In our youth-obsessed culture, aging is among the things we're taught to fear - and resist - at all cost. Of course, no amount of lotions and creams and tucks and weights and sports cars and comb-overs can overcome the reality: Aging is inevitable.
But novelist, journalist and former New York Times and Newsweek columnist Anna Quindlen has come to believe in another truth: Aging is not only inevitable, it's enjoyable.
She explores this terrain insightfully and amusingly in her latest memoir, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake.
After living through the struggles and promise of The Sixties and The Seventies - as well as the joys and challenges of career ambitions, motherhood and marriage thereafter - Quindlen finds herself at a life stage that's filled with surprising strength, wisdom and contentment.
And it's a life stage Boomers like her are redefining, as they have every other. Because of changes in culture and advances in health. Quindlen writes:
We've added a decade to our body clocks. But that extra time comes not at the end, when things are pretty much what they were - physicial degeneration, systematic loss, more of a look back than a look ahead; it comes now in the years between sixty and seventy, years that feel like an encore instead of a coda.
And in Quindlen's eyes, it's an encore that contains lessons about life not only for women in their sixties, but for the rest of us.