The Year I Saved My (downsized) Soul
by Carol Orsborn

Vibrant Nation, 2009. ISBN 978-0-982-45550-0.
Reviewed by Judith Helburn
Posted on 08/14/2009

Nonfiction: Memoir; Nonfiction: Life Lessons

Carol Orsborn writes well. The Year I Saved My (downsized) Soul covers a recent year in her life in which she looses a position in marketing, goes through a period of grief, anger and acceptance, and finds a new position which seems to be closer to her passion and purpose. Several of her previous books cover women boomer issues and many of them seem to help with problem solving for women.

In this easy-to-read book, Orsborn uses wide-spread references—from the I Ching to May Sarton—to emphasize her points. She cites the story in the Bible of Jacob's struggle with an angel of God saying that the struggle itself is what merited the attention. "Who wants to read a tale in which the heroine allows herself to become passively victimized by life's circumstances, refuses to take risks in a vain effort to hold on to the status quo, and settles for misery and mediocrity day after day?" She seems to be telling the reader that on the merry-go-round of life, one has to let go of the pole in order to grasp the gold ring.

Orsborn writes humorously with self-deprecation about hanging on to her own expectations which were not realistic, then, surrendering to begin her job search again with fresh eyes. And, in a fairy-tale ending, finding an exciting and challenging new position. She writes, warmly, of the support of her husband and finishes with "As much as I've been able to make out so far...blessing comes as a by-product of one's audacious demand to live a life of meaning and the humility to know that controlling the outcome is not within your power..." The book includes an appendix summarizing what she has learned, resources and an interview with the author.

Carol Orsborn, Ph.D. has written many books on women, adult development, resilience, and balancing work and life. She is currently a senior strategist for She champions Boomer women.

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