Logan (The Navel Diaries, 2015) returns with a new collection of pithy and often humorous essays about the large and small shocks of aging.
The author’s latest offering highlights her determination to increase her physical and mental flexibility and to make changes necessary to live a purposeful life. The first chapter, “Wake Me Up before It’s Over,” lays the foundation for a volume that considers many annoying issues that aging throws at her, her reactions to them, and society’s assumptions about seniors. As is her style, Logan begins each essay with a seemingly random observation or experience. She opens with her outrage at what she describes as “a horrifying job performance review” by one of her students: “She’s an adorable little old lady.” A few chapters later, she discovers that her body has betrayed her: “I found a whisker on my neck.” After railing a bit at what she sees as an unacceptable affront to her femininity, she segues into a discussion of what else might be physically going on with her, out of sight of her magnifying mirror; what chemical messages are hormonal changes sending to her internal organs? “I’d better spend less energy plucking and more energy keeping all those vital internals in the loop,” she writes. These initial observations are breezy and wry, but they’re just the first steps down engaging paths through more serious issues, such as the need to stop oneself from being too rigid, the importance of regular physical checkups, gender and age discrimination, and other topics. Baby boomers, in particular, will find plenty of familiar cultural references from their youth that will make them smile throughout this collection. They’ll also relate to such declarations as “Let me behold me, in all my glory, as perfect today as I was on the day I was born.”
A thoroughly enjoyable, quick read that will be best appreciated by the senior set.