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Emails to my Therapist:
On God, Sex, Death, Love, Life Changes, Fears, Desires, Writing, and Anything Else on My Mind

easy Christmas

Easy Christmas To Us All!

December 13, 2017
Dear Nicholas, Tomorrow at about 3 p.m. is the one-year anniversary of the moment when a Duke aorta surgeon came out to the waiting room and told me that Bob was alive but he didn’t know if he was going to wake up. Bob did wake up. Though he tires a lot more easily than he […] Read More

sleeping too much

Sleeping Too Much? Berating Myself Too Much?

December 3, 2017
  Dear Nicholas,  A sharp-witted 95-year-old I know recently said with enthusiasm that what she really loves to do is eat and sleep. Her wonderfully thoughtful care-taking son Franc said, “I’m the same way.” I seem to lean a bit in that direction myself. I’m writing this on Saturday, when first I slept late, then […] Read More

workplace sexual harassment

#MeToo? I Guess So

November 28, 2017
Dear Nicholas, I haven’t posted a #metoo or written before about the upwelling of sexual harassment accusations because I’ve never felt traumatized by the minor incidents in my life. However, recent news does stir my  memories and I have to get down one thing that happened long ago. Really, It Was Almost Funny Back when […] Read More

The Wicked Allure of True Crime and Celebrity News Today

November 10, 2017
Dear Nicholas, I’ll lose some readers by admitting this. But not everything one emails to one’s psychotherapist is admirable. Here it is: I am fascinated by true crime stories (why would anyone do such a thing?)  And one of my first crucial morning questions to myself is: What’s the celebrity news today? In that second […] Read More

energy spirit

Deflated Energy, Wilted Spirit

November 6, 2017
Nicholas, I hesitate to write about this for fear of making it more true. I should be saying positive encouraging affirmations to myself. But I need to sort this out. I’m taking a steroid for torn ankle tendons that’s supposed to stop swelling and instead seems to have deflated energy and spirit. Seems like too […] Read More

tightly wired

Tightly Wired: A New Definition

November 1, 2017
Nicholas, I seem to be fraying: some of my wiring, that is. I always thought “tightly wired” was a metaphor. But for about a year, I’ve had half a dozen tears in my left shoulder tendons. Now it seems that the same thing has happened in my left ankle. Guess my wires are pulled too […] Read More

The Untethered Soul

The Untethered Soul: Becoming a Truly Free Spirit

October 24, 2017
Dear Nicholas, I’ve stumbled onto a radical view of freedom, and the truth of it seems to be taking me over. The source is a book: The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer. The main idea is: live life from the deepest part one’s self, and from that vantage point, notice one’s emotions and the chatter of […] Read More

Peggy Payne Bob Dick

Our Better Marriage Weekend: The Art and Science of Love

October 17, 2017
Dear Nicholas, When Bob first mentioned our going to a better marriage workshop, I was hesitant. Things were good, so why rock the boat? And he and I have been together happily most of most days since 1982. Did we need this? Well, better marriage was not his motivation. As a psychologist, he wanted to […] Read More

feeling unattractive, band-aid

Feeling Unattractive

September 27, 2017
Nicholas– I have a band-aid on my face. One little awkwardly-located temporary band-aid should not lead anyone to feeling unattractive. This is vain, shallow, and petty of me. Doesn’t bode well for a peaceful ancient age.  However…. It’s between my nose and upper lip, sort of like a pink mustache. I feel it when I […] Read More

Guilt trip road sign

Saying the Wrong Thing — Scrupulosity and OCD

September 20, 2017
Dear Nicholas — Yesterday on a beautiful morning driving to my office, I rehashed a moment of saying the wrong thing 46 years ago–something that might have been taken for an ethnic slur (which I didn’t intend!) That led to thoughts of other times I’ve stumbled into saying something hurtful or damaging or that I […] Read More


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