Couplespeak™ Blog

Nothing Is Ever Easy!

Have you ever had days where everything you try to do seems to get complicated by red tape or bigger problems?

Try this on for size:

I go to get a routine “balance and rotation” at my local car service place for my practically new (28,000 miles) car I’ve kept in great shape. It ends up requiring new brakes and more complicated fixings I can’t even comprehend, to the tune of more than $300.! (and 3 hours waiting time, not 45 minutes)

I proudly paint all the trim on the back of the house after carefully matching the color to the existing one, only to find it’s mysteriously WAY bluer and more glossy than the previous color, so now it looks like we’ll either have a two-tone trim, with windows and doors and upper floors one color, and the ground floor another color, or I’ll have to re-paint the whole side of the house.

I do my 23rd BlogTalk Radio show, only to discover that the crackling sound of someone eating corn flakes has gotten worse. I don’t eat anything during shows, so I’m not the culprit, it must be the USB port, the Skype connection, or my headset. This mystery has still not been solved….

I get notified of some possible fraudulent activity by some sociopath on my main business credit card, so I have to spend the next week contacting all the billing departments of all the vendors I do business with of the change to a new card. In the process, I discover that not all the passwords on file jive with the ones I have recorded, so that’s another several hours! (Not to mention all the websites that don’t work properly…)

I get notified of an enormous “quality credentialing” process I need to be on file with, which requires me to dig up every detail of my professional life back to the time of the cavemen. (“When did you start and stop using your maiden name, when did you start and stop hyphenating it with your married name”?) Mind you, I have trouble remembering what year I graduated High School, let alone the specific days when I graduated from college and grad school, and what their numbers and faxes are! This requires a trip to my office to actually look at the degrees on my wall.

Then, as I do the bi-annual transfer of clothes from and to the attic (5 huge boxes), I discover that it will take me until next winter to get the whole job done. So what if I’m wearing sandals in February…

And, my favorite pair of cozy, black jeans has totally disappeared. (Probably the same bandit who took off with my credit card number, or the same wiesel who changed the color on the paint can!)

All I can say is two things:

1. Thank God for my clients with their “normal” problems!

2. Nothing is ever easy!

PS. For more of my musings about life, love, and the absurd, sign up as a subscriber (on the right) to get loads of free articles.

Extreme Packing for a Measly Three Day Trip

Does this look familiar? Are you one of the control freaks (like me) who prepares for a little getaway by packing everything you could possibly use in any weather or eventuality?

My husband and I are going for our ritual little end of summer getaway to Block Island for a long weekend. It’s a lovely little escape from all the hustle and bustle of the mainland, and actually reminds of an Ireland – France combo with its rolling hills, stone walls, and ocean cliffs. The problem though, is when you get a weather report which indicates tornados going into the weekend, sunny warm days, and 55 degree nights. So what do I do? I practice extreme packing for 31/2 seasons, bringing everything from bathing suits, beach towels and chairs, to Polartec jackets. We also bring all our own liquor and wine because the prices there are exorbitant. Oh, not to mention the seltzer for spritzers, piles of fruit, sandwiches and chips, cookies and whatnot. Then there’s the workout shoes and outfits for hot, cool, or freezing conditions.

(One of my mottos is “Be prepared!)

The only slight snag in the plan is that we have to fit all this crap in the wee little dinky trunk of our old Beemer 2-person convertible! There’s barely enough room in there for a big sandwich! I wonder what would happen if one year we just played it all by ear, weren’t so over-prepared, and just let whatever happened, happen. Would the sky fall in? Would we have a better time?

I may never know because I’m wedded to the illusion of control…………….

Wish me luck!
Susan Lager

PS. For more of my writings about the deep and the mundane, in and out of relationships, go to my website,

The Art of Doing Grey

I had a silly fight with my husband Thom tonight because he doesn’t “do grey”!

He recently got a new schedule at work, which gives him a long weekend, allowing more time for all kinds of fun, chores and projects. We’ve always  had an unstated agreement (maybe we don’t!), that the person not going into work will do dishes, make the bed, set up dinner, so the at-work person can come home to some order and calm, and something reasonable to eat. Basic thoughtfulness.

