The Resume

pexels-photo-256307.jpegLast week I had dinner with my friend who, while she is not a therapist, always shares good insights with me. She was divorced a long time before she found her current very happy relationship.  I asked her what she thought was the secret to finding someone in midlife and her reply was “I think the answer is that you need to stop looking for someone that your mother would brag about at the manicurist”.  I stopped a moment and took that in. What would that mean in my case? 

I grew up in a home and a community where intelligence and prestige was something that was a requirement for entry.  My father went to Harvard Law School and there was Harvard Memorabilia everywhere.  If Freud was right and I was trying to “marry my father”, then it would  narrow the playing field for sure.  It eliminated many men who could be right for me because I was looking at one skill, academic intelligence, as a weed out factor.  I chose my relationships with a part of me aware of what the world would think of these guys and pedigree was most definitely high on that list.

How is this relevant to my current situation?  Well, to start with, in order to sign up for a dating site, you need to check boxes to determine who they should send to you. The boxes include the obvious…education, race religion, income etc.   When I think about who I am drawn to or who I am willing to talk to, it is obvious that my old habits are surfacing again.  Hmmmm….what might I be missing? 

It also shows up on the date. How often will I be sitting on a date and as someone is telling their story, I am saying to myself “Good, good, not so good, nope, ok, he’s out!” ? Instead of sitting back and enjoying the experience, I am keeping a tally.  I am not that great a multitasker, so I am guessing that while I am making my pro and con list, I am not fully invested in the moment.

And while I am thinking about it, would I actually date myself based on this criteria? The reality is that while I went to a perfectly respectable college and graduate school, what I value most about myself is not my academic prowess.  In fact, if I were making my own pro and con list, I am not sure it would appear at all.  But what I will say here is that I AM smart enough to understand that if something is not working well, then it is time to change it.  And this way of limiting thinking is not working.

My thoughts then returned to my friend that I was having dinner with  How did she actually end up with someone that her mother could brag about at the manicurist?  For her the “resume” stuff was just a bonus.  What she was drawn to was intelligence kindness AND connection.  As far as I know, they don’t have that as a course you can register for at the University of Pennsylvania.  That’s because love comes from the heart, not from a book.

The Poem

pexels-photo-189532.jpegAt 6:47 this morning I woke up to the ding ding dinging of my phone. Someone was frantically texting me. My first thoughts were that it was either one of my children, one of my patients in crisis, or a group text to make plans for the weekend. I blearily rolled over, sleepily picked up my phone and looked to make sure that it wasn’t an emergency. It wasn’t. It was a series of poems about the rain from someone that I had been talking to on a dating site and had not yet met.  My first reaction was to roll my eyes in irritation. Really? I don’t even know you and you’re already sending me poetry? And in French? And before 7 AM?  I put down my phone,  got out of bed and continued with my day. But as I was reading my morning paper and drinking my coffee the poem stayed with me. I thought to myself, why was this so annoying to me? What meaning did I attribute to some stranger sending me a poem?  So, like I do with my patients I decided to slow down my thought process and see if I could make any sense of this reaction. Continue reading →

The Singing Lesson

https___www.lifeofpix.com_wp-content_uploads_2017_12_LifeofPix-15-2.jpgThis January I sang in a room full of strangers…and I am not a singer.

After the madness of Holiday parties and the New Year, it was time for a little rest and relaxation. A friend and I decided to take a weekend and go to Kripalu, a yoga retreat, learning center and spa not too far from New York City. We decided to take a class called “The Natural Singer” which is for people who love to sing but don’t want to lose all of their friends and neighbors in the process. One part of the class consisted of getting up in front of the group, performing a solo song and then being coached by the leader of the program, Claude Stein. The idea of getting in front of strangers and singing  was not going to be the relaxing part of the weekend, that was for sure.  Continue reading →