I don’t know about you, but these COVID-19 times have reminded me of the Freshman-15, that extra weight students sometimes gain during the first year of college. Starting in March, many of us have been scarfing down comfort food in vain attempts to find comfort. Homemade mac and cheese, delivery pizza after pizza, munching on potato chips while watching Netflix, slathering butter on homemade sourdough bread, and baking cookies, cakes, and pies. Sigh. A nice slice of pecan pie with vanilla ice cream does indeed make me feel better! But when I weighed in at my yearly physical, I experienced... Read More
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Family Talk Blog
Bill and his wife recently divorced. They have three adult children, in their early and mid- twenties. Harry, their middle child, is angry with Bill. He blames Bill for the divorce and tells his dad that he wants nothing to do with him. Bill is sad, disappointed, and hurt. He has no idea what to do.
Amy’s daughter Nicola, 30, tells her mom that she needs a break from her. Nicola doesn’t want to get into the reasons why. Amy’s so upset that she can’t sleep. She’s called her and had her husband call, but Nicola won’t budge. She didn't even call on Thanksgiving.
Most of us know... Read More
During this last year, I’ve been particularly concerned about older adults living alone. In the high-risk group, it has been especially difficult for elders to connect with their families, friends, or neighbors. Many of these adults have become increasingly isolated, and feeling lonely. This can be worsened by the loss of our usual holiday traditions as we try to stem the tide of COVID infections.
A majority of elders have been staying close to home and avoiding crowded places for months because they’re at higher risk of getting severely ill from COVID-19. The same behaviors that... Read More
I hope your Thanksgiving holiday was small, sweet, and safe.
Thanksgiving weekend signals the march towards the December holidays, celebrations where families have time-honored and much-loved traditions. But this year will be different, both in small and big ways. For the last year we’ve been managing changes in our daily routines. We’ve had to adjust to new ways of working, learning, and staying connected to the people we care about. It’s been stressful, scary, and at times, exhausting.
The idea of missing out on treasured opportunities to connect in person with our loved... Read More
Joe isn’t a big talker, especially when it comes to his feelings. He tends to keep his thoughts and emotions in. But his wife, Sarah, is a straight shooter. She doesn't hold back — when she’s frustrated, angry, or upset about something, Joe’s going to hear about it. I’ve observed over many years of clinical practice that opposites attract. Then they spend the next 20 years trying to get their partner to be just like them.
So, what’s the problem? Joe avoids conflict and Sarah wants to take problems head on. She’s frustrated by his avoidance and he’s intimidated by her directness.... Read More
This election season has been painful for everyone, whether blue or red. Clearly there is a divide across America that separates us from each other. Even without the pandemic, family members and neighbors, with opposing ideas about how to be good stewards of our country, can’t comfortably sit at the same table. Political discussions quickly become angry, pointed and sometimes even hostile.
We are passionate about our beliefs, whatever they are. We have strongly held views about how to steer our nation through the 21st century. We are sure of what is right or wrong, good or bad,... Read More
Thanksgiving 2020 will be different.
While the pandemic is surging, we are tightening our public health belts to bring the infection rate down. It’s difficult to imagine outside get-togethers during the winter rainy season. It’s painful to recall past family Thanksgiving gatherings, sitting at long tables. This year, most nuclear families will be alone or with a few others in their bubble. Some people, who may have traveled to see family in years past, will be on their own. Many of our community members are struggling with financial insecurity and worry about how they will pay their... Read More
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of the coronavirus, the pandemic, and all the public health measures that have made my life smaller since March. I miss having dinner with my friends. I miss my daughters and their families. I miss travel. I miss schmoozing with colleagues at my office. I miss going to work. I miss going to the opera and the ballet. I miss not worrying about getting sick or making someone else sick. I miss having lunch every week with my good friend. I miss seeing the faces of passersby, shop keepers, and fellow walkers. I even miss business travel.
I read about... Read More
We are looking ahead to our Northwest rainy season. But this year, we look ahead through the lens of the coronavirus. It will be different than years past. As we head indoors, we are expecting a surge in the infection rate, which may result in a return to greater public health restrictions. In 2020, uncertainty reigns. We are becoming more familiar with the lack of predictability, but certainly not more comfortable.
As the rain and cooler weather returns, many adults are worried about how they will manage. It’s going to be more difficult to connect with family and friends in... Read More
In the last month, after watching most of the good movies on Netflix, I stumbled onto a long running television series, “Grey’s Anatomy,” which I’d never seen, despite the fact that it takes place at a mythical hospital in Seattle. As many of you already know, the characters are compelling and interesting (I know, it’s also a soap opera). It covers vast social, emotional, and medical territory. But it’s also a story about young interns and residents, who are mentored by their more senior physicians. It reminded me how important teachers and coaches can be in our lives.
Even as I... Read More