Few of us react to bereavement the way we thought we would. More surprising is how it affects the people around us. If it has brought out the worst in your nearest and dearest, you are not alone. In Issue 9 we interviewed Karen Holford of the Association of Family Therapy about whether it is ever best to cut ties with family. She put … Continue reading When widowhood is a battleground
Sometimes you just need the right line to get you out of there. Out of the argument. Out of doing the thing you don’t want to do. Out of the room. “No” is best. “No” deployed with the certainty of Simon Cowell will solve many problems. But just in case you leave your Simon Cowell impersonation at home, these might work. Can you help … Continue reading Great escapes
To create the quotes page I got to re-read some of my favourite books. They took me back to the first weeks and months and that percolated into these. The job of comforting the comforters. And note to self: When I try to make my existence easier on other people, this is what I’m doing. Continue reading Doodles
They say you can get away with anything if you walk purposefully and carry a clipboard. At times of uncertainty we all look for the person who seems to know what they’re doing but those are the times when it is most important to be that person in your life. Okay, let’s be honest: none of us really know what we’re doing. At best … Continue reading Statement of intent
In A Widow’s Story, Joyce Carol Oates shows how she was driven slightly demented by “the sympathy siege”. Most of us experience a version of this so here are a few ideas on how to push back. In the days after her husband’s death, Joyce Carol Oates describes how her house fills with gifts of large floral arrangements and baskets of gourmet food. She … Continue reading What to say
Make it easy on yourself
Getting the wording right for official letters about tricky situations is difficult at the best of times. At the worst of times it doesn’t bear thinking of. If only you had a personal assistant. Well we’ve found the next best thing. Continue reading “Make it easy on yourself”
We’ve all experienced the semi-professional port in a storm. That person you barely knew who at the first sign of crisis was suddenly in your life, trying to soothe you like a child. They seemed very much in touch with their own feelings and said they perfectly understood your feelings… and maybe you’re currently screening their calls. A study by Christine Ma-Kellams of the … Continue reading Do your analytic friends understand you better than your intuitive friends?
Part two of our big list of ways to bring more people into your life. From finding people who really get your interests to homeshares, car shares and tracing distant relatives, there are many ways of connecting with people if you’re willing to reach out. 1. Open University is just one of the many distance learning options around today. Type the kind of course … Continue reading 25 more ways to meet new people
Friendship depends on finding common ground. The best way to find new friends is to pursue anything that interests you, makes you curious or is something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t done yet. It requires action. Do the thing you love doing and you will find others who love doing that thing too. If you’ve found them but they’re not quite you, keep … Continue reading 25 ways to meet new people
One take-away from Dan Ariely’s book, The (Honest) Truth about Dishonesty, is that we make worse decisions when we’re stressed. You knew that already but there’s a scientifically proven reason, which is called ego-depletion. What you need to know is that if you have to show serious willpower for a task, cut yourself some slack beforehand. The examples used are around food: to … Continue reading Pace your willpower
…because I’m bored of talking about it …because I’m having a day of it and I might cry and I don’t want to cry …because I don’t expect you to understand unless you’ve been through it yourself but you’ll want to try to understand and I’ll want to try to appreciate that and we’ll both end up feeling a bit strained and fake … Continue reading A word to the not widowed: Sometimes I don’t want to talk about it because…
It’s like a very slow, strange, re-birth. And my first words as I try to get the measure of this new life, turn out to be a series of “No”s.
I’m as surprised as anyone. Really.
Continue reading “A stroppy new me”