Currently reading…

Posted on 19 December 2009. Filed under: Book Reviews | Tags: , |

I’m currently reading two books and hope to finish both of them soon. The first one is long awaited. A friend at the op shop got me to buy two copies for her as her story appears in it so I bought one for me as well and it’s been on the shelf a a few months. It’s called Something That Happens to Other People and is edited by Susan Feldman, Barbara Kamler and Ilana Snyder. I haven’t found my friend’s story yet but there’s a distinct possibility I might miss it in the excitement of reading the stories. They’re all stories of women growing older and are all excellently written. Each story is very exciting and addictive…so addictive I had to pick the book up and finish it instead of writing this blog. The other book is one I’ve mentioned on Twitter a couple of times. It’s called Gracie: A Love Story by George Burns. Also a very readable book and one I will finish in the next couple of days. It was written with much love and affection by a rather aged George Burns, a man who finally died at the age of 100 but was still acting at 98!

Aging is an interesting phenomenom. It happens to most of us and some people get older than others. Our bodies get older despite our best efforts and whether we act older depends on who we are. One of the stories in Something That Happens to Other People is written by a lady in the middle of menopause and talks about how she deals with it. Menopause is something I’m expecting any day as I’m just at that age and I know I should be dreading it but I’m not. I am really looking forward to it as I’m so sick of having my month interrupted and having all the side effects. I do know that menopause will bring it’s own side effects but they will be different and it will be a challenge to identify them and try to counter them with medication, food or will power. Having said all of that I still tell people I’m 18!!!

One thing the book highlights to me is that we should be looking after our older generations. They’ve spent a lot of time on this earth and have an accumulation of wisdom and knowledge, we should be harnessing that to make sure it isn’t lost. One thing that is so distinctive to this age is the ability to write stuff down, either in print or on the computer. This means we lose far less information than we used to. The moveable type printer was only invented around 1439, before that books were very expensive to produce having to be hand drawn and so little of the population could read. It was in the late 18th century that a machine was invented that could produce a seamless length of paper and books started to become cheaper. So, somewhere between the 18th century and now education became synonymous with books and we started relying more on books than our older people. We hear stories of people who have been found dead in their homes several weeks after they died as no-one called on them to check them. I’m suggesting we go back to our previous ways and make certain we look after them, even just call them up every day to make sure they’re still okay.

Just remember…you may be old and in need of this yourself, so it’s good to set the scene for the younger generation and show them what to do to ensure they look after you.

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