Nick, 49 yrs

Apr 22nd 2022

“I’m turning 50 soon. It’s a milestone that I feel a lot of people perceive negatively, but to me, it doesn’t feel negative at all. I feel much happier now.

I’ve struggled a lot with my mental health in my 40s, but after getting on the right medications and spending time in group therapy, I came out better than I came into it. Even if you might have a plan for your life, things can change very suddenly. This was a very difficult time for me, but I talk about it easily because it’s important to raise awareness of mental health, especially for men.

What I worry most about aging is cognitive decline. A lot of what I do relies on my intelligence. I’m not a very sporty person but I love reading and learning new skills. My job is more cognitive than physical, so it’s definitely something I’m worried about. I’m not as quick as I was in my 20s, but I’m still high functioning.

As I get older, I’ve noticed that the reason for travel changed from visiting places to visiting people. When I plan vacations now, I go to the places my family and friends live. We also have fewer but more meaningful relationships as we age. It’s important to remember that you don’t lose value to the people around you as you grow older.

Society believes that the younger you are to achieve something, the more commendable it is. Like the top 40 under 40 awards. Does this mean that if I start a successful business at 50 years old, I’m not good enough? It’s assuming that what you do later in life doesn’t matter. This perpetuates the negative message that nothing worthwhile can happen in older age. You can achieve anything at any stage of your life. Some of my friends are going back to school in their 40s and 50s.

There is a great need to re-define aging. I’ve seen people in their 70s who have much more energy than me and are still tackling the world. I have a friend in her 70s who’s an executive director, and she has brought so much value to her organization. If she was just judged on her age, they would have missed out on her completely.”