As I drove home, I passed another cemetery

It’s a nice purging

Mission San Luis Rey, Oceanside
  • Mission San Luis Rey, Oceanside

Post Title: Your Teen and Parental Conflict

Post Date: September 4, 2015

Best thing to say to your teen when she is angry, hurt, disappointed, hopeless, raging, confused? Try, “You know me…” Hopefully, your years of love, support, and foundation will pay off here. Sometimes, repeating the same thing over and over again is helpful. Just one line. Maybe, “You have the ability to make great decisions.” Or, “You know what we expect of you.” Or even, “This is perplexing.”

Post Title: Ritual and Feeling

Post Date: October 8, 2015

I attended a funeral yesterday at the beautiful San Luis Rey Mission in Oceanside. The death of my friend Mike was not unexpected — he’s been sick since April. I had so many “closing” conversations with him and he was in such acceptance of his own passing that I really did not feel the “need” to attend the formal piece of that fluffed-up goodbye ceremony. But I went anyway, in the spirit of supporting the family: my attendance was a gift borne of gratitude for Mike’s friendship and the color he brought into this gray world.

On the drive there, I experienced no sadness or fear, just the knowledge of where I was going and what was most likely in store. But as my foot stepped on the cemetery soil, prior to my encountering any recognizable face, the tears sprang to my eyes. I was surprised at first, but then I remembered what I tell other people so often — ritual matters. Milestones, man-made gatherings around events such as this one, occur in every culture and religion, and have throughout human history.

In a short sermon, Father Larry Dolan spoke of our human bodies as tents. As we walk further into the forest, the tent gets tattered. When we encounter rain and big winds, pieces of covering break off and fly away. Our skin and bones are just the exterior containers...we lose more and more over time. These words from Father Larry were just what the doctor ordered.

At one point while Mike’s son — a handsome, prim attorney — was speaking, a cell phone went off. The ringtone barked, “Who let the dogs out?” and Mike’s son looked down and said, “That’s my mother-in-law.” Of course. Freakin’ funny! Then the priest checked his pocket and said, “No, it’s a veterinarian friend of mine.” I don’t know who was right but, I do know that the levity was so, so therapeutic.

As I drove home, I passed another cemetery. Naturally, I paid more attention than I normally would have. I saw a limousine at the mortuary entrance. Then I spotted a group of young boys, teens, lined up nearby — all wearing football jerseys. Again, I had a moment of ... feeling.

Emotions are healthy. It’s a nice purging. To feel is living.

Post Title: Millennials: The Next Generation

Post Date: October 14, 2015

The generation known as Millennials are currently between the ages of 18 and 33. They are the leading edge of social phenomenon; they are digital natives, “reinventing everything.” They comprise 24% of the U.S. population. 29% are not affiliated with any religion — they are untethered from traditional institutions.

50% describe themselves as political independents. They are charitable (75% of them gave last year) and they are not locked into brand names, which makes for little, if any, company loyalty.

Traditionally, authoritative roles (e.g., physicians, law enforcement, professors) hold little deference for a millennial: “respect is given when earned.” They prefer cash over formal dinnerware or fancy wedding gifts.

They do not invest in the stock market, but they save. They are more willing to try new foods than their elders. Though they have higher student-loan debt than prior generations and lower levels of wealth than their immediate predecessors, they remain economic optimists. They do not have disposable income but they are quite price-conscious.

One third of older millennials have a four-year college degree, making them the best educated cohort of young adults in American history. While non-digital natives fear the creep of reduced internet privacy and personal information disclosure, millennials actually enjoy being advertised to and find nothing suspicious about being targeted for consumerism.

[Posts edited for length]

Blog: All Things Mental | Author: Christina Neumeyer, M.A. | From: Carlsbad | Blogging since: 2010

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