Having read countless “self help” books over the years the one key ingredient that I often find missing is the “been there, done that, got the tee shirt” element.

I mean who doesn’t find it easy to coach from the sidelines – we all know how simple it is to look at anyone else’s life and see how “messed up” it is and how easily they can fix it. But unless you have been through the same or a very similar experience, somehow one’s Nike’ism of “just do it” doesn’t hold water. That would be kind of like myself, a mid 90’s golfer, telling Tiger what’s wrong with his swing!

There is no doubt that Dr. Nancy Irwin has the tee shirt. Even though her first book is almost entirely dedicated to stories about others who have made “the” turn, she briefly relates her own personal roadmap which led her to where she is today. Talk about “You Turns”!

So for the good Dr. to assimilate such a collection of life changes is most appropriate. For she has made that turn herself – successfully and more than once. And talk about a 180 degrees turn – good for you Dr. Irwin!

I do have to admit however that when I first picked this book up my first thought was “just another take off on ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ series” – yet another collection of feel good stories (which I’m not knocking – I like ‘em).

But Nancy has assimilated a collection of stories that really hit home for baby boomers..heck, in fact, for Gen X and Gen Y as well! I liked the way she catagorized the stories into different genres if you will: change by choice and change by default.

As I read story after story, the common thread through the different but similar stories slowly becomes apparent and in fact this thread becomes a chain link by the time you are finished.

On a personal note the timing for this review could not have been more appropriate. I was just let go from my “day job” (it truly was not a good fit for me) and at 50 something I knew that I needed to make a change. I have always wanted to be a photographer and writer – something of a photojournalist. Reading Nancy’s collection of stories has inspired me to dive in. I may not win any Pulitzers but one things for certain – I most certainly will not if I don’t take the chance. As the adage goes, you will always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. So, thank you Nancy.

My “wish you had done this” comments would be to include more stories from around the US – the majority of the stories were from residents west of the ol’ Mississip. I also would have liked to have read more of Dr. Irwin’s own personal story. She covers her “you turn” but it’s fairly brief – more detail on her own life’s story would have been appropriate.

Always like ending on a positive note, so I really enjoyed that, for the most part anyway, all of the stories had a website or even personal email from the author – kind of felt like reading something my aunt or uncle wrote with the feeling that it was perfectly okay to actually contact them.

If anyone is riding the precipice of change in your life – whether it be career, family, spiritual – whatever – I would most highly recommend you pick up a copy of Dr. Irwin’s book. You can find it at amazon.

and check out her website at http://www.drnancyirwin.com/.

Thank you Dr. Nancy Irwin for your inspiration – I’m looking forward to “You Turn 2”.

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