I just finished reading Tracey Jackson’s Between a Rock and a Hot Place – Why Fifty is the New Fifty.
Obviously, I was drawn to this book because at 47, I am knocking on 50’s door and I, like the author, am totally sick of these deluded people saying that 50 is the new 30. No it’s not! Fifty is fifty. Get over it!
While the title may suggest that this book is just another look at menopause and how to deal with it, there are so many other aspects that it deals with.
Ms. Jackson takes a very humorous look at what happens to American women who are reaching their fifth decade and exactly how it differs from being 30. Believe it or not, women in their 50s are more than just walking basket cases who can’t control their hormones.
The book addresses the changes that we experience in our physical appearance and how we handle it. Ms. Jackson is very open and honest about her struggle with the choice to have cosmetic surgery. I used to think I was real cute and I honestly don’t see how I’ve changed but at some point in time over the last 20 years, I became completely invisible to the opposite sex. Whatever it is that women have that attract men, I no longer have. That kinda sucks since I’m single and have no desire to be alone for the next 50 years. The book also talks about the decrease in libido for the 50-year old woman. **Spoiler Alert** There’s a very descriptive section on how Tracey is trying to masturbate to Jon Stewart which is worth the price of the book. Hilarious.
Additionally, she touches on how women in their 50s deal with employment issues (or no employment issues), financial issues, children leaving home (the ultimate pink slip) and our attitudes toward death.
The book had me laughing out loud at moments and wistfully wishing for my youth at other moments. So much of what was written resonated with me. Some of it was painful to read because it was so true.
One thing that I disagreed with was that Tracey believes at 50 your best years are behind you and you just have to suck it up deal with it. For me, I know that I have had a very full life up to this point. I’ve been a good daughter, wife (matter of opinion) and mother. I’ve spent the majority of my adult life taking care of or nurturing someone else. Now, as I am approaching 50 I see my life unfolding and I am looking forward to being able to take care of me in ways that I never have before. For me, my best years are ahead of me.
This book was awesome and I would recommend it to any woman in her 30s, 40s or 50s and to the men who are foolishly trying to figure them out.
This post was written in response to Mama Kat's Writing Prompts