"Everyone has his or her own way of dealing with grief," my always cheerful therapist liked to say, "and you'll find yours." She was less positive about her answer to my question, "Does it ever end?" The best she could do was, "It gets easier."
Really, is nothing sacred anymore? Frank Capra, the extraordinarily talented movie director of the last century, must be rolling over in his grave with the news that a sequel to his iconic Holiday film, "It's a Wonderful Life" is now in the works.
A friend and I recently got into a discussion of what it means to have an "alter ego." (In Latin, the "other self," or "doppelgänger" from the German.) As I understand it, they all pretty much describe the same thing: a person who is identical, and yet distinctly different, from ourselves.
Researchers have been studying personality traits known as "Type A" for so long that it has become a household word. We call people who are work-obsessed and overly competitive— with increased risk of health problems as a result—"Type A" personalities.
Have I got this right? Fear is a rational emotion, whereas panic and anxiety are not. But wait. Aren't panic and anxiety the same? "Anxiety" may sound more scientific than "panic," from the Greek god Pan, who liked to frighten sheep.
If you didn't know that May is Older Americans Month, you are not alone. I would guess that not a lot of people did know, including me. A recent article brought it up, and urged those of us who are "of a certain age" to celebrate. My first thought was, "Why?"
Ah, chocolate candy and red roses, timeless hallmarks of love! If you were lucky enough to get both, this past Valentine's Day, the roses wilted long ago, and you may be avoiding the candy because you thought it wasn't good for you. Not so!
We all know that older adults who get regular exercise are healthier than those who don't. But who knew that they are also 60% less likely to develop dementia? And here's the best part: exercise doesn't have to be boring, Dancing can keep your brain younger, as well as healthier!
It's bad enough to be "of a certain age," with doctors and scientists constantly telling us what we should be doing, eating, avoiding, etc., but here's a new wrinkle (so to speak). Now they are telling us what we are supposed to be feeling! Are you ready for this? Happier.
Doing nothing, or time spent with no discernible point or purpose, is often met with contempt. My mother used to call idle hands the Devil's playground, and I still sometimes feel a little guilty about just sitting and listening to music when I know that I should be doing something more constructive.
The technology in today's world would have seemed "Buck Roger-ish" in my day, when telephones plugged into the wall, and a "text" was a schoolbook. Think of all the new terms that have come into the language since then, too: Internet, laptop, e-mail, upload, download, website, iPad, Wi-Fi, SmartPhone, and e-books, to name a few.
Almost everything I thought I knew about right and left brain activity has been stood on its head (so to speak!) by a recent article in my local newspaper. I knew that left-brain dominant people tended to be logical, rational and organized, and that right-brain dominance fosters creativity, imagination and artistry. That about sums up my preconceived notions.
My mother used to say that good manners were simply the outward expression of inner respect -- or words to that effect. If so, there is precious little respect around today, what with candidates bashing each other in negative campaign ads and calling each other names, politics has become a blood sport.
Only in L.A.! Where else would you expect to find a museum featuring a "California Death Room" devoted to ghastly murders committed here? What first comes to mind is Hollywood's most famous murder case: the Black Dahlia.
Sigmund Freud, who famously and perhaps peevishly, asked the question, "What does a woman want?" might be surprised to know what a Vroomgirl wants. Of course, Freud never met a Vroomie, nor ever imagined such a thing.
Doctors are taking another look at folk remedies and saying that some cannot be dismissed as mere superstition. Now, I don't know if this one is old or new, but have you heard of the Raisins-Soaked-in-Gin remedy for arthritis? I'm not making this up.
When our children are young, we try to instill a sense of sportsmanship by telling them that "it's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game." Sadly, when they grow up they may find out differently.