I Turned 50 on Friday and This is What I Want to Share With You

by | Nov 7, 2021 | Holidays/Holy Days/Seasons | 52 comments

I’ve written a birthday blog post almost every year since I started this blog in 2009. I wrote about entering my 40s here, and in today’s very special Gathering Gold episode, Victoria and I reflect on aging as I cross the threshold into the next decade of life: my fifties!

Slowly, at the pace of soul, we talk about what it means to “age backwards,” and we consider the question: how can we become more curious, more open, softer and lighter as the years pass, rather than more rigid and calcified? Is it possible that aging is, in some ways, not as linear as we think?

We unpack some of the stories and perceptions about aging that can make it difficult for us to accept and embrace the changes that come with the passage of time. I share my thoughts on common messages about aging bodies and appearances, and how to let go of the “shoulds” we encounter in different stages of life.

I also share how I’ve been spending my time lately, moving from a Shmita year into a Jubilee year: slowing down, singing, learning Hebrew, and listening closely to my body. I share some of my intentions and hopes for the future, including a special note about reclaiming my voice and my name (notice the new name on my blog posts :)).

Thank you, all, for being on this journey alongside me. Thank you for sharing your stories and pain and joys with me through the years. Thank you for being on this blog: for reading, for commenting, for risking, for celebrating. My heart overflows with gratitude.

One more note: My family is returning from a weekend in the mountains where my husband and sons celebrated me so beautifully. My husband blew me away with the expression of his love for me. I can truly say that I’ve never felt so loved, so seen, so held, and so completely adored by anyone, ever.

For those of you struggling with relationship anxiety, hang on. The best stuff comes later. We’ve been together for more than two decades and I can honesty say, as I share in more depth in this podcast episode, that we’ve never experienced more joy, love, ease, and romance than we have in this part of our marriage. It didn’t happen by itself. We’ve had to work, separately and together, to soften our fear-walls and work through our childhood traumas. And we’re still working. But the more you address on the front-end, the more ease you experience on the other side. It’s the template of transitions that I speak of so frequently in my work, and it applies to marriage as well.

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52 Comments

  1. Just wanted to say, Happy Birthday to you!

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      • Happy birthday Sheryl, thank you for creating such a beautiful space for all of us to share our selves with you and each other!

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    • Happy 50th, Sheryl Lisa! I have enjoyed your posts for years now, and have so much respect for your work. Here’s to another 50!

      Dr. Nancy Irwin

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  2. Sheryl, So very glad that you were born. Sending so much love and gratitude to you on your birthday & always. 🦋💜

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  3. Hello Sheryl Lisa (nice!), happy birthday! 🙂 I love the concept of softening instead of calcifying as we age, and I’ve hoped for that for myself; it’s also something I’ve noticed in my grandparents, which gives me hope, too! Love, Jamie

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    • Thank you, Jamie, and I love that you’ve seen this in your grandparents! ❤️❤️❤️

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      • Happy Birthday Sheryl! Thank you for everything.

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  4. Happy Birthday Sheryl Lisa,

    Glad you’ve reclaimed Lisa.

    Love from another Lisa x

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  5. Happy birthday Sheryl. Thank you for sharing and helping us get through relationship anxiety. I still struggle with it, but i hope i understand more how to break free one day

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    • Keep staying with the work and you’ll break free. Thank you for the birthday wishes.

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  6. Happy birthday, Sheryl. What a blessing you are to this earth <3

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  7. Happy birthday! Your teaching is such a gift to all that encounter it. Thank you for the continued growth practice you’ve made for yourself, that waterfalls its way to us. I have learned so much from you and my life is richer for it.

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    • Thank you so much, Marg, and what beautiful languaging of the waterfall 🙏🏽❤️.

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  8. Sheryl,

    Your blog and work has been a gift, I, too, turned 50 this year and I love how you contemplate aging backwards. I, too, feel that wonderful shift this year. I also realized through this post that you share a birthday with my daughter who is an incredible sensitive soul who even by 12 has struggled with such intense anxiety. Your words and book on anxiety have also been a gift. Many thanks for all that you bring to this world and so willingly share. With tears of thanks as a I write.

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    • This is so beautiful to read and receive, Sarah Louise; thank you. And a big happy birthday to your sensitive-anxious-creative daughter! I know how hard it is to be and raise an HSP, but I promise you she will do great things once she learns how to channel her sensitivity.

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  9. Happiest of birthdays Sheryl! You have helped so many and the world is a better brighter place because of your Spirit and the sharing of your gift of teaching and healing! 😍

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  10. Happy birthday, Sheryl! I am so grateful that you exist and that I found my way to your work years ago!

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    • Thank you, sweet Kami. I’m so glad you’re here. x

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  11. Happy Birthday Sheryl!! Wow what a beautiful and sacred way to commemorate such an important life stage 🙂 A special birthday celebration in the mountains with your family sounds absolutely lovely. During my lowest moments in my marriage when I wanted to quit, I try to remember that the point is the long run time together and growing together as a pair. The hardest part is removing my misconceptions and fantasies about what I thought a real marriage/relationship looked like verses the reality (and reality isn’t as bad as I was led to believe!) I’m looking forward to listening about yours and Victoria’s thoughts on aging in the podcast!

