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Do you know what it feels like to turn fifty? If forty marks the “over-the-hill” point, the 50th birthday has to be a shocker. If you're just twenty one, someone who is turning fifty may seem as old as Methuselah. You simply can't imagine being that old.

Unfortunately, for those of us who have actually reached this point, it can be a bittersweet coming of age. Geez, you think, I never thought I could be so old.

You start to look in the mirror, squinting to find a new wrinkle or some saggy skin hiding somewhere. You recently noticed you can't read the directions and dosage of that allergy medicine without reading glasses! Yikes. What's the world coming to? When winter comes and cold sets in, you may wake up with stiffness in your hands. These telltale clues only confirm what your subconscious has been nagging you about for some while now. Age is creeping up on you, and everything's not quite as sharp as it was thirty years ago.

When you were twenty one, life was a long adventure that stretched into forever. Now, twenty nine short years later, with that 50th birthday looming, things look different. Now you're smart enough to know that your long adventure is getting shorter. This can be a difficult realization. You can't understand why you never saw this coming, but it's just the way of life.

In a crisis of this proportion, you need to look on the bright side and regain some of your youthful optimism! Count your blessings if you've taken good care of yourself. If you haven't, then there's no time like the present to begin corrective measures. Attaining a 50th birthday is an opportunity to make an honest assessment of where you're at and where you'd like to be a year from now. Analyze your lifestyle, accomplishments and interests and see how you can turn the clock back a bit. Some parts of life just irrevocably creep in, like those darn reading glasses, reminding you that you can't be twenty one again.

On the other hand, you've walked the talk in terms of experience and challenges met. You couldn't have met those challenges thirty years ago. Your 50th birthday should be a celebration of youthful passion enhanced by marriage, children and perhaps grandchildren, friends or just plain experience in this great mystery of life.

All things considered, a 50th birthday is a milestone of your journey through life. View that glass of lemonade as more than half full and adopt an attitude that looks forward to all life offers.

Remember, it's likely you have many years before you and more free time to pursue your dreams. Live life with passion and you'll find continued joy. Fifty isn't old!

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