Everything to Gain written by Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter is a book for the suddenly retired or the unexpectedly retired.
The Carters really thought they would win the Presidential election and so their rejection by the voters and becoming retired was both sudden and unexpected. This book details how they coped and how they slowly but surely built a new and meaningful life. In fact they subtitle the book, "Making the Most Out of the Rest of Your Life".
If you have been unexpectedly 'downsized', 'retired' or out right fired, you may find real help in the first chapters showing how even the Carters coped. They describe how at first they were numb and could not believe what happened and they also describe some of the first small things they did that proved helpful as they 'shifted gears'.
It is good to know that even a President and his wife could be so unprepared for such an sudden retirement. It is even better to see the small steps they took and the way they went about coping and then building a new life....steps which are open to any of us.
This is an amazingly honest book. Rosalyn and even Jimmy share their real struggles - including their emotions of resentment and disappointment. And for the reader who is not caught up in the loss of an election and a Presidency or in seeing much of your work being undone by the new Head of state, it becomes easy to recognize that some of the things you may be feeling after your own sudden retirement and not so uncommon after all.
The really practical parts of Everything to Gain are the pages where Rosalynn and Jimmy speak of some of the things they did during their early weeks back in Plains that turned out to be really important steps in their creating a new, meaningful life.
I am struck that the book title IS Everything to Gain and when I finished the last page, I thought that it was an apt title. Sudden unemployment or unexpected retirement is a blow. But Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter show that it can also be a door to a life of real meaning. It can make it possible to live a life that you had not imagined but that helps you fulfill who you really are.
Worth a read....and it might make a good gift for the suddenly retired - or even those not so suddenly retired.
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