Lifelong Journey Reflections

Decades of Gratitude, Gusto, Grit & Grace

This book is an invitation for the reader, standing at the crossroads of here and now, to look back over all that brought them to this time and place while also looking to the future with hope and determination.

Decades of Gratitude, Gusto, Grit & Grace is a journey into the experience of growing through midlife and beyond. It contains a mix of delightful stories, sage perspectives, juicy wisdom, terrific resources, and just fun reading—all focused on what it takes to grow boldly, to remain involved with and connected to one’s own true self as well as to others and to the larger communities in which we all participate.

The core theme revolves around the quest to see each new day as a gift and an opportunity to live in a way that is meaningful, purposeful, joyful, and fulfilling. Written from the perspective of a longtime life coach, it is meant to evoke curiosity and inspire clarity and commitment rather than offer prescriptive advice. Using a coach approach, there are also questions to ponder so that the reader can discover their own inspirational ideas about how to thrive through this time of life. Now more than ever, we each need to find quiet time to reflect on our circumstances and connect with our wise inner voice.

And check out my interview with Lyn-Dee Eldridge on The Happiness Jungle below: 

I so enjoy good and feisty words
the kind that convey far and away
more than a dictionary
definition can possibly capture.

I am thinking about gutsy
rolling the letters around on my tongue
letting its guttural sound
vibrate around in my throat.

If only I could swallow it whole
and embody that quality
of clear and courageous presence
by simply willing it into being…my being.

But it takes grit and gumption
a clarity of conviction and
the will and willingness to step up
ever so boldly and embody my Truth.

No matter the gusty winds
that howl relentlessly at my most
strongly held beliefs and my most
deeply felt hunches and inklings

gutsiness is about holding fast
to values, standing up
to the vicissitudes of life and
facing the prickly fickleness of fortune.

And so I must make time
to step out beyond the ongoing
onslaught of conflicting ideas
and everyone else’s good intentions

in order to seek my own plucky way
through the forest of advice
and flurry of information that threaten
to obscure my very own path.

And all this must be done with grace
and true graciousness
with the sincerity of my own gratitude
and the ongoing opening of my own heart.

Happy Mess!

no matter the chaos, the clutter, the fuss
there is joy to be found
in the happy messes of life
if only we allow our hearts
to smile and embrace the wholeness
and holiness of it all

My husband Mel and I have a favorite toast. Whenever we are having wine with dinner, we raise our glasses and clink them in a toast to “happiness.” When our son Reid was about four years old, we were all out sharing a family meal one evening when he decided to raise his glass (filled with juice) to toast with us. What was so adorable, and revealing, was that the words that came out of his mouth were “happy mess.” I was about to correct him when I stopped myself, realizing that his toast was absolutely perfect. If we could learn to accept and live with—maybe even celebrate—all the inevitable happy messes along the road of life, we would be well on our way to enjoying a wonderful life. AHA! indeed.

What very young children, and those of us who have learned a bit along life’s journey, know is that things do not need to be perfect or pristine for joy to be present. As Martha Washington explained, “I have learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances.” Perhaps the whole point of life is simply to seek the happiness and fullness to be found moment by precious moment, no matter what’s going on.

Here’s another lesson learned by living. Life happens…and not always according to our best theories, ideas, and strategies. In fact, it mostly does not quite happen according to plan—or at least not according to our carefully laid out agendas, schedules, and lists. What we learn to recognize as we grapple and grow is that the most powerful happiness strategy in our human tool box is our capacity to apply thoughtful consideration, perspective, and compassion to whatever is happening when life is not going according to our idea of how it should be. By doing so, we reframe whatever is taking place in the most positive and inspiring ways possible.


“In Decades of Gratitude, Gusto, Grit & Grace, Minx Boren gives readers a new playbook for living big, vibrant, and fulfilling lives in the latter years of life."

“Minx possesses an amazing combination of gifts which allow her to move through a lifetime observing herself and the world around her, and then to beautifully describe what she sees and feels in words that create a profound impact on the reader. In this book, she reminds each of us that life is precious and "possible" at every every moment. No one I know is filled with more grace, grit, gratitude, or gusto than Minx Boren and, having read this fabulous book, I am inspired to go out and keep growing with gusto!"

“This is a book not to be missed, no matter your age, no matter your sex. Minx’s enlightening view of the meaning of a joyful and fulfilling life commands our consideration and attention. A terrific, provocative book.”

“We 'Boomers' have been thrust into a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world. Minx Boren’s book, Decades of Gratitude, Gusto, Grit & Grace, is a wise woman’s offering of not only how to navigate the next stage of life with grace and aliveness, but to unlock the very spirit of life’s purpose anew. As a poet, leader of women, and grandmother she’s plunged into life full bore, giving her the right to write an audacious book such as this.”

“Minx Boren has an impressive ability to integrate her personal experience, insights, and what she has picked up from continual lifelong learning into awe-inspiring poetry and prose. Most importantly she is a glorious example of what she shares in her writing. Minx has grown gracefully through the decades and this book is filled with perspectives and practical skills and habits that we can use as we age, whatever age we may be."

“Minx Boren is a unique and amazing woman, with a voice that resonates deeply and universally. As we encounter our own life cycles we determine what and who we are at any given moment. Minx helps us expand our exploration through her soul-touching poetry and her heart-touching personal experiences. Doors and windows of potential and possibility open for us all. If you are seeking your own gratitude, gusto, grit, and grace as you grow in years and decades, I couldn’t imagine a better guiding light than this book!”

“The poetry and writings of Minx Boren provide a wise, reflective insight into the depths of the human spirit.”

“Minx pens poems that often make me cry and laugh in a single reading. She cuts straight to that universal heart of the matter, which is so often forgotten in divisive times."

“Some authors teach. Some inspire. Some reveal the inner depths of what we hold sacred and pure. Some give voice to the unspeakable within us and around us. Minx Boren’s writing includes all of this and much more. Experiencing her work is to mark the terrain of our life, coming back to this new ground again and again for nourishment. This is the book we keep under our pillow and pray it insumes each of our restful and waking moments."

“Decades of Gratitude, Gusto, Grit & Grace is compelling reading. Minx Boren doesn’t hold back—she regales you with real-life stories—of crisis, of wonder, of learning, of daring. Boren marshals her formidable life experience into themes, each chapter exploring a quality, a strength she grew into and now invites you to do the same. She charms you with her voice, her way of making you feel that you too could easily slip into a fuller humanity with just a tweak here, a shift there. Her perspective as a longtime life coach serves to add to the depth of her observations and offerings. I think others will especially relate to her journey from shy introvert to powerful teacher, coach and advocate. I know I did."