Couplespeak™ Blog

Shelling Peanuts–A Lost Pastime?

Hi Reader,

This title wasn’t just a random thought. There have been a few images which lodged in my brain, making me think about what is getting lost living in the fast lane, as most of us do.  My husband Thom and I were floating around in our boat near a sandbar today on our favorite lake in New Hampshire.  It was boiling hot out, so we’d read or talk a bit, then take a dip in the lake, pick blueberries, watch the ripples in the water, and repeat the whole sequence for most of the afternoon.  At one point, a smiling, elderly gentleman floated by on a dinghy, arms and legs hanging out, aimlessly headed nowhere in particular, obviously having a grand old time, entirely “in the moment”. It was a “shelling peanuts” (on a porch), kind of day. Sadly, I think this kind of energy and attitude, slow and languorous, gets squelched in our busy lives, and something precious to our selves and our relationships gets lost. I encourage clients, (and myself) to be more intentional about preserving this kind of tempo as sacred to our sense of well-being, our connection to the world, and to our partners. And by the way, who got the crazy idea to bring peanuts to us already shelled?

Susan Lager

P.S. Any day now, my new website will be live AND functional, with Free Reports you’ll find useful! Then will come E-books, and many more tools to help you have happier partnerships.

At Home Vacations

Hi Reader,

It’s mid summer, hotter than Hell, and the perfect time for enjoying your hometown if you can’t get away. Here are ten tips for the perfect at-home vacation I’ll share with you:

1. Treat your home as a hotel for the “vacation” time.

2. Avoid all the usual dull, dreary, daily chores. Commit to not doing any dishes, laundry, or bills for now. If you don’t love cooking, get take-out or eat in restaurants.

3. Get unplugged. Stay away from email and phone messages. If you don’t want everyone to think you’ve been abducted by aliens, leave a friendly message on your machine saying you’re “vacating”.

4. Do some research with your Significant Other about events and resources in your area.

5. Divide the time up, and take turns treating eachother to special days playing “tourists”, each taking initiative on your day for all the plans and logistics.

6. Commit to going to some new places you haven’t been before, or new activities to you both.

7. If your self-care routines usually feel like drudgery, relax. Have an extra glass of wine or miss a workout. It won’t kill you.

8. Connect with some friends in a new way. Remember, now you have the time.

9. Sleep late if you want. Relax all your rules.

10. Talk about things close to your heart. Avoid hot-button issues.

Before you know it, you’ll be on “island time” having a wonderful vacation without the worry about your plane getting hijacked, your passport getting stolen, or your wallet getting depleted. Enjoy!

Happy trails,
Susan Lager

Speed Gardening and the Revenge of the Sandcherry

Hello Reader,

Some things in life should not be rushed. Picture this: 8:00 A.M. today after a rare ample night’s sleep, I go online to “quickly” pay some bills, looking forward to a full workout in my lovely, cool gym downstairs. It’s already pushing 80 degrees outside, and I’m drenched in sweat. Much to my chagrin, I discover my account balance is very short, and I figure out that in a rush, I’ve mistakenly paid some bills twice in two days, didn’t note it, and then had amnesia about the whole thing. (So much for one hour of “efficiency”). Then, when I realize my son Alec is going for a bike ride, and I’ll have to wait for his help, I furiously wrangle our Sandcherry bush into its new spot next to the shed by myself. I’m shoveling dirt with lightening speed, making time for the gym “me time” when in my haste, I poke myself in the eye with one of the branches. Now, with one bum eye I finally make my way to the gym where I  have all of twenty minutes left for the workout. I dress and leave for work, and see three clients completely out of focus, because the eye is irritated and demanding attention. I maneuver my way into an emergency appointment with my opthomologist with the one “leisurely hour break” already scheduled. The good news is that it’s just a Corneal abrasion, and I’m going to live. The bad news is that I never did get to see how that damned Sandcherry must have looked so perfect in its new home!

All in good time,
Susan Lager

P.S. Check out my newly published article about an intimacy ritual to be a closer couple at:

Slowing Down

Good crack of dawn, Reader,

Now here’s a topic close to my heart! When is enough, ENOUGH?  

I am the queen of overfunctioning, thus we’re having these heart-to-hearts often in the wee hours of the morning when reasonable people are sleeping. Even my nocturnal sister says I’m a vampire. What I know for sure is that it can be challenging to set limits, and remember that tomorrow is another day. In my case it relates to enthusiasm and excitement about new projects or ideas, and boundless energy.  For some people, however, it may relate to anxiety, perfectionism, or serious manic states. If you have difficulty stopping, you may need to explore whether there is a physiologic disorder, or psychological issue causing the behavior.

Women, who are so famous for multitasking, are often juggling too many balls in the air, trying to accomplish too much in one day. There’s also often secondary gain involved, as people around them may capitalize on having a Whirling Dervish in their midst. It may let them off the hook from dreary tasks.

One thing I have learned is to work at consciously doing LESS in any 24 hours– to leave more time to get places, to plan less errands, and to lop off some of my daily “to do” list on the front end. Ultimately, there’s greater satisfaction in Less done well.

Susan Lager

P.S. Stay tuned for my upcoming website chock full of ideas, articles, Ebooks and more.

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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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