Favorite Video Of Last Week: “Raised Without Gender”

A 10 year old showed me this video last week.  It was really great to see how schools of the future may eventually evolve to adopt a philosophy of not inculcating gender norms and gender roles on young 4 and 5 year olds. Maybe in about 50 years, most schools will just be like this. The family in it is really great. My favorite part is when the parent is sort of accused of inculcating their views of gender and forcing them on their children. The parent replies, Yes I am doing that. So does every other parent. I’m just not doing it the way many others do, but I’m doing the same thing all parents do. So true.

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The Mid Life Crisis, Continued. Movies

There have been great movies made about people having a mid life crisis. Too many are about men experiencing one: “American Beauty”, “Lost in Translation”, “Manhattan”, etc.

Are there any good movies about women or other gender identified people having a good old fashioned mid life crisis? Woody Allen made one, “Another Woman”, (1988). It’s a great def fpiction of a woman going through all the aspects of a mid life crisis. There’s the idea of having a sudden break of time, where you’re not doing everything as usual, in this case a sabbatical, then the way things can suddenly appear different and give you a different view of yourself, noticing other people’s perceptions of you not matching your own, the typical suddenly looking at a long marriage and seeing it and yourself and your partner differently. Noticing someone else and it having a big effect on your own self identity and concept of who you are. Big changes happening as a result, some that you don’t engage in as a choice. I found the movie very compelling even when I wasn’t viewing it as a mid life crisis movie.

I can’t really think of or find many movies about women having a mid life crisis. The Huffington Post dug up movies that will make you feel better about your mid life crisis, with women as the protagonist, “Enough Said”, “It’s Complicated”, “The Bridges of Madison County”, “Kramer vs. Kramer”. I draw the line at that one. Just because Meryl Streep is in the movie does not mean it’s a genuine mid life crisis movie. Yes, it has a lot of the ingredients, and she is the character that’s going through a crisis of identity, but she is just too young to make it convincing to me. It feels like she is questioning her life and choices, but it doesn’t have the elements of urgency having to do with a sense of the life span. It’s more like, she’s still young and wants to rewrite her story, but it isn’t that she wakes up and looks back on a long life with many choices and all the other complicated elements of a mid life crisis.

This is movie land, so all the movies you could dig up on this topic are full of the usual drama. There has to be a lot of extreme stuff going on on the outside to portray the big conflicts of mid life that go on inside the character.

In real life, it isn’t always about affairs, divorce, affairs, losing one’s mind, affairs, falling in love with someone really young to gain back one’s youth.

The title “In Search of Lost Time” sums it up well. I haven’t read the book, so it’s the title that appeals to me.

To be continued…

The New Mid Life Crisis

What is a mid life crisis? Everyone thinks of some middle aged guy with a receding hairline in a red Porsche having an affair with a 20 year old when they here the phrase.

Well, we’ve come a long way baby, since those backwards days. Now your gender doesn’t matter, it’s age that does. It doesn’t have to be about feeling physically past your prime either.

Maybe being 40-45 used to be when people had this “syndrome”. Now it could happen to you in your late 30’s, early to late 40’s or 50’s. Whatever feels mid life to you.

You don’t have to leave your spouse or disappear or find a new identity. You don’t have to spend tons of money on something stupid that is supposed to represent your last threads of holding on to your youth.

What is a mid life crisis? My definition is, you reach an age in your life, where you start looking back on your life, and wondering, sometimes regretting, sometimes wishing, sometimes scared to death. Usually it sinks in that you have less days ahead of you than behind you (I just heard that one, and it shook me). Even if you think you may live to 100, you have an equal number of days ahead of you than behind you, or you feel the weight of whatever many years are behind you and the time ahead of you looms as time you don’t want to waste, time you want to do something that makes you feel alive.

If you’re even thinking in terms of days you’ve spent that are over and days you have got left, you’re probably in the land of the Mid Life Crisis.

So it starts or is defined by a sense of urgency, thinking about your life as limited, ta a thinking about your death and what you did, could have done, could be doing, could do, might miss forever if you don’t do it now.

The actions that go with this self conception, the “red Porsche”, can take many forms. It may seem mild to some, getting a tattoo, changing your hair, going on a trip, taking trapeze or tango lessons, sky diving or bigger things, moving, spending a lot of money on something, whether a house, a car, a swimming pool, a horse, or picking some collection of books to read you never were interested in before. Its could be crazier, starting a drug habit, doing stuff that you always thought were “against the rules”…

There are other types of actions that are not so “bucket list” like things. Changing careers, suddenly realizing you want to run a bed and breakfast instead of working in a big city. Taking up some creative activity nobody thought you were interested in.

What do you think of when you think of Mid Life Crisis? What have you done or seen others do? To be continued…

Writing 101, Day 3: One Word Inspiration: Chosen Word: UNCERTAINTY

Life on earth is mostly about uncertainty, so the word Equanimity expresses a way to be in and live in “uncertainty” and remain grounded and joyful, and equanimity as a principle is about being in the middle of things and able to look over what’s in the moment with no judgment.

