If you had a less than wonderful childhood, you may be feeling many things: anger and resentment, sadness and regret as you wonder what might have been if only things could have been different.
In this episode, Dr. McCoy suggests trying on another feeling and point of view: gratitude. From her own perspective, she contends that a difficult childhood can be a gift.
Sharing the story of her own childhood experiences, Dr. McCoy talks about the advantages of those who have known early hardship: a broader interpretation of freedom, more realistic expectations of others, fierce motivation and gratitude for small and not so small things.
Each person who has grown up in a dysfunctional family has a unique story. But in sharing her own strivings for independence, Dr. McCoy suggests that we look beyond the more common complicated feelings about our origins to a perspective that uncovers our hidden strengths.
How can you distinguish a real friend from a friendly acquaintance or a friendly enemy?
In this episode, Dr. McCoy discusses the elements of genuine friendship. A real friend wants you to do well, respects the other positive relationships in your life and is quick to say "I'm sorry." A real friend is gentle with your feelings, honest with you in a caring way and doesn't bail when the going gets rough. Finally, a real friend is there for you in your triumphs as much as she is during your tribulations. Dr. McCoy explores all of these qualities of true friendship.
Tension between the generations has existed throughout history, with exasperated comments recorded for posterity by the ancient Greeks. Older people have always complained about irresponsible youth and the young have always complained about out of touch, obtuse, old-fashioned elders.
But today's generations face a greater challenge: media-fueled generation wars, some of these cynically targeted at older or younger citizens to push forward certain political agendas. The concept of "greedy Geezers", lamentations about Baby Boomers asking too much of their kids and the kids not stepping up to take on adult responsibilities are all over the media and the internet.
In this episode, Dr. McCoy discusses how to see past these media skirmishes to find the truth: we need each other and help each other in unique and wonderful ways.
When we were kids, we worried about monsters in the closet and alligators under the bed. As teens, some of us worried that we wouldn't lose our virginity before a nuclear holocaust blew up the world. As we grew into adulthood, we worried about finding a good job, true love and saving for important life goals.
Now, in retirement, many couples translate new worries -- about losing health and independence, losing beloved spouses, into geriatric spats. The themes of these spats come from a place of love and caring -- yet can irritate and divide spouses.
This episode focuses on understanding the nature of geriatric spats and how to live with uncertainty and anticipatory grief.