#religion | Opinion | A Ban on Religious Garb in Public

To the Editor:

I just read Pamela Druckerman’s article about turning 50, and I disagree that life and attractiveness are over when one hits a certain age (“Yes, I’m Now 50. No, I’m Not Ready,” Sunday Review, March 15).

Contrary to Ms. Druckerman, 50 is a wonderful age. And so are the subsequent years.

On my last birthday I turned 72, and my life is everything (almost) that I want it to be. I am healthy, fit, considered attractive, and I am frequently approached by much younger men in grocery stores and bookstores, and while out shopping.

I love the self-confidence and wisdom that come when you no longer believe that you are the center of the universe. I love helping others — family, friends and others less fortunate — by volunteering and looking for opportunities to be useful.

Part of successful aging involves letting go of certain expectations, knowing that physical complaints will increase and that there will be increasing losses as time goes by. I find the physical decline, though in my case it’s been slight, the most difficult to accept. There are aches and pains that seemingly come out of thin air, laying you low when you least expect it.

Somehow we get through it and manage to live another day by throwing ourselves into enjoyable activities and work. If there is one takeaway from my experience, it’s that turning 50 is an opportunity, to reinvent, reimagine and redesign your life to be what you want for the future.

Improving my diet and increasing my activities haven’t turned me 40 again, but they’ve allowed me a new joy in my life. Excellent health allows so much more leeway in living a happy, fulfilled life.

Anne Long
Peoria, Ariz.

To the Editor:

I wanted to thank Anna Goldfarb for “How to Have a Successful Virtual Happy Hour” (Well feature, nytimes.com, March 20) by reporting on an effective twist: This weekend I hosted my first surprise birthday party.

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