“Tell me, what is it that you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

great poem! thanks Krista!

The Daily Post

Perhaps this might be, as American author Joan Didion phrases it, a “bankrupt morning” where you wake up, devoid of inspiration for your creative projects.

Learn more about Mary Oliver and see her complete bibliography. Mary Oliver and Percy Photo Mary Oliver and Percy. (Photo 2005 by Rachel Giese Brown.)

In honor of National Poetry Month, I’ve got some inspiration in a very short recommended read from the poet Mary Oliver. In her poem The Summer Day, she mediates on creation and attention, and in so doing, urges us to seize possibility with a beautifully simple question:

Tell me, what is it that you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
The Summer Day by Mary Oliver

Listen to Mary Oliver read The Summer Day:

And now, Tell me, what is it that you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

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Is There a Right Way to Spell Hanukkah? Chanukah? Hannukah?

happy chanukah! that’s how I spelled it as a kid, when nobody put up menorahs in NYC; times have changed. Spell it however you want! The festival of lights: put a little light in your heart! Put a little love in your heart, whether you celebrate any holiday at all, or none. There is always room for more love to spread around, and it starts with me and you:” put a little love in your heart!” No I am not crazy, just drunk on Bill Murray’s ending monologue in the movie “Scrooged”! This is the first day of the rest of our lives…

TIME

It began last night at sunset: Hanukkah. Or is it Chanukah? Or Hannukah? Sometimes getting the proper spelling of a Hebrew word transliterated into English gets tricky, especially when far more than a trio of options prove technically correct. But if you don’t fall into the Hebrew-scholar category, what should you do?

With so many ways to correctly get the point of Hanukkah across, the proper spelling really turns into a matter of preference and mass appeal. If you want to fit in with the crowd, opt for the Hanukkah spelling, now the most widely used of the choices.

(MORE:Hanukkah 2011: Why the Holiday Is So Popular in America)

However, don’t forget Chanukah, the second most often used spelling and the favorite of traditionalists. Just how did Hanukkah‘s spelling become so popular and oust Chanukah atop the list? You can blame it on the ch

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Just Show Up and Be Here Now! Getting through difficult times like the holidays…

For some, the holidays are your favorite time of year and you love almost everything about them. As therapists, we are well aware that the holidays may be more than unpleasant for other people. In fact, for some, it is a matter of surviving the holidays and breathing a sigh of relief on Jan. 2.

For anybody, whether you like the holidays or not, if you need to ease up on yourself and your own self judgments, this piece from Elephant Journal about Yoga is great. I will copy the link but also take the article and substitute “I” and other appropriate words for the word Yoga and change it around slightly to be a reflection on our abilities to be nice to ourselves.

Here is the original article. You may not be able to read it after today as the Elephant Journal locks the articles on their site to encourage joining…
http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/11/yoga-doesnt-care-a-disclaimer-that-should-be-posted-in-every-studio/

You and your life are not defined by your lifestyle, beliefs, weight, diet, flexibility, how spiritual or enlightened you are, or if you even are “spiritual” at all. You are just about being yourself and just choosing to show up each new day—You are not alone in the daily struggle. For many, each day is a new struggle just to show up to his/her life and stay. This post honors those with the most despair and pain who are brave and show up despite all the emotional scars and pain.

Try saying this to yourself when you are down on yourself or not “doing enough” or “changing” enough.

I don’t care what my hair looks like.

I don’t care how I am dressed today or if I even was able to get out of bed and shower and dress.

I don’t care if I am following some kind of fancy or healthy eating plan or eating the “bad” foods today. It’s good enough that I show up and eat something to keep myself going…

I don’t care when the last time I did this particular activity (fill in the blanks)

I don’t care if I show up cranky or exhausted to my life today.

I don’t care what I believe in or if I believe “in” anything. I’m here and that is enough.

I don’t care what color my skin is or what gender I choose to love or what gender or non gender I am. I don’t care about others’ appearance, sexual orientation, gender, etc. either. We all share similar struggles and pain.

I don’t care how much money I have, what house or space I live in, what car I drive, or if I have to live on the streets right now.

I don’t care what my apartment, house, living space etc. looks like right now. It doesn’t matter; what matters is that I am still here anyway.

I don’t care if I smoke cigarettes, drink, use substances that are illegal, eat too much, binge and purge, starve myself, or am addicted to sex or other things or whether I hoard things in my abode. I’m still here and I showed up to this new day and that is enough.

I don’t care if I am single, with someone, with several people, in a messy relationship, stuck in a difficult relationship or anything else.

I don’t care when I woke up or if I have not gotten out of bed, I’m still here even if I have to stay in bed all day.

I don’t care what my job is, whether I have one, whether I graduated high school, college, grad school, whether I finished any project or life goal or whether I even have anything I want to “do with my life”.

I don’t care if I have a family or none at all, and I don’t care what my family or anyone else thinks about me.

I care that I showed up for today. I care enough to stay.