Acclaimed author and feisty nonagenarian Hotchner's (Paul and Me: Fifty-three Years of Adventures and Misadventures with My Pal Paul Newman, 2010, etc.) witty ruminations about the art of living well into old age.
For "super seniors" in their 80s and beyond, life presents certain undeniable challenges. Physically, "fading biceps, reflexes, knees [and] rotator cuffs conspire against you" while "frown lines, heavy lines and escalating wrinkles" reveal the inexorable passage of time. Illness, loneliness and death become more visible presences. But old age can also be a time for new beginnings and enhanced enjoyment in the act of living. With brio and a touch of his trademark sass, Hotchner writes about rediscovering love after 75, finding joy in a scrappy African gray parrot he named after his longtime friend, Ernest Hemingway, and going on his very first safari at age 88. A positive attitude is critical to overcoming the obstacles aging presents, he writes, along with glasses of orange juice in the morning and “a big gin and tonic at night.” Interspersed among Hotchner's wry, touching personal observations about old age is practical advice. Super seniors must never let well-meaning children tell them what to do and always "stand tall, resist inroads and preserve [their] own way of life.” They should get their estates in order to avoid complications for those they leave behind, and if they decide to marry, drawing up a prenuptial agreement can avoid problems not only between the two people involved, but also between their respective families. For Hotchner, the key to enjoying a good last act is not only to "keep the ball in play” for as long as your mind and body will allow, but ultimately, "to live your life and forget your age.”
Upbeat words of wisdom about aging with dignity and spunk.