Friday, March 30, 2012

What's Next? by H. Norman Wright

If you're a baby boomer like me, you just retired. What's next? If you knew you had twenty more good years, what would you plan? Wright reminds us we are never too old to live wholeheartedly for the Lord.
He's getting older too. He has written this book to help us on the journey of the rest of our life.
He begins with transitions and writes about those we will experience in the second half of life, especially the unpredictable ones. Parenting transitions are discussed as are the changes of midlife. Wright encourages us to reframe our perspective, always keeping in mind God's criteria for success. He gives great suggestions for being proactive when it comes time for the empty nest.
He walks us through the changes in marriage, encouraging us to seize the opportunities midlife brings. He helps us move toward having the marriage we want.
More frequently now, adult children come back home and he addresses the feelings we may have (spouses may not have the same ideas here). He gives tips on how to relate to grandchildren when there is trouble in their parents' marriage or when it is a blended family.
The older we get, the more losses we experience and Wright gives us the steps in dealing with them. He encourages us to aim for optimum health and gives other traits of aging well, such as living a reflective life. He has a chapter on the loss of a spouse, sharing his own experiences when his wife died. He also explored the possibility of remarriage and all that entails.
With longer life spans, we have the opportunity to redirect our life, being good stewards of all God has given us. Wright ends his book by helping us know our purpose for this stage of life. We need to trust God as we seek to understand His calling for us.
Finally, “What will your legacy be?” (195)

There is a discussion guide at the end of the book. That, as well as the content of the book would make it a good one for a small group with older couples.

The majority of this book, by far, concentrates on marriage and parenting for the later years of life. For a single person like me, with no children, I felt Wright failed to address my situation. I would not recommend this book for single individuals just entering retirement, unless you are widowed. For couples or singles with children, there is much to gain from this book as you enter a new phase of your life.

H. Norman Wright is a licensed marriage, family, and child therapist, as well as certified trauma specialist. He is the bestselling author of more than eighty books. He is on the faculty of Talbot Graduate School of Theology and conducts seminars on many subjects. He and his wife, Tess, life in Bakersfield, California.  See more at:  http://hnormanwright.com/

Bethany House Publishers (a division of Baker Publishing Group), 220 pages.  To see other reviews and read an except, go to the publisher's product page.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
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