Which birthday is the hardest?

Is turning 50 years old worse than turning 40? I was reading an excerpt from Turning 50: Quotes, Lists and Helpful Hints by William K. Klingaman, who also wrote a book on turning 40 years old. He says most people regard turning 50 “a considerably less traumatic experience” than turning 40. One reason he cites is that semi-oldsters like me have accepted the fact that “we are no longer exactly young.”

For me, it was harder being in my late 30s. Professionally, I felt stagnant, which was one thing that led me to try some new things, like freelancing and returning to school. It also was the time Mrs. Year of Turning 50 and I decided to have a child, who was born eight years ago this month.

Of all my benchmark birthdays, I think 25 was the hardest. I assumed when I got out of school at age 21 that I would be well on my way to my first bestseller by then. Instead, I was laboring away at a small daily newspaper, working the overnight shift and writing fiction that either never was finished or never was accepted.

So, perhaps, for me, turning 50 has led to more acceptance of who I am and what I am not.

If you have thoughts on which is harder — turning 40, 50, 25 or as my older daughter is, turning 20, post a comment.