One woman’s midlife crisis becomes a catalyst for personal change in this memoir and self-help book.
Debut author Nikutowski remembers her early years, growing up in Argentina to cautious parents who lived through World War II, as being filled with fear of the unknown. After she traveled to Egypt in her 20s, it became clear to her that the world wasn’t quite as scary as her parents made it out to be. According to Nikutowski, the way one looks at life is the key to contentment: “Everything is possible. See yourself in all the details as the person you want to become.” But this knowledge was hard-won; she went through an emotionally draining time at the age of 40, as she grappled with such questions as “Was I living the life I had always dreamed about?” Here, she shares the techniques and exercises that helped her to renew her zest for life, in the hope that they’ll help to guide readers who may be experiencing their own crises. Each chapter includes thoughtful exercises called “Action Steps” that aim to put readers into a proactive state of mind, such as “Make a list of ten goals that you have already accomplished.” Chapter summaries offer key takeaway points, making it easy to skip around the book, if one desires. The author shares several stories from her own life to illustrate her concepts; some are sad or shocking, while others are more reassuring. It’s clear that Nikutowski has done her research, citing international studies, with endnotes, to back up her claims, such as “it takes an average of 66 days to change a habit.” Some habits hold us back, she asserts, and these need to change if one is to live a richer, more fulfilling life. Throughout this book, her tone is insistent, but never demanding; like a trusted friend, she asks readers to face some tough questions about themselves, and not all of the answers will be flattering. But for those willing to do the work, Nikutowski asserts, the rewards outweigh the challenges.
A stirring narrative with plenty of positive energy.