Off to the Races

(Photo by Laura Gilchrist on Unsplash) We are in the middle of the horseracing season, what with the Kentucky Derby and the Pimlico Preakness already over. We are also in the middle of emerging from more than a year of hibernation to protect ourselves and our loved ones from a deadly virus. This change in lifestyle with the isolation, the diminished social and physical contact (read: hugs at the very least) meant that our relationships were affected in many ways. Those who lived alone and those who had others in the household experienced reactions ranging from increased senses of loneliness, […]

Blah Days And Anniversaries

Photo credit: Adrian Swancar, unsplash.com) It has been many months of indistinguishable days, warped time concept, fatigue, losses in many ways, and just getting through what we have to do, again and again. In a very thoughtful and informative article, Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist, uses the term “languishing” for this state of the world:(https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/19/well/mind/covid-mental-health-languishing.html).  Whatever you may call it, we all have to recognize that none of us, in this universe, is immune to the pandemic and its effects. The question then becomes, how do we deal with this in our relationships, friendships and even more so, within ourselves? […]

Conflicts With The Loved One

It has been a long year of isolation, fear, anxiety, loneliness, loss and restrictions. Not that we could not find some green shoots, some positive aspects with what life brought us. But overall, the consequences of a long period of dealing with a pandemic is showing up in our behaviors and moods. There is a huge increase in demand for mental health resources with predictions of future cardiological issues in the population. In addition to those health concerns, we have also had to deal with a fiercely divided and polarized community. This is where relationships have taken a major hit. […]

Fear and Courage in Dating

Winston Churchill is known for his witty and pithy comments. One that recently struck me is the following: “Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.” In the past year, we have all had to deal with a certain amount of fear, fear that we may get infected, or someone we care about may, and illness and death have been all around us. Some of us lost loved ones, friends, or neighbors, and dealt with all the grief those bring. With the pandemic, a separate layer of issues has permeated the dating scene. How do you meet people? Online? Then […]

Messages To My Mind

Hello Mind! You sometimes lead me to dead end corners where the same tune plays over and over. I get sick of it…Why won’t you listen to my pleas to stop? I know, I know. Old tunes take a while to get out of circulation. But now, it is a new time, with new rules, new openings and paths.   So we have lived through almost a year of an invisible virus interfering with our lives. It has disrupted the usual workflow, the social engagements, the physical activities, the cultural events and for a lot of people, their livelihood. It […]

Forgive, Forget, And Move On?

As a country, we are going through a time of transition. Politics aside, what goes on around us affects each one of us and our relationships whether we keep up with current events or not. I have talked with many people who had arguments, even fights, with close friends, partners or family, and broke connections with some. In other cases, people shunned them for the disagreements. So now, what do we do? How do we deal with the fallout? Or maybe even: Do we want to deal with the fallout? Most people grow up thinking of disagreement as a criticism […]

Risking Love

Life is full of risks. This last year has made it even more clear that, to maintain and protect ourselves, we have to weigh in on just which level of risk we can afford. That level may vary in different contexts as well. One may not volunteer to lead a group (low emotional risk) but go paragliding (high physical risk). In relationships, the risk of rejection and sometimes the risk of acceptance may guide behavior. None of us likes rejection. But risk of acceptance? That if you reach out, there may indeed be a reciprocal interest in you? What makes […]

Hope Does Survive, If You Let It

There are so many invisible arrows that we get to be a target for on a daily basis. There are real ones, aimed at us by those we are close to. Your family or your loved ones are not approving of your lifestyle; a boss is not happy with your performance; your neighbor dumps a pile of sand next to your fence; someone cuts you off as you try to merge on the highway…We all receive these, but you may have noticed that some people just shrug them off and others brood over them for days. What makes for the […]

Love, Pandemic Style

You may have seen the November 19 “The Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC where the host had an emotional presentation on her partner’s COVID illness. Since then, especially with the Thanksgiving Holiday, there have been many accounts of how people handle when a partner, spouse or a family member gets infected. The toll it takes when you can’t see or be with those you love when they are in distress is huge, let alone knowing they may be dying with no one to hold their hand. It is an unimaginable time when a partner has a serious or terminal illness, […]

You, me, and ’Rona

As we all adjust to living with a deadly and most importantly, invisible virus, what happens between us, our partners, family, friends, neighbors and coworkers? How do we negotiate the emotional impact of less or no physical contact and the social lack of connections as we used to have? Human beings are social animals. Yes, I know, there are those who are introverts and really prefer their own company and maybe even shun being around others. But even they, seek the comfort of another individual at different times, when their emotional needs peak in crisis situations. So how do we […]