Posts Tagged ‘talk

10
Apr
18

How Do You Address Aging with Parents Who Are?

***

Touchy subject.

I have parents who are “getting up there” who are first experiencing some of the major setbacks of aging, those setbacks that make anyone else concerned for their ability to function and safety.  And, on top of that, my parents are that proud, self-sufficient sort that think they’ll be superheroes all their lives, not willing to admit or aware they are aging.  They don’t often ask for help even when they clearly need it.  And, if you try to help, you have to be ready to be judged inferior to their standards and be corrected on how to do the tasks you’re trying to help them finish with your own intelligence.

They don’t want to hear, “You’re getting old enough, now, that you may not be able to do that, yourself, anymore.”

So, how do you discuss with these parents your concern for them losing the ability to do what they’re used to doing themselves?

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28
Feb
17

My Response to “Bored Life in Wisconsin” (Dear Abby)

*****
You can find my response to this and other letters on the designated page. But, while you’re here, have a read.

Bored Life is a fifteen year-old teenager suffering from a mix of social anxiety and depression. It’s uncertain if this person is a boy or girl. But, they are clearly at a crossroad in life, lacking friendship and comfortable chats with peers, questioning acceptance of their chosen hobbies, wanting desperately to improve their situation. [I didn’t know kids (or “young adults”) still play Dungeons and Dragons.]

Abby suggests joining some groups to stimulate social activity. And, that’s sound advice (even I have yet to follow). But, I suspect this teen is resistant to joining (as I was/am). And, that may be why he/she is having such difficulty. I will speak from experience and, hopefully, provide some reassurance. But, considering my ongoing struggles, I can’t promise much. Still, it may shed some light on the paid advisor for future cases.

————–

Bored Life? I’m going to give you more than something or “anything.” Not just advice but also some of my own experience with what you are facing.

Lesson number one. Don’t ever say you’re bored or boring. Because, to the people that matter in your life, you’re not.

As I read your letter, I am checking off all the points that may match not just my teenage years but also my adult life. Repetitive schedule (including the details you gave)? Check. Depressed? Check. Inability to drive? Check. Trouble talking to others–aka social anxiety–double check. Parents that don’t go anywhere/do anything to stimulate your mind…nor, apparently, your bond/relationship with them? [Which may be something we want to discuss, later.] Double check. No friends with whom you can hang out/feel at ease with in person? Double check and an exclamation point!

Right now–and for who knows how long–you don’t have a “crowd.” You don’t have your niche. You’re a rare purple song bird in a forest full of blue and pink ones. You could perch next to a group and give your two cents. But, that would leave your comfort zone. And, once out of that comfort zone, you fear you’ll get hurt. Right? Who or what will protect you when you are completely exposed to the public and responsible for your words/actions.

Let’s tackle those key notes separately.

1) Your comfort zone/crowd.
This is what suits your desires/interests. It’s what you feel most at ease doing. This includes those “boring” activities you indulge, homework and drawing. When you get older, people start associating this with a career and raising children. Those become zones into which people lock themselves and struggle to escape. Some run away, producing single parents and questionable resumes.

Here’s the first ray of light I’d like to shed your way. What may seem boring today could be seen as a sign of dedicated study and achievement, later. And, perhaps, in the future, your work will pay off with attracting the niche crowd you’ve wanted, allowing you to filter out those who are not what they appear. [And, there will be your share of those, as well.]

Surely, you are not the only person in your world who is focused on homework, drawing and video games. Quite likely, there are others who are just about as secluded as you. And, that is why you don’t see each other or pair up. You are in your own corners, feeling similar doubts and concerns. Yet, even though you may have the same interests, there’s also the matter of personality differences.

2) Fear of painful exposure.
When we aren’t naturally adept to or taught at an early age to socialize, it becomes more and more like a stiff joint we haven’t moved in a while. It’s painful and/or difficult to stretch. It feels alien and uncertain, scary, even. What if we make the wrong move and do more harm? Leaving one’s comfort zone, trying new things…these can become painful to imagine. And, who doesn’t want to avoid pain?…except maybe those who preach “No pain, no gain.”

There are those that seem to make life appear easy. Jocks flock with jocks and hide any emotional responses they may have. Glam queens gab with other glam queens, and one is usually prettier than the rest for a reason. But, just because these people hang out and/or play together doesn’t mean they’re good friends. They may be avoiding your discomfort simply by staying busy. When they go home, life may not be as fun as they appear in school. School becomes their escape from solitude, family troubles and responsibility. It’s a different sort of comfort zone that seems high risk to people like you and me. It’s the fast lane while we coast in the slow lane.

