Meet Brigitte Nioche
Brigitte Nioche is the author of Living Longer, Living Well: How to Embrace the Challenges of a Long Life. I had the pleasure of meeting Brigitte through our mutual editor, Candace Johnson. Brigitte is a fascinating, intelligent woman who came from Germany, traveled through Egypt, and now lives in Manhattan. I admire her class, pragmatism, and persistent effort to learn how to use social media. She’s also a witty writer! Check her out.
About the Book
NOT READY TO BE OLD YET?
What’s a woman “of a certain age” to do about sex, social media, and the latest fashion trends? In this charming, often self-effacing memoir, Brigitte Nioche shares her personal experiences of staying positive, dealing with the challenges that come in the second half of life, and living life to the fullest.
Interview with Brigitte Nioche
How long have you been writing?
For a very long time – my first article about a church in upstate New York was published in 1972
Why did you start writing?
I wanted to share my experience with others
When did you publish your first book?
The Sensual Dresser in 1981 published by Perigee.
What gave you the idea to write LIVING LONGER, LIVING WELL?
I think I have explained this in the introduction of the book – but I would like to add the idea of the book is to show people how important it is, at any age, to stay connected to the world
My mother just turned sixty and loved your book. I’m about to turn forty. What do you think it is it about these age milestones that are so difficult?
The Media hype…. they make it sound like you are becoming a different person at that point – whereas the truth is we really don’t feel any different and we are not, so we should remember that – sorry for the cliché – age is just a number
You always say a smile changes everything. How do you keep such a positive attitude?
Well, when you smile the world smiles back at you – when you approach a person, and even though they look cranky, seeing you smile will make them smile too. A smile also says to most people – I like you and that changes everything and it becomes easy to be positive.
You live in Manhattan, a place I love deeply and have always fantasized living in full time. Tell us a little about your lifestyle there and your day to day activities.
I love New York and don’t think I could live anywhere else – NY is vibrant and without doing much one feels always part of something – but when people envy me for living here because of museums and art, and theater, I always tell them going to work doesn’t leave too much time to see everything – and another drawback is that living here I think I can always go for which reason I sometimes miss something.
My lifestyle – now that I don’t work full time anymore I try to stick to a daily schedule and set myself tasks – of course the most important is writing – but since that is a rather lonely occupation I make sure to have an outside activity keeping me connected and up to date. Meeting people and interacting with them is my way to stay positive
How do you stay fit, healthy, and happy?
First let me say that when you are fit and feel good about yourself – you are happy. But to stay fit exercise, moving is necessary – no we don’t always feel like it, therefore, we must find an exercise that we like – walking, dancing (yes that is a very good exercise). I walk up 12 floors every day. and feel that is all I need – it is important to find something you like or you won’t do it for long. It should be enjoyable. and again, when you enjoy something it makes you feel optimistic at the same time.
Do you have kids? Grandkids? If so, how do they enrich your life? If not, did you ever regret not having children?
What should those growing older know about aging without children and grandchildren to help? I have one son and two grandchildren – I don’t see them often, but it is always a special day when I do, and I love the way they bring me-up-to-date especially on Social Media – the most important way to connect to them is to ask them about their life and interests and then listen to their answer.
For people who don’t have grandchildren it will be a good idea to get involved with some volunteering to do with children – or offer babysitting services for nieces and nephews
Reaching the age of forty, I feel my time is limited. Death can happen to an anyone at any time. What has given your life meaning? What legacy do you want to leave behind?
Let me first say that at 40 you should not think of this – you are young, in the middle of life – of course we can all die at any age, that’s why it is not useful to think about it at any age.
The Meaning of my life has been to lead a healthy, fruitful, busy life, leading the way by being a good example. And I hope that my legacy would be that my actions, my behavior made a difference in the life of the people who knew me.