The Next Fifty Years
by Pamela Blair

Hampton Roads, 2005. ISBN 978-1-571-74439-5.
Reviewed by Judith Helburn
Posted on 07/15/2008

Nonfiction: Life Lessons; Nonfiction: Cultural/Gender Focus

I liked this workbook. It is comprehensive and divided into four sections: Thoughts, Cultural Attitudes and Myths about Women Aging; Who we are, Who and What We Live With; and Looking Forward. In her introduction, Blair suggests that we skip sections which do not apply to us. All of her short essays are followed by space in which to respond to questions such as "how does this feel?" or, more specifically, asking for a response to the issue addressed.

There were sections which did not pique my curiosity and I did read through those quickly. However, on a whole, the issues addressed are those which we, as women in the second half of life, should be thinking about. Her style gives us an opportunity for reflection, but does not ask us to spend hours thinking and writing. One could work through a section or even a few pages, put it down, pick it up and still follow the flow of the concepts.

Blair's book is intended to be used as a personal journal but could be used in a discussion/writing group following the study guide in the back or any other format deemed fitting for a group of women. It is well written researched and easy to follow.

The titles of her essays are enough to entice one to read. For example: Myths to Not Live By, Changing Tempo, Aging Can Be Fun? Ages and Stages and An Attitude of Gratitude. There is a long bibliography and a study guide. Her writing is pleasing and her flashes of humor and mini-stories about herself keep The Next Fifty Years from being a dry workbook. Blair feels that "we have an assignment to make clear our role in society: to inscribe the possibilities of age on the guideposts to the future."

Pamela D. Blair, Ph.D. is a holistic psychotherapist, spiritual counselor and personal coach with a private practice. She is a frequent guest on TV, cable, and radio talk shows. She is co-author of I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye. Visit her website.

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