S5-EP16: Sari Botton on Oldster Magazine and the Hot Topic of Growing Old

May 26, 2023


Debbie talks to incomparably prolific writer and editor Sari Botton about her popular Oldster Magazine and how the topic of growing old touches a nerve with everyone from Millennials to GenXers to Boomers.



Debbie talks to the incomparably prolific writer and editor Sari Botton about her popular online Oldster Magazine and how the topic of growing old touches a nerve with everyone from Millennials to GenXers (Sari is 57) to Boomers. 

Sari Botton publishes three different newsletters on Substack and she’s got over 1,500 paying subscribers.  So growing old is definitely a hot topic – and not just for Boomers in their 60s and 70s.

Her approach to aging is interesting; in fact, she’s been obsessed with growing older since she turned 10 and entered double digits. And she says she still feels 10 or 11 inside her head. She describes aging as traveling through time in a human body—of any gender, at every phase of life. Thus Oldster Magazine is about the experience of getting older and what that means at different junctures. 

In this episode Sari and Debbie talk about ageism (what it is and isn’t); Sari’s experiences of growing older (no more wooden clogs for her); and the close to 100 interviews she’s done on Oldster about growing older (and what we can learn from them). They also talk about Martha Stewart’s recent Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover. Does it make the point that you can look good in a swimsuit at any age (Martha is 81)? That age doesn’t matter?? Or is this just Martha Stewart being Martha Stewart?

They also delve into Sari’s new skincare routine (yes, a nod to getting older) and why birthday parties are so important to her.

Sari is the author of the memoir in essays, And You May Find Yourself…Confessions of a Late-Blooming Gen-X Weirdo and was a contributing editor and columnist at Catapult, and the former Essays Editor for Longreads. She edited the bestselling anthologies Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving NewYork and Never Can Say Goodbye: Writers on Their Unshakable Love for New York. She teaches creative nonfiction at Bay Path University and Kingston Writers’ Studio. She publishes Oldster MagazineMemoir Land, and Adventures in Journalism. She is the Writer in Residence in the creative writing department of SUNY New Paltz for Spring, 2023.


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Thanks to our media partners

Encore.org, our newest media partner, is an ideas and innovation hub tapping the talent of those 50+ as a force for good. Founder and CEO Marc Freedman is an award-winning social entrepreneur and author, most recently, of How to Live Forever: The Enduring Power of Connecting the Generations. Looking for a great gap-year transition program? Check out Encore Fellowships, which match skilled, seasoned professionals with social-sector organizations in high-impact, paid assignments.


Modern Elder Academy is a program dedicated to navigating mid-life transitions. MEA, based in Baja California, Mexico, provides the place and the tools to start reframing your lifetime of experience. Grow whole, not old. Founder Chip Conley is a New York Times bestselling author, award-winning hospitality entrepreneur and a rock star of the mid-life transition movement. His newest book is Wisdom @ Work: the Making of a Modern Elder.


Next For Me is an important new resource for the 50+ crowd focused on rewriting life. Taking a gap year or timeout may be the best way to figure out "what's next" when you're in this stage of life. Founder Jeff Tidwell explains, Next For Me "connects and inspires our generation to evolve our post-50 lives through new work, a new purpose, or a new social contribution."