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EXPLOSION

I am not sure why I walked out of that spring day’s beautiful mid-morning sunshine. It would have been so much easier to just keep walking down the 9:45 a.m. tree lined sidewalk. In fact the dirty beige concrete going beyond the doorway was becoming increasingly seductive. Not yielding to the seduction, I in fact ......... more »

Some Thoughts on Adult P.E.

I did a short triathlon last weekend. It was a course I’d done before and I was with my triathlon team. I was thrilled when I got 2nd place in my age group and insisted that we wait around – in the cold and rain – for over an hour so I could stand on the podium and collect my commemorative beer glass (even though......... more »

Your Emotional ‘bank account’

Perhaps one of the most useful ideas I learned in graduate school was the concept of the ‘emotional bank account.’ This is very similar to your checking account—it is not fixed or static. You make deposits, you make withdrawals. These deposits and withdrawals are deposits or withdrawals of trust. If I bring my wi......... more »

Secrets….

An old line from the AA crowd comes to mind, “You’re only as sick as your secrets.” Twice in the last week in my work, people asked for advice on what to do with significant information they have not told their partners. In one, a young woman is getting married to a Mormon man who has not had a sexual life. She......... more »

Good News For the Very Old Agers

As reported in the December 2014 journal Psychology and Aging, over 500 non-demented seniors participated in the so-called Berlin Aging Study. The subjects were 70-100 years old and were measured for memory performance 4 times over the course of 6 years. The researchers were measuring the complaints of the seniors abou......... more »

Ask Dr. Tim: My 50-year-old son is a mess…

Q My 50-year-old son is a mess. He has been into drugs, alcohol, prison, and rehab three times. A few months ago he left his wife and went to the streets again. He keeps calling us for money…of course for drugs. When we decline, in order to press his point he constantly yells and swears at us and threatens to eith......... more »

Seventy!

Having just completed my 70th year on this planet, I find myself in a reflective mood. What has mattered the most all these years? Can I offer anything useful to an 18-year-old about what lies ahead? Not that I’ve been asked, of course. But then, I don’t recall asking 70+ year-olds to answer that question when I wa......... more »

Openings That Make You Continue Writing

Often, we feel we can’t start writing because we are not inspired. Or we feel that we have become “flat” as writers when we look at what we have written. Here are 10 writing prompts inspired by the opening lines of novels, films and a short story. I believe that working from any of these prompts will allow you to......... more »

On Becoming A Quitter…Or Not: Part 1

It was June and I was a16-year-old getting ready to enter my sophomore year in high school. I made the decision to go to the try-outs the following day for football. I remember how hot the morning was there in the locker room where I received my helmet, pants, pads, and jersey with #11 on it. To say I was anxious was a......... more »

Ask Dr. Tim: You may not believe this but I am a 45-year-old virgin…

Q: You may not believe this but I am a 45-year-old virgin…well sort of. I have been married eight years now and have never had an organism during intercourse. We have three children. I was a “good protestant girl” growing up and was told that I would go to hell if I had premarital sex. I have been able to have a......... more »

Yep It Has Been a Perfect Day…For Me

This fourth day of our vacation to the Grand Tetons in Wyoming started out pretty much like the other three preceding it. But as Jane and I were sleeping in our trailer, I was gently awakened by pressure on my leg at 6:00 a.m. As I peered down to the bottom of the bed I saw the big brown eyes of our golden retriever Po......... more »

Shipwreck 101!

"The chief task in life is simply this: to identify and separate matters so that I can say clearly to myself which are externals not under my control, and which have to do with the choices I actually control. Where then do I look for good and evil? Not to uncontrollable externals, but within myself to the choices that ......... more »

Virtual Reality

Now I am really showing my age and old fuddy-duddy-ism! I don’t know about you but I find the various commercials on TV about Virtual Reality units puzzling. First, a disclaimer. I have never tried one, so I don’t really know what I am missing…perhaps. I do understand how one can be transported to another part of......... more »

Brain Tip #3: Eat Smart, Decrease Dementia

Is diet related to dementia? For a long time, researchers have known two things: (i) poor dietary habits increase the risk of getting heart disease, and (ii) having heart disease increases the risks of dementia (1). The next question followed naturally: Does poor diet itself increase the risk of dementia? Researchers n......... more »

Living in the Sweet Spot

In most athletic endeavors, there is a point of activity often known as “the sweet spot.” In tennis, it is when the ball strikes the most effective part of the racket. In baseball, it is when the ball connects to the strongest part of the bat. The phenomena are similar in golf as well as fly-casting.   Being in ......... more »

Saying Goodbye to Superman

At this moment when I sat down at my computer, our one year-old golden retriever, Poppy instantly began running around the perimeter of our living room. She had a chew- toy in her mouth and was playfully doing laps; just for the fun of it. I have to admit, this level of energy is something I may have experienced yea......... more »

Principles of an Exciting and Fulfilling Retirement

After fifteen years of retirement I find myself thinking a lot about the components contributing to an exciting and fulfilling retirement. Reflecting on my own experiences,, observing others and, in a couple of cases, reading what others have said has caused a number of principles to begin to emerge from the mist. In t......... more »

