An amazing shift has occurred during my lifetime. I see it in myself. I see it in friends and family members who are about my age. And now it's reflected in a new magazine called More, targeted to women between 45 and 60.
It's that women, instead of being resigned to less as they reach a certain age, want more.
I'm not referring to more things. I mean more experiences, more opportunities, more life.
Today's mid-aged women are all over the board.
Some are first-time mothers. Others are first-time grandmothers. They are running companies, heading volunteer boards, traveling alone, getting into shape, making investments, attending college. They are tending to aging parents and keeping their fingers crossed about their adult children.
All this and more is explored in the pages of More, which is put out by Meredith Corp., publisher of Ladies' Home Journal.
What stymied editors for a long time was finding a name that would appeal to readers and also convey their aims, said Myrna Blyth, editor in chief, interviewed by phone from her New York City office. Anything that bespoke "maturity" or "wisdom" put the test group off, she said.
What I like about the magazine is the way it wanders into an eclectic mix of topics:
The essay "Do You Lie About Your Age?" by Bernice Kanner admits that she trims, equivocates, obfuscates and out-and-out lies about that vital statistic.
A piece on Gail Sheehy, of "Passages" fame, details her transition from being "chromosomally" a New Yorker to life in the Oakland-Berkeley hills. Ms. Sheehy's daily regimen is included, and it fascinates me to find out how other people attempt to stay healthy.
A story on "Menopause: Mother Nature's Big Mistake?" questions whether it's a stage of life or a deficiency disease.
All the editorial models are at least 45, Ms. Blyth proudly asserts. I point out that they are exceptionally attractive, fit, expensively dressed. And most of us aren't.
But everyone is aspiring to be, we agree.
Other stories portray ordinary women and tell about their everyday lives. In one, adult children return home. Another is about a woman who had triplets at 51. They aren't any place I want to travel, but they make interesting reading.
The next issue is due out in September. The question of the magazine's long-term success remains unanswered. Ms. Blyth said reader response has been good and she has some advertisers but would like more.
The fact that Lear's magazine, billed as being for the woman "who wasn't born yesterday," folded in 1994 doesn't bother her. She's after a larger group than that elite clique.
She wants women who realize that they can look good, though they can't look young. She wants women who are realistic, those who have lived and learned.
I think she has the potential for a large audience.