In this age of living
longer, more people are learning that the second
act is sometimes the best.
Known as the baby boomer generation, today’s
50-somethings are redefining aging in America .
Nearly 78 million adults are over the age of 50.
In fact, every 7.5 seconds someone turns the golden
age. Turning 50 was once a time to think of retirement,
now it’s a second wind into the journey of
life that can be filled with a roller coaster ride
of twists and turns.
“I am a woman who doesn’t believe in
perpetuating the myth that somehow we become less
valuable as we get older,” says 57-year-old
Monica Lee, author of Singing Off Key
a new release published by Sea Wind Publishing.
Known in the art world as Mo Van, she isn’t
your typical 57-year old. In fact, she’s proof
that life doesn’t have to be boring as one
gets older. You’ll often find her at the beach
on a boogie board, running 5 miles a day, practicing
her splits, and on occasion bursting out in song
on the street. “I’m over 50. Who says
there’s not a second act?” Mo Van says.
For the baby boomers who question if there is life
after 50, her inspirational story is right on time.
The mother of four children before she turned 25,
now-grandmother of seven, is a self-taught artist
who once sewed for boutiques and ran a gardening
business. Mo Van discovered painting in her 40s,
and found her second wind in life. “Middle
age is not a pitfall to achieving goals. It’s
an exciting sequel to the first act,” Mo Van
says. She opened her own gallery in Laguna Beach,
California, which became her primary source of income,
and also a kind of salon for empowering women of
all ages. “It was all about just doing, and
not being afraid to fail,” Mo Van says in
her autobiography, Singing Off Key.
Mo Van has not always followed the traditional path,
but always trusted in her faith to lead her in the
right direction – and somehow it has. The
broken path led her to the love of her life after
two failed marriages. She believes marriage is more
than a rite of passage into adulthood. “It’s
a dance of precision and grace that not everyone
is ready to perform,” she says. “But
you jump head first into the pool, you must trust
your partner and know that it’s okay to come
up for air.”
She believes that woman do themselves a disservice
by marrying too young. Nevertheless, she is close
to all her children, stepchildren and exes, and
credits their love, her faith, and her joy in living
with her cancer survival. “I’ve looked
at the thought of death,” she says, “and
I am alive. I am very alive each and every day.
It doesn’t matter how famous you are; no one
cares, in heaven.”
Mo Van shares tales of her adventures as a child
in Holland, her battle with breast cancer, struggling
as a single mother, and her photo shoot for Playboy
at the age of 45 “to show that vibrancy and
being lovely are timeless.” Each chapter shares
her personal lessons and ends with wise words from
her journey: “Being young and beautiful is
a ‘gimme’,” she says after one
chapter. “Being old and beautiful is an accomplishment.”
Throughout her autobiography, Mo Van reminds us
that life is about not being afraid. “It’s
about faith in God, living the truth, learning and
being loyal to yourself. It’s about journeying
on a highway with no red lights,” she says.
Singing Off Key (Sea Wind
Publishing, July 18, 2006)
Sea Wind Publishing
For a review copy of Singing Off Key,
contact Rachel Damien at 727-443-7115 ext. 206 or