'Queen of Your Own Life' by Kathy Kinney and Cindy Ratzlaff

Book explains how to make the second half of your life better than the first.

ByABC News via GMA logo
April 12, 2009, 5:43 PM

April 1, 2010 — -- You've made it through the first half of your life. Now Kathy Kinney and Cindy Ratzlaff have a few ideas on how to make the second half even better.

In "Queen of Your Own Life," the two longtime friends share their "seven gifts" to give yourself so that, as they write, you can "blast away at the societal tall tale that young is beautiful and old is just old."

Check out an excerpt of the book below, then head to the "GMA" Library for other great reads.

Welcome to the second half of your life, or what we believe can be the best half of your life!

Queen of Your Own Life is a philosophy, a decision and an invitation to happiness for women who have made the tough but rewarding journey to the midpoint in their lives. We're excited to be your guides on this next big adventure.

With humor and common sense we will offer you our tried and-true actions to blast away at the societal tall tale that young is beautiful and old is just old. With our seven simple steps we will help you let go of the negative thoughts that keep you from fully admiring and accepting yourself just the way you are—a woman in full bloom, valuable, sensual, vibrant, wise and more beautiful than ever.

Every significant stage of life is marked by a celebration or ritual—birth, graduation, marriage, even death—yet we have nothing to mark the momentous accomplishment of reaching midlife. That is, unless you count the horrible tradition of over-the-hill birthday parties, complete with black balloons, coffin-shaped cakes and gift bags filled with incontinence supplies. Yuck. That's the "celebration" society sets up for women as we reach midlife? After you follow our easy, straightforward guidelines to claiming your crown, we'll help you plan one hell of a kick-ass Crowning Ceremony, filled with laughter and good friends, that will mark your transition into the glorious second half of your life.

If you have been feeling that the best part of your life is past, then this book will prove to you that there is always something more and that the door to being happy is not only never closed but is just waiting for you to fling it open. Remember, you don't have to be twenty to have your whole life ahead of you. So, let's get going. It's time to become Queen of Your Own Life—if not now, when?

crone [kro-an] (noun) 1.offensive term 2. a term of abuse 3. a withered old woman 4. from the Anglo-French caroine, charoine - dead flesh 5. a woman over forty

It all started one night because Kathy's feet were hot and she couldn't sleep. While searching the Internet to see if other women had similar symptoms or if what she was experiencing was fatal, she stumbled upon several sites telling her that she had reached her crone years and must embrace entering the final phase of her life. Having an understandably violent reaction to the word crone she looked it up in the dictionary. That night on the Internet she learned two important things: 1. Many women have hot feet and need to kick the covers off at night to cool off. 2. Crone meant exactly what she thought it did and she didn't want to be one.

According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary the word crone dates back to the fourteenth century and is a Middle English term of abuse. The dictionary under the Tools menu in Microsoft Word agrees with Merriam-Webster's and adds one additional definition: woman over forty.

Kathy found Web sites that claim the title crone hasn't always been derogatory; in pre-Christian times, old women were particularly important members of the community. Yes, we're sure they were very important members of their society but we bet they didn't like being called a crone any more than we do. Let's face it, words matter. The language that others and we use to describe our lives and ourselves as women affects us. No matter what kind of spin you put on it, the word crone still evokes an image of a withered old woman at the end of her life, and that's no reason to throw a party.