When approached about reviewing Kristin van Ogtrop‘s new book, Did I Say That Out Loud?, about what she terms “middle age, a term BTW she says she really hates, I thought it would make a great read for those in my age bracket. I was also curious because Kristin worked at Vogue and is the former editor-in-chief of Real Simple magazine, where she ran a $65 million business and led a team of 70 people.
Having started my early career in publishing, I am envious of someone like Kristin who had a 25 year run in the industry. With the changing media landscape and print a dying breed, several years ago Kristin made a decision to leave that world and pursue new adventures.
A candid discussion about “middle age”
In her essays, Kristin shares a humorous and endearing account of those “middle age” years when you find yourself as described “both satisfied and outraged, confident and confused, and full of appreciation but also occasional disdain for the world—and how she was able to weather them with grace.”
Written like an intimate chat with your best friend, these stories from Kristin’s own life are recognition of that period when you finally grow to accept your whole self and give mild humiliations a pass.
One of my favorite topics is when Kristin rants about her body parts. “I pass women of all shapes and sizes on the street and I wonder whether their mid-sections bother them as much as mine does,” she writes. I wanted to say – yep, yep, yep, my middle-aged middle is growing larger every day, as are the two parallel lines above the bridge of my nose. What did you call it? Oh yes, you called it “an eleven.” Kristin comments that “when you have an eleven your resting face is a frown.” (FYI when I had my passport pic taken last week it didn’t pass regulations because they said I was frowning. “Those are the lines on my face, I’m sixty-three years old,” I told the clerk.)
There are more great stories in the book, so I encourage you to pick up a copy or download to your Kindle. Or, enter to win one in the giveaway below. Meantime, I hope you enjoy my conversation with Kristin. She was so nice to answer some of my Qs. Take it away Kristin…
Q: What changed for you when you turned 50 that made you rethink your career?
Q: You write about feeling like a “clueless older person” when it comes to adapting to social media. What’s been the most difficult for you?
Q: Why do you think it’s so hard for women to accept their aging bodies? I know younger people these days who are getting Botox in their 20s and 30s. What do you think about that?
Q: What was the biggest ‘aha’ moment for you when writing your book about midlife?
Any other insights you would like to share with post 50 women?
Enter the giveaway to win a copy of Did I Say That Out Loud?
Don’t like – Video cameras positioned below my chin.
Do Like – feeling settled in my career, home, family (no necessarily in that order)
Cristin, I hear you about the chin position. My chin is double these days post 60. Months
I resonate with so many of her answers, especially with the one about social media “… that probably isn’t going to enhance my quality of life so much.”
Pennie, I feel the same way about social media even though I’m a blogger.
Reader B said: “Kristin looks like she is 20 or 30!”
Reader J said: “ Many truths here.”
I look forward to reading this!
So many good things about this time of life. Most importantly that we have honed our sense of humour!
Diane, Kristin does add humor to help us look at middle age in a new way.