3) Responsibility and taking chances.
Even I will admit (though I’m genetically inclined to deny) I have moments when I don’t want to be responsible for what happens. Companies satisfy this fear by posting “disclaimers” and “warnings,” all manners of fine print to ward off punishment should their business fail to satisfy the consumer and/or do greater harm. There may be something in the human genetic matrix that detests responsibility. But, if you know anything about Spider-Man, you likely know what Uncle Ben taught him.

Our great power is being the dominant species of this planet. Our responsibility is how we wield that power. We cannot be entirely careless with our actions. What we say and do impacts others.

Yet, we cannot take NO action or risk, either. If we try nothing, we achieve nothing. [But, don’t be so quick to dismiss what you DO try. Sometimes and some people will think you do nothing when, in fact, you ARE doing something that just isn’t apparent.]

One of the hard lessons of adulthood is taking steps to make progress (or even maintain what already exists) and being responsible for what results. If something goes wrong and it’s genuinely our fault, we need to take what comes with this negative result or defend ourselves if the punishment seems unjust. There will be other times when what occurs is just coincidence or cosmic fate, an “accident” we may not have been able to prevent. And, we need to learn to “roll with the punches;” accept failure or lesser achievement, regroup and try, again.

As I say, I am in a similar rut as you and not adept to making improvements/changes. But, many years after being in your shoes, I’ve gathered various tidbits of insight, therapy and wisdom from various sources. Right now, you’re at the start space on the board game of adulthood. Or, maybe, three steps from the start. I took a bit of a detour along one of those chutes or ladders and am not much closer to the finish line. But, I feel “wiser” for the experience. And, every step outside my comfort zone I am able to make, I get a tiny bit less afraid…even if I sometimes meet with what might be seen as disaster.

If I may, I have a few questions I hope aren’t too bothersome.

1) Who got you interested in Dungeons and Dragons? As I said earlier, I didn’t think anyone (especially your age) still played such games. I thought that was reserved for people from my and older generations.

I myself never played but have studied maps and guides. They were sources of artistic inspiration in my youth. I can remember being about seven or eight when I drew a picture of a warrior fending off “yellow mold” (and “black pudding” in another drawing) with a spear or sword.

2) You’ve NEVER had a crush on anyone? I could see not kissing or dating. But, not even a strong feeling about another person?

I had those feelings as early as four years old. I was given some unpleasant labels in my youth and in my teens which did not help me make friends and made approaching the concept of a romantic relationship almost impossible. I knew I wanted more than friendship with at least one girl. But, neither my parents nor my peers were any help in making my wishes come true. Instead, they made life more difficult and made me curl up in my “corner.”

Granted, there was one kid in my class who seemed the sort you claim to be. He had no interest in girls. Nor was he admittedly gay. I’d call him asexual because he was obsessed with annoying details in everything and never once said anything flattering about a boy/man or girl/woman, never showed any interest. If you asked him about such feelings, he’d pick a verbal fight and insult you.

There may be a strange blessing in this absence of “passion.” You could be spared the trials others face because they cannot control their “lust.” You could avoid the distractions and penalties (unplanned parenthood, for one) and get ahead in other areas of living. Then, down the road, those feelings you’ve been without might surface (at “the right time”). Yet, you are feeling discomfort because this difference makes relating to others less likely.

You make a point of mentioning how having feelings for someone can be a big part of interacting/talking with peers. [Can I just say I have not known any teen your age to even use the word “peers” in a sentence? That strikes me as unusual, too. I’d say “classmates,” “fellow students” or “other kids in my school.” But, peers?]

And, I can relate to that, too. I am pretty sure that’s why I was given the labels I received; I didn’t feel comfortable talking about “banging” that girl/guy or how much I wanted to grab some girl’s breasts. [Nor could I gossip about past relationships I didn’t have.] I felt guys who did this were juvenile. I didn’t necessarily say or think I was better than them–as many would argue against me–but I didn’t want to be like them. I chose a different path and was humiliated for it.

My struggles were amplified by factors I never saw coming. I was outnumbered and overwhelmed. I was at war with family. And, all of that slowed down any progress I could make so badly that I could see everyone else walking away and getting ahead in life. I continue to question my decisions and why I had to fight those battles. Could I have avoided the conflicts somehow? Could I have ignored the “jerks” and focused better on those who mattered? Why did I make the decisions I made?

