Aging. Everbody does it, nobody likes it (after their twenty-first birthday), and most of us like to pretend it doesn’t happen. I’m in my early forties and will milk that ‘early’ adjective as long as I reasonably can. I am still young enough to attack the day with verve, but I am old enough to have seen friends and former classmates pass away. I had my first major health scare this summer, which turned out to not be too serious, but I had to fess up to the fact that I’m too old to ignore these things. Already, my body doesn’t do everything I think it should. We age, and as we age we have to face our own entropic decay as we near our end of days. Send not to know for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.
Jennifer Grant is the former health and family columnist for the Chicago Tribune, and author of four previous books, including editing the devotional Disquiet Time, (Jericho Books, 2014) and adoption memoir Love You More (Thomas Nelson, 2011). In When Did Everyone Else Get So Old? Indignities, Compromises and the Unexpected Grace of Midlife (Herald Press, 2017), she explores our ephemeral existence and what it means to grow old. With good humor and faith, she describes transition—sagging and emptying nests—the loss of friends and loved ones, and retooling vocation.
The nineteen chapters in this book are autobiographical essays on the theme of aging. Grant’s literary voice is reminiscent of Anne Lamott (minus the F-bombs), though her faith and life experience are different. She weaves her observations on life together with biblical and theological reflections.
I find Grant’s reflections on vocation, and wondering if she made her mark wholly relatable. This is a good read. I give it four stars and recommend it to everybody else getting old. I give it four stars. – ★★★★
Notice of material connection: I received a copy of this book from Handlebar Media in exchange for my honest review.