Initially, the idea behind my title was that my protagonist Joy’s life has been lonely (and joy has been elusive) since her parents died when she was sixteen, and she has about given up on finding love when she meets Ray. She comes into his ready-made family and, for a time, this seems like a mistake to her. However, in the afternoon of her life, she finds love and joy.
When does the afternoon of life begin? Joy is much younger than I am, but she’s never been in a serious romantic relationship before, and she no longer expects one to happen when she meets Ray. She does not consider herself particularly desirable or even attractive, and she’s thrilled that Ray finds her beautiful. Doubts emerge, though, after the honeymoon, and soon she begins to question his real motives in marrying her.
Yet, I think the concept goes deeper than this, and the afternoon of life does not begin at a particular age, or even stage of life. In the novel, Ray has been pursuing career success and material acquisitions, and experiences a significant change of direction. Some fairly disastrous events in his workplace precipitate the change in Ray—events that threaten not only his financial stability but the core of who he is. Even Ray’s teenage daughters experience significant change, as they are forced to think about issues of life and death.
Carl Jung says: “The afternoon of life is just as full of meaning as the morning; only, its meaning and purpose are different.” Jung goes on to describe the afternoon of life as the time when we begin to shift away from the ego being the dominant force in our life moving toward a life journey that has real meaning. I also like the following quote: In the afternoon of your life, you don’t do life. You do what resonates with the callings of your soul. Follow the link below for an interesting interview on the subject with Dr. Wayne Dyer: https://www.positivelypositive.com/2013/06/28/the-afternoon-of-your-life/