Cardiff author to hold launch event for new memoir on aging, how to lead a ‘full and adventurous life’

Suzanne Spector
(Michele Goane, Captured Forever Photography)

Inspired by the events of her own life over the past few decades, an 86-year-old Cardiff resident will release a memoir to demonstrate how your twilight years can be “an exciting, fun, fulfilling time.”

“It really struck me that so many people I knew and so many people I met had such a fear of aging,” said Suzanne Spector, who moved to California from the East Coast in her 40s to embark on a series of new adventures. “They really seemed to have the notion that life is like a triangle, moving up the path to the peak in the first half and then a downward slide in the second.”

Spector will hold a launch event for her book, “Naked at the Helm,” on Sunday, Aug. 14, at 3 p.m. at the Diesel book store in Del Mar Highlands Town Center.

Her story begins when she divorced her husband around age 40, as cultural events such as the feminist movement and Woodstock were reshaping society.

The cover of "Naked at the Helm"

“I was wrapped in suburban matronhood as all those exciting things were happening in the culture,” said Spector, who is originally from Rockville Centre, New York, and graduated from The Birch Wathen Lenox School and Barnard College.

Spector and her husband had three daughters.

“Not that it was easy for them,” she added. “Divorce is never easy, but I think despite the stresses of it, I think it empowered them to be strong women too.”

Some of the places, adventures and endeavors Spector experienced over the years include a nude beach on Ibiza, a Siberian banya, new love affairs and a career as director of the Center for Studies of the Person founded by psychologist Carl Rogers.

As far as her target audience, Spector said feedback from the book “has been really strong among women of all ages,”

“In some ways it’s like giving birth to a child,” she said. “I’m excited to share it and hope it will be inspiring to people to take little steps in their lives.”

Another San Diego-based author, Jill G. Hall, said in a statement that Spector’s story is “an inspirational memoir that bravely bares it all.”

“She lets readers know it’s never too late to experience life at its fullest and encourages them to reflect on their own paths,” Hall continued. “Poignant, funny, and spirited this unputdownable memoir will ignite many book club discussions.”

For more information about “Naked at the Helm: Independence and Intimacy in the Second Half of Life,” visit The Del Mar Highlands Town Center, where the Aug. 14 book launch will be held, is located at 12843 El Camino Real, suite 104, San Diego, 92130.