Book Review – Between a Rock and a Hot Place by Tracey Jackson

Between a Rock and a Hot Place: Why Fifty is the New Fifty by Tracey Jackson. Harper. 2011. ISBN 9780061869286 (paperback), 287p.

Tracey Jackson is very much aware that the saying, “Fifty is the new thirty,” is a lie. That’s why her book, Between a Rock and a Hot Place is subtitled, “Why Fifty is the New Fifty.” If you’re a baby boomer afraid to lose your youth, let’s face it. Some of it is already gone.

Jackson is a baby boomer herself, and, as much as she’d like to hold on to her youth, she admits we can’t. She uses humor to poke fun at all of us. Yes, we might not be wearing the same clothes our grandmothers did, so we think their fifty isn’t ours. That doesn’t make us younger. It means we still suffer from aging. Our blood pressure might be higher. We might be on cholesterol medication. Sorry, time is getting away from us. We’re just afraid to face our own mortality, so we do everything we can to face it down.

Jackson addresses menopause, sex drives that aren’t what they used to be, children leaving home, the loss of jobs after the age of fifty, spending money for enjoyment versus having money for retirement. And, she attacks each issue head-on, realistically, but with humor. She’s been there, and, as a writer, she knows how to tell it to us with no punches pulled. It’s a matter of getting on with life without pretending that we still have the bodies and the health we once had.

Here’s the message I liked in Between a Rock and a Hot Place. “This is a very important way to look at yourself as you move forward from fifty on: ‘I do me really well.’ Doing you is all you can do.” She might have been talking about relationships at that point in the book, but face it. The secret to happiness in life is being yourself. “I do me really well.”

Posted in books & entertainment, Lesa's Book Critiques.

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8 Responses

  1. Amy Ruhlin Amy Ruhlin says

    Love the title of this book and love the “I do me really well” philosophy.
    Thanks for this review..will def be checking out tracey jackson

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  2. Ann Dunnewold Ann Dunnewold says

    Will have to look for this book! I regularly preach to my clients, mostly young mothers, that the important goal is not being perfect, but being a “perfectly good mom,” i.e. the best mom you can be, incorporating all your humanity: strengths and flaws. All we can be is our own best selves, so I LOVE this phrase “I do me really well.” Thanks for calling this book to attention.

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    • Lesa Holstine Lesa Holstine says

      You’re welcome, Ann. Had a funny similar conversation today with a co-worker. She was objecting to an email she had about “a lifestyle expert”. She said, “What makes someone a lifestyle expert? I’m the only expert on my lifestyle!” And, she’s right.

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  3. Hawk Lady Hawk Lady says

    Between a Rock and a Hot Place is such a fun title. Going to have to get her book.

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  4. Generic Image anonymous says

    The secret to happiness in life is being yourself. “I do me really well.” Lesa, I love this phrase. Thanks for the tip on this book. I will read it.
    I am who I am. I know who I am.

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    • Lesa Holstine Lesa Holstine says

      Isn’t that a great comment, Vera? And, I don’t think most of us realize that until we’re in our fifties. It takes time to know who we are and be comfortable with that person.

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