When running away is not an option

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

I suppose I could don a disguise and run off to the nearest wine-bar and sip cocktails while my husband tried to find me to make dinner. But then I’d likely overdo it and end up being driven home by a well-meaning stranger who would need to be fed, too. Such is the life of a cook.

This story is written from the viewpoint of a person who is responsible for making meals in the home. When I was growing up it was usually a woman. Now, of course, sometimes the husband is the primary cook, or the partner. Sometimes…

I also take advantage of every opportunity to go outside

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I don’t know about the rest of the seventyish population, but I have been staying indoors a lot of the day, for a lot of the days and weeks and months this past year. It is especially noticeable in winter, as right now, for instance, I couldn’t go out without a big pep talk. I mean, today it is 34 degrees and snowing/sleeting/ freezing-rain. If I went out I would get my clothes wet, ruin the beach hair effect I’ve just created with a lot of product in my wet hair. …

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Have you ever decided to do something that you are really afraid to do but need or want to do anyway? I spent my childhood being afraid of everything and the rest of my life trying to get what I wanted despite being afraid. I’ve learned a lot of strategies for dealing with my fears. The fear of driving in heavy traffic is one of them. And a very realistic and sensible fear it is.

My elderly mother and siblings live in southern New Jersey. I live in Maine. Our family moved here about 20 years ago. So you can…

Even if you don’t do yoga, don’t like yoga, don’t believe in yoga, learn how to do these three things.

Photo credit: Jay Castor on Unsplash

I am not a yoga expert but I have always been interested in yoga. My first introduction to it was in my freshman year of college when physical education was a requirement and we had to do a six-week yoga series. I hated it then, thought it was stupid. I was a bit rebellious back then.

As I got older, I would occasionally take a yoga class. Twelve years ago I found a great teacher who gave a weekly class for seniors and I did that for twelve years until the pandemic caused her to close up shop and get…

A Seventyish Woman’s Story

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This week I am spending some time with my 94-year-old mother. I wrote this entry in my journal today:

My stomach clenches and my throat tightens lest I say something before I mean to. After 95 years this woman deserves to take the time she needs to talk, walk, think. It pains me to see the decline of her sharp mind as well as her physical form. I wish I felt calm and objective about it but instead feel it like my own decline. I slide into my mother…

My intention is to accept her as…

I think it’s possible

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I have to admit to you that I am as much a clever con artist as the next human being and right now, my brain is trying to get out of work. But I’ve decided to both retire and keep working. Sometimes, while I’m working, the chair on the beach sits empty and that’s ok.


My husband and I discussed retirement plans for each of us. We agreed that neither one of us feels excited about not doing the work we’ve been doing. We enjoy our work, it is within our abilities to continue working and so we want to…

You may be glad to be seventy, too

Woman in a swing, hair flying behind her, probably on a beach because she seems to be swinging over the sun setting on the ocean
Woman in a swing, hair flying behind her, probably on a beach because she seems to be swinging over the sun setting on the ocean
Photo by Noah Silliman on Unsplash

Just for today I am so happy with my life that if it could go on like this forever I would be content. I am thoroughly in favor of the seventies and I’m writing this to give some encouragement to those who are approaching seventy and feeling just a teeny bit nervous at approaching such a milestone. Geez, when we were kids, a seventy-year-old was a fossil, practically dead already. Well, not anymore, baby. Seventy is the place to be now.

I was sitting in a chair outside the massage therapist office waiting for my appointment and thinking about things…

Well, he's a great guy and we try to work everything out so we're both happy with the results

After 11,000 dinners, I want to change the rules

older woman in a chiffon pale pink dress with frilly sleeves sits at a table holding a glass or red wine. Bottle of wine on the table. You cannot see her face.
older woman in a chiffon pale pink dress with frilly sleeves sits at a table holding a glass or red wine. Bottle of wine on the table. You cannot see her face.
photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

No one should go into a relationship hoping to change the other person. That has always been my line as a therapist. And I still think it’s mostly true. So, why do I or any of those who read my recent post about cooking think I could change my husband after fifty-one years of marriage?

Now, as a therapist, I bank on the fact that people can change. Sometimes they make the changes because they decide to. Maybe because their therapist or doctor urges them to do it. Other times life forces something on them that rudely jerks them into…

How to create resilience for difficult times

Photo by Alora Griffiths on Unsplash

In the May/June issue of Psychotherapy Networker, a journal for therapists, there is an article “Loving Yourself into Safety” by Lynn Grodzki. It is written by a woman who had undergone a horribly painful treatment for cancer and learned how to support herself in a useful way. She talks about inner and outer toughness and how so many of life’s most difficult tasks must be done alone, and what we can do to make this as easy as possible for ourselves.

She tells about a heavily tattooed and muscular man in tears in the waiting room begging not to be…

Jean Anne Feldeisen

I've got my fingers in way too many pots. Cook, writer, poet, reader, musician, therapist, dreamer, a transplant from New Jersey suburbs to a farm in Maine.

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