The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker

Share

Amy Bloom on love, death, dignity – and tarot!

Season 8, Ep. 79

When you enter a relationship, you rarely consider how it might end. Let’s face it, how many of us would ever do anything if we crossed THAT bridge before we came to it.


For today’s guest, writer and therapist Amy Bloom, THAT BRIDGE came all too soon when her husband Brian was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers and decided he would rather “die on his feet than live on his knees”. It was a decision that sent the couple on a journey from the East coast of America to Dignitas in Switzerland. Amy’s memoir In Love is the heartbreaking account of that journey. But as the book’s title suggests this is also a tender, hopeful and passionate love letter to a man whose belief in human agency extended to his own death.


CW: Just in case it doesn’t go without saying - in parts, this is not the easiest listen, Amy talks openly about the reality of an early dementia diagnosis, the right to die and living with her husband’s decision to do so.


But ALSO the advantages of being older when you fall in love, why you should marry because of each other’s faults not in spite of them, why women often blow up their lives in their 50s plus her lifelong love of tarot


You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at Bookshop.org, including In Love by Amy Bloom, her book recommendation, Childhood, Youth, Dependency by Tove Ditlevsen, and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me!


And if you'd like to support the work that goes into making this podcast and get a weekly newsletter, please join The Shift community. Find out more at https://steadyhq.com/en/theshift/


The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.

More Episodes

6/21/2022

Sabrina Pace-Humphreys on rural racism, alcoholism and the life-saving power of running

Season 8, Ep. 84
This week’s guest will make you wonder what you do with your time! Sabrina Pace-Humphreys is an award-winning business woman, a social justice activist, an ultra-runner, a mother of four and grandmother of three. (And as if that wasn't enough, right now, as of June 19th, she's running 268 miles along The Spine of the UK!) Not bad going for 44.But it is none of those things that led her to write her memoir, Black Sheep - a story of growing up Black, on the poverty line, in small town England. As a child, and the only Black person in that town, she experienced constant bullying, verbal and physical racist abuse. She didn’t know who she was, or where she belonged.Sabrina joined me to talk about why she’s decided it’s time to speak out about rural racism. The impact of growing up in a place where literally no-one looked like her and How she finally found the identity she craved. Sabrina is incredibly frank about burying herself in workaholism and alcoholism, her battles with anxiety, and how learning to run - after a lifetime of mocking runners! - saved her. If you’re looking for motivation to start running look no further. In fact, if you’re looking for motivation full stop, you’ve found it.You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at Bookshop.org, including BLACK SHEEP by Sabrina Pace-Humphreys, and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me!And if you'd like to support the work that goes into making this podcast and get a weekly newsletter plus loads more content including transcripts of the podcast, please join The Shift community. Find out more at https://steadyhq.com/en/theshift/• The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.
6/16/2022

FROM THE ARCHIVE: Ruth Ozeki on why menopause is the new adolescence

Season 8, Ep. 83
Last night Ruth won the Women's Prize for her wonderful novel, The Book Of Form And Emptiness, so I thought I'd give this another listen. Here are the original show notes:My guest this week is a novelist, film-maker - and Zen Buddhist priest. Ruth Ozeki was born in Conneticut in the 1950s to a Japanese mother and, as she puts it, caucasian anthropologist father. Despite always wanting to write, she didn’t publish her first novel until she was 40, because, in part, she “didn’t feel entitled to”. She needn’t have worried. That novel, My Year Of Meats, won the Kiriyama Prize and the American Book Award, and her third A Tale For The Time Being, was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize in 2013. Her latest novel, The Book Of Form And Emptiness, looks destined to go the same way.But buddhism has informed Ruth’s life just as much as - if not more than - writing. She joined me to run the conversational gamut! We talked meditation, ageing, grief, living through the death of our parents, writing out her teenage mental health crises, why objects mean so much to us, the appeal of Marie Kondo, coming to terms with our ageing face and why menopause and adolescence have so much in common.• You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at Bookshop.org, including The Book Of Form And Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me!And if you'd like to support the work that goes into making this podcast and get a weekly newsletter plus loads more content including transcripts of the podcast, please join The Shift community. Find out more at https://steadyhq.com/en/theshift/• The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.
6/14/2022

Christie Watson on menopause, midlife and mischief

Season 8, Ep. 82
I’ve lost count of the number of women I’ve spoken to who were taken totally by surprise by perimenopause but, to date, none of them actually had medical training. Todays guest changes all that. Before she was an award winning writer, Christie watson was a nurse. She spent 20 years on children’s intensive care before her debut won the Costa first novel award and altered the trajectory of her life.Since then Christie has written two bestselling nursing memoirs, including the wonderful The Language of Kindness, and a second novel. Then, aged 42, perimenopause totally floored her. A single mum of two teenagers, she suddenly found herself a “blubbering snot crying wreck” in Sainsburys car park - a stranger, inside and out. Sound familiar?!I met Christie to talk about her memoir about that experience, Quilt On Fire, in a no-man’s land opposite the US embassy. As you do. We discussed being blindsided by menopause, grey pubic hairs, biblical bleeding, and the impact of unresolved trauma. Plus Being single in midlife and braving the dating shark tank, her own personal menopause club (lucky woman), having a vulva the size of Brazil, the joy of becoming visible to older women and why nobody really has their shit together. Oh and an unexpected use for frozen fish fingers.You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at Bookshop.org, including QUILT ON FIRE by Christie Watson, and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me!And if you'd like to support the work that goes into making this podcast and get a weekly newsletter plus loads more content including transcripts of the podcast, please join The Shift community. Find out more at https://steadyhq.com/en/theshift/• The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.