The unexamined life is not worth living.
We move through different phases of our lives with different levels of anxiety, and aging carries almost the same high levels as puberty. This book is not a "how-to." It does not present advice or preach a sermon; it is a series of reflections in different genres-stories, poetry, a play, essays.
One of the themes that runs through the stories in this book is "acceptance."
Acceptance is not a compromise. It's recognition of challenges that confront us every day, forcing us to make choices that sometimes we wish we didn't have to make.
Where do I go from here? What do I want to do next? Those were the questions that plagued me when I finished my first book, Rhoda: Her First Ninety Years. In the epilogue of the first book, I wrote: "The book is finished, but I'm not." The untold stories haunted me. And the final sentence, "The future beckons, as always," sums up the driving force that led to the second book: After Ninety, What. I realized that I needed to reexamine different phases of my own life in an attempt to find the thread that connected the influence of my family, my six careers and my three husbands.
I grew up with "tapes" in my head that I didn't make. We are all pushed around by these tapes, primarily because we're mostly not aware of how they influence our actions. There are tapes that echo reprimands, warnings, compliments, joy- and there are other tapes of actions that surprise us. Have you ever heard yourself yelling at your child or your loved one in a voice that doesn't seem your own? Have you ever said to yourself, "Oh, my god, I sound just like my mother?" and you wonder, "Where did that voice come from?" I know this happened to me, and in this small collection I put those voices where they belong-in the past, at a different place and time.
As you read the various sections of the book, you may remember events in your own life that match mine, and you may find my reflections encouraging you to visit your own.
Paraphrasing Socrates, I would say:
The examined life is a life worth writing about