As I get older, I hear more from friends and colleagues about their struggles with their aging parents. A close friend is headed to Colorado to meet with her siblings to discuss care arrangements for their declining 90 year old father. Her dad doesn’t want to hear about obtaining help, assisted living, or any plans for hospice. He’s an independent, strong-willed, self-reliant cowboy who likes being in control. His 10 adult children see the writing on the wall. His quality of life is going to spiral downhill in a hurry. They worry that a crisis will force his hand. They want to come up with... Read More
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Do you change the oil in your car every 3000 miles? Do you vacuum your house or apartment weekly? Do you clean your furnace yearly? Do you weed your garden and mow your lawn?
It’s amazing how much time we spend keeping our property and prized possessions shipshape. If we don’t, cars begin to rattle, roofs start to leak, and furnaces, well, they’re likely to break down in the middle of winter. Yet, of all of the things we need to maintain, we often spend the least amount of time tending to thing that needs it the most—our marriage.
Think about the time you spend maintaining... Read More
The other day I was waiting in line with my wife at the airport. I leaned over and gave her a kiss. “I’m not in the mood” she growled. I laughed and reminded her that she should feel fortunate that her partner of 40 years still wants to give her a kiss for no special reason! She smiled and gave me a big hug. Do you ever feel taken for granted? Unappreciated? I think we all do, from time to time. Modern life is so busy—work, kids, commuting, dropping someone off and picking up someone else, bills, yard, the messy garage, laundry, laundry and more laundry. Hey! What about the dishes? It can... Read More
When I was growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, education was entirely focused on learning basic academic skills. As a card-carrying member of the Sputnik generation, school was very competitive. The space race with the Soviet Union resulted in teachers trying to cram students with facts, like stuffing a turkey on thanksgiving.
But in the last decade, educators realized that academic knowledge alone does not predict success in life or result in high performance at work.
In today’s world, most work is performed in “teams” where social and emotional intelligence are an integral... Read More
I saw a 60-year-old guy recently who, at the very end of the visit, wondered why his sex drive (libido) was so low. He pondered—“Am I just getting older”. The same week I saw a thirty something with the same complaint---“It’s becoming a big source of conflict in my relationship”. The next day I saw a 40 something who complained about her husbands lack of sexual interest. She was feeling neglected and frustrated. She just didn’t understand why. “Is there something wrong with me?” she pondered.
I wondered— "Is there an epidemic of low sex drive?”
Low sex drive can have so... Read More
There is no doubt that women struggle the most with work/life balance issues. But this is becoming a growing issue for men too. The Pew Research Center found that since 1965, men have tripled the time they spend with children. In the last decade, the number of stay at home dads has doubled. With the recent economic downturn, more middle-aged men have lost their jobs than ever before. The net result—many of these men are at home while their wives work. It’s a changing world.
Don’t get me wrong. In my opinion, working women have the lion’s share of this challenge. According to a... Read More
This is a guest blog from James Dauer, Licensed Mental Health Counselor. Mr. Dauer sees Behavioral Health patients at our Smokey Point location.
Let’s face it. For the most part, we do not like change. We like what we like. Back in the Day and The Good old Days are common pop culture themes that direct our mind to a better time and place—at least for some. Such themes resonate with today’s modern lifestyle and have made their way into music and the movies.
Remember When is a moving song by country... Read More
Why is so hard to communicate with your partner? It’s hard to understand her, difficult for him to understand you, and even harder to get her to listen to what you have to say. Sometimes I think I am talking to the wall! And I know that my wife feels the same way.
The number one complaint in couples is poor communication! Not so hard to figure out why. The need to communicate underlies all human intercourse. Furthermore, the more “business” we have with a person, the more we need to communicate effectively.
Communication in any relationship can be a challenge too. Sharing... Read More
Last week, I wrote about the value of listening to your child when she struggles with a challenge. I reminded parents that trying to solve your kid’s problem is not always a good idea—they lose out on a problem solving opportunity. I know it’s hard to do. Our natural inclination is to want to “make it better”. But sadly, even most child-sized problems can’t be kissed away. But the same thing is true in adult relationships! Joe doesn’t understand why his wife Mary doesn’t want her grammar corrected. Why, doesn’t she want to improve her language skills? She feels insulted and he feels hurt.... Read More
I have been home for two weeks, having spent another week with my elderly mom in Florida. When I was there, I arranged for around the clock care and helped her get stronger. I was her cheerleader, encouraging her to move her body. She was able to walk down to the dining room, unassisted, with only a walker! Sadly, the day I left, she contracted a 24-hour virus, which in her frail state, set her back. In the last two weeks, she has continued to slide downhill. When the social worker from hospice called, I knew that her condition was deteriorating. Her condition has slowly declined.
... Read More