Family Relationships

Join other women in the sandwich generation - share ideas and solutions as you learn to nourish family relationships without starving yourself.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Health Care Law: Progress or a Problem?

Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi says, "We have added health care as a right, not a privilege. And when we did, we not only made history, we made progress for the American people." And what about House Republican leader John Boehner's opinion? He thinks: "We need to repeal this jobs-killing government takeover of health care and enact real reforms...without destroying jobs, raising taxes, cutting Medicare to create a new entitlement program or saddling our children and grandchildren with trillions in new debt."
Speaker Pelosi Swears In Members Of The 111th Congress
The photo above, of Pelosi and Boehner exchanging the gavel in less volatile times, looks like it's sending a mixed messsage. As a card carrying member of the Sandwich Generation - squeezed between children growing up and parents growing older - you may be in conflict with a family member. So what lessons about commuication can you learn from the present political situation?

We all know that words can hurt and an offhand remark or slip of the tongue can be emotionally damaging. When addressing a sensitive subject, state a specific goal that you want to accomplish. Be direct and clear in what you have to say. Try not to get side-tracked by pointing out past oppositional behavior or questionable character traits. As body language and tone of voice really matter, in a conflict, assume a non-threatening stance. Calibrate your emotions, monitor the negatives and be slow to criticize.

If you want more tips about putting your best foot forward, look to the left of this post and sign up for our new complimentary e-book, Courage and Lessons Learned.

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Monday, March 29, 2010

The Sandwich Generation and the Health Care Law

Amid accusations of death panels for the elderly and health coverage for illegal immigrants, and after a 13 month battle, history was made last week. The sugar that makes the medicine go down may be the measure of social justice achieved with the expanding access to health care.
Close up of medicine being poured into a spoon
But the fight is far from over. There will likely be huge increases in personal taxes as well as the national debt. Despite passage, close to 50% of the people are opposed to this expansion of government into the health care system. And there is talk of efforts to repeal the law.

As members of the sandwich generation, how will this effect you and your family? Although your children can remain on your health care plan until their mid-20s, changes in Medicare reimbursement to physicians may impact your parents as their health declines and more physicians decide to not participate in the program.

The tone of the debate and the incidents of violence are troubling. Imagine our elected officials calling each other names, and some in opposition leaving nasty phone messages. Why can't they be civil and debate the merits without these ridiculous distractions? They have to work through the issues and move forward eventually. And the battle of public sentiment still has to be won.

Whether or not you're dealing with angst or anger over health care reform, you may be in the midst of a conflict that separates you from friends, family members or co-workers. Log on Wednesday and Friday for some tips that can help you, and perhaps some of the politicians, work out their problems.

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Women's History Month: Courage and Lessons Learned

Women who have been honored over the past years during Women's History Month all share one common trait - courage. The courage to try something new, to take a risk for what they believed in, to persist despite obstacles, to make a difference. Do you think of courage mainly in terms of men on the battlefield? The Encarta World English Dictionary defines courage more broadly, as: "the ability to face danger, difficulty, uncertainty or pain without being overcome by fear or being deflected from a chosen course of action."

Women have shown courage over the years - valor away from the battlefield, as well as on it - in so many different venues. They have had the guts to march for civil rights - theirs and those of other minorities, - they have dared to dismantle the glass ceiling, they have acted heroically protecting the disenfranchised, they have bravely cared for the ill as well as for the needs of their families.

Marty Seligman and Chris Peterson include Courage as one of the 6 categories of character strengths they have classified in their study of Positive Psychology. They identify persistence, integrity and vitality as aspects of courage, in addition to bravery. In your own life, it's likely you can point to times you have stuck with a plan through difficulties - just like the little engine that could; how you have been honest in your relationships and assessments; the joie de vivre you felt when you were engaged and absorbed in flow. All of these are characteristics of courage you've demonstrated, possibly without even recognizing it.

Is there something you’ve wanted to do for a long time - enroll in a class, reconnect with an old friend, run a 5K? Make Women's History Month the time you take the first step. That’s courageous, in and of itself. We'd like to support and inspire you on your journey. For our new e-book, Courage and Lessons Learned, simply go to the box on the left where you can join our email list and receive the e-book free of charge. You'll receive an email confirmation and the link to downloading your own copy, in PDF format. Here's to the courage to begin re-writing your own history this month!

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Women's History Month: Writing Women Back into History

To celebrate Women's History Month, do you want a quick history of the roles of women in shaping America in the last century?

