Personal Thoughts On Turning 50

Recently a friend told me she was splitting up with her husband. I wasn’t sure what to say initially and an awkward silence ensued. I didn’t want to reply with something silly or insensitive. But when she referred to the elongated silence, I blurted out the only thought in my head, “mating for life is unnatural.”

These musings are for anyone who is married, divorced, or single.

Marriage is not easy. I’ve been with my husband for 25 years so saying this comes from a decent amount of experience. Being single is not easy. I remember that too, even though we met when I was 24 years old. I’m writing this for all of you looking at a screen, wondering why your life, or relationship isn’t as good as what you see looking back. And I can tell you one thing. It’s not real, it’s a picture.

I don’t want anyone to think that my life is perfect. Sure, I enjoy putting my best foot forward here. But that’s so I can provide you, my readers with a calm, kind, and comforting refuge in the sea of food allergies and health issues that so many of us confront each day.

The fact is though, that my life is messy. I have health issues that I deal with. I have teenagers that I argue with routinely, and a husband that I’ve fought with far more than my fair share. Things aren’t always smooth. Sometimes they aren’t ever smooth. Still, it’s my life. I’m taking ownership of it, which in my worldview is the most important thing.

This summer I turn 50. This impending milestone has made me a bit more pensive than usual. It’s also helped me to focus on simplicity and be grateful for all that I have. So thank you for being here and reading this. I’m so glad we are connected and healing together, working day-in-and-day-out to make the world a better place.


170 responses to “Personal Thoughts On Turning 50”

  1. Happy bday. I turned 51 this year (I hated turning 50, this year was way better) Thank you for all your recipes and great photos, it really has made a difference in my life. Reading about your struggles, even though they aren’t all the same as mine, is so helpful. Thanks for putting it out there.

  2. Happy late birthday wishes! I think you are beautiful inside and out. I really appreciated this post and your honest assessment of what real life is. As I get older (65 is coming soon!) I look back at choices I made and feel regretful. I’m not married and never had children. I feel lonely much of the time and tend to think if I had a partner I would be happier. Perhaps that would be true but your post shows me that I have to find that happiness and joy for life within myself and let go of what can’t be changed. I need to cultivate the friendships I have, make new ones and find new interests in whatever years I have ahead. Take care and wishing you many healthy years ahead.

    • Lynda, thanks for your very vulnerable comment. I totally agree that the key to finding happiness and joy is looking within oneself for it :-)

  3. Dear Elana,
    I’ve enjoyed your recipes, your cookbooks, your research, and wisdom. Life is messy, but it is a journey to be experienced and appreciated in all its aspects. You have made an impact on so many people’s lives — something to be proud of! Congratulations on turning 50 — you look wonderful, but more importantly, you are wonderful. Own every minute of it.

    I turned 60 this year and am thankful for my family, my husband (married 37 years) and children. I’ve let my hair go gray, and yes perhaps it ages me somewhat, but I feel that I’ve earned this time in my life.

    May you continue to be healthy, an inspiration to others, and motivated to do more… until 120 years!

    With love —

    • Karen, thanks for your amazing comment. I love all of it but especially this part, “Life is messy, but it is a journey to be experienced and appreciated in all its aspects.” I’m so grateful for your wise words :-)

  4. Happiest of birthdays to you, Elana!! Sending you a high-five and a fist-pump in agreement to your thoughts above. So glad we can all do this life together.
    May the next year be your healthiest and happiest yet. Come visit us in Australia for even more of that amazing vitamin D :)

    • Thanks so much Emily! I’m so glad to have met you here on my website and happy we have stayed connected throughout the years :-)

  5. Happy, happy birthday! And thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes and beautiful insights. I wish you another 50 years of happiness and health. P.S. You look 25! ?


    I turned 50 three years ago and I get it!

    I am also kind of relieved (sorry) to hear that your life isn’t perfect. Other than your MS, we readers haven’t heard much else “bad” in your life. We mostly get to see your yummy recipes and lovely home. I must admit (somewhat embarrassed) that I got jealous at times. Life does have a way of equalizing us all doesn’t it?

    I made your Egg Free Raspberry Streusel Bars yesterday (but with an egg because mine always fall apart and used strawberry/rhubarb jam) and I think I am going to go have one for dessert. But, I had to reply to your post first.

    Thanks for your honestly. Blessings.

    • Damselflydiary, thanks for your awesome birthday wishes and for sharing your true self! I really appreciate it and am so glad to know you :-)

  7. I don’t see my post. Does that mean you didn’t like it? If so, I’m sorry. I should have been more eloquent. I just believe that God made marriage and He should be in it-He helps so much! It is ironic that I referred to the song , “What’s Forever For” by Michael Martin Murphey and then found out he’s been divorced four times. That is so sad to me. I wished I hadn’t looked it up.

    Anyway, I do appreciate your blog and all the recipes. And wolves and geese do mate for life! :)

    • Karen, not at all! It only means that I’m a bit behind in answering each comment! Have a blessed day :-)

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