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Mental Monday: Anxiety, times 30.

I recently read somewhere that people in their 30′s tend to have the most anxiety over any other age-group. I can’t recall where I read that or verify the research but, on a personal note,  it makes sense to me.

As you settle into your 30′s, there’s a good chance that you’re no longer a professional student or floating from one dead-end job to another.   You probably have a career or a career on hold while you’re raising children.   Although more and more people are holding off on marriage and children well into their 30′s (or abandoning that lifestyle all together), there is a whole host of other responsibilities that people in their 30′s usually have accrued. Maybe you have a demanding career, a mortgage or high rent, and car payments. And school loans from college or for that MA degree from when you were 25 that you may or may not have actually needed. The 30′s are a time when we become more knowledgeable about who we are and what we need in life to make us happy. However, reaching that place of happiness and staying there can easily make the most calm and collected of us into anxious nervous-wrecks.

Societal and familial values, in addition to biological urges,  have created a simple plan for us to follow – school, career, marriage, house, dog, children. Because of that, many people in their 20′s look at their 30′s as a time to get serious, settle down, and work even harder to get ahead. But then we arrive in our 30′s and get nervous when things don’t go as planned. (continues…)

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Book Review & Giveaway: It’s Not PMS, It’s You!

It's Not PMS, It's You!Written by humorist Deb Amlen,  It’s Not PMS, It’s You! is a hilarious tongue-in-cheek tome about the well-known differences between men and women. We may be from the same planet and are of the same species, but that might just be where the similarities between men and women end. Blame it on hormones or chromosomes, but men and women simply think differently, behave differently, and emote differently. From it’s historical context to our modern-day Battle of the Sexes, Amlen takes cliched notions about sex and gender differences (most of them true, of course) and highlights them in a quick read filled with humorous narratives and clever anecdotes. From co-ed gatherings to bachelorette parties, It’s Not PMS, It’s You! is the perfect book to read with friends for some insightful humor and laughs.

I have been offered TWO copies of this book for a give-away! To enter the It’s Not PMS, It’s You! give-away, please leave a comment below. You can also post an additional comment for each of the following: subscribe to AYMB, follow AYMB on Twitter, tweet about this give-away, and/or post about this give-away on your blog or Facebook page. This give-away is for U.S. and Canada residents only.

I will use to select two winners for this giveaway on Tuesday, August 10, 2010.

Good luck!


Disclaimer: I was given one copy of It’s Not PMS, It’s You! and two additional copies for the purpose of a give-away, courtesy of Sterling Publishing Company.

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The Mother/Sister Role

My father, my half-brother and my half-sister flew in from the the East Coast for a visit last week. My half-brother is 14 and my half-sister is 10.

I was 20 years old and away at college when my brother was born. I was in graduate school when my sister was born. Since we’re decades of age apart, didn’t grow up together, and live across the country from each other, I obviously don’t have a normal sisterly relationship with them. I love them as I do the sister and brother I grew up with, but it’s a very different relationship.  Over time, I have developed a dynamic with them that seems half-mother/half-sister. When you’re old enough to be the mother of your siblings (and often get mistaken for the mom…ugh), it’s easy to find yourself playing the mom role just as easily as it is to be the sister.

During our visits, I find myself shifting between this mother role and the sister role. I can ask my brother and sister to help with dinner, stop running down the hardwood stairs in slippery socks, or clean up after themselves just as easily as I can find myself on the couch with them playing DJ Hero, teasing and giggling with them as if I were their age.  At the same time, I need to monitor myself like I would with any other kids around, like watch my language and avoid inappropriate topics.  And when topics come up that aren’t necessarily inappropriate, but definitely on the serious side, it can be confusing as to how to handle it. For one thing, my sister and brother aren’t even half as sheltered as I was growing up. It’s not because of how they are parented but rather it’s due to the world they and their friends live in. Their access to the world is staggering and their precociousness is reminiscent of my young adult self and certainly not my tween and teen self. (continues…)

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Mental Monday: One Angry Man

I read what Mel Gibson said in those tapes to his ex-girlfriend. I didn’t actually hear the tapes, but I read the dialogue. Like most people who heard or read the words that came out of Mr. Gibson’s mouth, I was disgusted. It’s pretty easy to suggest that Mr. Gibson is racist, bigoted, and misogynistic. Ever since that alcohol-fueled episode in 2006, it’s been apparent to the public that Mel Gibson deals with demons. But, these recent tapes were more chilling. These words were directed to the mother of his infant child. They were scary and hateful. The venomous words that spewed from Mr. Gibson’s mouth were beyond misogyny and racism. They were filled with rage.

Anger and rage are not the same. Anger, when expressed in a civilized and controlled way, is a healthy feeling and expression. When anger is suppressed, it only damages the person holding it inside. But when anger is expressed in a volatile way, such as Mr. Gibson’s case, it is beyond anger. It is rage. Anger is not violent. It is not harmful. On the contrary, expressed angry can be healthy and constructive. Rage is not. Rage is distressing. It is harmful. It is emotionally abusive.

Everyone gets angry at some point or another, but not everyone deals with anger the same way. There are three ways people tend to deal with anger: avoid anger, explode with anger, or express anger in a healthy and positive way. Women, more often than men, tend to avoid expressing anger while more men than women explode with anger. Women tend to internalize their anger and suffer in silence. There could be various reasons for that, but it is especially the case when a women is in an abusive relationship.  Women who are in relationships with men that explode with anger often suppress their own anger and other emotions.  They fear that expressing their own anger will set their husband or partner off. And, rightfully so, in many cases. (continues…)

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The Good Dad

The Good Dad

The best moments in life are not filled with words. Only love. The Dude and The Monkey, on vacation, in 2008.

Seven years ago, this week, I was introduced to the Dude by my sister.

Before I met him, there was a trend with most of the guys I dated. The more I got to know them, the less I liked them. The opposite was true with the Dude. After every e-mail, phone call, or date, I liked him even more. Within a month, I knew this guy had *The One* potential. But what really locked my heart up was something he said to me shortly after we started dating.

During one of our many conversations about life ambitions, goals, and dreams, the Dude mentioned that he could not wait to be a father. That really floored me, mostly because having kids was the last thing on my mind. I had too many other important things to do, like finish my graduate degree and get a promotion. But here was this highly ambitious and successful 26 year old man telling me that the most important thing he ever wanted to become was a good dad. In that same conversation, he questioned how he would be able to handle the task of working grueling hours at a law firm and being present for his future kids.  He wanted to be there for every milestone, every first day of school, every parent-teacher meeting, and every soccer game. In fact, he wanted to coach the soccer team.  He told me right then and there that he would quit his job if it meant he couldn’t be there for his kids. Despite not knowing him very well at the time, I believed him. Seven years and one kid later, I still believe him. Because it’s true. (continues…)

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