In the early 20th century, women's suffrage became a hot political issue and strong women worked hard to achieve the vote. But by the 1950's, when Betty Freidan identified "the problem that has no name," many women had relinquished their power outside the home. The women's movement, beginning in the 1960's moved women to the forefront and revived their place as movers and shakers in society. And during the 1970's, with the focus on "her-story" as well as history, many universities began Women's Studies departments.

Politicians on all sides have embraced the proclamation honoring the role of women in America.
President Bush Honors Women's History Month

Michelle Obama Visits DC-Area School As Part Of Women's History Month

Yet there is still more to be done to fulfill the theme of Writing Women Back into History.

Women have excelled and been influential in all areas of society - the arts, politics, the professions, sports, you name it. Now is the time to acknowledge those contributions and give women the recognition we deserve. And lets remember to take those words to heart ourselves and take credit for each of our own accomplishments.

To help you identify your personal strengths, we have created an e-book to highlight tips you can apply as you write your own "her-story." Appreciate the wisdom you have gained as you move forward. Click on the button to the left to receive your free copy from Her Mentor Center of Courage and Lessons Learned and begin your own process of change.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Women's History Month: Honoring Women in March

Did you know that in 1987, the U.S. Congress declared March to be Women's History Month? Is this one of America's best-kept secrets?


Although women have contributed to society and culture throughout history, these gifts weren't recognized until 1911, when International Women's Day was first established in Europe to be celebrated on March 8th. Nearly a century later, even with Women's Studies departments a part of most universities, women's accomplishments are still not well represented in educational materials. So this year, the theme of Women's History Month is overcoming our invisibility by Writing Women Back into History. The emphasis is on encouraging historians and writers of textbooks to give appropriate credit to women who have played a significant role in society.

What about your own story? Are you writing a rich, fulfilling history yourself? Visit our blog this week for information about how to receive our new e-book - it gives you tips about drawing on your own strengths to develop the courage and resilience you need to create the life you want.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Brief Training in Meditation Eases Pain

One reader's response to yesterday's post on how seeing photos of a loved one can help reduce pain: "I treasure photos of the people I love. I have them posted all over my house. Most important, I love looking at photos of my beloved husband, who died suddenly five months ago. I posted a wonderful photo of him on my computer desktop. His mouth is slightly open and it looks as if he is about to speak to me. So I often talk to him, and enjoy continuing our connection."

Her connection seems like a form of meditation, which leads into our thoughts for today. A recent study shows as little as an hour of mindfulness training is enough to reduce pain.

Researchers compared mindfulness meditation subjects' responses to mild electrical shocks with the responses of a control group that was not trained in meditation. The latter group was instructed to relax or given math problems as a distraction. Not only did the meditation subjects feel less pain than the control group while meditating, but they also experienced less pain sensitivity while not meditating.
Woman doing yoga on floor
Researchers say the meditation training seemed to have reduced general pain sensitivity even after the experiments were over. Participants who were mindful tended to be less anxious on subjective assessments.

The mindfulness training lessened the awareness and sensitivity to pain by reducing anxiety and teaching people to pay attention to the sensations at present rather than anticipating future pain. According to one researcher, "With the meditation training they would acknowledge the pain, they realize what it is, but just let it go. They learn to bring their attention back to the present."

Both of us will be traveling the rest of the week, so this is our last post until next Monday. But you members of the Sandwich Generation can still talk amongst yourselves. Just click on 'Comments' below and start a conversation - about your loved ones, meditation, mindfulness or whatever is on your mind - and we'll pick up on it next week.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Photo of a Loved One can Reduce Pain

We've been telling you about the value of support for years now - here's more evidence. A recent UCLA study shows that holding the hand of a loved one can help reduce pain. Just looking at their picture can help too.
Close-up of two peoples hands holding each other
The study included 25 women who had been in good relationships with their boyfriends for at least six months. They received heat stimuli to the forearm. Then they reported their pain levels while holding hands with their boyfriends, while holding hands with a stranger and while holding a squeeze ball. They also received stimuli and reported pain levels while looking at pictures of their boyfriends, while looking at a picture of stranger and while looking at a picture of a chair.

The findings indicate that the boyfriends' "presence" - whether holding their hands or just seeing their photos - reduced the participants' pain ratings.

