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 »

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 »

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 »

The 3rd Annual FoodAbout

One of the aspects of positive aging is to be less constrained by convention. It was a few weeks ago that my wife and I, as well as another couple,  participated in what I call The 3rd Annual FoodAbout. I highly recommend at least some variation of this for all who are interested in positive aging. This is the thir......... more »

The Unexpected

I wasn’t feeling well. Something was off. I noticed my distance vision was blurring, and my last exam was just five months ago. I was waking up all night to pee. And I had the strangest craving for grapefruit and grapefruit juice. I Googled the symptoms and found nothing for the last one – but was alarmed at what I......... more »

Game of Thrones & Donuts

I am not a subscriber to HBO and had therefore never watched the epic and highly celebrated series Game of Thrones. I was aware of its existence, but only after listening to one of my patients exclaim about it, did I decide to watch it. He told me that it would be violent, have a lot of nudity, and be magical (dragons ......... more »

Ask Dr. Tim: “I would like to push him in front of a freight train!”

Q I am a 53-year-old single mother with a 23-year-old son. I continue to struggle in therapy with the fact that my father began sexually abusing me when I was about 6-years-old. As bad as that was, what is even worse is that I just lately discovered that my father also molested my son when he was about the same age. A......... more »

Building Bridges

A story from my college days. I came back from lunch with some friends one day in January 1981 and found a note from the dean of men in my dormitory mailbox. He was giving me a new roommate, an English as a Second Language student from Egypt. He was a Muslim. The dean considered the options and thought I might be a goo......... more »

Just Own-Up

You want to gain respect and higher standing? Just apologize when you mess up. It is so simple but so few people seem willing to do it. It seems that examples abound. For sake of ease, I will share with you one of the latest examples in my life. I have a business relationship with a man who agreed to help me with an......... more »

Life Goes On

“Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah!” So the Beatles sang way back in 1968 on “The White Album” (I don’t think I purchased it for another 20 years or so). Yes, “life goes on,” and a lot has transpired since my last article, written after my daughter’s wedding. It’s been a roller coaster of u......... more »

It’s Just a Half-inch

A few weeks ago I posted an article about practicing gratitude even in the storm of discomfort and suffering. That article was precipitate by a nine-month sports injury and finally surgery.  I am currently in the recovery mode with physical therapy twice weekly. I hope to get the bright shiny heavy-gage stainless stee......... more »

Retirement after nine months

The editor of ‘finewiner’ has again asked me to write about how my process of retiring is going. Again, I don’t think I will write anything that is groundbreaking or new as this is a common process for most of us that have retired.  Four months ago, I wrote how it was five months after closing my practice. I ......... more »

So What Is There to Be Grateful For?

Yes we have all heard how helpful it is for us to be grateful for what we have. Well I disagree. I disagree because the statement is SO understated. In fact it is just completely STUPID for us not to be experiencing gratitude on a daily basis! Granted this is coming from a guy who often takes things from granted. I ......... more »

Ask Dr. Tim: “May I be addicted to my work?”

Q I am a 56-year-old realtor. I have been through one marriage and am in trouble with my second. In both marriages my spouses have accused me of having an affair. It is untrue…maybe. Because I am so “disengaged” and spend most of my “free time” working, perhaps my work has become my “lover”. The fact is ......... more »

Boundaries of Intimacy

I am not sure how the usage of the word “intimacy” became synonymous with sex, but in most circles it has. We hear it on the news, in public presentations, and in articles. While I believe “making love” by definition is an act of intimacy, having sexual intercourse itself is not necessarily. As we know, these t......... more »

Our Secrets Make Us Sick

If you have not discovered the entertaining series 800 Wordson Amazon Prime yet, you may wish to check it out. While it does not tout being a series about “aging” it is flush with the topic. Remember we are ALL aging no mater where we are on the developmental chart. Mild spoiler alert…I am drawing attention to......... 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 »

Retirement after 5 months

The editor of ‘finewiner’ was kind enough to allow me to write about how my process of retiring is going.  I don’t think I will write anything that is groundbreaking or new as this is a common process for most of us ‘finewiners.’  In my world there has always been the question of what motivates people to ge......... more »

