“Between A Rock And A Hot Place”: Tracey Jackson on Life After 50!
Tracy Jackson is a renowned writer, director, screenwriter and producer, AND…she’s (shhh!) “one of us”! Successful in a host of entertainment arenas, Tracey has written over fifteen feature films and fourteen television pilots. Her first book, “Between A Rock And A Hot Place“ is a lighthearted look at turning 50, set to be released this month.
(Be sure to see review of “Between A Rock And A Hot Place”!)
Successful, fifty and funny at the same time, Tracey is also passionate about aging issues and how they affect women. We’re pleased to share Tracey’s thoughts and insight with our readers!
Q. What do you find funny about turning 50 and aging?
A. The funniest thing is when I hear people say it’s the new thirty. It’s so not thirty. And there are things I like better about being fifty and then things that were better at thirty. I find it hilarious that people think we can turn back the clock. I find life funny, or I can find the funny in life. I am starting to laugh when I go in the room and totally forget what I am there for.
Q. What is your biggest fear about aging?
A. I think the biggest fears are becoming that one becomes irrelevant; one disappears into the demo that isn’t heard and doesn’t count. And then on a more serious level one doesn’t want to whither away, or be whacked by some terrible disease. And then, of course, there is losing my mind, which I think I’m doing on a daily basis.
Q. How did you celebrate your 50th birthday?
A. My family gave me a fabulous party for fifty of my friends in the Museum of Modern Art here in NYC. They have a wonderful private room that looks over the sculpture garden. It was a great way to bring in this new phase of my life.
A. I will say this ~ they can be. There is no question I am light-years away from my grandmother’s fifty. In terms of health and vitality and to not sound vain – looks. I exercise I take care of myself and I watch my diet. My grandmother was over-weight and neglected many of the things we pay attention to today.
Thanks to science and advancements in cosmetology and all sorts of things, we can look younger much longer than our grandmothers could. It was starting to happen with my mother’s generation, as my mother at 82 looks much younger than her mother did at the same age. One can also find people in their 50’s who don’t take care of themselves, and you see the difference. Obesity is at an all time high; the last report was that two-thirds of Americans are obese. This leads to not only joint and heart problems, but diabetes which does nothing but eat away at your body and organs.
Our bodies have not changed at all – without modern science we would decay at the same rate as the cavemen. Go to a country where people do not have access to doctors, medicine and proper nutrition, you will find 30-year-olds who look 60. It’s really a matter of taking advantage of what is out there – certainly in regards to medicine – and watch what you eat and exercise. There are so many things we can do that do not require fancy gym memberships and plastic surgery. and then just embrace it, accept and don’t let it take charge of you – you take charge of it.
Q. What did you learn about yourself in writing your book, “Between a Rock And A Hot Place”?
A. I learned that I could have a whole new career at this stage of my life, which is huge and was not the case in decades gone by. I have always been a writer, so that was not a new experience, but writing a book and getting it published is, and that is very exciting.
Q. What comes next for you?
A. Aside from my ongoing blogging on Tracey Talks, I plan on doing another book. I’m working on turning an experience of mine into a reality show. I have started Meet Up Groups through MeetUp.com all around the country called Frankly Fifty where women who are anywhere from 46 to 60 get together and discuss the issues I talk about in my book and others they feel they need to work out or just get feedback on and share. I’m also starting a non-for profit called Heartlite.org that will bring awareness to early detection of heart disease in women. Heart disease is the number one killer of women and though we know certain things about it, we don’t get properly tested early enough and most women don’t even know how far the advancements in testing have come.
We will not only open this dialogue, we will raise money for women who might not be able to afford these tests or don’t have insurance. With early detection women do not have to die of heart disease. If every women in this country could get a CT Scan of her heart in her early fifties and then take the proper action I promise you we would see a drastic decline in deaths from coronary, and vascular disease in our lifetime. And this would be a giant step towards making the real new forty.