Amazing Grays by Maggie Rose Crane

About the book:

Balanced somewhere between a memoir and a how-to, AMAZING GRAYS is a uniquely refreshing and candid look at midlife for those unwilling to become feeble old women with boobs in their laps, dreams on the shelf, and Memory Lane their only destination. As a leading edge boomer, Maggie uses her own journey through midlife to shatter stereotypes about aging. At the core of her message, she exposes the fears and anxieties that often haunt maturing women and reveals how to mindfully navigate the turbulence with wisdom, perspective and practice. She encourages women to relish their roles as Amazing Grays and not waste time and energy trying to hang on to the past.

For women who are entertaining the possibility of life without hair dye, Maggie shares her story of going gray. She outlines several strategies to take you from colored to natural and includes photos and stories of women who have taken the plunge.

Hers is not an anti-aging message. This book is a little about going gray and a lot about aging mindfully and joyously (with a healthy dose of kicking and screaming) from an everyday womans perspective.

I was lucky enough to be able to ask Maggie some questions. This is what she had to say:

Could you please tell us a little about your book?

Amazing Grays is written for baby boomer women. It’s about aging mindfully, no matter what ones hair color may be. Balanced somewhere between a how-to and a memoir, I share my story of deciding to live without hair dye – and the ensuing battle with all my fears and expectations about getting old! Rather than allow my fears to run my life, I decided to face them head on. I explored the social, physical, psychological and spiritual dimensions of aging, and finally came to appreciate that I could age with grace, gratitude and gusto – or take the journey kicking and screaming while hanging on to the past. Either way – I was still getting older! I chose the first option, but I admit I did some kicking and screaming, too!

I’ve come to understand that life is not lived by regretting or hanging on to the past, or worrying about the future. Life is lived in the NOW, moment by moment. By taking it a step at a time and engaging with the people, activities and events that bring a smile to my lips and a song to my heart – I can guarantee I will create a life that reflects the woman I am today. It’s actually the key to living longer. You don’t really add years to your life – you just live those years so fully grounded in the present moment that it feels like a very loooong time.

Did something specific happen to prompt you to write this book?

I had a life changing epiphany in a hair salon where it became clear I would never color my hair again. Little did I know it was the start of a very bumpy journey? Going gray was the precipitating event that threw me up against all my expectations about aging. While not every woman decides to go gray – the effects of aging show up for everyone. Children leave home, careers wind down, bodies change, relationships evolve, values mature and the seeds of unrest begin to bloom.

After wrestling with my fears, compiling stacks of research and going on a 3-month spiritual retreat, it "came" to me. I realized that as a leading edge boomer, it might be helpful to chronicle my experience and share what I had learned so that women who were just starting their journey into midlife might have a guidebook as they began to traverse these waters. I wanted to extend a hand to help them not only go through it, but also mindfully explore these purposeful changes in a woman’s life and better appreciate the circle of life.

What cause are you most passionate about and why?

I am most passionate about encouraging women to embrace the second half of life as a fresh start. By becoming an Amazing Gray (again, it has nothing to do with hair color!) I’m hoping that the gigantic pool of talent and experience that lies in the sweaty palms of baby boomer women can help to remedy many of the key issues facing our society today.

So many of us have put our personal dreams on the backburner for any number of valid reasons. ALL of us have wisdom and experience we can bring to the table. Now is the time to reawaken slumbering dreams and uncover what we value. We can take steps to heal old wounds, forgive, and let go of the parts of ourselves that we’ve outgrown, summon our courage and move on to live mindfully and authentically as the amazing woman we’ve become.

In the last year have you learned or improved on any skills?

YES! In an effort to challenge my own fears and expectations about aging I’m trying new things. I had forgotten how much I love to dance, so I took a dance class. My teacher encouraged me to try out for my cities ‘Senior Follies’, a variety show featuring folks over 50. I was petrified, but tried out anyway and was offered a role as a dancer and…get ready for this – a showgirl! At 60! It was great fun and I learned some things about myself.

