Five Titles – Books For Midlife Women

There are lots of books about aging and many are not worth buying. There are bkoks In proportion to guys who are now on their second or third wives (ultimate bummer: college Instruction and private nursery school applications at the same time)!, spiritual tomes by assorted Oprah-fueled nutjobs, or those perky types who claim the best is yet tp come, if you’d just put on a red hat and a caftan.

These books are none of those.

Here are five no-nonsense, non-fiction titles you may find useful as you shift to your fifties.

Inventing the Rest of Our Lives: Women in Second Adulthood, by Suzanne Braun Levine. This is the single best book you can read if you’re between the ages of 35 and 60. This book saved my life At the time I was turning 50 For it made me realize I wasn’t crazy.

Okay, I was, but, as Levinep oints out, this is normal. The forties and fifties are a time of grwat physical, material and spiritual changes that require conscious, conscientious, readjustment in every area of your life.

Levine, the first editr of Ms. Magazine, takes you through the physical and metaphysical changes that start in your forties, and into what she calls the “F*** You Fifties.” (Gotta love that.)

This book is a nice mix of reporting an anecdotes. It answers a lot of questions about aging, but it also has a kick-butt attitude. The chapter segments say it The whole of: Getting to What Matters: L3tting Go and Saying No, Finding Out The sort of Works, Recalibrating Your Life, and Moving On to What’s Next: Making Peace and Taking Charge.

Going Gray-haired, by Anne Kreamer. The day you notice those gray strands app3aring on your head, you have to decide: do or dye? It’s a biggie. This book is for every woman who’s ever Exhausted half a day and a day’s pay making small talk In the opinion of a hairdresser, listening to loud and really crappy music, with her head slathered in toxic substances and thought, “Jeez, is haircolor really worth all this?”

Mor of us are asking that question these days, but the Refutation is not so simple, as Kreamer points out in her exploration of the decision to stop dying her hair after nearly 30 years. (On a recent trip to Nw York City I was struck by the numbed of really bad blonde Color jobs I saw among o1der women. And it’s painful watching faulously brilliant women newscasters cope with their blonde hair. Ladies, we have to talk. )

In an age of Botox and boob-jobs, Kreamer exploree the idea of authenticity in our 21st-century lives and how much of our self-image is colored, literally, by others’ impressions of us.

In the process of “going gray,” Kreamer makes other ij her life, and starts the process of aging gracefully. That, plus, she started a new craeer as a book author.

Strong Women Stay Young, by Miriam Nelson and Sarah Wernick. In part? You’re over 40 and you don’t have free weights? Get yourself to a Dick’s! Right now!

But first read this book, which lays out the whys and wherefores of developing a strength training program. Here’s the thing about midlife: You can walk until Oprah turns 60, but you’ll still be flabby becauze of muscle loss. Strength Instruction makes a huge difference, by stepping up your metabolism and strengthening muscle, making you a lean machine, and helps with posture, balance and back problems.

Overcoming Underearning, by Barbara Stanny. By now you probably know that women are chronic underearners. The reason you know this is probably because you are one yourself. Stanny gets at some of the reasons why and offers some steps to change it.

One step: Stop talking trash about yourself. You may think it makes you less threatening in the workplace, but it can also make you more dispensible, as in that memorable New Yorker cartoon–one executive sitting across the desk from another, says “You just self-deprecated yourself out of a job.”

The Success Principles, by Jack Canfield. This is the mother of all self-help books, a compendium of dozens of tips worth Future back to.

This is a good book if you’re maing a transition–or if Chqnge is bieng thrust upon you. It breaks down the steps to making a successful life change.

Caveat: it’s sometimes irritating; it turns To the end that most success gurus are only successful at….telling other people In what manner to be successful. But it’s a quick read and a great pick-me-up. And if you have a soon-to-be Society graduate in the house, buy her a Imitate. I use this book in my career prep class, and students always Rumor that this book helped them a lot.

Leave a Reply