The Enchantment of Turning 50 in the Smoky Mountains

Hiking in the Smoky Mountains on a very hot day in August!


When I was young,my visions of life did not extend beyond my forties.  I just couldn’t imagine how I would feel now.  I would certainly have not predicted that I would spend my 50th birthday in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee with my family hiking and swimming. I wasn’t much of a naturalist back then.

For a variety of reasons, I decided to start what I hope is the next half of my life in the Smoky Mountains at the Riverstone Resort and Spa.  It has been glorious, which is why the Daily Muse hasn’t been so daily this week!

The truth is I feel younger now than I did in my thirties, and I have a feeling that the rest of my life will be as exciting as I choose to make it.

What about this time in your life?

Could you have predicted that you would have been at this enchanted place in your life’s journey?

Daily Contemplation:

Cataract Falls near Sugarland Visitors Center

What are you doing to make this time of your life the best ever?Can you see any places where your life is enchanting in different ways than you could have predicted when you were younger?

25 thoughts on “The Enchantment of Turning 50 in the Smoky Mountains

  1. newsofthetimes says:

    Great post. Happy Birthday!! As I have mentioned, I just turned 40 and that has had an impact on me – I started the blog and got more serious about my photography and decided my 40s will be about nurturing my creativity. Happy to hear that it only gets better!! Enjoy the rest of your trip!! I love the Smoky Mountains!

    • Karen Wan says:

      Thanks so much. It does only get better. I felt like I accomplished more in my forties than at any other time in my life, and yet there is still so much I’d like to do, be and contribute. We’re lucky to live in a time when our possibilities for expanding our creativity as we get older are endless!
      You’re doing a great job with all your efforts. Continued and expanding success to you!

  2. kickingkourtney says:

    I love pigeon forge! And this article is so great! I want to still be trucking when I’m 50! I feel like my life is going in so many directions now but it will straighten out soon :)

    • Karen Wan says:

      This is a beautiful area, and I believe that we can all keep making our lives exciting at every point. My mother who is 82 is my inspiration to keep trucking. She hasn’t been doing everything my young kids and I have been doing, but she’s been out taking pictures and going on short walks. We had so much fun today laughing and discussing politics. She is a great inspiration to me.
      Sometimes it’s good to be going in many different directions. Like you say, a path will emerge, perhaps combining your various interests and passions!

  3. sarafoley says:

    God, yes. I’m leading a completely different life to what I thought I would be, even 10 years ago. I still feel as though I haven’t quite the courage or the vision to even imagine just how amazing my life could be. I’m getting braver though!

  4. heavenhappens says:

    Happy Birthday Karen x I will be 65 this month and am having the best time of my life. The first half of my life was not fun, apart from having 4 wonderful children. but I married for the second time at the age of 50 and it was the best thing I ever did. Last week I spent in a log cabin by a fishing lake with hubby and his grandchildren which was such fun. 3 of my children are enjoying fabulous holidays doing what they enjoy. Yesterday I got a new dog! And best of all in December my beautiful youngest daughter is expecting her first baby! Life is good x

    • Karen Wan says:

      That’s a great story. I feel the first half of my life was good, but also had many moments of self doubt. Your story encourages me to believe that we can enjoy the second half of our life more than the first! Thanks for sharing your story!

  5. microrrelatososhortstories says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY KAREN!!! big hug to you :)
    I just turned 40 and love finally feeling that the saying: “when one door closes another one opens” IS TRUE!!! of course reading your enthusiastic words on turning 50 makes it even better… I also feel life a bit lighter now than at 30 or 20…now, I have found my essence and feel I still have enough time to put it to good use…

    • Karen Wan says:

      It amazes me how much I enjoyed my forties compared to earlier years — I wouldn’t have expected it. It’s not that everything was easy in those years, but like you say, life was a bit lighter. I feel that life can keep getting lighter as we age, and I wish you the best in your forties and every following decade! :)

  6. Three Well Beings says:

    Happy Birthday, Karen! It sounds like a wonderful place to spend a birthday! I am getting older, but I don’t really feel it much and I think each birthday just brings me a greater sense of wonder and appreciation. And I learned a long time ago when a good friend of mine passed away at 33 (I was in my late 20s at the time) that each year is such a gift! I know you spend your years wisely…that’s a gift, too! Blessings! Debra

    • Karen Wan says:

      Thank you Debra! I had a dear friend pass away a few years ago, and that was a big wake up call for me too. Sometimes I have to work at cultivating wonder and appreciation. We’re in our final day of traveling and right now I’m very tired, and will definitely appreciate a day of recuperation from vacation tomorrow! :) Many blessings to you too! Karen

  7. stephenedwards425 says:

    Congrats on turning the BIG 50. I too view it has the half way point…but to be honest when I hit 100…I think I’ll want to go for another 50…if for no other reason than to work on my 10K time…hahaha.

    Be encouraged!

    • Karen Wan says:

      I have a dear friend who believes that many of us who are now in our fifties could live to 150 given advances in medicine. So, who knows you might still be working on your 10k time at 150! :)

  8. eof737 says:

    “Happy Belated Birthday to you! :-)
    ¸¸.•*¨*•░H░A░P░P░Y░(¯`’•.¸ *♥♥♥* ¸.•’´¯) ░B░I░R░ T░H░D░A░Y░ (¯`’•.¸*♥♥♥*¸.•’´¯) Hope you enjoyed YOUR special day!
    ║╚╦═╦═╦═╦╦╗ ║╚╦═╦═╦═╦╦╗ ║╚╦╦═╣╚╣╚╦╝╠═╦╦╗
    ║║║╬║╬║╬║║║ ║║║╬║╬║╬║║║ ║╬║║╔╣╔╣║║╬║╬║║║
    ╚╩╩╩╣╔╣╔╩╗║ ╚╩╩╩╣╔╣╔╩╗║ ╚═╩╩╝╚═╩╩╩═╩╩╩╗║
    ¸.•*¨*•.♪♫♫♪Happy Birthday .♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸ ♥Happy Birthday to youuuuu ♪♫•*¨*•.¸.•*¨*•♫

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