healthcare provider to find out what choices and routines are best for you at your age.

Enjoy it

Lean in and learn to feel pride and excitement for this phase of your life. The people and activities you enjoy now may (or may not) look and feel different than the people and activities you enjoyed when you were younger. And that’s okay. The important thing is to find what’s right for you.

I hope my positive experience and tips can inspire you and others to embrace your age, share your experiences, and feel a sense of pride and satisfaction about the life you’ve led so far.

A friend of mine recently shared this anonymous quote with me. I think it’s a perfect thought to leave you with:

Don’t get all weird about getting older! Our age is merely the number of years the world has been enjoying us!
Last Updated 5/28/2024


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