Nigel Marsh contemplates his third trimester

Nigel Marsh turns sixty.

It’s 2022 and Nigel Marsh, bestselling author of 2005’s Fat,

Forty & Fired, is staring down the barrel of turning sixty.

Every week he finds himself bumping awkwardly into

evidence of his growing older. His parents have both passed

away, he’s losing his hearing and he and his wife Kate are

now empty nesters – within two months their house has

emptied of all four children as well as the pet dog.

Now he finds himself wearing a dressing-gown at his writing

desk in a storage room under his garage wondering whether

his happiest days are behind him.

But just because the first half of life is full of exciting, lifechanging events like becoming educated, building a career,

forming partnerships and raising children – why can’t getting

older be a good thing too?

The term ‘old age’ has become irretrievably negative when

applied to people, so Nigel decides to rebrand it into ‘the third

trimester’ of life.

Youth has its unique upsides, but so does old age. You

care less what other people think of you; you’ve worked out

who your real friends are; you haven’t got to spend your life

commuting to a crushingly pointless job, or working for an

arsehat; you’ve nothing to prove to anyone; you have the

freedom to devote proper time to getting really good at a

hobby…the list goes on.

In Smart, Stupid & Sixty, Nigel ponders his entry into the third

trimester – ageing well, staying healthy, sex, decreasing work,

parenting adult children, maintaining friendships, his parents’

passing, learning new skills and the secret to living a happy

life and making the most of getting older.

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