Bridges explores the typical transitions that we all make throughout our lives including career changes, retirements, job loss, marriage, having a child, losing a loved one, getting divorced. These transitions may be forced upon us by circumstances outside our control, or they may be things we initiate, but he points out that all transitions are stressful.
As 1984 drew to a close, Olive wrote in her diary, "1984 has ended and in spite of adversities. . . . [I]t was happy because I made it that way. I made up my mind to 'do my thing' as people say today and not try to change what I knew couldn't be changed. . . . Along with counting my blessings, I made big strides in a small business I had started a couple of years ago. This has been a great pleasure."