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The Gift of a Year: How Give Yourself Most Meaningful Satisfying Pleasurable Year your Life Hardcover – January 1, 2000

4.4 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mira Kirshenbaum is an individual and family psychotherapist in private practice and the clinical director of the Chestnut Hill Institute in Massachusetts. She is the author of four books, including the phenomenally successful Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay (available from Plume), and has appeared on many national television shows, including The Today Show, Maury Povich, Geraldo, Sally Jessy Raphael, and an ABC News special with John Stossel. She is married, has two grown children, and lives in Boston, Massachusetts.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult (January 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525945296
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525945291
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #851,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on February 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is truly inspiring. I am ordering 3 more books to give as gifts to dear women friends who are all experiencing the same "emptiness" that has invaded my life. I seem to have it all: the degrees, the family, the relative financial security that the above all bring, but I have lost myself somewhere along the way. "Quiet desperation", but not knowing why. I have FOUND my answer by reading this book. It isn't magic, it isn't "hocus-pocus", it is identifying ME in my world, and taking a year to re-discover what makes me tick, what made me dream, what made me ME so many years ago. In the process, I'm already becoming a better mother, wife, friend, "employee" ... A MUST READ! Each woman inside herself has a spark, so many of us have let our other-self and other-roles smother that spark. No more. Give yourself the gift of this book, and then the gift of a year to regain that sparkle.
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Format: Hardcover
Mira Kirshenbaum spoke to the suffocating woman inside of me. I know she speaks to all women when she asks, "how does a part of yourself ever turn up missing in the first place?"
This was a gift from my mother for my 25th birthday. As a wife, full-time working mother of a four year old and all around self-inflicted super woman, I had a "sense" that a small part of me (okay a huge part) was slowly drowning in that turbulent sea we call everyday life. I trusted & loved my mother enough that if she felt it was important to give this book to me - than perhaps I better read it. I couldn't have anticipated the amazing transformation my soul would undergo. Through reading this book I was given the tools to find a center again that was in me, rather than outside of myself. I have a renewed anticipation of the wonders my life has to offer me. I have now purchased four copies to give to my closests friends, including my mother. I truly feel that it is that crucial and rewarding for all women to read this book.
If you THINK you need to regain your spirit at the start of this book you'll KNOW you need to by the end.
Be prepared to have a few good crys and to have a weight lifted from your shoulders, namely the world. You really can breathe again and she'll show you how.
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Format: Paperback
The Gift of a Year has given new meaning to my life. It is suitable for any woman, any age, because who hasn't asked themselves "What do I do next?" Ms. Kirschenbaum guided me to the answer - the one that was exactly right for me and I have no doubt she can do it for anyone at any time in their life. This year, I turned 50, closed a store I had in Michigan for 6 years, saw my son (age 19)go off to college at NYU and was helping my daughter (age 17) prepare for a summer internship in Marine Biology in Eleuthera, Bahamas, followed by a year abroad through FSU in Panama City, Panama. My babies flew the coop and for the first time ever, I had no plans in my life. I searched for all the empty nest syndrome books I could find, but not one of them seemed exactly right for me. I don't have that syndrome. I just didn't know what I wanted to do with the "second half" of my life. I had already had my career writing and editing for newspapers, raised the kids, worked at a bookstore before opening my own and now what? I always liked to create with arts,crafts, etc., but had no time to do it while running a store. Enter The Gift of a Year - approximately two chapters into this gem of a book, I decided...I was going to spend my year creating one thing every day. It might be artwork, an article of clothing, or simply cupcakes! In that instant my attitude changed and I became alive again. I bought a notebook in case I thought or heard of something profound that I wanted to save, I made a new salad recipe from the tomatoes in my backyard and then...I passed the book on to my friend who is in much the same situation. I insisted she take the time to read it, skim it and even offered to have her sit back and I would read it to her...she is that stressed. So, my eternal thanks to Ms. Kirchenbaum for giving me the insight to look forward to the next however many years I have and I now rise with gratitude for the next twenty-four hours I have upon me. Thank you Ms Kirschenbaum!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really like this book, which encourages you to set aside one year to focus (as much as possible), on something that really appeals to you, whether that is training for a marathon or taking long naps. Unfortunately, I could never *quite* decide what I would want to do for my gift of a year, but still I like to think about the concept from time to time, imagining all the crazy things I could do. Anyway, it is a fun book to read, kind of like eating brain candy.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having read many self-help books I was sceptical that this one would be enlightening. However, Mira's writing about giving ourselves time for ourselves really hit home. She talks about taking a piece of the pie (of time) for ourselves, but after reading her book I realized that I wanted the whole pie! Time to breathe, reflect, and go out in the world and explore. Who the heck are we, in mid-life, after taking care of others our whole life?

Thank you, Mira, for showing me the way.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'd give this 5 stars but I haven't finished it yet. What I have read, however, is a powerful statement and justification of taking some time off for yourself and how that can be done regardless of the demands on your time. The biggest obstacle in our way is our reluctance to be selfish - putting ourselves first for a change and realizing that if we don't take care of us, we really can't take proper care of anyone or anything else.
I'm looking forward to choosing the focus of my year and putting it into practice!
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