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    • So many happy returns Sheryl on this beautiful new decade full of opportunities and even more wisdom. All best xx Mariam

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    • Thank you so much, Katie! I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the podcast after you listen. ❤️❤️❤️

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  12. Happy birthday, Sheryl Lisa! My birthday is November 7th so it feels this blog post is for me 😉 I experience your work as so soothing and helpful as it addresses and acknowledges human suffering and yet is so deeply hopeful and positive. Hands on my heart

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    • Happy birthday, fellow November baby, and hands on my heart back to you. ❤️❤️❤️

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  13. Happy birthday Sheryl…

    I stumbled upon your work early this year and I’ve been fascinated by your mesmerising use of the words and the empowerment of your work – i love your book and reading your blogs…

    i look forward to keep learning with you next year as you start your next program in September:)

    Warm regards from Berlin,
    Nacor

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    • I’m so glad you found your way here and I look forward to connecting with you next September 😊.

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  14. Happy Birthday! Great podcast! My favorite part that totally tickled me was when you were talking about seeing yourself in the car mirror, or window, because it reminded me so much of that scene in The Golden Girls pilot- when she’s telling Rose about talking with those 20-year-olds in the teacher’s lounge, completely forgetting she was older, and then she says:

    “And then I got into my car and caught a glimpse of myself and I almost had a heart attack… This old woman was in the mirror. I didn’t even recognize her.”

    And then of course Rose responds by saying “Who was it?”

    Anyway, it reminded me of that and I laughed. But also, The Golden Girls is a really good example of older people- who I realized recently are not that old, except Sophia- living their lives as they always have, and some of them living even larger than before. And I also think it’s interesting and totally cool that even when it was on the air, their largest fanbase was people in their twenties- and it’s still beloved today. For some reason, I’m not sure I’m articulating this correctly, but the bottom line is, I think the show speaks directly to what you’re talking about. There’s no age limit on living or enjoying living.

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    • You’re articulating this beautifully, Riley, and you’re making me want to re-watch The Golden Girls! Such a great show, and the excerpt you shared made me laugh 😂.

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  15. Happy birthday Sheryl – k you for being and sharing yourself with us!

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  16. Happy belated birthday Sheryl. So glad that you had such a well deserved & wonderful break with your beloved family. I’m forever grateful you & your work came into my life ……. there are times its truely been a life saver. I turned 61 last month so am looking forward to listening to your podcast about aging. It seems that at every stage in my life you’re there ………. always with loving wisdom & advice. Thankyou for always being there for others & I send my love & gratitude ♥

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    • Thank you so much, Lynn. It’s an honor to accompany you through different life phases, including this one of aging. Thank you for your birthday wishes!

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  17. Happy birthday ❤️🎉🎂 I’m really looking forward to listening to the podcast episode when I go for my daily walk later 😊

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    • I look forward to hearing your response, Bernadette!

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  18. Happy 50th. Thank YOU for sharing so much gold of yourself with all of us.

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  19. Happy birthday and thank you for you!

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  20. Sheryl, this podcast is incredibly healing for me. Listening to you speak of this time entering the “golden years” and then having that sweet youthful voice of your niece Victoria come in and comment…I just cried. Could anything be more representative and precious of the time that passes and all the fullness of this life. Thank you Sheryl for answering the call to be on a podcast with your niece and sharing this topic in particular. I’ll be 49 in a few weeks and oh how I’ve been struggling over the past year as my body has been shifting into the crones stage. I’ve been reading Susan Weeds menopause book, herbal healing are near and dear to my heart. I’m wrestling with all of it, despairing and feeling like I’m disappearing. What you are describing in your podcast is like water to parched soil or more aptly put to where I am at this season of life, breathing life into dry bones. Thank you for sharing your moment of realization with us and especially those of us who are entering this very limitly discussed topic of aging and especially women aging. The universe has wrapped me up in loving support yet again. Your are a lighthouse dear friend.🙏❤️

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    • Thank you so much, Kristie, and I’m so glad the podcast arrived at the right time. ❤️🙏🏽

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  21. And a very happy 50th year to you. I’m so grateful that you are a forerunner. 🤗 I look forward to running this second half knowing there are those ahead who keep opening there hearts and conveying such beauty and wisdom💫

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  22. Happy Birthday Sheryl! Such beautiful reflections & I love the concept of ageing backwards. You have brought so much richness & wisdom to so many of us, I can only imagine what the next 50 years might hold 😊 Your wish to orient more locally in your work, with more face to face connection, resonates so strongly with me as I turn 40 soon. A shifting of focus that sharpens around these ‘big’ birthdays perhaps. Sending much love for your special transition xx

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    • Thank you, Georgina, and yes, the big birthdays certainly do crystallize what matters most.

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  23. I have followed you for sometime, since you gave me permission to cry in one of your posts. I don’t think I suffer from anxieties but I have sought counseling which turned didn’t turn out well. My birthday was on the 5th, I’m 63 now. Thank you for so many enlightening thoughts about our mental processes. You have helped me get through many difficult times!

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    • We share a birthday, Donnette! I’m so glad you have now given yourself permission to cry and that my posts have helped you through some difficult times. I’m sorry you didn’t have a good experience in therapy. I’m happy to make a referral if you’d like to try again. There are many mediocre therapist out there and also many excellent ones.

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