Beginning to see some improvement…

Came across a great article on Huffington Post's Facebook feed. You can read it here.......... more »

Healthy Brain Aging—Part 3

In Part 1 of Healthy Brain Aging, I shared material from Glenn Smith, Ph.D. of the University of Florida, who wrote the lead article in the May-June 2016 issue of American Psychologist. His article entitled, Healthy Cognitive Aging and Dementia Prevention will continue to be the basis of the Part 3 in this series. I......... more »

The Two Darts

Phil and James have been frat brothers for the past two years. This particular warm Sunday afternoon was providing relative boredom for both of them. Being hot and muggy both guys were stripped down to only in their gym shorts all day. About 3:00PM they decided to go down to the basement to play darts and have a few......... more »

Ask Dr. Tim: …she also convinced me that I too was ill…when I was not.

Q I recently attended a memorial service for my mother. This is the same person who spent my early years convincing me that I was the reason for all her physical ills. The real trick was when she also convinced me that I too was ill…when I was not. I don’t know if she had the power of hypnotism or not, but her m......... more »

Ask Dr. Tim: I moved in with my 88-year-old mother…she needed help.

Q As a 60-year-old woman I moved in with my now 88-year-old mother several years ago. Aging, she needed help. Since I was newly out of a divorce and a job, I decided to give it a try. My own children live in another State so I would be focused on mom. Of course there were concerns on my part. My teen years were frau......... more »

Why I Talk About Dying

I’m pretty sure I’m going to stop being invited to social functions soon. People ask what I’m working on these days and inevitably the conversation turns to dying. The thing is, I’m really convinced that our Western end-of-life experience could be better, and I feel passionate about the fact that being able to ......... more »

On Becoming A Quitter…Or Not: Part 2

Perhaps the reason I was never given the opportunity to get on the football field in high school was because I had no talent. I don't know how any coach would know that, since I was never allowed to try, but it was certainly one explanation. However, I had suspicions that it may have been related to my 8th grade experi......... more »

Keeping Secrets

I had gotten a new motorcycle about eight years ago and wanted to test it out on a curvy road close to our house. I went down the road to check for law enforcement people. No one there so I took off and all of a sudden, the flashing red light behind came on. I think the young officer was surprised to see this old guy t......... more »

Shadowlands

“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing.” So C. S. Lewis begins his book, A Grief Observed, about the death of his wife, Joy. A few weeks ago, travel......... more »

IT ALL STARTS WITH SCIENCE [Part 2]

Okay, so remember – when we left off, Prof. Emeritus Harold Clark had asserted that radiocarbon-based dates of once-living things were BS, since they gave us age-dates before the Great Flood of Noah, and even before the Creation of All Things (about 6,000 years ago)! Impossible! Besides the “evidence” from Genesi......... more »

Planning a Wedding After 50:  Lawyers, Botox, and Tombstones

I am 53 now and will be 54 by the time I get married this summer.  No, this is not my first rodeo.  My first “rodeo” took place when I was 21.  It was a different place, a different time, and I was a different person then.  I married a very nice man and we were married for over 20 years, but it ran its course, ......... more »

“Try a Soft Hackle”

For the last three years my wife (Jane), our golden retriever (Poppy), and I (Tim) have spent the month of September camping and fly-fishing primarily in Montana. While doing so we have also taken a few sorties into either Wyoming or Idaho. This year we have taken our current reach down into Henry’s Fork (of the Snak......... more »

Twists and Turns on the Road of Life

Every day, it's a-gettin' closer, Goin' faster than a roller coaster.Buddy Holly could have been describing my life since I last wrote. Much has happened, including more than the usual travel for work. But that was just the beginning. This past September my boss had me to go to Germany for a retreat for America......... more »

About

By some standards I am old, but by others I am young. I was born in Ontario, California in 1947. I grew up loving to rambunctiously ride my bicycle around the neighborhood, playing very sophisticated games of hide-and-seek, climbing our neighbors trees, and running barefooted most of the summer. I have loved livi......... more »

BENCHMARKS FOR YOUR RELATIONSHIP

When you ask 400 physicians and 700 therapists the question, “How do you know when you’ve seen a good marriage?”—you get the same answers in the same order. In my world, this has become one of the benchmarks I quickly use when I meet with a couple. The five markers are: 1. The frequent and open display of affec......... more »

A Life or Death Battle

The long black-haired bear rug on my grandparents’ bedroom floor was one of the first childhood giveaways of my grandfather’s prowess. However, my tedious and seemingly impossible job at that present moment was to take an afternoon nap…the last thing my energized body wanted to do. I wanted freedom and independen......... more »

Getting to Know a Wine-Part 1: look at its acid

When on a journey to learn more, drink more and gracefully age more (wine that is), there are a few concepts that are helpful to understand. Considering the enormity of the subject I want to touch first on the make-up of a wine or the elements within wine that give it its character and age-ability. To look at w......... more »

