Real Talk w/Terry

Tis the Season to Be Jolly

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to work the switch board at a hospital during the holiday season and witnessed the number of attempted suicides peak during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season. This is the time of the year when many people find themselves feeling sad and depressed instead of being jolly and full of cheer. Some because they have lost close loved ones to death and the holidays are just not what they used to be, then there are those who are divorced and struggle with loneliness during this time of the year and others because the holiday season brings back memories of too many family gatherings that went wrong. Then add in the financial stress that many families are feeling right now and understandably so, the holidays can be a time of loneliness, stress and anxiety for many.

If you’re finding that you are beginning to feel sad, depressed or lonely I have a few suggestions to help you get through the holidays:

  • First and foremost, spend within your means; the joy of Christmas should not be overshadowed by overspending then stressing about credit card debt,
  • If you have children, start your own family traditions (i.e. pick out a tree together and decorate, prepare dinner/desserts together, volunteer as a family),
  • If you are single (or a widower), get together with other singles (widows) and have a potluck,
  • Volunteer at a local food bank or shelter,
  • Get out of the house at night, and drive around town admiring the Christmas lights and decorations,
  • Go on an exotic vacation or trip out of the country, especially if you don’t want to be a part of the commercialization of Christmas, or
  • On Thanksgiving or Christmas Day go to a sporting event.

The holiday season should be a joyous occasion that should not be met with stress, anxiety, or loneliness; the focus should be about giving, not receiving. If you find that you are feeling sad, lonely or depressed take some time and focus on someone else. More importantly focus more on what you do have instead of what you do not have. Happy Holidays!

ATTENTION MEN: Don’t Marry A Career Woman!

http://www.businessweek.com/managing/content/mar2009/ca20090327_067541.htm

I recently read an Article, “Career Women at Midlife: Sicker and Sadder.”  The article discussed one woman who at the peak of her career and personal life found herself in a state of unhappiness and unhealthiness. In her words, “life was becoming impossible and intolerable, …” The article also asserted that the last 50 years have afforded women greater opportunities, achievement, influence and more money. The down side, over the same time period, women have become less happy, in addition to being more anxious and stressed; consequently medicating
themselves as a result.

Wow, that’s deep! In summary, the article basically asserted that with better education and opportunities, women have become less happy.

Reading this article conjured up memories of another article, “Don’t Marry Career Women” that I had read previously that was met with much criticism from career women. http://www.forbes.com/2006/08/23/Marriage-Careers-divorce_cx_mn_land.html

This article cited several studies that in summary stated that men who were married to career women, were more likely to have a bad marriage and get a divorce. Reasons being the career woman being more likely to cheat on her spouse and less likely to have children and if she does is more likely to be unhappy about having had children; that the career woman will be unhappy if she makes more money than her spouse; that her husband is more likely to fall ill and that the career woman’s house is more likely to be dirty. The article didn’t stop there – further research was cited that stated that career women who quit their jobs to stay at home with their children will
be unhappy.

To sum up the research that is out there concerning married career women, one would think being married to a career woman is a one way ticket to divorce court. I believe that the exact opposite is true; being married to a career
woman does not have to mimic anything that research studies have asserted. Married couples who have children and both partners work outside of the home must realize that any traditional thinking concerning chores and housekeeping will not work.  When both partners work outside of the home, there must be mutual agreement on who will do what chores. Regarding the infidelity or cheating assumption, I do respect that research, however I do not fully agree with the results. There are many theories concerning what drives someone to cheat on their spouse – primary theory being that there is some sort of unmet need in the marriage and I’m unsure if there is any correlation between unmet needs and having a career; although I’m sure some would argue that career women may be absorbed by their job, kids, life and therefore put their spouse last perhaps prompting the husband to have an affair. However, knowing this the career woman must conscientiously decide that her husband is a priority always.

Additionally, the views concerning women and money and the husband being the primary bread winner have been debunked in recent years. With the past recession and sluggish economy, more men are finding themselves out of work or under employed and the wife is the primary bread winner. As a result more couples are now okay with women earning more than their spouse. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33196583/ns/business-careers/t/rising-number-women-earn-more-mates/

The last few decades have seen a record number of women obtain their degree and enter the workforce – that being said, men it will be quite a challenge to NOT marry a career woman. My advice to those men who harbor traditional views of marriage and a woman’s role in marriage is to reevaluate your thinking process and in short GET WITH THE TIMES! This is the 21st century and a woman’s expected place is no longer in the home barefeet and pregnant.

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