Plymouth author challenges women to ‘sparkle on’ as they age

‘Sparkle On…Women Aging in Gratitude’ encourages women to age embrace the aging process

Upon turning 50, Kim Kane of Plymouth wanted to help other women feel more comfortable about the aging process with her book “Sparkle On...Women Aging in Gratitude.” (Sun Sailor photo by Kristen Miller)
Upon turning 50, Kim Kane of Plymouth wanted to help other women feel more comfortable about the aging process with her book “Sparkle On…Women Aging in Gratitude.” (Sun Sailor photo by Kristen Miller)

When Kim Kane was turning 50, she began writing a blog and exploring the concept of aging and what that meant to her. Soon, she began hearing from followers – women sharing similar concerns and feelings – the struggles, the joys and the questions surrounding life’s progression.

Through her blogs, Kane noticed how often she wrote about feeling under-valued “or at least that was my perception,” she said. Other women would also share via the blog, their frustrations with not looking youthful anymore, or becoming less able bodied, Kane explained.

The women also spoke of their bodies looking older, but that their mind was still sharp.
“With the outside appearance looking older, they were not given a voice in places they once were, such as work environments,” Kane said. She is a mother three grown children and lives in Plymouth with her husband, Pat.

It was these women who inspired Kane to write her first book, “Sparkle On…Women Aging in Gratitude.”

It was after reviewing her blogs, Kane also found gratitude as an overall theme that emerged from her writing. “I realized that even when things were sad, such as when I experienced the loss of my father that year, if I looked through the lens of gratitude, and if I saw even a small glimmer of hope, it made all the difference in how I felt,” Kane said.

Spreading hope to other women became her mission through her book.

“I wanted to raise the awareness about all of us ‘women of a certain age’ and the wisdom and experience we all had. Turning a certain age does not mean turning off the learning, the sharing, the ability,” Kane said. “In fact, growing older really can mean we are growing wiser.”

To compile the book, Kane interviewed more than 200 women. She began by asking friends via email certain questions related to aging.

Then she invited women to small gatherings so she could interview more women at once.
“It turned out women loved talking about this subject of aging,” she said. Soon she was the one being invited to women’s homes. “It was wonderful,” she said.

As a 55-year-old woman, Kane said she is also just beginning to see what other things she can accomplish. “I just wrote my first book after all,” Kane said, who is also a dean of students at Eden Prairie High School.

“In a society that values youth, I really want to change that perception,” Kane said, referring to the value that is placed on looks, rather than abilities.
“Yet there is such beauty in woman as they age,” Kane said. “Women become more confident, less worried about what they have to do and more focused on what they want to do.”

The book has chapters that have several stories pertaining to the subject matter, Kane explained. One chapter, “Lions and Tigers and Hair, Oh My!” is all about body changes.

“I offer a few personal stories and then weave other women’s words to help show other’s perspectives,” Kane said.

“Our bodies change … along with other things, and sometimes these changes are uncomfortable and sometimes they are just plain funny,” Kane said.

In sharing these stories, Kane hopes women who read her book see themselves as being normal as they go through the aging process.
“After all, if we are not allowed to age, what is the alternative?” Kane asked.

As far as her audience, “I think women over 50 will appreciate this the most,” Kane said. Also, based on feedback she’s received from younger readers, she expects women of any age will enjoy reading the experiences of those who have walked before them.

Furthermore, “I hope the women who read this book laugh, smile and give a nod to understanding what others have shared about experiencing aging.”

When asked what she does to “sparkle on” in her daily life, Kane said it’s about paying attention and making sure she doesn’t miss a thing.
“I want to see the value in even the smallest of kind gestures and to give thanks as if it is the best thing that happened,” Kane said. “After writing this book, I know that I am not alone, and I find comfort in that. Part of my sparkling will be to let others know they are not alone either.”
‘Sparkle On’ book launch

Kane will host a book launch party 5-7:30 p.m. Sunday, May 21 at russell + hazel, 219 2nd St. in Minneapolis. Books and book signing will be available.

Kane also welcomes invites from book clubs to lead a discussion about the book.

More information can be found on her website kimkaneandgratitude.com.

Celebrate Women! workshops planned
As part of the book and its message, Kane will host two Celebrate Women! workshops 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday, June 29 and Saturday, Oct. 14 at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska.

Both days are filled with speakers geared specifically for women and aging. The presenters will cover topics on mindfulness and yoga, looking at life through the lens of gratitude, nutrition for the aging woman; and creating a vision for the next adventure in life.

Click here to register.

Contact Kristen Miller at [email protected]