Thursday, November 9, 2023

Before Offering Advice To Adult Children Consider This One Question


Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on Pexels

Now that you're divorced and parenting on your own, here are some tips for dealing with grown children.

When I decided to marry at the ripe old age of 19, I did not seek my parents’ advice. They thought it was a terrible idea (spoiler alert: they were right) but they did not let on. Had they, I would not have listened. And I would have been angry. I knew what I was doing.

At a certain age, we all become experts. We have advice for friends, co-workers, acquaintances, and, of course, our adult children. Whether married, divorced, remarried or never-married, we believe we know what everyone else should do on these matters, and myriad others, from work, to end-of-life choices.

Do we have a crystal ball in which we can see the future? I think not. Do we believe we’re right? Yes, we do. Are we right? That’s open to debate. 

Continue reading here...

Monday, August 14, 2023

Buy Less and Use More? Explorations in Changing our Consumption Patterns


                             Photo by Ron Lach on Pexels

Post-divorce, you might be interested in saving a little money, or a lot of money. This piece might offer some ideas about controlling those impulses to buy, and why it's a really good thing.

Did you know The Princess of Wales wore a rented gown to a gala in 2022? It was an event focusing on solutions to pressing environmental concerns and attendees were asked to focus on sustainability in attire, but she’s not alone.

Cate Blanchette opted to re-wear only, i.e., no new outfits, at a film festival in 2020.

In 2019, Jane Fonda vowed not to buy any more clothes.

The average garment is worn only about seven times. Americans typically buy at least one clothing item a week (yes, a week!). Some of us can even find things we’ve had for years with the tags still on, or garments we’ve worn only once or twice. Most of us have $7000 of unused stuff. I wasn’t able to verify the origin of this last figure, but look around you. It makes sense doesn’t it?

The Jane Fonda pledge stuck in my mind even though, like the Princess and Cate, I’m quite sure they all have more, and more expensive, clothes in their closets than I. Yet, when I look in my closets and drawers, if I’m completely honest, I do not need more.

Read more here... 

Thursday, February 16, 2023

What Makes A Marriage Work Long-Term?


Ready to get back out into dating and relating? 

In "25 Experts Explain What Choices Make A Marriage Actually Work Long-Term," you'll find suggestions for making your new relationship be the best it can be. My recommendation is:

Always make new memories. Communicate, compromise and connect. 

Talking and listening lead to essential compromise on the changes that inevitably occur as the years go by. 

Connect by doing things together, creating new memories, and you keep things fresh!

Read more here...

Monday, December 12, 2022

What Can You Do About Ageism? Play By Your Own Rules

                                                              Photo by Vlad Sargu on Unsplash

                            Take charge and do things that create wellbeing regardless of your age.

Divorced and getting older (who isn't)? This piece contains tips for ageing well regardless of your situation.

While minding my own business, reading a book review on-line, up pops an ad, “Finally, A Great Lipstick For The Mature Woman.” Later, on a weather app, “Trendy Dresses for Older Women.” Google, as always, was minding my business.

It’s not just the internet pointing out your age, it’s other people. From the physician telling you after a fall that hiking is something to reconsider, to the endless griping about the gerontocracy in our government, people tell us we’re old and there’s stuff we just shouldn’t be doing anymore.

These rules about the dos and don’ts of aging have effects. Ageism abounds and so does its negative impact on your health. It can literally shorten your life.

If you believe the ageism messages saying you can no longer do certain things and be a meaningful member of society, it’s the self-fulfilling prophecy on steroids. The self-fulfilling prophecy is the idea that when you think something is going to happen, then it’s pretty easy to alter your behavior to align with that belief—Oh, I’m too old to learn a language? No point trying to learn Italian.

In fact, research has shown that, as we age, we tend to experience higher levels of wellbeing, greater satisfaction with life and even more emotional stability.  

Continue reading here.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Before Your Emotions Get The Best Of You, Take A Moment And Just Breathe

Photo by nipananlifestylecom from Pexels

Try a mindfulness strategy to improve self-control under stress.

