Heather Graham is 50: the 7 emotional stages of being 5 decades old

Heather Graham, © PA Archive/PA Images

As birthdays go, 50 sure is a major milestone, an occasion that deserves a spectacular celebration – even if it’s going to be delayed this year due to the pandemic.

If you’re marking five decades on planet Earth this year – as actor Heather Graham is – chances are you’ll be experiencing a whole host of feelings, not all of them entirely pleasant.

These are the seven emotional stages of turning 50…

1. Disbelief


You’ve always known this day would come, of course, but somehow you’re still in shock that you’ll actually be entering your sixth decade.

The disbelief creeps up slowly, rearing its ugly head every time you have to write down your birth date or fill in a form and you realise, with dread, that soon you’ll have to tick the ’50 to 59′ box.

2. Denial

You wonder why you’re actually bothered about this big birthday when, clearly, you’re nothing like all those other soon-to-be 50-year-olds.

Truth be told, you don’t feel a day over 35 and you’re not about start acting like a grown-up now, are you? In defiance, you decide to embark on a new fitness regime to prove that you can still compete with the youngsters.

3. Regret


There’s something about milestone birthdays that makes you reflect on the past and what you would do differently if you had your time over.

As you think back on lost loves, friends you’ve grown apart from and opportunities you turned down, you can’t help but wonder how your life might have panned out if you’d taken a different path.

4. Sadness


All that reminiscing has really brought you down, and as the big day approaches you’ve got a severe case of the birthday blues.

As if lockdown life wasn’t bad enough, you have to miss out on celebrating such a momentous occasion with your nearest and dearest. Life isn’t fair.

5. Excitement


After all that wallowing you decide enough is enough, you’ve got to pull yourself together and look on the bright side.

You’re not going to let lockdown get in the way of a good time. You’re going to plan a virtual party, have a fabulous day (or maybe even week) of indulging in your favourite treats and tipples, and it’s going to be awesome.

6. Pride


Come to think of it, while you may have a few regrets, you’ve got many more reasons to feel proud right now.

Even making it to the ripe old age of 50 is an achievement, and when you sit back and count your blessings, you realise you’re thankful for so much in your life.

7. Acceptance


It’s been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster ride, but now that you’ve come to terms with turning 50, you realise that entering a new decade isn’t so bad after all.

You don’t feel any different, so why should you be worried about what other people think? Ultimately, you realise, it’s true what they say: age is just a number.


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