A woman of a certain age myself, I have often wondered, is it possible to start over at a point when you’re looking at the prime of your life through the rearview mirror? As the subtitle of Meredith Maran’s kick-ass and winsome new memoir, The New Old Me, indicates, yes you can.
Let’s hear it for feisty 60-somethings who pivot out of their comfort zone and find out there can be sweetness from the lemons life has thrown at you. You’ll pardon the cliches.
The New Old Me
Maran’s life had already gone through several iterations before she hit a road block that seemed insurmountable. Her loving marriage splintered and fell apart. Her best friend died. And on a practical level, what would be her means of support now that her freelance writing gigs had shriveled into nothing?
Quite a heavy load for anyone, let alone a 60 year-old. But this 60 year-old was a life force to be reckoned with.
She applied for a regular day job as a copywriter in Los Angeles and got it, meaning a move from her memory-filled Oakland home, where she had raised two sons and lived with her now-estranged wife. Now, her roots were being uprooted. She would leave all the familiar behind.
You can imagine the culture shock in La La Land. In her new start-up, a clothing company staffed by stylish and whip-thin 20 and 30 year-olds, she felt like a dinosaur. I am the age of these women’s grandmothers, she observed. One of the shocks was the company’s Workout Wednesdays, the one day of the week when everyone came to work in their Lululemon outfits and had their fat measured in front of their colleagues. For a woman who as a home-based freelancer hadn’t worn a bra or pants without an elastic waistband in forever, this was an adjustment.
Maran is a woman who craves friendship and adventure. She made connections through networking with acquaintances and began to build back her rolodex of friends who were up for a cup of coffee or a hike in the mountains. Bit by bit, she made a new and wonderful life.
I love this woman. She is lusty, funny, and gutsy. She redefines what it means to be an older woman whose expectations for love, friendship and meaning are not diminished by setbacks. How do we live fully, live deeply, when the ballgame of our life is in the eighth inning? That’s what you will learn from The New Old Me, a home run of a memoir.
One of my lucky readers will receive a copy of The New Old Me. Please leave a comment below and a winner will be randomly selected. USA addresses only, please.
I received a copy of The New Old Me from Penguin Random House for an honest review,
which is the only kind of review I write.