In her breakthrough generational memoir, Boomer expert Carol Orsborn relates the ups and downs of a tumultuous year spent facing, busting, and ultimately triumphing over the stereotypes of growing old. Along the way, she nurtures a love-starved friend through a doomed affair with a younger man, wrestles with the meaning of an exploding fish, and regains her passion for life at the side of her squirrel-crazed dog, Lucky.
The message is as deep as it is engaging. In Carol’s own words, “Plummet into aging, stare mortality in the eye, surrender everything and what else is there left to fear? The way is perilous, danger on all sides. But we can be part of a generation no longer afraid of age. We are becoming, instead, a generation fierce with age.”
In this "journey to the wild side of midlife," prolific author Orsborn (Vibrant Nation: What Women 50+ Know, Think, Do, and Buy) takes aging personally. Drawing from one-year diary she kept in her early sixties, Orsborn reveals the slow dawning that she, like her baby boomer brethren, "had become old." While Orsborn writes of becoming "fierce" with age, her musings lean more toward acquiescence than aggression. With gentle, self-effacing humor, for instance, she tells of losing her online writing berth, giving her time for walks in the park with her Maltese terrier mix, Lucky. She toys with turning Lucky's squirrel-chasing antics into a book of life lessons, only to discover to her chagrin that Deepak Chopra beat her to it. Short chapters some less than a page long maintain the spontaneous feeling of a diary, although every passage includes apt anecdotes and rich descriptions that keep this from being pure navel-gazing. Orsborn's year peaks with her development of guiding principles she calls the "11 Spiritual Truths of Aging." While it's a pivotal moment for the author, readers may recognize themselves more in the everyday vignettes that show how Orsborn came to accept the "unexpected onset of growing older."