I seem to recall writing a letter like yours back when I was your age (except I made it clear I had feelings for a number of girls and was distraught for losing contact with at least one). I did not find or receive any response. Hopefully, you’ll find my words and get some good out of them.

08
Dec
16

My Response to Most Letters Written to Advice Columnists

****

If you read any advice columns in newspapers, you might notice a trend in letters from desperate souls seeking advice at the risk of being either ignored or exposed to the public.  [Or, am I wrong, and every person who writes to these advisors gets a personalized response?]  Just about anyone could give as simple advice as these letters appear to require.  It boils down to a handful of words.

TALK TO (THE PERSON).

or

SAY WHAT YOU ARE FEELING.

It seems like a waste of time and a column to post a letter about someone who is merely hesitating to speak to someone.

“Hmm.  How will I word my response this time?” says the advisor.

Really?  If there ever was a situation to use a form letter,* this is one.  You could just cut and paste those few words from a previous column.  Heck.  Just include the advice at the bottom of the column where you talk about yourself as a professional.

*You know those letters heads and representatives of big organizations (schools, banks, credit card companies, workplaces, etc.) use to address a large number of people with only the name of the recipient changed.

Enough said.

25
Aug
16

Zelda Bomb Note Explosion!

*****

An alternative to valentines or memos, in general, BOMB NOTES!  When you want to send someone a strong message, express how elated, excited or furious you are…OR tell them you beat them royally at something, send them a Bomb Note!  [I’ll admit, many of these sound alike, but, you see what you can find among this abundant field of whimsy.]

Ya got your temper Bomb Notes for when your mad or about to blow up in someone’s face…

Ya got your elated Bomb Notes when the thrill or amusement of something is about to overwhelm your senses…

Ya got your mind blown Bomb Notes for when something surprises you…

Ya got your justice/just desserts served Bomb Notes when you stick it to someone…

Ya got your angry request for privacy Bomb Note…

LegofZelda-warning-privacybomb_ep-6-thatsinkingfeeling-DVD-12_ap-10

Ya got your explosive kiss Bomb Note…

LegendofZelda-lovebomb_ep-7-doppleganger-33_ap-8

Ya got your quote from the episode I got this Bomb Note…

LegofZelda-lovenote-sarcasmbomb_ep-6-thatsinkingfeeling-DVD-44_ap-18

Ya got your catch-phrase-of-the-year-coined-by-Writingbolt Bomb Note…

LegofZelda-alertnote-laughingbomb_ep-3-whiteknight-fabdress-smile-42E_ap-29

Ya got your countdown to/anticipation of romantic night together Bomb Notes (good for New Year’s Eve)…

Ya got the struggling to admit something as a couple Bomb Note…

LegofZelda-jestnote-bombofadmission_ep-10-hitchintheworks-DVD-36_ap-4

You’ve got some other misc. Bomb Notes…

And, you have your warning others of going too far (like maybe too many Bomb Notes) Bomb Note…

LegofZelda-warningnote-desistbomb_ep3-whiteknight-32E_ap-24

Now, put these to good use!

28
Jul
14

The AMAZING Lies

 

 

And now, back to Late Night with Writingbolt!

Alright. Welcome back. My first guest tonight is a stellar performer known for his work in YADA and YADA. Here to discuss his latest epic about NADA which hits theaters this weekend. Please welcome…

 

 

Have you ever watched a “talk” or “entertainment”/”tabloid” show just to see some celebrity interview and hear what they have to say about their latest movie, TV show or theater project? And, have you ever counted the number of times their eyes go blank as the word “amazing” slips from their parched lips?

I once saw a theater trivia slide (those image stills you might see before the trailers and unrelated ads begin rolling across the screen) which mentioned the use of a certain word in “the business” to loosen lips before reciting lines. [I think it was rhubarb.] If I listen to my conspiracy theory inner voice, I’d presume “amazing” was code for something entirely different. And, maybe…just maybe…the varying inflection of actors’ voices indicates a change in the translation. Maybe a swift, shrill “amazing” means the host should move quickly to the next question. And, maybe, a lower, softer, drawn-out “amazing” means: “I’m still regretting submitting myself to this filthy money train and can’t wait til these interviews finally end and I can (insert your costly therapy of choice).” Surely, an “amazing” uttered with a cough and/or a scratch of the cheek means something negative is lurking under the actor’s or actress’ fingernails. In any case, it’s yet another load of televised crap that I am personally tired of witnessing.

[Of course, I could just stop watching like some people. But, how then would I learn what Gretta Somebody’s favorite flower is so I can buy stock in the plant before stalking my way to her back doorstep? I’m kidding. Or, AM I?!]

