Couplespeak™ Blog

End of Summer 2013

Unbelievably, we’ve already arrived at the last week before Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer. Here in New Hampshire, parents are sending their kids off to school this week! Mercifully, in Maine, where I live, nobody goes back to school until after Labor Day, but even then, everyone groans about letting go of the long, langorous days of summer. (Except parents who are sick of their kids).

I’ve had a terrific summer with boating, hiking (light), swimming in the ocean and lakes, barbecues, reading, friends, family, and some wonderful long weekends away at lovely new places. I’ve also taken somewhat of a break from the internet to be outside more, doing active things. So, I can’t complain about it all coming to an end soon, as we in New England enter the Arctic Freeze Winter for the next seven or so months.

If you’re feeling blue about the transition, I’d encourage you to think of it this way: Would summer be as special to you if it were all year round? If you think “Yes!” then you should move to Florida or the Carribbean! If you thought “No way!” then savor what you’ve experienced this past summer. If you didn’t experience much, then begin making a list of the things you will commit to doing next summer, so you don’t continue the “regret cycle.” (You might also need some new friends who get you out more).

Another thing you can do is to anticipate all the delightful things about the Fall and Winter. Look forward to more “tuck in” time with more opportunities for indoor activities and more reflection. Won’t it be nice to not feel pressure to be outside so much doing fabulous things? If you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (depression related to lower levels of light), do the therapeutic “light therapy.” Anticipate the beauty of the changed color palette outdoors with all the invigorating things you can do outside if you’re dressed properly. Look forward to Fall and Winter rituals and holidays. And of course, you can also look forward to next summer. It will be here before you know it….

Happy trails,
Susan Lager

Dreading Another Birthday? Here’s An Antidote….

I recently turned a big number. WAY too big for comfort. I had been feeling a bit blue about my upcoming birthday, thinking about how lousy aging can be – worsening vision, hanging flesh, age spots, the need for Shingles shots, people you know dying, more aches and pains, and worst of all, time running out!

Even so, I greatly enjoyed our family’s four day celebration marking the event in Philly. After the weekend, I spent the actual day of my birthday off from work with the plan of doing intense “self nurture,” something I’m always yapping to my clients about needing to do for themselves. I felt a bit blue, however,  thinking about how fast life had gone by, so I went for a speed walk by the river nearby, feeling a bit lighter immediately. I immersed myself in gardening, cleaning out the beds and planting beautiful new perennials. Felt even better at that point. But the thing that really changed the day into something lovely was a simple thought. As a Baby Boomer, I realized what an amazing group of fearless, feisty, groundbreakers my generation was. We were the ones who initiated the women’s movement, reinvented music, fought for racial equality and sexual freedom, peace, love, and FUN, FUN, FUN!

I was a member of the club that transformed the world, and was now entering their last chapter of life. To celebrate, I brought out my stack of 60’s Rock CD’s, pumped up the volume (poor Dave next door!), and danced for hours, joyous to be at this place in my life, forever young.

So, if you’re dreading another birthday yourself, connect with all the amazing people in your own generation, celebrate your contributions, and enjoy the rest of the ride!

Cheers,
Susan Lager

2012 Year In Review BlogTalk Radio Show Summary. (You asked for it!)

On January 2, 2013 I did my last BlogTalk Radio Show, “2012 Year In Review. Options For Looking Back, Then Forward.” It was a very successful episode with quite a few live callers, and nearly 500 “listens” to the recorded show in the five days since then! As per your many requests, I’m posting the two types of reviews here, each creating a very different sense of things, and a different spin on your life, looking back, then forward.

To hear the recorded show in its entirety, go to: www.BlogTalkRadio.com/SusanLager

If you’re doing your own 2012 Year In Review you could reflect back in the most common way on these things:

  • how much money you made or didn’t
  • how often your body broke down with illness
  • how many vacations you went on, and if they were worth the cost, and the time you took off
  • how much weight you gained or lost
  • if you finally stopped smoking or not
  • how your spouse drove you crazy
  • which friends let you down, and how
  • if you got your house de-cluttered or not
  • who had a messy affair; who got divorced
  • who died and how
  • your failures at work
  • how much you wasted your gym membership
  • your guilt about not reading more books
  • your disappointments as a parent
  • tragedies which occurred, making you paranoid
  • the huge amount of taxes you paid or now owe

(Blah, blah, blah….) Any others I’ve missed?

Or you could do this kind of Year In Review:

  • what were my major accomplishments at work?
  • what positive steps did I take in my marriage?
  • how was I more thoughtful and loving to my family?
  • did I do any better at setting appropriate limits around time asked of me
  •  how well did I take care of myself physically?
  • did I expand myself intellectually and spiritually?
  • what major lessons did I learn in 2012?
  •  did I have enough fun this past year?
  • did I stand up for what’s important to me?
  • what did I model for my children?
  • was I a generous enough friend to the people I care about?
  • whose accomplishments brought me joy?

Get the difference? After you have (hopefully) chosen the latter set of reflections, you have a beginning template for an even better 2013! For help regarding negative self talk, feel free to contact me at my office at 603-431-7131 to set up an appointment for some brief psychotherapy work.

Tune into my next show on Wednesday, Jan. 30th. And have a happy, productive and meaningful New Year!

Finishing A Project

I’m in the home stretch for the completion of my second book, “Become Relationship Smart Without A Lifetime Of Therapy.”

I think I now understand first hand what the dilemma is for so many people about finishing a project! When you’re involved in a project which is meaningful to you it’s like getting married. You make a supposed commitment to do your best and hang in there “in sickness and in health.” You often do it publicly, like having a wedding. You tell your friends and family about it, and they become invested as well, so if you bag it, it’s similar to the humiliation of a divorce – you feel like a failure who’s let everyone down. Or worse, people don’t take you seriously after that around your passions and projects.

Is the solution to just not try to accomplish too much to avoid all this aggravation? No, I think it’s a better idea to closely monitor your negative self talk and your possible self sabotaging behaviors, then remind yourself why you bothered with the project to begin with, to reinforce your motivation to get to the finish line. I’m going to do just that with the book. Not think about it too much, and plow forward, reminding myself why I’ve bothered. When you see the book posted on Amazon.com you’ll know I made it to the finish line. If and when you read the book, you too will know why I bothered.

Cheers,
Susan Lager

“Staying Positive While Looking For Work” BlogTalk Radio episode!

Newsflash! On Wednesday, October 17th at 8:30 PM EST I’ll be doing a BlogTalk Radio episode about this very vital and timely topic. My co-host will be Laura Rivchun, a career coach and mentor from New York City, who will share her insights about the issues people encounter, facing unemployment, and how to manage the process successfully. We’ll be talking about tools for maintaining a positive attitude and avoiding despair and isolation, as well as specific actions to maximize your opportunities to get the best work.

Don’t miss this episode! You can catch it live streaming at: www.BlogTalkRadio.com/SusanLager  or call toll-free at: 877-497-9046 to just listen, or to join us live on the air with questions or comments. Either way, hope you’re with us!

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About
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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