Pondering her upcoming 60th birthday in the early months of the pandemic, former geriatric nurse Becky Blue felt compelled to explore her “more days”—her term for what comes next. The result: Turning: The Magic and Mystery of More Days, a book to help readers “discover the secret to welcoming, rather than dreading, the turning of the years.”
Billed as a “conversational memoir,” the book is, indeed, a well-written, relatable conversation with Blue’s fellow boomers, from her recollection of drinking Tang for breakfast as a kid to memories of her positive-thinking grandparents, stitched together with practical advice on issues ranging from the importance of maintaining friendships to drinking enough water. A question-based “Your Turn” page at each chapter’s end nudges readers to dive more deeply into the topic.
Blue hooks us in from the start with her story about speaking to a group of older adults as a 30-year-old “upstart nurse whose main concern was if her milk was going to leak in the middle of her presentation.” More humorous anecdotes follow, as when her future father-in-law remarked on her thick hair and solid appetite. “I wasn’t sure if he thought his son had brought home a girlfriend or a horse,” she quips.
The author makes many faith-based references, including the oft-quoted “a time for everything” passage from Ecclesiastes, and her interpretation of what the Holy Spirit is. Some may find this off-putting, but it’s easy to skate past these moments.
Many books have been written about aging, often with predictable references to grandchildren, medical issues and protecting one’s assets. This isn’t one of them. Turning is a fun take on the subject for those nearing retirement; reading it is like listening to a favorite older cousin share tales of her youthful antics as she cleverly sneaks in the advice we need to hear.