DID you enjoy working with that director who likes explosions in every one of his dumb films though they risk your very life in the pursuit of box office records? Or, are you still seeing stars from the flames and waiting for your ears to stop ringing?

Did you REALLY like every member of the cast you worked with? Or, did someone make your four months on and/or off set so miserable that you considered making a dangerous cocktail of sleeping pills and vodka? Maybe you’d like to get that weight off your chest before your therapist puts you on some dangerous medication or your arm no longer has room for one more rubber band.

Did you REALLY enjoy going on a strict diet and having your body put through a Play-Doh fun factory just to fit the shape the casting director/s wanted? Do you REALLY like risking your health by changing your appearance, including your weight/body mass, every time you take a new role? Or, would you rather play parts that take you as you are and spare the plastic surgery (though you may have to work on using different vocal tones and personalities that are not your own)? [In other words, you pretend to be someone else and wear a costume if necessary. And, casting directors either search farther than their noses for actors to fit the parts or cut those available some physical slack. But, you’re free to eat and drink whatever you please and skip the countless trips to the therapist and/or personal trainer squad.]

If you’re willing to hear my advice, anyone who feels the need to use the word “amazing” or any of its regret-masking cousins should turn to the one giving the interview and say, “I’m not going to answer that at this time.” Or, here’s a refreshing idea. Be honest.

But, I suppose, that’s too dangerous and difficult, considering nothing negative can be said without creating foul gossip/business. [Of course, bad news in your local area and current events around the world is an exception to this rule. You don’t see weather reporters putting “amazing” spins on severe storms destroying neighborhoods. Well, you might. But, that just means the reporter is really due for a vacation because he or she has been locked away in a room of computer monitors and radar equipment far too long.] Why waste the viewers’ time with fabricated information? And, why make those participating in the project wax over the truth in interview after interview after interview after…

You want people to tune in? Stop making ME tune out! Or, here’s a novel notion. Skip the discussion of the process, fill in the gaps with more relatable personal topics and then get right to the film clip.

06
May
14

Talking with a Smoker

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There’s something relentlessly unnerving about talking with anyone who (still) smokes, especially when being (a non-smoker) with them (outdoors) while they are smoking. Some might control their need/habit/fix better than others. Some try their best to respect you if the smoke is a (health) problem. But, in my experience, most smokers cannot survive the full extent of an intense, serious chat without that impulse to “light up” crossing their mind and, eventually, forcing their hand. Thus, it makes me continually uncomfortable being in their presence, fearing I will exhaust that short fuse.

Their defense systems have been worn down by addiction to the point that the slightest discomfort triggers a shortness of breath other people associate with general stress. What makes others want to punch someone or pause to take a deep breath (to avoid conflict) is enough for a smoker to go through a full pack. A minor tiff or disagreement…even a compliment, something positive…can tickle that nerve. [Which is how the concept of a cigarette after sex became popular. The emotional, mental and physical stimulation of sex is like a construction vehicle doing an arduous task. The arm moves its load, and the smokestack huffs dark exhaust fumes.] Try if you will to watch your words. But, I can’t fathom the safe route to spend a day with a smoker without them lighting up more often than they take a break to use a bathroom/restroom.

And, if any who read this just happen to be smokers (or drinkers) and get the impulse to light up, I cannot apologize enough to change your minds. It’s up to you and your support systems (if you have one) to control/stop yourselves.

31
Mar
14

Women Blog, and Men ‘Insta-poop’ Elsewhere

Dr Writingbolt’s Social Assessment 3-31-2014

Women blog, and men “insta-poop” elsewhere.  Yes.  It’s a philosophy/theory I’ve been chewing on for some time.  There seems to be a dominance of women attempting to upkeep a daily blog like a cow produces milk.  I keep running into them.  But, the men?  What are they doing?  I find more guys posting links for music videos or maybe sharing some new project they started/finished.  But, daily posts?  Not unless some rare guy is attempting self-therapy online, venting his daily drinking/drug/bipolar journal.

Ablee-ablee.  That’s all, folks.  ‘Simple as that.  Women can’t squeeze enough into their day and need to blog it out.  And, men do simpler things elsewhere.  I know I sure can’t (imagine/manage) a daily blog.  Either my fingers, my brain or even my schedule (with stronger interests and better eyesight elsewhere) won’t permit it…won’t produce that daily milk of “blabnesia” or rotten egg.

Take two deep breaths and call me in the morning.  Doctor’s orders.  “Ah salaam ah lei  koom.”




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