Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Aging Gracefully

Always I remember my mother as aging gracefully.  She never lied about her age.  As she said, why should she? She was pleased that she lived every day that she had.  Now, when I find my mother looking back at me from the mirror, I silently thank her for smooth skin and a full head of hair, instead of being aghast that I have become my mother.

I just finished reading two interesting and somewhat related books on women and aging.  I hadn't picked them especially for the topic, just that they sounded interesting.  And that they were!

Calling Invisible Women, a novel by Jeanne Ray, was truly entertaining.  Improbably, the main character (in midlife) wakes up one day to find that she is invisible.  Her husband and family don't notice, only her best friend does.  Yes, rather fantastical, but it's a very enjoyable read as well as thought provoking about how women of a certain age become invisible to the rest of the world.  And it's an interesting commentary on fighting the aging process or embracing it. It is also one of those rare books that makes you laugh out loud.

Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake is a memoir by Anna Quindlen.  Basically, it also addresses defining, enjoying, and embracing midlife.

It's sometime odd how books leap into your hands (on onto your e-reader) that were unplanned, but speak directly to your inner self.  These two did so for me - evidently there were just what I needed to read right at this time.  It will take some time to fully digest their gems.

Two quotes from Quindlen:
 "After the middle ages comes the Renaissance." (She is trying to define and even find a term for this new age of 60 - 75, since we are aging so differently from the previous generation.)

"I thought I had a handle on my future.  But the future, it turns out, is not a tote bag."

For the younger set, these could be invaluable to help understand your mothers and their generation.  To baby boomers, I think they will help you laugh and embrace this interesting age we're living.

Calling Invisible Women

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