Because Thom doesn’t “do grey,” he gets all caught up in whatever he’s doing with a vengeance, and forgets to go to the bathroom, let the cat out, and unfortunately, forgets to do the dishes, make the bed, and prepare a measly meal. This time he even went to get some Vodka for himself, and was so excited to get back to his muddy lawn, he forgot to get me some wine. (I don’t drink much, but I enjoy a chilled white wine spritzer in the evenings.)

Thom lives in the Land of Black and White, where if you’re seeding the lawn or hauling rocks or planting tomatoes, there’s no room for extraneous, “grey” things, like meal prep, etc. It’s one thing or the other. So when I drove up, all tired and happy to see him after a long day’s work, up he comes from out of our woods, covered in dirt, yakking about his peppers, tomatoes, and grass. I go into the house which looks like a bomb hit it, dishes everywhere, no wine, no food, an unmade bed, and a totally unwelcoming scene. I’ll spare you the gory details. Suffice it to say, I felt unconsidered, unwelcomed. I was glad he’d had a lovely day, but will never understand why there’s no room for even half an hour of “grey”!

Do you too, live in the Land of Black and White, or do you too, do “grey”?

Susan Lager

PS. For more insights about how to live a mature life, with sufficient “grey”, go to my “Products” page for articles galore. 😀

What Would Martha Stewart Say?

Hello Reader,

I have a confession to make. Deep down, I’m a closet Martha Stewart wannabe. One Chanukah-Christmas (we’re hybrids, and celebrate both, sort of), I got Martha’s “Entertaining” book, and sat in my pajamas for weeks mesmerized by the images of perfect standing rib roasts, elaborate pies, gorgeous appetizers, and eggnog served on antique dinnerware amidst roaring fires, in immaculately clean rooms, all decked out with holly, berries, and winter greens for the holidays. Of course, through the mini-paned windows were scenes of pristine winter wonderland Currier and Ives would have envied. This little trance lived on inside me as I did my best to recreate the pictures in the book. (It never occurred to me that my God Martha had teams of food stylists, set designers, landscape designers, air brushers and the like, to produce this illusion.) (I also failed to notice how smug and chilly and bossy she was, amidst the grandeur).

Fast forward 23 years, post child-rearing, (wonderful, but very messy), post full-time career as psychotherapist, (rewarding, but even messier), to second career as coach, writer, and speaker, (creative and stimulating, but the ultimate “unMartha”). These days, I’m older, and I’ve lost my innocence. As I still carefully arrange the winter greens in the vases, I forgive Martha for the beautiful fantasy, and I settle in the mushy Italian leather chair which really belongs to our cat Mackey, as I look for the remote hidden under a pile of bills, ready to watch the news about the world’s disasters.

Goodnight for now,
Susan Lager

PS. Stay tuned for my upcoming Blogtalk Radio Show, “The Couplespeak Relationship Forum”. (or I may rename it “Couplespeak With Susan Lager”)

Whatever the case, I’m sure Martha would have settled on a name by now….

Surviving And Thriving Through The Holidays

Hello Reader!

How delicious was your Thanksgiving? Hopefully the company was even more delectable than the turkey! Mine was — my very close “baby sister” from NYC visited me and my family for an extremely fun and relaxing marathon of good meals, intense conversation, movies, sleep(!), sight-seeing, and last but not least, shopping! I hope your holiday was, for you too, a marker of the love and blessings in your life.

If it was more solitary or difficult, hopefully you did stellar self-nurture, and behaved as a best friend to yourself. Remember, you come into and out of this world alone, so it’s vital to treat your constant self with  kindness and respect. While I’m on that subject, this self-empathy will serve you well through the rest of the holidays. Be looking for my next Ezine article about managing the holidays more mindfully. In the next day or two it should be published, unless I’ve unknowingly committed some literary heresy. For a peek go to: Susan Lager, Ezine Articles Expert Author

Good Night,
Susan Lager

PS. Check out my website for access to more information about relationships: HowToBeABetterCouple

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Susan Lager

I am a licensed, board certified pyschotherapist and relationship coach in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Through my psychotherapy or coaching services, I can provide you with skills and tools to transform your life.

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