11/10/2021 | By Annie Tobey

Margit Novack offers a unique perspective on aging – as a professional working with seniors and now as an older adult herself. She brings the insights gained from that experience to her new book, Squint: Re-visioning the Second Half of Life.

A pioneer in the senior move management field, Novack founded Moving Solutions in 1996 and helped older adults and their families through the process of downsizing. Downsizing, sometimes an unwanted move and always a major life change, can reveal people’s vulnerability and bring out their best and their worst. Novack helped establish the National Association of Senior and Specialty Move Managers (NASMM) and chaired the group’s ethics commission. Now, Novack is in her early 70s and experiencing some of the issues that her clients and their families faced. Her book offers both her professional, fly-on-the-wall perspective as well as her own lived insights on aging.

A rich blend of topics in Squint: Re-visioning the Second Half of Life

Although Squint is billed in part as a memoir, it doesn’t take a chronological, autobiographical format. Instead, the book is a series of essays.

For example, in Part I, “The Bubbie Chronicles,” the author shares warm memories of Bubbie, her mother-in-law and the family’s caregiving responsibilities as Bubbie aged. In the chapter entitled “Tough Love,” Novack looks at the older woman’s rising anxiety and depression and the painful intervention that brought about “a new Bubbie … [an] improved version who proceeded to astonish us with her wit, wisdom, and joy.”

Through her relatable, engaging, first-person narrative essays, Margit Novack explores universal themes: relationships with our parents and other family members, forgiveness and self-forgiveness, grief, and the wisdom and challenges of aging, both of one’s elders and of oneself. She examines topics that are less common but nonetheless significant, such as senior suicide, sibling estrangement, and blended families. She provides insights that spring both from her decades as a senior move manager and as a daughter and granddaughter: parting with inherited items – heirlooms, treasures, and everyday pieces – caregiving, downsizing, and inspirational clients.

Squint is an easy and enjoyable read. Each chapter stands alone, making this a wonderful book to pick up here and there. Or, as I did, for a few minutes before bed. Squint will leave you with valuable lessons and warm feelings. It will provide inspiration for making the most of the rest of your life.

Margit Novack has granted Seniors Guide permission to run excerpts from her book. Enjoy the chapter “Still Someone” then click here if you would like to get your own copy of Squint: Re-visioning the Second Half of Life.

‘Squint: Re-visioning the Second Half of Life’ by Margit Novack. Published by Extra Step Media, June 22, 2021

Annie Tobey

Annie Tobey has been a professional writer and editor for more than 30 years. As editor of BOOMER magazine, she explored a diversity of topics of particular interest to adult children of seniors. When she’s not writing, she can be found running the trails or enjoying a beer with friends.

Annie Tobey