A Letter to Grandpa Jack

Dear Grandpa Jack: My finger-tips still whence with the blazing memory of watching you snuff out the used-up Marlboro butt with your bare finger tips. I still hear myself scream silently in horror at the nonchalant act of my real Marlboro Man hero. I know I didn’t have that many years to actually be with you, b......... more »

Ask Dr. Tim: I have had chronic neck pain…

Q: I have had chronic neck pain for the past two years. I have been cleared medically but I have the pain every day. Even the heavy-duty opiate pain meds aren’t helping much anymore. Help. Pain in the Neck A: Dear Pain in the Neck: Assuming you feel confortable with the thoroughness of your medical worku......... more »

Reflections in the Quiet



This month began with my 55th birthday. I anticipated this milestone with some anxiety, because it was at Christmas, 1970, that my grandfather died of a heart attack while on a business trip to Galesburg, Illinois. I was 9. That Christmas morning, I opened his final present to me, a beagle puppy that we named “Mitzi.......... more »

Another Long Slow Goodbye

[Written 17 December 2016] My wife's mother just died two nights ago. She was diagnosed with vascular dementia quite a while ago, so . . . this was a surprise to none of us. I wasn't with her that night, but my wife – her eldest daughter – was. But it has made me think. About her mortality. And about my reaction......... more »

The Trip: Remembering Our Strengths

The year was 1998. That was the year that I decided to ride by bicycle partway around the world. I was twenty years old and my best friend and I decided we needed an adventure. My friend Russ had already done a bit of traveling and we had both cycled locally but I had never taken on anything like this before. In fact I......... more »

War Stories

In Erich Maria Remarque’s 1931 novel, “The Road Back” (sequel to “All Quiet on the Western Front”), he follows a group of German soldiers home, as they try to reintegrate into civilian life after Germany’s surrender. They find everything changed—themselves, their friends, their family. When pushed to tell......... more »

Coming to Your Senses: hearing

For those of you who have been following my last three posts, you know I have been writing about Mindfulness. Our last article was on Mindful “seeing”. This time I would like to suggest you experiment with another sense… your hearing. Again, I would like to suggest a simple Mindfulness exercise. Just go for a ......... more »

IT ALL STARTS WITH SCIENCE [Part 1]

A little context first. This will seem on the surface a tempest in a teapot, where the tempest is the age-old conflict between science and religion, and the teapot is a middle-sized conservative American Christian denomination. It is those things, but it is also as universal as The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas ......... more »

Sticky Fingers

The character of your existence is determined by the energies to which you connect yourself.   (Hua Hu Ching: The Unknown Teachings of Lao Tzu, Chapter 24)   Back in ‘17 Way back, long, long, ago…in 2017 it seemed that most people I came in contact with were desperately trying to hold on to something st......... more »

We Are Not Meant to Live Isolated Lives

For most of human history, homo sapiens lived in small bands, towns, and villages.  Always there were several generations under one roof, be that roof a hard rock cave ceiling, palm thatch, tanned buffalo hides, or fired tiles.  Even with the advent of agriculture a littleover 10,000 years ago and the rise of industr......... more »

It’s Not My Fault I…

“If you weren’t such a good cook I wouldn’t have eaten the entire half of pie”.  “I wouldn’t have parked in the Handicapped space had I found another one.” “It’s not my fault I got the speeding ticket, I couldn’t be late for the meeting”. “I wouldn’t have tossed the burger wrapper ou......... more »

Goodbye Again

I had been doing Ok for the past few hours until I sat down to tie some flies at my fly-tying bench. I turned on some John Denver music and then out came “Goodbye Again”. That is when I lost it, in tears. On and off for the past forty years, I have been trying to locate my old best friend from High School. Dale ......... more »

WALKING THROUGH THE DOORWAY

We have all done it. We get up from a chair in the living room to retrieve something in the kitchen, study, or bedroom (equal opportunity rooms). But after the first few steps walking through the doorway into the other room we, well…we have forgotten what we came into the room to get. It is hard to score if that proc......... more »

IN PRAISE OF ARTICHOKES

Surprising Information I love artichokes, but until recently I assumed that, with their pale drab green color, they weren’t particularly healthy. Mostly I thought of them as an excuse for eating melted butter or mayonnaise. But I have learned from a book by Jo Robinson that artichokes are one of our healthiest ve......... more »

Keeping Time in The Dance of the Relationship: It All Depends on How you Look at It

The Extraversion/Introversion orientation isn’t the only way we differ in our approach to life.  We also differ in how we notice, attend to, acquire, collect and recall information. As in the story of the blind men and the elephant, where each declared the elephant to be completely like the part they could feel, you......... more »

What is a ‘good sexual life’ for us older adults?

In my first post on FineWiner.com, I wrote about the five markers of a ‘good marriage.’ Coming in fifth on the list was sexual compatibility. This is one of the touchier issues to address for many couples. For some couples, sexual compatibility is being sexual three times a week; for others, being sexually compatib......... more »

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