According to the researchers, "This changes our notion of how social support influences people. Typically, we think that in order for social support to make us feel good, it has to be the kind of support that is very responsive to our emotional needs. Here, however, we are seeing that just a photo of one's significant other can have the same effect."

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Strategies from Stepping Stones

Through the years, Stepping Stones has always tried to help our readers cope with what is going on in their world. As one newsletter put it:

This newsletter is in response to the stress and anxiety that many of our readers have been feeling in this time of uncertainty. We are inundated with threats about war and terrorism. We are impacted by the declining economy as we watch the price of gasoline go up, the price of stocks go down and the continued loss of jobs in our society. Americans are feeling a sense of isolation. Many of us are confused and ambivalent about on-going events in the world. In short, we are on overload, getting constant media reports without any clear resolution at this time.

We've given you ideas about how to save money and enjoy staycations with your family.

With the high price of gasoline, are you thinking of canceling your vacation trip? This summer more and more Sandwiched Boomers are reducing their carbon footprint by taking "staycations" with their families. Why drive to a resort when there are community swimming pools around the corner? Why plan a remote getaway when you can relax in the beauty and serenity near you? You don't need to travel to the city for excitement when you can create your own at home. But how to make it a real vacation and not one long list of chores and obligations? When you follow these tips, you'll return from your staycation refreshed, recharged and reconnected to your family.

In some newsletters, we give tips for getting along with your life partner during these difficult times:

A perfect marriage would be free of financial controversy. But during this economic crisis, the reality is that couples need to learn new money management skills and face tough financial decisions – while at the same time making their relationship work. Not an easy task.
Older Couple in Front of House
These are tough times but you can draw on the strength of your relationships to get through. As banks are having a difficult time lending money, this is your chance to make an investment in your marriage - it can turn into a welcome source of security and comfort. And can you think of a better time than now?

At the start of the New Year, Stepping Stones helped you start on a new plan for honoring and improving your health and welfare:

Now that you have made your own personal resolutions - still an honored ritual at this time of year - how do you avoid another universal tradition - breaking them? We all know that it's easier to say you are going to give up a bad habit than to actually stick to your new plan. You may have resolved to finally lose the ten pounds that have been plaguing you for years, to start an exercise program you can stick with, to let go of your self-destructive smoking, drinking or over-spending habit. Or, perhaps you're one of the 50% of Americans who vow to spend more time with family and friends this year. So where do you begin? And how do you increase the odds that you will continue? With the New Year, you have a clean slate, ready to take your dictation. Here are 8 tips to help you fulfill your resolutions.

In another issue, we talked about the technique of journaling, especially for Sandwiched Boomers:

We have found that, for many women, keeping a journal is a valuable tool for self- awareness. It can be a freeing experience as there is no one right way to journal. You are in charge and you should do what works for you. Either establish a regular pattern by journaling daily or write when you feel stuck.
Woman eating and sitting on terrace writing

In this way, you can sort out any of your jumbled internal thoughts and also have a catharsis or emotional release. If you are still caring for your family at home, it is likely you often do not have a chance to focus primarily on yourself. Now is the time to give thought to what you need and want.

Caring for aging parents isn't easy, but there are rewards to be gained for many generations - yours, your children's and even your grandchildren's:

As a Baby Boomer member of the Sandwich Generation, perhaps you have already had talks with your aging parents about their wills, beneficiaries, and advanced medical directives for hospital care. But have you discussed an ethical will or the legacy of meaning they wish to leave behind? As parents grow older, it becomes more important to them to be remembered for the life lessons they taught than for the material gifts they leave behind. Spend quality time talking with your parents about the values that are important to them. Ask them specific questions about what ethics have guided them through the years. You probably know some of these answers from having observed them and their role modeling, but the conversations can be further enlightening.

Visit our website,, to read more archived articles and newsletters. Sign up there to receive your own monthly copy of Stepping Stones or subscribe through the link below and to the left, "FREE Newsletter. Enjoy reading the next issue, our 75th!

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Stories from Stepping Stones

Many women were generous about sharing their stories with us - and our readers. You can read them in full on our website,, but here's a brief sampling from 8 different women who had unique yet universal tales to tell in various past issues of Stepping Stones:

"The bad news came swiftly and completely unexpectedly - the office was being closed and I was out of a job. This was not the first time I had faced unemployment. In the past, I had always hunkered right down and launched a job search. This time I made a very different decision."

