Age With Fortytude & Grace

Few events are as unnerving as that 40th candle on the birthday cake. I first began to observe anxiety about the “big four-oh” several years ago among the 30- to 50-year-old clientele who frequented my Manhattan therapy practice. I was in my late 30s at the time, and found myself sharing their concerns in more than the usual “empathetic therapist” way. I often stayed awake at night riddled with worries about what lay ahead in my personal and professional life.

It got me wondering: why is it that so many of us have such a powerful aversion to reaching 40? I began examining the psychological research, as well as popular writing on the subject. I thought that surely someone must have explored the anxiety that the fourth-decade triggers for women, and have a wealth of guidance to turn to. Yet my search came up empty. That is why I decided to write Fortytude.

In the course of researching and writing, I facilitated discussion groups across America. I also conducted one-on-one interviews with women from all walks of life. What struck me was that these women—regardless of age, race, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status—were all powerfully drawn to living an authentic, connected life, and to facing their fears head-on. Fortytude explores the five core values these women cultivated daily, which helped make their 40s and above some of the best and most rewarding years of their lives.

I hope this book inspires you to face your fears and find your own Fortytude in the face of aging. In the process, you just might find that a decade that once seemed to signify loss becomes a time of unprecedented gain.

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