Oprah's 50th birthday

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Marianne says one important way you can welcome your midlife is through a coming of age ceremony. Many cultures have ceremonies to mark the passage from childhood to young adulthood. Some of these ceremonies include debutante balls, Jewish bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs, Catholic confirmations and Latin American quinceañeras.

But there are very few established ways that mark the passage into midlife. There is no ceremony for "second puberty." Oprah says that, without even realizing it, her own 50th birthday celebration was her way of claiming her age.

One of Oprah's most prized possessions is a letter Marianne wrote her that day. In it Marianne says, "In that holy place where you tell Him everything and He understands, there are angels who stand and wait to hear His every command. How may they serve you and increase your joy? I stand with them for this you have done for me."

Oprah says she reads that letter often. "I keep it by my bedside," she says. "This is how I refuel myself."
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FROM: The Age of Miracles: The New Midlife
Published on March 14, 2008

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