Book Review: What Should I Do With The Rest Of My Life?

I am a huge sucker for real life stories. You can throw all the theory at me you like, but I want to see the rubber hit the road. Where real people accomplish real things. What Should I Do With The Rest Of My Life?, by Bruce Frankel, is chock full of real people accomplishing very real things.

And the truly unique part about their stories? These accomplishments occurred after what we traditionally think of as retirement age.

Frankel starts the Introduction with the following:

“This is a book of profiles of people who have succeeded after sixty. Their stories are not simply examples of successful aging, they are inspirational in the truest sense … They do not so much defy age as defy the limitation that our culture places on age … “

Each story made me sit up and go “Wow, they are how old and doing that?”

My husband doesn’t need to read the book because at the end of each chapter I excitedly described the person, their age, and what they have accomplished. “Can you believe that?”, I would end each summary with.

Thirteen people are profiled, with accomplishments ranging from physical to artistic to political to entrepreneurial. All ordinary people who discovered passions after sixty.

Who knew you could become an elite runner without having run your first race until your sixtieth birthday? Or become a professional dancer in your seventies? Or write award winning novels in your nineties?

No word of a lie, this book caused me to stop procrastinating and sign up for a half-marathon race. I won’t come anywhere close to Margie Stoll’s race times, but at almost thirty years her junior I better be able to cross the finish line.

Reading the different stories, there doesn’t appear to be any common thread that you can point to and say “Aha! That’s why they driven to follow their passions so late in life.” Interestingly, however, Frankel points out the following commonality:

“As unique as each is, as a group the individuals in What Should I Do with the Rest of My Life? have done what scientists tell us we should do: they maintain healthy diets, exercise regularly, challenge themselves, fill their lives with novel experiences and varied social connections.”

Isn’t this what we should all be doing throughout our entire lives?

If so, we are setting ourselves up for some pretty spectacular accomplishments later in life. I wonder what mine will be?

Have your say:

Do you know of anyone who has successfully pursued a passion or dream after the age of sixty?
Once all the children are gone, and the career is winding down, what passion would you pursue?

Please visit:

Bruce Frankel’s website: http://www.brucefrankel.net/

Bruce Frankel’s blog: http://www.brucefrankel.net/index.php/site/articles/

More information!

A copy of What Should I Do With The Rest Of My Life? will be given away in a contest here at Silver & Grace on March 29th.

What Should I Do With The Rest Of My Life? is available for purchase through Amazon by clicking the Silver & Grace book recommendations.

To find out what other people are saying about this book, check out the following TLC Book Tour reviews:

Tuesday, March 9th: Journeys and Ohh.. Books!
Thursday, March 11th: A Garden Carried in My Pocket
Wednesday, March 17th: Truth 2 Being Fit
Thursday, March 18th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Monday, March 22nd: Erasing the Bored
Tuesday, March 23rd: Jane Be Nimble
Monday, March 24th: Luxury Reading
Thursday, March 25th: Happy Lotus

Comments

  1. I am truly enjoying reading this book too – I was excitedly sharing it with my neighbors at our 1 st Monday gathering and they are all in their 70s…I found it very inspiring and am looking forward to sharing it in another week.

    It was also great reading in the middle of the night when I could not sleep – and I forgot all about what was worrying or the aches and pains….

    tweeted!

    • @Patricia – it is definitely a book that makes you want to share what you have read. That’s when you know it’s a really good book :-)

  2. My husband maintains it’s a necessity to find an interest, a passion in your older years, otherwise you’ll not have a reason to keep going. I think he’s right. People who are interested in things, or passionate about a cause, are interesting. They make connections and create meaning in their relationships. They enjoy life and that’s infectious. I plan to be one. :)

    • @Betsy – my parents have multiple passions (mutual and individual). Heck, they exhaust me with all their passions :-) But they are physically and mentally fit as fiddles. Just like you, I plan on being just like that … and I am hoping to get a good head start!

  3. Eliza, I am so thrilled that you enjoyed the book! Thanks so much for all the time and effort you put into reading and reviewing it. It is truly appreciated.

  4. I loved the book as well, especially being 52! Makes me think it is never too late! In fact, that exact quote about the healthy lives is one I picked for my review next week.. since I write a health & fitness blog. :-)

    Amazing people!

    • @Jody – really the elixir to a long, healthy life is exactly that quote. Eat properly, exercise properly, keep mentally stimulated. Yet, it can be so hard to stick to with our over busy lives.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] who are reviewing this book for TLC Book Tour: March 8: Silver and Grace March 9: Journey and Ohh… Books! March 11th: A Garden Carried in My Pocket March 17th:  Truth 2 [...]

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