The thought of turning 50 was too much. I kept telling family and friends that I was “clinging to my 40’s.” I said it so much that on my 49th birthday, my immediate family threw me a surprise “clinging party.”  As the months passed, I found myself slowly letting go of the dread of the number 4 changing to a 5.

So much transpired in the months leading up to my birthday. I completed a gospel CD, started working on monologues for a performance in Atlanta from my book, and started planning for my daughter’s wedding. I’m not sure what day it was, but by the time I turned 50, instead of a sense of dread and uncertainty, I shifted to feeling like I was about to step into a season full of infinite possibilities.

I decided that I would be proud to say I’m 50 and not claim to be much younger.  I decided it didn’t matter if 50 is the new 40. I decided I wouldn’t waste time worrying about whether I’m at half time or near the finished line.  I decided to embrace my 50’s and fill each day with love, laughter, and peace. I decided to spend more time with family and friends.  My chief goals would be to live purposefully and to use all of my gifts and talents. And  I decided that exercise was no longer about just losing weight, but another step toward disciplining myself and being the best steward over everything God gave me.

Pamela Manning Love is 50Free!

Pamela Manning Love is 50Free!

I made it! I am 50 and I see a bright horizon in my future. I am 50 and I listen to the birds chirping, children laughing, and I hug my family and friends a little tighter than I used to. I am 50 and I embrace every grey strand in my hair and the sudden hot flashes throughout the day. Oh yes, I am 50 and I am enjoying simply being who God created me to be without apology or regret.


Pamela Love Manning, Ph.D.