2014 is notable for at least two anniversaries: World War I began 100 years ago and the last of the Baby Boomers turn fifty. That means there are a whole lotta women going through the change right now. Sandra Tsing Loh and Annabelle Gurwitch both live in California, both are in the performing arts, both turned 50 about the same time, both went through menopause at the same time their children were going through puberty, and both have at least one aging parent who needs help. And now, both have written about the whole sad, sorry and sometimes unexpectedly humorous experience in books published in guess what year - 2014!
The Madwoman in the Volvo: My year of raging hormones starts with Loh's ill-advised extra-marital affair at 46 that left her living in a dumpy apartment without either her husband or her lover. Things can only look up, right? Whoa nelly! Watch out for year 49! Failed happiness projects, attempted weight loss, dealing with dad and his decades younger, but more decrepit wife, are just some of the joys Loh experiences in the lead up to 50. And yet (spoiler alert!), she survives and lives to tell the tale in a very funny fashion.
I See You Made an Effort: Compliments, indignities, and survival stories from the edge of fifty is a series of personal essays on Gurwitch's mid-life experience. While she doesn't have an affair, she does dream about men who are decades younger than she is. Gurwitch also talks about the reality of being fifty in show business (yes, I can play a medieval crone), the challenges of being the menopausal mother of an adolescent son, and the fun of lying awake at 4:00 a.m. with no hope of sleep.
So for all you Boomers born in 1964: Fifty - bring it on! And good luck.