Finding Meaning in Later Life: Gathering and Harvesting the Fruits of Women's Experience is an exploration in understanding the psychological tasks inherent for women in creating and maintaining purpose as they mature and enter their later years. With ever-increasing lifespan for elders, it becomes important for a society that glorifies youth to meet the challenges of this developmental milestone.Many books and articles on post-midlife are written from a biological and behavioral stance-with quantitative data supporting concrete lifestyle recommendations for "successful aging." Using this lens, successful aging is often defined as having good to excellent health, no disabilities in activities of daily living, good cognitive functioning, and living in the community. That "received wisdom" leads to the conundrum that the only path to successful aging is by not aging! This book challenges current thoughts on aging, expanding our perspective such that purpose and meaning in later years derives from inner resources that are not dependent on biological and physical states of being. Its conclusions stem from the direct experience and voices of mature women, obtained through qualitative research. The results of this study shed light on existential theories, bringing them to life with added weight and traction. Ultimately, the ideas explored here unfold as a map to navigate this often-misunderstood stage in life.
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