Single and Sixty: A Reflective and Sometimes Humorous Journey of One Woman’s Quest to Deal With Divorce Later in Life
Golden Spiral Press, 2019
One of the defining traits of the Baby Boom generation, arguably, is divorce. This is a generation that was the first to experience divorce as a legit possibility (although still a cultural stigma) as children. It was also the first generation to make divorce commonplace, something one did for oneself no matter the consequences. Typically, the sundering of a Baby Boomer marriage coincided a man’s midlife crisis. Male abandonment was often the common denominator among Gen X and, later, these same Boomer males would end up marrying the children of the generation they abandoned attempting to set things right with late in life toddlers. A Baby Boomer married to or having had a child with a Millennial is utter sadness and culturally revolting.
Lost in all this were the wives and mothers; the women left behind even though they had done everything ‘right’ as they were told and raised to do. So reading memoirs like Janie Jurkovich’s Single and Sixty is a glimpse into how a generation of women still kept their lives and families together after the damage done by the fragile masculinity of Boomer men.
Don’t get the wrong idea, Jurkovich’s book is in no way bitter. In fact, she often makes it a point in her easy, honest prose of poking fun at herself. Yet she refuses to not place blame where it squarely belongs, “my spouse had not been stepping up as a partner for a long time, you can’t make other people change no matter how hard you try.” Her gift in Single and Sixty is turning away from remorse, regret, panic, anger, and bitterness. Instead, we read the story of a woman learning to do things for herself for the first time–and eventually mastering it.
Whether it is mowing the lawn, making sense of the finances, or motivating herself to become the primary earner in her life, Jurkovich makes it clear “The cost was well worth it because it was the start of a new chapter of self-sufficiency.” It is a difficult journey. Musing on how she “was 25 years old when we married and I was married to him for 35 years,” she’s almost stunned into inaction realizing more of her life has been lived married than not. Such a realization is an existential crisis for to begin again at a stage in life when beginnings, let alone new beginnings, are rare there is no road map.
Enter Jurkovich’s close female friends, her therapist, her son, and others, each aid her in realizing that “As mothers and wives, we are taught to take care of others and basically not get ‘paid. We’re used to being devalued. We want to help. We want to make it ‘all better.'” but that she needs to take care of self now. Jurkovich takes us along with her as she becomes master of her home (physically and emotionally), builds up her small business to the point it can not just sustain her but guarantee her future, nurture friendships beyond her formerly closed circle of marriage, and, perhaps the most terrifying but satisfying for her and readers, navigate the field of dating in the 21st Century when the last date you went on was almost four decades ago.
Humor, emotional honesty, and genuine attempt to share her experience so others “can feel like you’re not alone and that you too, can get through whatever it is you’re going through” make Single and Sixty the kind of book that can uplift spirits and give practical, pragmatic advice.
About the Author
Janie Jurkovich spent 35 years of her life caring for her children, her spouse, her home and her work.
When her marriage suddenly ended, she realized she had completely neglected to take care of herself. Despite successfully managing $6.6 million in properties as the owner of Jurkovich Doak Development, she was exhausted and truly lost. This was not the life she had imagined for herself at 25.
Now, at 64, she is an author, a speaker, a competitive athlete, a business owner and a world traveler. This IS the life she imagined and it only gets better. She continues to engage in daily reflection, reading and exploration.
Discover more about her ongoing journey at www.JanieJ.net