Going out for cheerleading as we age can bring new vitality to our lives. Taking time and caring enough to encourage younger people on -- whether these are adult children or grandchildren, neices or nephews, young adult children of friends or young people who simply need our encouragement -- cheering on all of them can mean so much.
In this episode, Dr. McCoy discusses the importance of mentoring in all our lives -- what it has meant to us, what it can mean to others -- and the many opportunities we have to go out for cheerleading through reaching out to young people we know and to those we don't --yet.
She tells the story of a quirky little 9 year old named Ryan who was matched with her husband Bob in the Big Brothers program many years ago. Now Ryan is a psychotherapist in his thirties and a loving presence in her life.
She emphasizes how much caring and taking time to nurture others can mean to all of us.
Gray Divorce -- the breakup of a long marriage when the partners are nearing or in retirement age is an increasingly familiar phenomenon.
How and why do marriages of many decades come apart just at the time when the task of raising children is done, when the busy working years are coming to an end, when it's time to relax and enjoy life? There is a rich backstory behind every gray divorce.
In this episode, Dr. McCoy discusses several case histories and the factors propelling the husband and wife to divorce court. She also looks at the health risks of marital stress and the most important question to ask yourself if you are faced with the question: "Do I leave or do I stay?"
Once retirement has become an every day reality rather than a dream, what realizations dawn? In this episode, Dr. McCoy discusses ten common settling-in discoveries that may be useful for those still working to hear. These cover finances, socializing, plans and dreams, downsizing, new choices replacing old dreams and more.
With couples, there are many kinds of silences. In this episode, Dr. McCoy discusses some of the major ones, what they signal about a relationship and what a couple can do to overcome cold, angry, uneasy, and distracted silences and how to savor a comfortable silence.
When your children were little, you taught them limits: not to interrupt when adults were speaking, to show respect for their elders, to pick up their toys, to hear the word "No" without backtalk or tantrums.
Now that they're grown, you're up against some limits.
In this episode, Dr. McCoy discusses how to set limits for yourself: to express concern without overstepping into criticism and carping, to care without imposing, to support without smothering, to love and let go.
Women's heart attack symptoms are often quite different from those of men -- and even when they do have classic symptoms, too often they are given a psychiatric rather than cardiac diagnosis in many emergency rooms. I
n this episode, Dr. McCoy discusses the symptoms women often have while suffering a heart attack. She also addresses the denial of the seriousness of the symptoms and the tendency that many women have to put other people, responsibilities and obligations first and why this can be lethal.
She tells her own story of denial and skewed priorities as a cautionary tale, urging listeners to pay attention to their bodies and to take good care of themselves.
Some people delight in retirement. Others find themselves desperately disappointed, finding that pre-retirement fantasies have failed to morph into reality. Whether in one's long-time home or in a new place, even in the absence of office politics and long communtes, some find that there's not enough money, that time hangs heavy or that relationships don't necessarily improve in a new setting or a change of life circumstances.
So what can you do if you're having moments of quiet desperation in what you had hoped would be your golden years?
In this episode, Dr. McCoy shares some ideas about small changes that can make a major difference in your life.
Have you ever avoided a recently bereaved friend or relative because you just didn't know what to say?
Or, if you're in the grief process, have you ever wondered if what you're feeling is normal?
In this episode, Dr. Kathy McCoy discusses how to be there for someone you love who is grieving or how to best care for yourself during this complicated process.
In this episode, Dr. McCoy reflects on the gratitude that two beloved relatives -- one still living, one long dead and lovingly remembered --expressed in conversations with her despite having significant health problems.
This brief episode is a reflection on the value of time in our lives and how we too often let opportunities to create, to express love, to enjoy life's beauty, slip away as we engage in "time killing" activities or overlook today toward some eagerly anticipated event. Dr. McCoy emphasizes the importance of every day of our lives and and the joy of mindful living.
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.
A survey from her high school, asking for alum feedback about giving a Lifetime Achievement Award to a person who graduated before 1970, inspired this episode, as Dr. McCoy wonders what kind of life, what kind of achievements, might merit such an award.
