Aging is uncharted territory, until we reach it. Do you wish there was a handbook to help navigate the many changes? In her latest book, Women Rowing North, Dr. Mary Pipher shows us the way.
I was introduced to Dr. Pipher many moons ago when I was raising teenage girls and found her book Reviving Ophelia, which explored the psychological pitfalls faced by teenage girls. Now she has done it again for women who want to age well and live vibrantly.
The books is divided into four sections. In the first, she talks about the Challenges of the Journey, noting that as we look back on our lifetime it may seem as if we have lived many different lifetimes. Our lives now as older women are radically different from when we were raising young children. The quality of resilience and a positive attitude are our best tools to meet the challenges of this time.
In the next section she explores Travel Skills. In this phase, we learn to shift from the constant care taking of others to taking time to care for ourselves. This is a time when we can stop worrying about or trying to fix everyone else’s difficulties and concentrate on what brings us joy and happiness
Who are The People on the Boat is the next topic, where she explores relationships, friends, family, grandchildren and others in our community. I loved her discussion of the treasure of female friends, as I cherish the female friends I have in this stage of life.
Finally she faces The Northern Lights. beautiful prose describes the desired emotional state of bliss and awe, perhaps hard earned through periods of loss, sorrow and emotional pain.
My highlighter got a workout while reading this book. There were sentences and phrases that I will use in my journaling and writing for years to come.
I finished this book feeling that Dr. Pipher really gets it. She understands both the fear of aging as well and the possibility of deep peace and joy in this stage of life. Her writing is absolutely beautiful and will be a comforting companion to you on your own journey of rowing north.