"I had heard from other friends who had already been there that the pleasure of grandparenting was the only activity that was not overly exaggerated. So I was looking forward to it with great glee, yet also with some trepidation. I didn't really know what to expect - from the baby, from our children, from my husband, from our co-grandparents or even from myself in this new situation."
Grandmother with party hat for grandson

"I hated being single. I really missed the company of a man. I am from a generation where my identity was being a wife. Without the marriage, I felt I had no identity. At least with a man, I felt useful and worthwhile. I was also very lonely. I missed being one-half of a relationship."

"I feel as if I am living a dream, sometimes scared but most often excited by my travel and volunteer opportunities. In looking back, I recollect my hope of retiring early enough to travel off the beaten path. Before I knew it, the safety of the intellectual journey spent in bookstores, at lectures and on the internet became the reality of leaving a gratifying and secure career for the unknown."

"Becoming an entrepreneur is a grand adventure! After a long, productive work life as an employee in both the public and private sectors, I retired. Since I was not working, I had more time to spend with my 86-year-old mother who lives in a nearby residential care home. Because she has many medical problems that impair the circulation to her extremities, she always complained that her hands were cold. I felt I had to help solve this problem both for her and the other folks in her residential home."

"With the shattering of the marriage and hope of growing old together, old buried dreams were suddenly free to surface. Marrying and becoming a mother immediately after college, I did not have the chance to travel to Asia or do very long meditation retreats like many of my friends who also taught Buddhist meditation. I found in myself a wild courage, born of: "freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose!" I decided to leave everything I knew, jump off a cliff and free-fall through the abyss. I was where I wanted to be."
Senior Woman Drinking Beverage

"I felt a void and lack of purpose following Mom's death. No longer volunteering or caring for Mom, my days were long. My oldest was soon leaving for college with the two younger ones flying the coop shortly behind him. What was I going to do with my life? I felt empty. What did I want to be when I grew up?"

"I don't know what the future holds. I'm learning to pay more attention to the present. But I do feel I've experienced a hard won transition that only time on this planet and an open mind could bring about. It is amazing how feared aging is when the focus is only on the physical when, in fact, it is a journey to wisdom and inner peace. I feel that I am finally at home within myself."

Come share your own story with us - or just read along with others. To subscribe to Stepping Stones, simply click on the link below and to the left labeled "FREE Newsletter." This month you'll receive our 75th issue.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Stepping Stones Support You

Changes in your life can knock you off your feet. Until now, you may have been in charge of your life. But now perhaps you feel isolated, anxious, helpless and out of control. When you are the one who is stressed and needs nurturing, how do you begin to care for yourself?

Reaching out for support can help you manage.
Two Women Sitting on a Porch

In Stepping Stones, we have printed stories from women like Doreen who went through difficult times and then offered you our thoughts about how support helped them cope:

There are many ways of coping with loss and each of us will find our own. Doreen found a path through her grief primarily through the support that came from her friends and the comfort of her work routine. She also found a sense of purpose in taking care of those who needed her - her husband while he was ill, her sons and her boss. Throughout her story, Doreen speaks of the value of her friendships, especially those she nurtured over the years. By reaching out to these women, she was supported, involved, and included. Doreen and her peers continue to be resources for each other now that they are getting older.

Sometimes, we used other women's stories to get you thinking about issues in your own lives, as we did with Ilene's story about her friendships:

Ilene has found that, for herself, the most valuable quality of a woman friend is a "beautiful heart." What qualities are important to you in your friendships today: Sharing feelings about challenges you are facing? Exchanging practical information? Enjoying companionship? Having someone there who truly understands and accepts you as you are?

After women such as Sally and Debbie told their stories, our Stepping Stones sections highlighted steps you could take to help manage the challenges in your own lives:

Both Sally and Debbie profit from the contact with each other. Although they function differently, they celebrate their differences and still find common ground. They recognize the mutuality of a friendship and both women grow from the infusion of new energy. Who are the people in your life whose differences can enrich you? In what ways does your life change when you support a friend? Both Sally and Debbie have the wisdom to realize that transitions are constant - that change is the only certainty in life. They know that with practical coping tools, including their friendship, they can maneuver through their transitions now and in the future.

Is there a friend with whom you want to share the wisdom of Stepping Stones? You can show her how to sign up - click on the "FREE Newsletter" link below and to the left to register for her own personal copy.

