Over 80: Reflections on Aging
Wisdom suggests that as we grow older, we hold onto our attitudes, beliefs, and other lifelong characteristics. Marilyn Reynolds, at eighty-six years old, admits to slowing down and memory loss, but defies wisdom by having found gratifying new interests. Spirituality, less prominent when younger, has become important. Writing groups continue to fulfill a space between pleasure and need, though COVID-19 almost killed book clubs by introducing Zoom, keeping reading companions away. And those significant new interests? Dogs were always welcome, but now, as it gets harder to keep up with animal care, she has found a friend to pet-share. What a creative idea!
In Over 80: Reflections on Aging, Reynolds has leapt into the practice of keeping a little free library. Instead of buying an expensive build-it kit, she has adapted a toy truck to hold books found abandoned in the neighborhood for bulk collection. Just stepping into her yard, she has an ever-changing selection to give and take. Her memoir offers humor and poignancy, a wealth of “let’s share” even the less welcome changes, suggesting a trouble shared is almost a trouble halved. Reaching the age of eighty is no longer a rare achievement, but it still deserves respect and empathy.
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