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How Did I Get to be 70 When I'm 35 Inside?

Spiritual Surprises of Later Life

Linda Douty

6 x 9, 208 pp, Quality Paperback


Large Print edition also available from

Have the courage and curiosity to face the inner changes of aging—
and learn how they can help you find meaning in your later years.

“I used to think that age sixty-five was the start of a slippery downward slope to the cemetery. But inside, I felt a surge of enormous energy, with the potential to approach aging as an uncharted adventure instead of a prison sentence.”

—from the Introduction

Unlike other authors, spiritual director Linda Douty discusses the challenges and surprises of aging by talking about how you actually feel, not what you’re supposed to feel. In a warm, down-to-earth voice, she offers a spiritually grounded method to adjust to the unexpected as you grow older. There is no one-size-fits-all here, but a variety of responses to the inner and outer transformations of aging and new ways of looking at them. She looks at surprises, welcome and unwelcome, concerning:
• Self-image • The physical body • Relationships • Spiritual life

Questions for reflecting on who you are in this period of your life—or who you would like to be—will help you live each day more purposefully and joyfully.

“Kudos for Linda Douty! She has written the most engaging, honest, rollicking, helpful book on aging I’ve seen in a long time—quite possibly ever, in fact.”

Phyllis Tickle, compiler, The Divine Hours

“[Rises] above platitudes by asking about self-discovery, outside versus inside age, and the changing image of God…. [Shows] ways old people have plowed through pain—the physical inseparable from the spiritual—toward ‘winnowed wisdom,’ paying homage to the holy in everything to leave a legacy of true love in something.”

Publishers Weekly

“An honest, wise and practical user’s manual for ‘growing into age,’ brought to you by experienced guides who are personally making the passage. It’s a book that’s long been needed: deeply spiritual but never sentimental or agenda-driven.”

The Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault, author, The Wisdom Way of Knowing, Mystical Hope and Love Is Stronger Than Death

“Takes unflinching aim at some potentially scary territory—the unspoken fears, challenges and joys of aging…. Will provide robust guidance for the later years and be a source of compassion in dealing with the elders in your life.”

J. David Forbes, MD, president, American Holistic Medical Association

“With engaging, witty and refreshingly unvarnished prose … guides us through the psycho-physical-spiritual challenges of life’s later years…. A profoundly wise book that satisfies both mind and heart.”

Marjorie J. Thompson, pastor; author, Soul Feast: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life

“Candid, clear and full of surprising wisdom about the things we dread or deny. I’d buy it for any friend over fifty.”

Marjory Zoet Bankson, author, Creative Aging: Rethinking Retirement and Non-Retirement in a Changing World

“Thoughtful, insightful, helpful and timely—exactly what I expect from Linda Douty.”

Robert Benson, author, The Echo Within

“Delightful…. [This] book has inspired and motivated me to continue my aging journey with confidence and optimism.”

Molly Srode, author, Creating a Spiritual Retirement; co-author, Keeping Spiritual Balance As We Grow Older

“You don’t need to be seventy to treasure this book!”

Nancy L. Bieber (, teacher, retreat leader and spiritual director; author, Decision Making & Spiritual Discernment: The Sacred Art of Finding Your Way

“Authentic, down-to-earth, inviting—this book helped me regard my own aging process and that of family members with grace, dignity, humor and tenderness. Hats off to Linda Douty for a fresh, honest, spiritually based perspective on aging!”

Margaret Benefiel, author, Soul at Work and The Soul of a Leader

Linda Douty, a leading speaker on the topics of meaningful aging, personal growth and spiritual formation, is author of How Can I Let Go If I Don’t Know I’m Holding On? and How Can I See the Light When It’s So Dark? She is a spiritual director, a contributor to Presence (the journal of Spiritual Directors International) and a dynamic retreat leader. She is on the faculty at the Academy for Spiritual Formation.

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