“I wish you had asked me. I could have told you plenty to put in your book.”
This comment came from the well-dressed woman in the purple suit who sat at an adjacent table as the three of us—Dick Goldberg, Mady Prowler and I—were having a spirited conversation over lunch about how those of us over 50 negotiate relationships with our adult children.
Dick is National Director and Mady the Assistant Director of Coming of Age—a project based on the belief that the gift of extended years gives those of us 50+ the chance to engage with our personal and public communities in a way that will enrich our emotional lives, contribute to society, deepen our relationships and bring us new fulfillment.
The book you are about to read, The Age for Change, is part of that project.
The reaction of the woman dressed in purple was typical. Whenever we mention to anyone what this book includes, the response invariably is something like, “How do I get my hands on it?”
Our chapters focus on:
· What now? where do I go from here?
· Dealing with our adult children
· The changing nature of intimate relationships
· Reconciling (or not) with people from whom we’ve become estranged
· The meaning of work in our lives
· The many faces of loss
· How friendships change
· Building new communities
Putting the book together has been an exciting adventure. Dick, Mady and I talked, disagreed, shared personal experiences and considered how to frame each chapter. We let down our guard, speaking candidly with each other about how our lives have been impacted by the changes middle age inevitably brings. Our lively conversations stretched from minutes into hours, and they were difficult to end. We were having too much fun…and learning so much from each other.
We hope you will have the same experience we did, sharing your thoughts with friends or in a group, or reading the chapters on your own and “talking” to others through our online comments section.
I thank Dick and Mady for their direction, insight and support, the writers who contributed their expertise to these chapters, and Temple University emeritus professor and author Don Rankin for his meticulous reading of the chapters and editing suggestions. Additional thanks to Sam Cohen and Kevin McConnaughay for their computer expertise and to Annette Earling for the attractive graphic design and formatting of the printable edition.
When I was growing up, my dad always encouraged me to “express yourself.” I took his advice seriously and I hope you will too. We’re eager for you to be part of this book. We welcome your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions for other issues you would like to see us add to this living document. Please let us hear from you. You can reach us at email@example.com.