Life as a Psychologist: On Turning 50

I turned 50 this month! Have you been there yet? My sister, Robin, just turned 53. Like a younger sibling will tend to do, I’ve always looked up to her. As I thought about the transition into this new half-century (as my mom loudly described my birthday to the world on Facebook with the world), I’m not sure how much of my experience is part of the human condition and how much is unique.

  • First, I love how Hillary Clinton has chosen to not wear makeup when she doesn’t feel like it. In my 50’s, I’ll be right there with her. My sister, on the other hand, never cared much about makeup and has gone with the natural look for 53 years. So I know that going casual isn’t unique to turning 50.
  • Second, I’ve heard a lot of people say that as they get older, they care less about what people think about them. In my 50’s, I’ll be right there with those people. My sister, on the other hand, has never cared much about what people think about her. So I know that not caring about what other people think isn’t unique to turning 50.

Make the Shift


10:25 AM
Hiya – you wanna get together Thurs evening? It’s been awhile. I’m available about 4:30.

11:11 AM
Hi gal – I’ve got a 3-day workshop starting Thurs eve.

OK – tonight or tomorrow?

I replied to my friend’s text while sitting with my dog, Nick, in my lap at the vet. Getting together just wasn’t going to happen—not this week anyway. There’s driving to band practice, baseball games, and a newsletter to write. Not to mention my mile high to-do list (everything in Denver is “mile high.”)

I hadn’t yet finished my CalmUp® Journey, and I found myself yelling at my son, “Do you really think that putting water in a pan is cleaning up after yourself?!” [Note to self about idea: The CalmUp® Journey for Parents of Teenagers.] Although I was kidding about the idea, my behavior prompted me to complete my daily CalmUp® Journey before heading out of the house.

I can’t pinpoint when the shift happened. I returned to work after the vet appointment. Hours later, by the time band practice ended, I was astounded. Somehow I had finished the day job, completed the final editing for the newsletter article, responded to my emails, and… I had done enough for one day.