When asked by the Passionistas why she wrote this book, Billie answered, My memoir is about my midlife passage from my 40s to my 60s when everything in my life changed. I was coming into my power as a woman, with decades of experience and a track record of success, discovering my passion for a new career and driving myself toward my goals. Then my husband got sick and just before he died, he revealed his years long affair with another woman. The cognitive dissonance of those events crushed me. Telling my story was a way to sort out my conflicting experiences and re-integrate all the different parts of myself into a new woman. I was broken and now I’m whole again. Resilience is my superpower. What happened to me happens to many women. My book is a way of helping them build their resilience.
Reader Groups & Book Clubs
Reader discussion groups and book clubs may wish to invite Billie to join their discussion via technology like Skype or Zoom or Facebook Live. Please contact us to inquire by emailing email@example.com. Include your full name, your group name, the location, and the proposed date and time.
SPOILER ALERT! Here is the list of Discussion Questions included at the end of the book. The questions reveal aspects of the plot.
1. What was your favorite part of the story and how did it make you feel?
2. Do you agree with the choices Billie made or do you think she should have behaved differently?
3. What advice would you have given Billie about how to handle the Juicer?
4. Billie was very concerned about appearances, so she hid the truth. Did you feel yourself judging the people in this story?
5. How would you define midlife crisis? Do you think everyone has some sort of midlife crisis as they cope with aging from their 40s to their 60s?
6. Billie’s anger at Chet’s affair evolves over the course of the story. How do our feelings about monogamy, marriage and being part of a couple change as we age?
7. Billie’s response to her failed marriage was to hide it. Do women handle failure in marriage differently than men?
8. Billie was unprepared to become a widow and live her life alone. How could women prepare for the possibility of living their lives alone?
9. What is the most significant change in Billie’s thinking from the beginning of the story in her 40s to the end of the story in her 60s?
10. Billie had a plan for her career in her 40s, but she did not have a plan for what to do with herself after 60. How can we be encouraged to develop a vision for how we would like to age?
11. Billie was forced to downsize and ended up liking the freedom of minimalism. As we age how can we prepare in advance for a changing lifestyle, downsizing or starting over?
12. It took years for Billie to appreciate the independence of aging alone. What are some of the risks and benefits of staying single and alone in our 60s and beyond?
13. The way Chet chose to die and planned his death was radical and inspiring. How can men and women be encouraged to plan their death like a wedding?
14. At the end of the story Billie experiences a personal renaissance. What is the most enjoyable thing about the process of aging?
15. Billie shocked herself with the forgotten memory of coming home from work with a hickey on her neck. Have you had the experience of a long forgotten memory returning to you?
16. In her 60s, Billie looks at herself and sees her mother. When you look at yourself do you see your mother?
17. What are some ways Billie could have processed her anxiety other than cleaning?
18. Will you behave differently in your own life based on what you have read in this book?