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Jane Fonda

Knowing Your Parents

Wes Jackson and Jane Fonda (Photo by Joan Halifax)

Wes Jackson and Jane Fonda (Photo by Joan Halifax) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Prime Time

Prime Time (Photo credit: raulmahon)

Doing a personal autobiography could help you with this.

I knew that knowing your parents was important from my studies of psychology; but I found this difficult to do earlier in my life.  I could not go home for a visit without having at least one disagreement with my mother.  This wasn’t a problem with my father as I lost him much earlier and when I called home I always talked to my mother and she would tell my father what I had said.  I was always a puzzle to my father anyway and he often did not know or understand exactly what I was doing and/or why I was doing it.

“Knowing Your Parents, ” sounds like the start of a self-help book, possibly an autobiography, doesn’t it,  When I do it, I will have to let you know; but the story keeps changing as I live my life.  I see my story from new and different advantage points as I go along.  As I became a parent as I grew older, I understood things about my parents I didn’t understand when I wasn’t a parent.

Someone who actually did this was Jane Fonda in her book, “Prime Time.”  I don’t know why I picked up this book as I didn’t like Jane Fonda or what she stood for at the time.  I didn’t think the book would be a self-help book and even if it was, I didn’t think she would have any good advice to give.  I was surprised to find that Jane Fonda had obtained some perspective on her life, on why she had done certain things, and why she doesn’t think the same way now that she did earlier in her life.  In her book, she basically encourages people to write their life stories and to see what kind of insights about themselves they can get by doing this.

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Adjusting to Life as We Mature


Neuroplasticity (Photo credit: gever tulley)

In my opinion, there is no unhappier person than one who can’t handle changes and (to go along with this) who can’t make timely decisions.  There is time when we get older when we should makes some decisions about our life which then would lead to changes.   It is good to know what you like but this shouldn’t  keep you from trying new things.  Children experience new things all the time and change what they do because of this.  There is no time limit on this as the brain keeps changing as we learn new things.  In science, this is called neuroplasticity.

Jane Fonda in her book, Prime Time, talks about doing a life history as a way of  seeing ourselves in a new way.  It shows what paths we took and where they led us.  Then we can decide if we want to make changes in our life.  For example, a woman discovers that she has always needed a man in her life (she has not felt self-sufficient) and she has gone from one relationship to another adjusting the way she acts and sometimes thinks to be a better fit in each new relationship and has lost her real self along the way.

If you bend, you might not break.  No one can count on everything going their way even if they know they are right and that’s the way it should be.  We can have comfortable routines but if we can not keep them,  we shouldn’t explode with negative affect like anger, tears, nd/or even rage.

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