I recently bought a plaque that sits on a small table right in front of my bed that reads: "It's doesn't matter how many times you get knocked down, it's how many times you get back up." I believe it was a quote from the last Rocky movie.
This slogan is exemplified in Terry McMillan's recent novel, Getting To Happy, which is a sequel to her bestseller Waiting To Exhale. Her four main characters are now in their early fifties dealing with divorces, job losses, financial instability and the loss of a husband. McMillan shows readers how her characters' mutual friendships help them to move on and heal without getting stuck in the trap of bitterness. And that's no easy task when you're middle-aged.
Each woman has a coping mechanism to deal with their pain. One uses shopping as an escape, another one eats to numb her grief. Still another character just keeps popping pills. It is their love and support for one another that forces each one them to face the fact that that their behaviors have been barriers to finding happiness.
McMillan's message is clear. You must look at yourself--and not blame others--for your lack of happiness. Shit happens. Just face the crap with integrity and you'll get beyond the tragedy.
If you are a woman in your fifties--like me--I think you will identify with Terry McMillan's voice in this wonderful book that has an important message to baby boomers.