After a three-decade career in South African journalism, Charlotte Bauer turned 50 and suddenly the future looked different … Youth, she realised, is a passing phase. But how to deal with what comes after youth? In her hilarious book How to Get Over Being Young (Atlantic Books), she consults her mother, her aunt, her sisters and her friends: what are their stories of hitting the menopause? She tells her story, over the course of ten years, dealing with marriage, children, Botox and refurbishing a dwelling in France. Now available in South Africa, How to Get Over Being Young was featured in the BBC article “Books that help us to embrace middle age”, was selected by author Sharon Bolton as a favourite read, and was one of Edinburgh Books’ best summer reads. In this extract, Bauer recounts the beginning of her journey.