I also went to a spa that provides a challenge course and walked unaided across a 30-foot telephone pole suspended 40 feet in the air. (Yes, I had a belay line so if I fell I wouldn’t die!) It was terrifying - but so empowering. I was also harnessed and hoisted 40 feet into the air holding on to a small rope, which, once I let go, allowed me to freefall and swing in huge arcs. I got to see how hanging on with fear was hard work – and just keeps me stuck in a standstill. Things tend to open up when you let go.

I also took an online course in Social Marketing – so I can communicate with 21st Century tools. Frankly, I’d rather walk across the telephone pole!

What is the most important thing in your life right now?

Connecting with midlife women and opening up the conversation about what’s going on with our bodies, our emotions, and the unrest many of us are feeling. I want to explore how we can reclaim our vitality, reawaken slumbering dreams and support one another in making decisions that allow us to live with grace, gratitude and gusto!

Do you have any advice for writers or readers?

I would encourage readers to take the time to answer the questions scattered throughout my book. They have been crafted to facilitate awakening the unconscious mind and help us look beyond the norm. Hopefully, they inspire contemplation and awareness - which is necessary for change.

What do you feel sets this book apart from others in the same genre?

There are several books about aging and midlife written by celebrities. While they are wonderful women, most of them live very privileged lives. They have notoriety, personal stylists, hairdressers, drivers, cooks, personal trainers and the money to purchase any product or treatment they desire. While I see no problem with that – most of us can’t relate.

Amazing Grays focuses on my experience as an everyday baby boomer woman maturing in a youth obsessed society. I’ve been married, divorced, a single parent, fired, remarried, dealt with a blended family, and survived several careers. I drive my own car, do my own hair and makeup, cook my own meals, pick out my own clothes and go to the gym. I believe that many women will be able to relate to my journey and find insights and strategies on how to age mindfully, with style and grace - (and a little kicking and screaming!)

If you could go back and change one day, what would it be?

Funny, I thought about this long and hard – for 5 seconds! I would not change a thing, because everything that "was" had led me to what "is" – and I like what "is".

What is the most important lesson you have learned from life so far?

That changes in ones life are purposeful. It takes more time and energy to resist life than to simply let go and live it.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

Visit I’m currently offering a free bookmark with purchase of Amazing Grays. It features a wonderful quote for midlife women, affirming how powerful and amazing we truly are. After all, we become what we think about most!

About the author:

Maggie Crane was born on the leading edge of the Baby Boom generation, and has had the quintessential boomer experience: she worked her way through college, married, had a child, divorced, thrived in a few careers, survived as a single mom, remarried and struggled with blended family issues.

After traveling the country for nearly a decade delivering leadership and life skills workshops for women, the demands of her travel schedule and the onset of menopause collided with the big 5-0. She was moved to press the pause button on her life and reassess her priorities. She watched in astonishment as her skin began to lose its elasticity, and was mildly horrified when her tummy morphed into a permanent flotation device. Smile lines etched in deeper and she found it necessary to color her hair more often. When she made the decision to stop dyeing her hair, she came face-to-face with her fears about aging in a youth oriented culture. And so began her not-so-graceful quest to age mindfully.

Gradually, Maggie learned that her frustrations, fears and anxieties about aging grew quiet when she faced them directly. She learned to refocus her energies on the people, things and activities that brought a smile to her face and a song to her heart. By letting go of old identities and rediscovering new passions, she has gradually (but not always gracefully) hitched her rope to a growing movement of Amazing Grays.


AMAZING GRAYS VIRTUAL BLOG TOUR '09 will officially begin on January 5 and end on January 30. You can visit Maggie's blog stops at in January to find out more about this talented lady!
As a special promotion for all our authors, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author or a $50 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on our authors' blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they become available.

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Dorothy Thompson said...

Great interview, girls!