Didn't take a whole book to teach ME that Midlife Is A Time Of 'Extravagant Possibilities' but it sure was fun to have my view of life validated. It turns out AGE really is about Attitude. (That's what I'm Trying To Tell Ya Here.)
"In Our Prime: The Invention of Middle Age", by New York Times culture reporter Patricia Cohen is the hot book of the moment. It is a cultural history of aging. Huffington Post reporter Laura Rowley interviewed the author and here are some of my favorite lines from the interview.
"Middle age is a cultural fiction -- a construct that emerged in the last 150 years through a confluence of factors, including industrialization, modern medicine, government bureaucracy and, of course, media and advertising."
Debbie: "I knew it! I'm much younger than people are giving me credit for."
"Cohen takes readers on an exhaustive journey of what it means to be middle-aged, from the first concepts of a distinct life stage in the 1800s to contemporary research on the midlife brain. She examines aging in media, medicine, marketing and mythology -- finding no evidence for the "midlife crisis" or "empty nest syndrome."
Debbie: "Wow if there's no midlife crisis then we just must be behaving very badly for no particular reason."
"In many ways the chronological definition of middle age is the least useful in our own lives. A number means much less than where you are in your own personal journey -- how old your children are, whether your parents are still alive, where you are on your career path."
Debbie: "Depending on the day I feel somewhere between 36 and 106 "
"It turns out age really is about attitude: Research has found that believing that you can improve your health in middle age actually improves it. A sense of control in midlife can dramatically reduce disability and preserve one's health and independence later in life."
Debbie: So I am right! Whew! Acting delusional is not really delusional at all.
"Despite the latest hype about testosterone supplements, low sex drive, depression and sagging energy levels were more likely to be caused by stress, poor eating habits and laziness in midlife than lower hormone levels. Meanwhile, many researchers think that warnings about female sexual dysfunction in middle age are highly exaggerated. What may account for women's flagging sexual life is that they are less likely to have a regular partner than men."
Debbie: "Ok then let's move it with more partners."
"Middle age is a 'Never-Never Land' -- when you're younger you never want to enter it and when you're older you never want to leave it."
Debbie: "You got that right!"
Read Laura Rowley's full Interview with author Patricia Cohen on HuffingtonPost.com
BUY your copy of "In Our Prime: The Invention of Middle Age" here on Amazon.com