I woke up one morning and realized I was getting older. Problem was, I didn’t know how to do that. I’d never gotten older before. It wasn’t something they taught you how to do in high school like shop or in a college philosophy course. As I understood it, it was just going to happen without any prerequisite, enrollment in a class, innate knowledge or my permission. Now what?
As I’ve always done with subjects I don’t know anything about, I started to dive headlong into research. I decided there must have been others who had gone about this getting older thing, so I ordered lots of books through Amazon and visited the library. I told myself that if I could get clear on how to do this aging thing, perhaps I could do it better, become skilled at it.
I read and read and read and took notes—lots of notes. Turns out writers had been writing about this subject for years! Some snuck the information into novels they wrote supposedly about other’s experiences (as authors sometimes do they hide their own challenging journeys disguised as characters in their work). Others wrote about their personal experiences in journals and disguised as self-help. I found volumes of information.
Now what? Do I share what I’ve learned through all my research? Seemed a waste of time not to. That’s how, The Next Fifty Years: A Guide for Women at Midlife and Beyond was born. I didn’t want to seem arrogant, like I knew everything, so I included quotes from all the books and research I’d done. Plus I added lines at the end of each short essay for the reader to write in their own thoughts if they wanted. And guess what? Hampton Roads/Red Wheel Weiser like it and published it. So you see, you never know what will happen when you wake up one morning full of questions.