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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Stepping Stones Through the Years

To celebrate the 75th anniversary issue of our newsletter, Stepping Stones, this week we are highlighting some of the past issues. You can find archived copies on our website, Click on "Newsletter Library" to read Stepping Stones going all the way back to 2001. For the articles appearing in newsletters after 2006, click on the link labeled "Nourishing Relationships." Here are some tidbits from some of those past newsletters:

In one newsletter, we suggested you initiate a conversation with your partner about your relationship:

We recognize that it can be difficult to begin this kind of a discussion. Eleanor describes her situation - does it sound familiar? "And then there is this communication thing. When I try to talk to my husband about what's going on with me I get one of two reactions. The first is a blank stare and I become aware that he hasn't the foggiest notion what I mean or what I need from him. The second is an annoyed response, with the realization that we are going in two very different directions."
Elderly Couple Looking Disappointed

Communication is as important at this stage in your life as it has always been in maintaining a strong and satisfying relationship. We have compiled a few questions to get you started in your exchange of ideas. It may be most helpful to first answer them separately and then come together to discuss your thoughts. Listen to your partner without judgment; stay positive and respectful of his ideas and opinions.

In another, Karen told her story about the diagnosis of a serious chronic illness and we reviewed some steps for simplifying life:

"It took several years to accept my new limitations, to mourn the old dream and to find a new one. Now, I pace myself and prioritize differently. I plan carefully to preserve my energy so there is time for work, rest, friends and family. There is less of each than I would have wanted but the balance makes it satisfying."

Karen has chosen to create a positive outlook on life in response to her negative health situation. Through a series of steps she has developed a philosophy of "less is more" that enables her to truly enjoy her life. She has adapted her interests and activities to accommodate her changed situation. She still does what is important to her - just differently.

Another issue of Stepping Stones focused on a Sandwiched Boomer coping with caring for an aging parent as she changed from Daddy's little girl to Dad's caregiver:

It was painful for Tricia, as her father declined in his 80's. "Dad and I shared such fun times together when I was young - he taught me how to ride a horse, shoot a BB gun, ice skate, stand on my head. He was always so active. Last year, I had to insist that he not drive anymore. Now, seeing him shuffle around just breaks my heart."

It's difficult to watch as your parents deteriorate. And they may complicate the situation by being in denial about their vulnerable condition. It's up to you to acknowledge the true state of affairs and be straightforward in dealing with their increasing fragility. A number of issues must be discussed, uncomfortable as that is - health care directives in an emergency, long-term care options, the designated power of attorney, distribution of income and assets. Yet after evaluating the practical issues that need to be managed, you will feel more in control as you gather detailed information and make arrangements for the most immediate concerns."

So whether you're working on the relationship with your life partner, coping with illness and stress in your life or caring for an aging parent as a Sandwiched Boomer, our newsletters have tips to help. To receive your own copy of Stepping Stones, simply click on the link below and to the left labeled "FREE Newsletter." Once a month, you'll receive Stepping Stones in your email box to read and enjoy at your leisure.

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Monday, March 08, 2010

Stepping Stones For You

What does "Stepping Stones" mean to you? To some, it brings to mind a path through a garden, to others the actions needed to get from here to there. To us, Stepping Stones represents a journey through both time and space. Stepping Stones is the name of our newsletter, which we offer at no charge each month to those who request a subscription. You can click on the words "Free Newsletter" to the left of this post and be linked to the sign up page or go to our website,, and register there.

This month we reach another milestone on our own wild ride with you - the diamond edition of Stepping Stones. That's right, we will be publishing our 75th issue! So all this week here on our blog we'll be highlighting the stories, strategies and support you've found in Stepping Stones over the years. Even if you weren't invited to the Academy Awards last night, come celebrate with us - and don't miss your own chance to receive our newsletters yourself. If you're already receiving a copy in your email box, show a friend how much you care by offering to subscribe her. Sign up now, it's easy. And tune in all week to party with us - don't worry, you can leave your Oscar gown and slippers in the closet.

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Friday, March 05, 2010

Joannie Rochette and the Sandwich Generation

The 2010 Winter Olympics are now a fading memory. But the image of the courage and grace of Joannie Rochette will serve as a reminder to you, members of the Sandwich Generation. As you care for your family in flux, skating as fast as you can day in and day out, you're a medal winner too. And we applaud your victory!
Olympic Winter Games - Ladies Free Skating
In both the short and long figure skating programs, with not much sleep or energy, Joannie Rochette hit the ice with determination. She proceeded to skate what turned out to be her personal best during the most trying time of her life. She felt as if her mother was there helping her. Skating through her emotional pain, she won the bronze medal. Joannie was stunning on the podium - responding to the cheers of the crowd, smiling as she wiped away the tears. Hers was a symbol of a poignant victory, and she touched the emotions of people across the globe.

