Why 50?

In a conversation with my teenage daughter tonight, I found myself saying that I am looking forward to turning 50 in a few years.

“Why 50 Dad”?, my daughter asked.  I didn’t have an immediate answer.  Now, a few hours later, some clarity has come to mind.

I believe it is because I am so grateful to have had a second chance to come back.  And that God has shown me unmistakably that he can do far more in our lives than we can even see or believe he can.

Looking back over the past few years since turning 40, God has done some absolutely amazing things.  He has made my 40’s the most amazing decade of my life.  And given that 50 presents some arguably bigger challenge than 40, does that not mean that God has opportunity to do even greater things?

Did I just catch myself inadvertently getting excited about what God might do with the adversity of aging?  Am I looking forward to greater things unfolding?  I believe I am.  And I feel it in a places in my heart and mind that are very deep and very real.  It is not trumped-up, hyped up enthusiasm.  It is genuine excitement that emerged so quietly its source was unrecognized.

God did not give us the gifts or recovery and restoration just to pull the rug out from under us.




About Chaz

Husband, father, brother, son, friend. Sober member of AA. Grateful for the life God gave me and for the happy struggle of recovery.
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10 Responses to Why 50?

  1. Heidi says:

    I got sober when I was more than half way through my 50’s. I turned 60 last week (wait.. 10 days ago) Ahem! So other than loss of memory, I LOVE 60. Never been happier. Never more joy or grace in my every day than today! Hang on til the 60’s!

  2. Chaz says:

    Heidi…. well you are proof of my point. Who ever said life had to get worse with age must have been a quitter.



  3. Debbie says:

    Well, Chaz – I think every decade I say something like “gosh, I didn’t know anything at 20…30…40… ” I quit saying that at 50 (4 years ago). Probably because I’ve lived long enough to know there’s so very much I don’t know and to also be extraordinarily grateful for the grace that has given me a second and third and thirtieth chance. It gives new meaning to aging grace-fully! It really does only get better as we dive deeper.

    • Chaz says:

      Awesome Debbie…

      This is what I am talking about. Although aging has some drawbacks such as our physical capabilities, there is so much good to look forward to.

      As we age, we go through experiences that allow us to learn to be more and more courageous. Life’s bullies can’t stare us down like they did when we were younger and naive. We don’t flinch at first signs of danger. We can know more about perseverance, faith, and how to act wisely more often than impulsively.

      So I am less inclined to worry about aging as I recognize the potential positives more and more.



  4. scotty says:

    Reading your post makes me realize something: I was fortunate to realize my drinking problem at 36. I never really thought about what that means in terms of potentiality for all the years that lie ahead…I’m now grateful and looking forward to finding out.

    • Chaz says:

      A valuable observation, Scotty.

      The best time to recognize and deal with our alcoholism is now. Whater is past is past. We can’t bring back time that has past. There is no value in being remorseful about losses of yesterday, including the loss of yesterday itself.

      Today is the only day we have any significant influence over. And the best thing we can do for tomorrow is have a good today. If you start practicing having good todays at this stage of life, you have a far greater chance to be well-rehearsed at them when tomorrow arrives. And at 36, you have lots of tomorrows ahead of you.

      Do your tomorrows a favour by continuing to have the best todays you can right now.



  5. I got sober at 34. In 2 weeks I will turn 44. I still don’t know what I am doing with my life. I’ve taken the easy route to keep money coming in by going to school, because the gov’t pays. When I turned 40 I began to experience “wisdom.” I had enough time under my life belt to be able to offer unique perspective. Along with 44 – this December I will reach 10 years of sobriety. I am still waiting for my spiritual experience to happen. I never expected to live this long, HIV at 17 years is uncharted territory for me. I just take one day at a time. Happy for the time. I haven’t yet reached that next stage in sobriety, maybe it will come at 10 years. I don’t know. I can’t stay in school for the rest of my life. I really need to find something to do with my time. But that is harder said than done here in Quebec. 50 is around the corner. If I make it that far, I guess we’ll see what happens.

  6. Chaz says:

    Hi Jeremy…. nice to hear from you.

    Yes, its those life experiences under your belt that consolidate into wisdom. The two ingredients that I experience as necessesary to transform experiences into wisdom are 1) time, and 2) adversity.

    In my experience they act as catalysts. In their absence, experiences can often lead to no additional learning. But time and adversity give us opportunity to learn. And there is no substitute for them.

    Certainly, living with hiv would, no doubt provide many challenges that give rise to wisdom. Glad you are doing well with it and that life is unfolding…. although we often dont know quite in which direction… the unfolding is part of the adventure.



  7. I turned 50 back in June, life has never been better, and it has everything to do with me knowing myself a little better each and every day. The universe has great things in store for us if we just show up and open up.

    • Chaz says:

      Thanks for the comment Rich.

      Thats exactly what I am talking about. Seeing the new opportunities that unfold rather than buying into and conventional thinking of our culture that says age, and milestones, indicate we must become certain stereotypes. Instead, we can discover things that only time can reveal and gain skills and wisdom perfected only through experience.



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