Fast Cars and Freedom

It sat there, big and red, and I could almost hear the 375 horses under the hood stamping their hooves and snorting. It was a new Dodge Challenger, and it sat in the President's Circle section of the Hertz lot at the Burbank Airport between Nissans and Toyotas. My wife and son were some yards behind me, but I didn't st......... 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 »

“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 »

Crossings:  Negotiating Change

Transition: Leaving the Known for the Unknown To live is to come to what the Irish call the ‘thin places:’  the places between this world and the next, between what has been and what will be.  At such times, whether it is the first day of school, the start of a new relationship, the end of an old one, the begin......... more »

Write Scenes From a Long Remembered Time

Take a look at these two scenes from Beverly Donofrio’s Riding in Cars with Boys: It was a Thursday night. I was doing the dishes, my father was sitting at the table doing a paint-by-num­bers, and we were humming “Theme from Exo­dus” together. My mother was wiping the stove before she left for work at Bradlee......... more »

Visiting the ill–101

It is 4:53 p.m. and you are in the bathroom with your head in the toilet. After eating that wonderful lunch at the Japanese restaurant you think you may have food poisoning. This is the third time you have wrenched your guts out in the past fifteen minutes. Life is horrible right now. At this moment you don’t care ab......... more »

Ask Dr. Tim: My Sister Was Diagnosed with Multiple Personality Disorder

Q My 52-year-old sister supposedly was diagnosed with Multiple Personality Disorder about ten years ago. I guess it is now called Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). As her brother I am 12 years her junior. Sure I have seen bizarre behavior from Jess before but I just don’t get it? It is suppose to come from traum......... more »

Brain Tip #2:   Socialize More, Improve Cognitive Performance

We humans are living longer. That’s the good news. The bad? After we turn 65, dementia rates double every five years in developed countries. And in developing ones, dementia rates double every seven years. (1)  The conclusion seems unavoidable. The longer we live, the more likely we are to suffer dementia. All the m......... more »

Why Robert Plant is The Boss:  (and 5 Ways That You Can Be, Too!)

I saw Robert Plant in concert a few days ago.  I love live music, especially outdoor concerts and  this one was really special because he was vibrant and because the crowd was so awesome. How can a “rock” crowd be awesome if their average age was in the mid-60’s?  Most people had gray hair (and those of us ......... more »

On Baseball

I am by no means an avid baseball fan. As a kid I tried out for Little League. I really can’t remember why I tried out; it just seemed to be the thing to do in sixth grade. At the tryouts, I had no idea what position I wanted to try out for so they assigned me to home plate as catcher. I had never worn a catcher�......... more »

Brain Tip #1:  Use your Body, Benefit your Mind

Want to improve your chances of avoiding mild cognitive decline as you age? Or even of getting Alzheimer’s?  Researchers have identified several things we can do. Among them, is this strong recommendation: Get off your couch. And get active.           This is not new advice. Those of us 55 and older have ......... more »

Consistency…Oh What a Drag

I continue to be shocked about how easy it is to “deteriorate” in SO many ways when I am inconsistent, especially now that I am older.  Oh let me count the ways… Eating one double scoop ice cream cone and gain 5 pounds   Go to the opera in the big city, and return home at 1:00 a.m. End up drag......... 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 »

Ask Dr. Tim: I have been diagnosed with “Pseudo Seizures”…am I going CRAZY?

Q I am a 61-year-old female who has recently been diagnosed with something called "pseudo seizures". When I began having seizures several months ago it was as imagined very scary to both me and my family. My understanding, is that as the names suggests, they are not "really seizures". They certainly look and feel like......... more »

Using the Epistolary Form Helps Us Write Meaningfully

The word epistolary comes from the Greek epistol?, which means “letter.” Writers use the letter form in writing personal essays, poems, creative nonfiction and fiction because the form provides a ready-made container to hold an exploration of events and experiences. Writing in the letter form quickly builds intim......... 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 »

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 »

Fallen Leaves

When I was a kid in Terre Haute, Indiana, fall meant raking leaves. It was the only yard work I enjoyed. We’d rake the leaves into giant piles, and then we’d spend the next couple of hours jumping in them, reforming the piles, and jumping in again. I can remember the damp earthy smell of those we raked from under t......... more »

Where Are We Going ….?