In the news conference, Joannie repeated that her mother was her greatest fan and her death a monumental loss. At times you may feel that you are standing alone on the biggest stage you have ever been on, carrying the weight of losing your very foundation. But keep this picture in mind - you, too, are skating like you never have before.

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Thursday, March 04, 2010

Sandwich Generation: A Chance to Grow

As a member of the Sandwich Generation, perhaps you are constantly challenged to be the best that you can be. As you assess your resources and strengths, realize that faith in yourself may be your finest quality.

Listen to others but primarily rely on your own instincts. Joannie Rochette believed in what she was doing and concentrated on th Olympics competition. She felt she was where she belonged - it's what her mother would have wanted for her. What is familiar can be calming - have faith in what you’re doing to heal. Realize your hidden internal strength as you trust yourself and look inside for answers. Emotional discomfort can be an opportunity and serve as an invitation to grow.Figure Skating - Ladies Free Skating - Day 14
Increase your capacity to be resilient. It must have been extremely difficult for Joannie to maintain her composure and grace under these circumstances. Just as she has, take it one day at a time. Begin to develop strategies to manage stress and release tension. And you can call on your faith or spirituality. Step by step, you'll be able to turn your hopes and dreams into reality.

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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Sandwich Generation: Support after Loss

After the loss of a loved one, feeling the support of family and friends can make a big difference in how you grieve. With others to help you with some of the responsibilities, you are more free to mourn and make decisions about what to do next.

Face your uncertainty with the best attitude you can muster. Despite the unthinkable, Joannie Rochette still maintained a single-minded focus in the Olympic skating competition. And now she will be able to grieve her loss. You cannot change what has happened but you can have some control over the way you handle it. Of course, you may be feeling angry, sad or afraid of what is to come. Be aware that your reactions are normal and common. And try to face them directly as you work through your feelings.
Olympic Winter Games - Ladies Free Skating
Make a public commitment to those who want to see you do well. Joannie's exquisite performances, and the standing ovations, said it all. You can tell others about your intentions and create a strong reality that will motivate you. The initial goal is to uncover the courage to begin. Re-establish routine in your life, both at work and with family. Set new long range goals and short term objectives. Enlist your staying power. Your positive experiences will give you the incentive to continue. Although there may be stumbling blocks along the way, never give up.

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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Sandwich Generation: Assess Strengths and Support

As a member of the Sandwich Generation, you have so much experience managing the challenges of parents growing older and children growing up. Yet when facing the loss of a loved one, do you know what to do to care for yourself?
Figure Skating Women's Short Program - Vancouver 2010
Take control of what is within your reach. Joannie had the drive to win for her mom. She kept herself emotionally insulated, and the fact that she is a superior athlete helped her succeed. You, too, can keep going, no matter how hard it is. Identify your strengths and make them work for you. And have the wisdom to know the difference between what you can manage and what you can't.

Relish the support that comes from those who care about you. Joannie's loss resonated for athletes and fans alike. And everyone in the Pacific Coliseum was cheering her on. She said that all the love and support made it easier to give her best. Recognize that family and friends want to see you succeed and will be there to help sustain you. You can also find comfort in your spiritual community, a therapist or a bereavement group. You do not have to do it alone - make the decision to ask for help whenever you need it.

How do you take care of yourself? Click on 'comments' below to share your thoughts and ideas -and log on tomorrow for more tips.

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Monday, March 01, 2010

Joannie Rochette: Olympic Courage Despite Tragic Loss

Now that the winter Olympic Games are over, we can savor the memories of all the athletes who gave their best to a sport that they love. But one picture of courage and grace stands out from the rest.

Just hours after learning that her mother had died of a sudden massive heart attack, Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette was back on the ice. One of the favorites to win an Olympic medal, she practiced her jumps over and over again while her father watched with tears in his eyes.
Figure Skating
Joannie's fellow athletes concurred that she was doing the right thing by staying in the competition. They spoke about her inner strength, remarkable courage and determined attitude. Fans around the world appreciated that, with a heavy heart, she was facing the most difficult skates of her life. If, like Joannie Rochette, you are in shock or have been numbed by an unexpected loss, log on all week for tips that may help you begin to turn your upside down world right again.

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