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If you’re in the Women of Midlife Facebook Group (& and if you’re a blogger & female you should be) then you know Barbara Hammond. I’ve known of her for years now since I joined way back in 2014. But we’ve skated around each other’s peripheral without really getting to know each other well, but to like each other all the same. She seems like one of those women who can meet you out at a fancy lunch or sit out on the deck at night with a glass of wine. Either way, she’s fun with a capital F.
Her blog Zero To 60 & Beyond has been a gathering place for women who want to age well & still have the time of their lives for many years to come. She’s a staunch Democrat and isn’t afraid to tell you like it really is. She stands up for what she believes in. Who wouldn’t want a girlfriend like that!
When you meet a person online you see their lives in boxes. I think about my daughter’s diorama she created when she was in the second grade. You see that small part of the day to day and that makes an impression on you, but you don’t know them before or even the after. Just in the here and now and that is gift-wrapped and posed in the best possible light.
When I would think of Barbara I thought of a successful woman in her 60’s who is comfortable in her own skin, Someone who has conquered it all and is enjoying the fruits of her labor.
All of that is very well and true. She’s all of those things, but the thing I’m getting at is that we seldom get to see the “why”. “Why” is she independent because she had to be. “Why” does she stand up for what she believes in? Because no one ever stood up for her. “Why” has she been able to have a marriage that lasts? Because she saw dysfunction all of her life and learned to recognize it for what it was.
We’re all molded from our beginnings, but some grow up successful (whatever that means to you) because of their upbringing and some go against the grain and become successful in spite of their upbringing. Barbara is in that second group.
I guess this book resonated with me because growing up I knew that family. Hell, sometimes we were that family. Not in the hey I know you kind of way, but in the way that you recognize it because it’s so familiar to you. Just like in real life in Daddy duJour she paints you an image that is real and not distorted in any way.
Sometimes the best you can do is just get through and that’s exactly what Barbara did. She got through it and built a life that she loves by recognizing what it can be and not what it has to be. Haven’t read it yet?
Here you go & it’s a terrific bargain at $4.99 for the Kindle & $14.99 for the paperback!