Turning 50

Advantages of Turning 50

I’m turning 50. That’s right, the big five-o. That’s half of a century of existence.

I’ve been riding this beautiful blue ball as it hurtles through space for fifty laps around the sun, and all I can say is, wow! What a fantastic fucking ride!

I ask you, is this experience not the most awe-inspiring thing imaginable? I certainly think so.

Too bad it’s over. Too bad I’m turning 50. It was fun while it lasted, but apparently, it’s all downhill from here.

Or is it?

Turning 50 and a Life 2.0

Not only do I find this experience beyond words, now that I’m turning 50, I’m convinced it’s about to get even better. 

Don’t believe me, have your doubts? Pull up a seat, and I’ll explain why.

I’m calling bullshit on fifty being the beginning of the end. I don’t see it that way, and neither should you.

First, let’s go back 34 years to when I was 16 years old. That’s when I moved out of my father’s house and got my own place. That marked the start of my adult life

Looking back, it seems so long ago, and it feels like forever (hold that thought).

Now, let’s take that same 34 years and add it to my current age of 50. We get 84. 

The way I look at it, with a little luck, I have a pretty good chance of living to the age of 84, and that would mean, as of right now, I’m only halfway through my adult life.

Think of it this way. If adulthood were a two-lap race around a track, I have only finished my first loop, and I still have one more to go. And, as I noted before, that first loop felt like forever.

How wonderful is turning 50 from that viewpoint!

Instead of looking at fifty as over-the-hill, I’m facing it from the perspective of an opportunity, a reset, life 2.0.

Youth Isn’t Everything

I am beyond inspired to be turning 50. Not only do I get to do another lap, but I’m doing it with every advantage over 16-year-old me when he started. 

I know what you’re thinking. Every advantage? What about youth? After all, nothing beats youth. 

I admit, up until recently, that was my thinking. Being young has always seemed like a better position in life. However, I’ve recently changed my mind, and here’s why.  

The Illusion of Permanence

While it’s great that I have another lap of life to look forward to, there are no guarantees, and if I do complete this last go around, we all know what comes next. 

At my 50 years of age, the impermanence of this life is always staring me in the face. It’s something the younger me barely recognized and rarely thought about.

I am now hyper-aware of how precious my time is. This awareness is the main ingredient of why I am so committed to living every single day to its fullest

What does that mean?

Here’s one example. I’m finished with negative emotions. In the context of limited time, certain ways of thinking no longer make sense. I’m ditching fear, anger, hate, jealousy, self-doubt, envy, regret, along with anything else I consider a waste of my time. 

I have the younger version of me to thank for this clarity. He’s the one that had to do the heavy lifting on those feelings. He’s the one that had to suffer while figuring all that out.  

Old Man Strength

It’s a little rough around the edges, but I’ve gone around the sun 50 times in this body. That’s 29.3 billion miles.

The younger me has also provided current me with a fit 50-year-old body to continue this journey with. Without it, my new attitude towards aging wouldn’t be possible.

To be clear, my body isn’t perfect. The fun parts are working just fine, but some of the less critical systems, like my sight and hearing, are starting to fail.

I have also noticed an increase in grey hairs, nose hairs, ear hairs, back hairs, along with some other follicle anomalies.

I have scars and wrinkles, and a couple of things are hanging lower, but for the most part, it’s a pretty sweet ride.

Younger me never imagined turning 50. He ate what he wanted. He drank what he wanted and made little time for working out.

He was also a risk-taker, and on many occasions, has taken this body right up to the edge, but somehow he managed to survive, and ultimately he got healthy. Thankfully he did.

I now feel the best I’ve ever felt and fully understand that if I want to get the most out of this life, being fit and healthy is essential.

On a side note, old man strength isn’t a myth.

I Have a Tremendous Network of Friends and Family

Another advantage of turning 50 is the network of friends I have built over my lifetime.

At a minimum, there are a hundred-plus people scattered around this planet that I would have no problem knocking on their door any time of day or night.

Some are family, some I’ve known my entire life. Some are people I have only met briefly, yet we bonded immediately.

The relationships I have accumulated in my lifetime are hands down the highlight of this experience. My friends, family, and loved ones are everything to me.

If you can’t say the same, it’s likely because of one of two reasons. Either you haven’t put yourself out there enough, or you’re a dick. Whichever one it is, fix it.

Seriously, treasure and nurture your friendships. It’s what life is all about.

Turning 50 and Self-Awareness

I have always admired how older people don’t give a fuck. I find their steadfast dedication to practicality inspiring.

At my age, I know who I am. I’m finally aware of what it takes to make me happy.

I no longer care about new cars, big houses, or all that other stuff that ends up owning you. For me, it’s all about the experience.

I’ve been down the road of trying to define myself by my possessions. I now realize materialism is the ultimate hamster wheel, and thankfully there’s no more keeping up with the Joneses for me. I am so over that trip.

I’m not sure if this new attitude is some type of self-awareness gained through age or just a severe case of I-don’t-give-a-fuckitis.

Either way, if I prefer to drive a piece of shit, buy my clothes at Walmart, and wear socks with sandals, I will.

Now get off my lawn!

Resources and Skills

The younger me had procured a decent amount of assets over the years to pass on.

Am I set for life? Maybe yes, maybe no. Not even sure what that means. Life has a way of throwing me a curveball every now and again so that’s impossible to answer.

What I do know, is that I possess significantly more than I did when I was 16-years-old, and thinking back, even with a limited amount of resources, that kid did just fine.

More importantly, I have inherited a fair amount of skills from that young man. I’m confident in my abilities, and if I had to hustle, I’m sure I could.

Advantages of Turning 50 Recap

Because I’m old, let’s take a moment and recap the benefits of turning 50 before I forget.

Having only one of these would tip the scales towards living a better life after 50. By having all five, I feel my possibilities are limitless.

Here are the main advantages of turning 50 (possibly in reverse order of importance).

1. More Assets and Skills

2. Better Sense of Own Mortality and the Value of Time

3. A Much Larger Network of Support

4. Recognition of the Importance of Health and Fitness

5. A Higher Self-Awareness

I don’t always feel like I have all five advantages, but that’s fine. It means there is room for improvement, and having room for improvement is just a fun fact of life.

If I Had a Time Machine

16-year-old me

A blogger? What’s that? No way dude!

Well, there it is. That’s why I’m convinced the next phase of life will hold the best of my years. Now for the big question. What am I going to do with it?

In the immortal words of the esteemed Napolean Dynamite, “Whatever I feel like I wanna do. Gosh!”

The plan is to continue writing about life over 50 and making adventure travel videos. It might not pay the bills, but it’s what I love, and I have plenty of time to improve and figure things out.

And, even though bloggers and YouTubers didn’t exist when I was young, I would love to travel back in time and explain to 16-year-old me what he ends up doing later in life. I’m sure he would approve. 

7 replies
  1. Dawn Lisenby
    Dawn Lisenby says:

    Fantastic Buffer and Spot on….coming from another who is “aging up”
    Especially agree with this one “Seriously, treasure and nurture your friendships. It’s what life is all about.”. Glad to call you one. Happy Birthday and New Year! Enjoy Morocco to its fullest!

    Reply
  2. Matt Krantz
    Matt Krantz says:

    Love your blog, website, and view on life. Just finished watching all of the Morocco bike tour. Super inspiring. I love surfing, biking, and staying fit. Keep it up as you have fully inspired me!

    Reply

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