Today, while visiting Barcelona, I wandered through Gaudi’s famous architectural wonder, La Sagrada Familia (The Holy Family). Conceived in the late 1800’s by Antoni Gaudi, Catalan architect, it has been under construction for over a century. It is still being built, but much of it is completed. Gaudi, a deeply religious man, created a vast sanctuary with columns made to look like tall trees, which hold up the ceiling of the church. The tops of the columns have edges that look like leaves. He designed windows to bring light into the church so that the inner building would look like a... Read More
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Health and Wellness
Eight years ago, I had major foot surgery. It was a very interesting experience — 3 hours in the OR, 3 days in the hospital, 10 weeks 100% non-weight bearing, and the surgeon told me, one year of recovery. I had never had any kind of surgery before, so needless to say, I was pretty anxious about the whole thing.
But somehow I expected that I would recover much sooner. After all, I was highly motivated to do absolutely everything my doctor told me to do. And, I knew that I would work very hard in physical therapy—which I did. So after 8 months I was disappointed. Why wasn’t I all... Read More
It seems like all of the successful people in our society are, what I like to call, “crazy busy”! We value adults who seem to be in constant motion all of the time. If you call them, they can’t call you back right away because---they’re busy! If you want to get together with them, they’re not available—because they’re too busy! At work, if you stop them in the hall to chat for a few moments---they can’t, because you guessed it, they’re too darn busy! Let’s face it—we are all too busy for our own good!
To some degree, life in the 21st century demands more from each of us. Workplaces... Read More
Recently, my oldest daughter shared a challenging experience. She is attending a program to learn a particular form of body therapy—called structural integration. During the classes, a couple of the students were rude. At times, their behavior was distracting and even disruptive. During the two month seminar, she debated within herself whether to confront these students. On the one hand, she didn’t want to have an argument with them. But on the other hand, she was annoyed and irritated by their behavior. On the last day of the workshop, she finally did convey her feelings.
Some... Read More
Joe has been increasing his alcohol use for several years, and now he’s drinking an entire bottle of wine or more, four to five nights a week. He doesn’t think he’s impaired; after all he’s built up a high tolerance. But his family is angry and embarrassed. Joe doesn’t drink at work, so he doesn’t think he has a problem. “So what if I like to have a couple of glasses of wine at the end of the week or on Saturday night”. He’s not like his uncle and his mother who drank heavily during the day and died from liver failure. But his family has an entirely different story about his alcohol use.... Read More
The other night I was tired, hungry, and feeling overwhelmed when I got home from work. It was a long day. My wife, who had a cold for several days, asked me to do something. I barked back at her.
I felt terrible.
How often do we lose our temper at our children or our spouse? It frequently happens at the end of the day when we are exhausted. The kids ask us to do “one more thing” and we crack. We find ourselves yelling at a little kid, who looks back at us with an innocent, hurt look in his eyes.
We feel like ogres.
Dinner times can be tough too. Getting home... Read More
Why me? It’s a natural question when a family member dies before their time, when a relationship ends, or when we lose a job.
At first, we feel stunned. Deep inside, we expect that our lives should unfold uneventfully. We believe that we should be the master of our fate. Tragedy happens to others, but not us.
At the same time, our culture is filled with pictures of happy, satisfied men and women pursuing their dreams. When we are the victims of misfortune, we can feel let down by life. We may feel that something is wrong with us. We may feel that we did something wrong.... Read More
Several weeks ago, I was home recovering from a cold. Unable to do much, I found a manila envelope filled with letters I wrote to my mother when I was in my early 20’s. She kept these letters, and returned them to me when she was cleaning out a closet. They were typed on onionskin paper or handwritten. This is how we communicated in the 70’s. We called each other rarely—long distance calls were expensive. Some letters were from when I was college, but most of them were from my early years in graduate school in San Francisco.
When she sent me the letters in the mid 1990’s, she... Read More
Every day in the United States, thousands of baby boomers are turning 65. No wonder many of us hear about friends and family that are retiring or at least talking about it. I have several friends that took the big step.
Recently, I had lunch with two of those friends, long time Everett residents, Tracy Spencer M.D., retired physician and Jack Courrier D.D.S, retired dentist. Both practiced in Everett for over 30 years! Tracy and his wife are taking care of his mom, Dixie, who is turning 96 this summer. They love to chase after three grandchildren that live right down the street.... Read More
The other day a good friend wanted to know how to talk to her 25-year-old daughter, Sarah, about her drinking. During the big playoff game between the Seahawks and the Packers (now that was a miracle!), Sarah drank almost two six-packs of beer! Sarah’s parents were concerned and wondered if Sarah had a problem. They weren’t sure what to say to her.
A few days later, a parent asked me—“How do I talk to my 22 year old son, Bill, about his daily marijuana use?”
Anyone can develop a drug or alcohol problem. But how do you know if it’s a serious concern? Take the self-administered... Read More