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Hitting a 50

Quinquagenarian means a person in his or her 50s. Entry into the 50-59 age group gets teasingly marked as the beginning of mid-life crisis. Though a natural progression, it’s an onerous ascent during the descent through the life cycle. The sudden realisation that a career spanning 25 to 30 years is reaching its end worries even the tough.

The physical wear and tear will pull down, the mental journey will be exhausting, and the nest will soon become empty. Many will seek solace in the friendship of hitherto unknown neighbours, long-lost friends and new hobbies and interests, but all these are a faint succour. The age presents a moral vacuum for the individual.

This stage of life authorises one to mentor the younger ones in the family to fly unabashedly to chase their dreams in the big stage that the world has to offer. The work life, with its trials and tribulations, has extended invaluable experience to be shared with the younger generation. One is happy with a sense of achievement to see the young ones fly off to a new life. But experience blended with astuteness has created a very circumspect approach to work.

Many women do remarkably well to navigate through this period, be it at work or home. Most of them transition smoothly in social and corporate settings; however, it’s an entirely different and emotional experience on the physical journey. The hormones orchestrate a symphony, but the notes are out of tune, making it a tumultuous experience to grapple with a barrage of mood swings and reactions. The mental exhaustion and sleepless nights haunt, a situation to be consumed in silent acquiescence or by rising on the toes to take this ephemeral world head-on.

Recent research has found this age to be the golden period. Reality has set in to provide a perspective that one has to soak in the present and enjoy its gifts. Children have started to fly on their own strength and do not need support; so that responsibility is mostly off the shoulders. Old age has not yet set in which brings along a score of other challenges, mainly to health. There is the inner light that guides the individual to newer heights. It dawns that the time is ripe to make the extra effort to navigate uncharted territories to arrive at unheralded destinations.

p_harihar@hotmail.com

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2021 6:18:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/hitting-a-50/article33150829.ece

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