Friday, 7 October 2011

Loss and Gain

This week has been one of loss and gain.

The Loss -  I have finished working with a client who has been in therapy on and off for a number of years with a psychotherapist. I had seen her in the past as part of a couple and then she asked if she could return to work out some coping strategies for herself. She knew the reason for her responses but felt unable to change them. When she decided to end therapy this week she had started to hear her own voice and discard mine.  This is what happens in appropriate parenting. The child is nurtured and follows the parents pattern for life. Then as he or she grows, they challenge the parent and eventually become their own person. I felt sad when she left but I was cognisant that it was appropriate and I have confidence she will be OK.

As I am working towards retirement I am experiencing feelings of impending loss. I am confident I will eventually be OK but I am fearful of loss of identity and of not being in a wage earning situation. I am writing this blog to help with the first. To deal with the second I have decided to recommend books.  The aim is  to earn commission. If it works I won't be as affluent but it could keep me in tights.

The Gain - I started up a book group with a friend and a couple of her contacts. Three of us had met briefly to discuss how it would work the other had not committed at that time. Three of the books were chosen and today was the first proper meeting. We discussed Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones. I had read the book before so it didn't feel a heavy read for me. So there I was, little old me with three retired tutors - one who had taught  English, one Sociology and one History. I studied Literature at University but I was rusty on deconstruction. Though to be fair counselling is about deconstructing and making sense of the client's story.  I wasn't nervous this morning. I'm too long in the tooth for that, but it would be fair to say I did wonder how it would work. The answer is it worked really well. We all had something constructive to say. We all brought different perspectives. We we're all interested in each others point of view. When we finished the meeting I felt as if I'd reconnected with a part of me that has been dormant. I loved the debate. I felt alive and stimulated and the others seemed to feel pretty much the same. We all agreed this was the start of something good.


  1. Hi Babs - it occurs to me as i read your blog that you too find the path of life a bumpy one ,a sign of a thinker and reflective person ...but don't think too much.You are not retiring just going down a different fork in the road.

    i have been thinking about steve jobs lately and the fact that all his billions could not secure him a longer life and i came across this quote from him...

    On death. “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.”

    i know the initial response is to think ooh how morbid , but the more one thinks about it the more one realises that this nails how to live life.

    The loss.. a day gone without laughing.

    The gain..Tommorow we can have a laugh.

    I know this could sound a bit new age but i do believe in finding humour where possible.

    Song recommendation for you... Wild is the wind by Nina Simone. i hear that song and i get a glimpse in to love loss and gain and heartache... the human condition.

  2. I think it would be fair to say I experience the occasional bump in the path of life but since I don't expect it to be entirely smooth I am not unduly perturbed by that. I really enjoy you philosophical observations and I feel it's important to be aware of what's important. Thanks for the song recommendation I'll be sure to give it a play. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me :)