Two long-time, seventy-something writing partners share how they and other aging boomers can navigate this new stage of their lives with optimism, energy, humor, honesty, and empathy.
It’s a gift to reach old age and to arrive there well and ready for more years. The two authors of Not Dead Yet find that it’s time now to tidy-up their lives—to live fully in the moment with less clutter, better planning, and to free themselves to travel more, read, work, volunteer, and enjoy grown children and grandchildren. These later years bring challenges but also the advantage of wisdom about their minds and bodies.
Not Dead Yet is the one book that brings home all the challenges in witty, meaty chapters that provide realistic solutions through the experiences of its two female septuagenarian authors, as well as through those of other boomer women and men of varying incomes, religions, ethnicities, and locations. From sex and dating to travel and volunteer work, writers Barbara Ballinger and Margaret Crane, who faced becoming single in their last book, Suddenly Single After 50, now cope with the older decades by employing the same humor, honest storytelling, empathy, and energy. Their conclusions reflect a firm resolve that there is much life yet to be lived. Giving hope, guidance, and optimism to readers, they provide affirmation for anyone hoping to clear the hurdles and live life fully, presently, and with an eye toward fulfillment and wellness.
Barbara Ballinger is an award-winning freelance journalist, author, and reporter who has interviewed a variety of celebrities and experts from Tipper Gore to Martha Stewart, Danny Meyer, Rosalynn Carter, Lorraine Bracco, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and Ruth Reichl. She has covered diverse topics from business to design, real estate, entertaining, food, law, and personal finance. Her work has appeared in publications such as the Chicago Tribune, New York Times, Crain’s ChicagoBusiness, HGTV, American Bar Association Journal, House Beautiful, Multifamily Executive, Developer, Realtor, Robb Report, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Travel & Leisure, Triple AAA magazine, Midwest Living, Units, and more. Of the 19 books she has authored, 10 have been with Margaret Crane. The first was Corporate Bloodlines: The Future of the Family Firm, and the most recent, Suddenly Single after 50 and The Kitchen Bible.
Margaret Crane is a nationally known freelance writer focusing on business, food, wine, fashion, home furnishings, and real estate. She has interviewed such luminaries as Jack Buck, Virginia Johnson, Sally Quinn, Moshe Dayan, Shimon Peres, Dr. Benjamin Spock, David Ben Gurion, Tippi Hedren, and many others. Her work has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including Beverage Journals, Crain’s Chicago Business, Family Business Magazine, Inc. Magazine, Midwest Living, The New York Times, Newsweek, Realtor, St. Louis Business Journal, St. Louis Post Dispatch, St. Louis Magazine, St. Louis Town & Style, The Wine Spectator, and Your Company. A proven author with 10 titles to her credit, Margaret’s latest book with Barbara is Suddenly Single After 50 and The Kitchen Bible. She formerly worked as a senior writer and researcher at Jewish Federation of Saint Louis, where she helped launch and maintain an award-winning website. In 2019, she moved from her childhood home in St. Louis, MO., to New York City to live and write.
When coauthors, friends, and bloggers Ballinger and Crane reached their seventies, they came to grips with having limited time left and asked how they wanted to live the rest of their lives. They began to collect stories from friends and acquaintances. Why do some people stay involved and vital in their late years? What challenges we do all face? According to them, having a positive attitude, living in the moment, and being willing to adapt seem to be the keys. Ballinger and Crane take on a range of topics, including living alone after long marriages (a common situation for their age group), friendship (keeping in touch with old friends and adding new ones), looking for love (through fix ups and online dating sites), and repairing old relationships with both family and friends. They talk about setting boundaries with family, staying connected, following passions, and planning for downsizing. The authors' tone is no nonsense and upbeat, and their advice is loaded with practical tips. There are many baby boomers out there facing similar decisions who will benefit from their guidelines.
