Book Review

Revivement – Having a Life After Making a Living


Retirement can feel like a rite of passage. Ready or not, the course of your life will change. You may be excited or filled with dread at the prospect.

I remember attending a retirement party where the retiree said he did not understand why he was supposed to be happy. He was leaving the work he loved and the people he enjoyed. In no time, he was back on the job as a consultant. Clearly he was not ready to quit the life he knew.

Gloria Dunn-Violin is a professional speaker, workshop leader, and writer. Her hot-off-the-press book, Revivement – Having a Life After Making a Living, introduces you to a new way to experience your life after fifty. She asks readers to note that she uses the word “retirement” for the ending of regular work life. “Revivement” refers to the second half of life.

Before you know it, Dunn-Violin has you off on an adventure, showing you how to reinvent and reinvigorate your life. She works her magic using leading-edge research, inspiring information, people stories, and interactive worksheets. She also uses clever quotes to emphasize her points.

Actress Lauren Bacall said, “I am not a has-been. I am a will be.” This starts by making a plan for your life and finding a reason to get up in the morning. You may need to adjust your attitude. Decide you are going to be happy, figure out what you want, and go for it.

Dunn-Violin reminds us that we must not ignore our health. Diet, exercise, sleep, and keeping stress in check are important. At the same time, you need to keep your brain active. Remember that you could live another thirty years or more after retirement, so you should enjoy it!

It is interesting to note that men and women may approach retirement differently. Men often define themselves by their work. They are the doctor or the lawyer or the accountant. Chances are they have spent anywhere from thirty to fifty years finding personal value through their accomplishments at work.

While some women may also tie their sense of self worth to a job or career, they may also have become territorial about the home. When men retire, they might invade this territory or think they are now going to manage their spouses. As Dunn-Violin points out, “That usually causes strife or divorce.”

So revivement may be more than reinventing your own life. Couples may need to approach the challenge together.
Some suggestions include starting to plan early rather than waiting for retirement to figure out how to revive together. Communicate. Become best friends. Acknowledge that you are in for a big change, and don’t underestimate how hard the transition can be.

Dunn-Violin writes, “Purpose is fundamental to your soul.” She adds, “Purpose defines your mission and why you exist, and energizes you to be involved in life.”

Flip to the back of the book, and you will find “Your ‘Revivement Plan’ Exercises and Worksheets.” Take some time to really think about life after retirement and fill in the blanks. Dunn-Violin suggests making copies of the eighty-four pages so that you can reuse the book to “revise, change, or upgrade any of your initial ideas.”

In these pages, you will have a chance to self explore. While you may feel a sense of loss, you could also enjoy naming all the things you never want to do again. Those can range from rising before 7 a.m. to driving in rush hour traffic. As Dunn-Violin points out, “You’re in charge of your future, and you get to choose what you do and don’t want to do.”

As you progress through the exercises, you may remember activities or hobbies that once interested you, but you never had the time or energy to pursue. You will be encouraged to think about your talents and skills and how to best use them.
Before long, you will be developing your mission statement. This will help you develop a future that is aligned with your values and desires—and your life will be revived.


Judith A. Rucki is a public relations consultant and freelance writer. Readers may contact her via the editor at with ideas for making the golden years sparkle, sizzle, and shine.




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