“Liz Kitchens would make Erma Bombeck cackle, leave Ann Landers at a loss for words and make Gloria Steinem proud” – Rannah Gray, author of “Familiar Evil”
Orlando, FL – Liz Kitchens’ “Be Brave. Lose the Beige! Finding Your Sass After Sixty” (She Writes Press, May 16, 2023) is a must-have manual for “Lady Boomers” and others cresting toward retirement as they navigate what’s next for them. This candid, tongue-in-cheek manifesto empowers women to take on their third act with confidence and sass.
Meet Beige. Beige is reliable, practical, sensible, and safe. Beige doesn’t put up a fuss; it follows the rules, blends in, doesn’t want to stand out. Now meet Magenta. Magenta is rich, dynamic, loud, sometimes garish, and not easily overlooked. Society has decidedly beige expectations when it comes to aging, but Liz Kitchens explains why Magenta women have more fun!
In these pages, Liz chronicles how creative thinking helped her cope with empty nest syndrome; navigate sex over sixty; transition from being “outtasight” to literally being out of sight, and so much more. The stories and creative techniques outlined in this guide are guaranteed to introduce color, sass, and a lightness of spirit into your later years. Are you ready to defy those beige expectations and start coloring outside the lines, even if a few pesky rules get trampled in the process?
“Be Brave. Lose the Beige!”
Liz Kitchens | May 16, 2023 | She Writes Press | Nonfiction, Self-Help
Paperback | ISBN: 978-1-64742-468-8 | $17.95
Ebook | ISBN: 978-1-64742-469-5 | $9.95
About the Author…
LIZ KITCHENS is a rare and endangered species born and raised in Orlando, Florida. Her memories of the sweet scent of orange blossoms and of the salty scrubbiness of the landscape pre-dates Walt Disney World. This geographical legacy, sandwiched between the frolicking waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf Coast, inspired her playful spirit and informs her writing. She conducts workshops and seminars on creativity and directed a creative arts program for teens in underserved communities. She has also been a market researcher for thirty-five years and is the founder of What’s Next Boomer? a website dedicated to helping boomers navigate retirement options; and of the blog, Be Brave. Lose the Beige, which focuses on issues facing women of the baby boomer generation. She is a contributing writer for the online magazine, Sixty and Me, and has been published in various online and print publications. Liz is married, the mother of three adult children, and the grandmother of three grandchildren. Learn more at http://bebravelosethebeige.com/
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In an interview, Liz Kitchens can discuss:
- How to break away from the “beige” expectations for women over 60
- Why creativity is crucial for the aging process
- Tips for igniting your creative spirit
- Why rule-breaking can be a good thing
- Lessons from her own life that taught her how to be brave and find her sass
An Interview with
1. What inspired you to write “Be Brave. Lose the Beige!”?
Be Brave. Lose the Beige began as a blog (https://www.bebravelosethebeige.com) and morphed into stories chronicling how creative thinking helped me cope with Empty Nest Syndrome, navigate sex over 60, and transition from being “outta sight” as they said in the 1960s, to being literally out of sight. The blog and book focus on issues facing Baby Boomer women, and others cresting toward sixty. (I speak with some authority on this topic since I most certainly fit that demographic.) Beige represents the antithesis of creative thinking. I believe creativity and creative thinking are critical for navigating what’s next for Lady Boomers. I use color as a metaphor for creativity and for exploring the challenges we face as we age.
2. Where did the sass go and how do you advise women to find it? Why do you think sass is important?
Our kindergarten teachers’ admonishment to “color inside the lines” has guided many of our life choices. We have followed the rules and done what was expected. We continue to be 911 on our adult kids’ cell phones; we are or have been caregivers for three generations, sometimes simultaneously; we have a pathological propensity to please; and, how are we supposed to maintain our sass when we are characterized in internet search engines as decrepit little old ladies with unattractive hair and canes?! And the labels used to describe our post middle age years, oy vey! Vintage Years (hate it); Act Three (not a fan); Twilight Years (might as well be a reference to the Vampire movie trilogy). In the book, I propose using BBLB years–Be Brave. Lose the Beige!–as the moniker for this time in our lives. BBLB is sassy and pokes fun at societal rules and norms. It says yes when the world keeps saying no, especially when it comes to aging.
There is a BBLB Manual of Maxims at the conclusion of the book. These thirty-five adages are designed to help women get their sass back.
3. How does this book differ from other aging resources?
Well, first of all, it’s fun and funny. The book is filled with honest, self deprecating stories about issues facing Lady Boomers, so it is relatable. I’m a numbers junkie (survey researcher) and have collected data on issues facing Baby Boomer women (many of those statistics are cited in the book). I know what they care about and the book focuses on these concerns.
Our earlier life stages came with guidebooks and mentors to help us navigate dating, marriage, and the pitfalls of parenting. I’ve been underwhelmed by the resources available to help us navigate the issues we face as we age. The examples set by our parents, many of them now long gone, don’t necessarily work for our generation. We’re far more active, living longer, and may not have the financial resources to afford the leisurely retirements some of our parents’ generation enjoyed. So I decided to add my thoughts about this journey and encourage a little creative thinking to help us navigate our BBLB years.
4. Why is creativity so important to the aging process?
Be Brave. Lose the Beige! is really a philosophy, a way of perceiving one’s world as it currently exists. As an avowed creativity evangelist, I know creative thinking is critical in navigating what’s next for Lady Boomers and serves as an excellent co-conspirator in the struggle to regain even a little control as we navigate our aging journeys. Creativity is good for your health. It can help with mobility issues and balance, cognition, promotes feelings of value and self worth, and a sense of community. I directed a creative arts program for under-served youth for eighteen years. Creativity encouraged these middle school students to think bigger about their worlds. Creativity also offers us a lightheartedness our aching joints and clogged arteries keep trying to steal. While creativity is fun, it’s not made of magic. Snapping our fingers to summon creativity is not really a thing. One has to practice, which is why the conclusion of each chapter in the book features creative exercises designed to help people exercise their creative muscles. (Example exercise: Doodle for your Noodle.)
5. Some readers may be surprised to see you condone rule-breaking. Why is it important to take risks, even if rules are broken in the process?
Breaking rules is different from breaking laws. Women have lived a good portion of their lives within the confines of one authority or another, and, as a consequence, learned a whole lot of rules. We internalized certain behavioral edicts and regarded them as laws. Breaking fine print rules or taking small steps that break with convention can feel empowering and give us a sense of control in situations where we may feel we have little to no control.
Family members, and even a few friends, have suggested that I think rules are merely suggestions. I, however, tend to believe some rules have a margin for error and prefer to call rule breaking “creative thinking.” The key to avoiding a beige life is thinking creatively even if a few pesky rules get trampled in the process.
6. What’s next for you? Where can readers go to learn more about you?
I will continue to extol the virtues of creativity through my writing and my workshops. I began this book preaching the importance of creative thinking. I thought I knew what it meant to be brave and poke fun at certain societal rules and expectations. But I underestimated how owning these qualities in myself might further evolve. The writing taught me that. It started out on a linear path but it dipped and curved, just like a creative path, and I felt my writing grow braver with each chapter revision. The process and practice of writing the book helped ease my inhibitions.
And, I can’t stop writing. As Joan Didion said, “I don’t know what I think until I write it down.” I adore blogging and will continue to do so. Several of my blog posts formed the nucleus of this book. To read some of my blogs and find additional information about my book go to https://www.bebravelosethebeige.com.
A former award-winning journalist with national exposure, Marissa now oversees the day-to-day operation of the Books Forward author branding and book marketing firm, along with our indie publishing support sister company Books Fluent.
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