She wonders whether it makes any sense at all to value one life over another, especially for women. From the 1950's phenomenon "Queen for a Day" when the woman with the worst, most miserable life would win home appliances and a nice dinner to media fueled "Mommy Wars", women have suffered a great deal being compared with another. This episode explores the value of a variety of lives and what matters most.
Dr. McCoy discusses realities of relationships that involve physical and/or emotional or verbal abuse. The first truth is that no one likes being abused. But the challenges are many: how to recognize abuse when it happens, why the emotional impact of abuse can crush a person's spirit and make it harder to leave, and ways that friends and family can hurt or help the victim. She discusses how to support loved ones who are facing abuse in ways that are truly helpful to them.
There are some mistakes people make in preparing for retirement that can lead to disappointment, even disaster, in retirement. In this episode, Dr. McCoy discusses five of these: acting on impulse, acting on assuptions,retiring without a plan,failing to resolve lifestyle differences with your spouse,and running away instead of running to something. She talks about how to avoid these pitfalls in order to build a happy, satisfying retirement lifestyle together.
While some major marital problems like infidelity, abuse or financial disasters due to gambling can lead to marital distress and perhaps to divorce court, little cruelties can also add up to marital estrangement.
In this episode, Dr. McCoy, speaking from her perspective as a marriage and family therapist, talks about little cruelties and betrayals, like belittling, blaming, the silent treatment, diminishing a spouse's achievements or making him or her the butt of jokes, can erode love. She makes suggestions for couples who have fallen into the habit of little cruelties in order to improve their relationship and long-term prospects for a happy life together.
Are you afflicted with FIPS or Formerly Important Person Syndrome? In this episode, Dr. McCoy discusses how to overcome deep feelings of loss over a stalled career, an empty nest or a working life left behind, either through job loss or retirement. She talks about how you can build a lifelong identity that is not dependent on a career or a life role and that endures when all else changes.
How well do we know old friends? What secrets do we keep from each other and why? And how can new discoveries about old friends positively impact our relationships and our lives?
Dr. McCoy discusses her surprise upon finding out recently that a dear friend of 40 years is a Holocaust survivor and that another close friend who has always put a positive spin on his cosmopolitan background had some dark secrets shared only recently.
In this episode, Dr. McCoy explores the ways we may come to resemble our mothers as we reach midlife. This can be an unsettling discovery or a sign of growth and opportunity to develop some of the wonderful traits we may remember in our parents: patience, generativity, greater kindness and wisdom. Dr. McCoy explores how to make the best of this OMG! moment in life.
A recent study found that Baby Boomers, who came of age in an era of the Pill and free love, are increasingly soured on sex. Another study of seniors and sex found that many people enjoy active sex lives into old age. What makes the difference between dissatisfaction with sex and pleasure with sex as we age?
In this episode, Dr. McCoy discusses why some Boomers are so dissatisfied with their sex lives and why some older people enjoy sex well into their 70's or 80's. If your sex life could use improvement, how can you begin to make a positive difference in your own life and relationship?
There was a time when all parents of teens had to deal with was sullen silence. Now there is electronic silence as teens focus on texting with friends. In this episode, Dr. McCoy offers 9 suggestions for breaking through both sullen and electronic silence to connect with your teen once again.
No, this episode isn't about the lovely television show of the same name that aired some years ago. It's about life in one's sixties, seventies, and beyond when one wonders about so many unknowable things: if savings will be enough, how long health and mobility will endure, how one might cope with future losses, and if this is all there is. While we don't have a crystal ball for the future, we can take steps to safeguard our health and vitality for as long as possible. And we can make a positive difference in our lives with positive wondering: looking at today with wonder and gratitude.
What can you do when someone you is engaging in health self-sabotage? Dr. Kathy McCoy has suggestions to help you get through to a loved one in ways that work best.
Parents and their adult children often having clashing expectations in a variety of ways: expectations of seeing each other more (or less), expectations about financial or emotional support, about life changes, about differing concepts of what it means to be family.
In this episode, Dr. McCoy discusses how to handle clashing expectations, how to set boundaries and voice your wishes and how to make peace, not with what could be or might have been, but with what is.