You know that person, the one that always challenges your self-control? It could be your ex, or might be a colleague you see occasionally at meetings, a friend of a friend, or a relative you only see at holidays.

How about those difficult situations, like getting a late charge because you forgot to pay a bill? Situations like that also tax our self-control abilities. Yeah, like that unexpected tax bill.

Yet another precursor of self-control problems is cumulative stress—you slept poorly, ate poorly, worked 12 hours straight and, just as you’re getting ready to shut work down for the day, the message arrives from your boss—Aargh, you are not seriously asking me to do one more thing today, are you?

That person and those situations, along with the stress you're already facingpost-divorce, are why you need mindfulness-based coping strategies.

According to Jon Kabat-Zin, “mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.” Using mindful strategies in the face of stressors, like that person, you can behave in a controlled, thoughtful manner.

Having a mindful coping strategy, along with a couple of basic steps to improve self-control, can slow the burn, avoid the meltdown and help with a speedy recovery.

Continue reading here... 

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Want to Move Forward in your Life? Shift your Focus from ‘Why’ to ‘What Now’

 Where you decide to go next is far more important than how you got here.

Photo by Magda Ehlers from Pexels

There are innumerable issues that bring people to therapy and coaching. Folks usually want to feel happier, more confident, less angry, and the like. Before diving into making changes to improve their situation, answers to the “why” questions are frequently top of mind, as in:

Why do I get so angry with strangers, or procrastinate on important projects, or turn a positive moment into waiting for the other shoe to drop?

Much as I hate to admit it, those questions often can’t be answered definitively, even after weeks, months and sometimes years of exploration. How would we know if we did get the “right” answer to the source of your anger issues, procrastination or worrying?

A closely related set of “why” questions pertain to the motivations of others. We can spend hours investigating why your wife cheated on you, why your daughter drinks too much or why [your question here].

The thing is, not much is certain when it comes to what motivates us. For a variety of reasons, we can’t even answer the “why” question about ourselves (e.g., Why did I think it was a good idea to go to law school because two years in I’m bored to death?) much less about someone else.

Why, you ask (hahaha)?

Consider how you might answer a question about yourself now, vs how you answered it one or two years ago, vs how you might answer it two years from now. As the end-of-history illusion demonstrates, our understanding changes over time, as do our narratives about our lives, even though this is very difficult to imagine.

Read more here... 

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Need Some Hope in the New Year?

Anne Lamott provides nuggets of hope for most of life’s most persistent worries. 

Who doesn't need hope post-divorce?

Almost Everything: Notes on Hope, by Anne Lamott, is a truly enjoyable read, or listen, which is how I experienced it. With her wry humor, wit and references to so many things that matter, it is fun and inspiring. Whether on dieting, sobriety, friendship or family, Lamott’s hopeful view shines through. There’s nothing Pollyannaish about her take on life—it comes across as sincere and authentic.

I may be prejudiced since she talks about issues I too have spoken of, but not nearly as eloquently or delightfully as she does.

A few examples so you can decide whether it’s worth the investment—or just borrow it from your local library:

1.     Chapter 4 is just one sentence which simply says:

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.

You can see what I’ve had to say about self-care which includes unplugging here.

2.     In Chapter 5, “Don't Let Them Get You to Hate. Them,” she relates wisdom from her pastor:

When my pastor calls the most difficult, annoying people in her life her grace-builders, I want to jump out the window. I am so not there yet, but I understand what she’s talking about.

3.     Chapter 6 is about writing and in one of my favs, she says:

If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should've behaved better.

And so Karma goes.

4.     Chapter 11 is all about food, dieting and the like. Of course I would love the anecdote in which she mentioned to her therapist she was going on a diet and the therapist says cheerfully:

Oh, that’s great honey, how much weight are you hoping to gain?

Lamott goes on to say:

No one talks to me that way. I got rid of her sorry ass. Well okay, maybe not then. It was 10 years later.

Got to love a woman who can take the cold, hard truth from her shrink.

Happy New Year!