"Ah, give me the good old days when we didn't have all this stress and worry". OK, let's go back to the thirties. "No! Then we had the depression, men couldn't find work, women couldn't feed their babies, families were splitting up because they couldn't afford to stay together. This is better than the thirties." ......... more »

Cloud Gazing

So, how long has it been since you took time to gaze at the clouds? No, I don’t mean sticking your head out the door to check the weather. I mean really taking time to lie down on your back and spend time watching the cloud formations. Frankly, for me it had been quite a long time since I had done that. Sure I hav......... more »

Getting Old Without Getting Older

We all need role models. Some people out there are doing it right. It was the Christmas of 1969, the end of the 60’s and the beginning of my teenage years.  Dad’s present to the family was a RCA High Fidelity Stereo with the new Omnidirectional speakers!!! We each got to pick one album for our present.  My cho......... more »

For the Change Averse

Since the name of my psychology practice is the Center for Positive Change, one might get the idea that I am interested in the process of change. And that guess would be absolutely correct. It would also be correct to note that many of my neighbors and patients are change averse. They tend to be averse to change in the......... more »

Board Games and Activities Offer Occasions for Writing

In All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, Robert Fulghum writes about hiding in a pile of leaves in his front yard and not being found by the game’s seeker. He likens this hiding-too-well as a kid to a doctor who was dying of cancer but never told anybody because he didn’t want to make things diffic......... more »

Ask Dr. Tim: I am a 48-year-old Veteran…

Q I am a 48-year-old Veteran out of the Middle East conflict. Yes I saw a lot of conflict; yes I had friends shot and killed; yes I was wounded…but for the likes of me I can’t figure out what that has to do with my “over the top” anger when someone tailgates me. After all, I was never “blown-up”. I have......... more »

Of Spiritual Journeys

I never really got tangled in wars between religion and science. Contrary to Larry Mitchel’s experience, related in a couple posts on this page, it didn’t all “start with science” for me. Rather, for me It started with a sense of the presence of God, and seeking to figure out what he meant to say. I passe......... more »

More Fun than the Olympics

The opening event was due on the same day as the opening of the 2018 Winter Olympics. My wife and I flew from Washington to Yucca Valley, California. We were greeted with nice 77-84 degree weather and a big hug from our young “Olympian” Kay. At age 14, Kay was both excited and anxious about her dance recital tha......... more »

Paperwork for Peace of Mind

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night and think about those hard things that you know you should get around to but haven’t quite made time for? You know, reevaluating your homeowners’ policy? Cleaning out the tool shelf in the basement? Having end-of-life paperwork in place? I can’t help you with the ......... more »

Goal-Setting and Emotions

Thanking about setting some goals for this year? Psychologists have learned that how we describe a goal actually influences the emotional experience of pursuing that goal. Specifically, they have identified three types of personal goals we humans set, and discovered that each goal type has its own emotional profile. ......... more »

Ask Dr. Tim: I still continue to hear the voice of my mother saying, “What is the matter…?”

Q I am 58-years-old and I still continue to hear the voice of my mother saying, “What is the matter with you…why can’t you be normal?” For the life of me, as a kid I didn’t know what that meant. I seemed to be like most other boys my age in school. I had a lot of energy but so did most of my friends. To this......... more »

Two Sides Of The Coin

Being 70, I expect to have some body parts wear out, but yesterday was another story. Please note, this is not simply some old guy’s “organ recital” (aka, whining about health issues). Some how I ended up with 4 medical appointments yesterday. Somehow…well I guess we all know how… I made four appointments in ......... more »

Two Views of Manhood

A First Glance I exited childhood in the 1950’s with beliefs about “being a man” that have gradually become myths to me over the last 60 years. I believed what I was taught back then – just by watching and listening:To be a respectable man, I must have a successful career Competition brings out the best i......... 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 »