[T]his book offers advice for those entering the beginning of their golden years. [Ballinger and Crane] humorously covers a range of topics, including managing finances and retirement, dating, and maintaining a social life (funerals are a surprising place to make friends), and handling children and grandchildren. Using personal experiences and views of experts, Ballinger and Crane offer practical solutions for some of the expected and surprising hurdles that come with aging, all with a focus on maintaining a sense of youthful joy.
Aging is serious business. But as Barbara Ballinger and Margaret Carne illustrate so beautifully in Not Dead Yet, there are so many different ways to live fully and happily in later life. Joy doesn’t end when jobs do, or kids move away, or partners die. This book shows you how to thrive no matter how old you are. It’s a gift.
The words permeating this book will serve as a master teacher for the process of aging, and as a blueprint for dealing with the complexities engendered by change. Each chapter is layered with personal experience, unexpected humor, transcendental wisdom, and carefully crafted anecdotes. Readers will be able to indulge in a mosaic of clearly written stories that are woven with simple, practical insights all of which will help the reader reset their priorities and strive for the things that truly matter. The book starts by addressing how our bodies age. It invites the reader to explore how we shouldn't allow the limitations imposed by aging to deprive us of living a purposeful and meaningful life. The authors refer to this attitude as "age defiers." The book then talks about some of the more difficult things we ever have to face, like forgiving someone who has deeply hurt us; creating healthy boundaries with children, stepchildren, and grandchildren; viewing life as transitory; freeing ourselves from the things that bind us, and end of life issues. As a minister, I deal with the gamut of topics covered in this book. I know that this book is going to help me become a more effective minister to the age population addressed in this book. I know that it is going to help my congregants untangle some of the challenges that come with aging and their desire to live a meaningful and enthusiastic life. I highly recommend this book.
Not Dead Yet is a wonderful title for a wonderful book about the great privilege of staying alive in old age (and not being afraid to call it that). Ballinger and Crane have written an ideal road map on how women can make wise choices in life to deal with everything from sagging bodies to friendship, family, work and where to live. This book is just what we need right now – the vim and vigor to deal with adversity and the day-to-day tools of how to embrace this new season of life with wisdom and even humor.
Aging can be tough for baby boomers, even if you are not suddenly single. In This deeply personal book, Barbara Ballinger and Margaret Crane provide ways to reboot your life to enjoy each day and stop worrying about the small stuff. They offer excellent advice on how to communicate with your adult children, live and thrive in community, and find time to enjoy your passions such as traveling, hiking, volunteering and painting. In this must-read book, they share how seniors can find joy by living in the moment.
Not Dead Yet is a field guide to living a joyful life as we age. Authors Barbara Ballinger and Margaret Crane share practical tips gleaned from their own and others' triumphant journeys through the "older years.” I found this book to offer nuggets for people of all ages at all stages of life about living with purpose, meaning and joy.
In their second book on the topic, Barbara and Margaret share their refreshingly funny points of view on what it means to find joy in daily life regardless of the challenges we all face. While everyone has their own unique prescription to happiness, lessons on inventorying one’s work life before retirement, focusing on relationships and staying connected to our own needs have proven time and again to be the best medicine. My mother told me she felt like she really came into her own in her 50s, and my experience has been the same. As this book shows, we all still have much to look forward to – and because of our life experience, more tools to call on.
Barbara Ballinger and Margaret Crane provide their reader with positive and thought-provoking stories in their page-turner book, Not Dead Yet. Their personal interviews with a diverse group of women in the second half of life encourage a woman to explore positive options on how to thrive, not just survive. The explorer Ponce de Leon discovered ‘The Fountain of Youth;’ Barbara and Margaret discovered several choices on the way 'happiness thinks’ in a woman’s journey over 60.
12/29/21, Jewish Light: Barbara Ballinger and Margaret Crane were interviewed about the book.
9/13/21, BYU Radio: Barbara Ballinger and Margaret Crane were on The Lisa Show sharing insights from the book.