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Jody Gastfriend

When Annoying Things Happen to Good People

Jody Gastfriend | Posted 08.25.2016 | Women
Jody Gastfriend

I travel a lot. I have grown to expect flights will be delayed or cancelled. I no longer get riled when airlines treat passengers like annoying cargo they have to shuttle about. Spirit Airlines anyone?

The Real Definition Of A True BFF

Jody Gastfriend | Posted 03.11.2015 | Fifty
Jody Gastfriend

From Barbies to boyfriends -- through the shifting tides of girlhood and womanhood -- my girlfriends and I shared a journey that was both profound and simple. We grew up together. And then we grew apart.

Why Millennial Bashers Are All Wrong About That Generation

Jody Gastfriend | Posted 11.10.2014 | Fifty
Jody Gastfriend

It was easy to be idealistic when I didn't have to worry about mortgages, car payments, child care expenses, health care costs, or dramatically escalating college tuitions. But that Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da approach to life changed when I got married, bought a house and had my first kid.

The One Time In Your Life It's OK To Cheat

Jody Gastfriend | Posted 09.22.2014 | Fifty
Jody Gastfriend

For over 20 years, mom has made weekly trips to see Deb, her hair dresser. Often my mother would regale me with tales of woe. Not her own, but poor Deb's. My mom, a psychotherapist by training, had great empathy for Deb, a single mother whose history was marred by misfortune. But there was only one problem with this relationship. Deb could not cut hair.

A Mother's Day Reflection on Raising Good Men

Jody Gastfriend | Posted 07.07.2014 | Fifty
Jody Gastfriend

This Mother's Day, give yourself and your sons a gift. Find time to talk and listen. Put down the smartphones, turn off the TV, share your insights and get some insight into their world.

To Heave or to Hold: 10 Things to Toss or Save This Spring

Jody Gastfriend | Posted 06.28.2014 | Fifty
Jody Gastfriend

I am in awe of their tchotchke-free homes, but I could never be them. Reminders of my past--old letters, the kids' artwork, vacation souvenirs and the bad poetry of my angst-ridden teen years -- all make me smile.

6 Questions Everyone Needs To Ask Their Mother

Jody Gastfriend | Posted 05.03.2014 | Fifty
Jody Gastfriend

When my mother was just six years old, her mother died unexpectedly. Much of my mother's image of her own mother has been shaped by a few old photos, anecdotes from a cousin or two, and the dim but cherished memory of being loved.

Parking Attendants and Other Life Challenges

Jody Gastfriend | Posted 10.21.2013 | Fifty
Jody Gastfriend

Deciding I'd try my luck, I was thrilled to find an actual parking space. Approaching the attendant to pay the $20 fee (and to share my good fortune), she lashed out. "You are a liar! I told you not to go into the lot!"

Carole King and The Sisterhood of Natural Women

Jody Gastfriend | Posted 07.22.2013 | Fifty
Jody Gastfriend

My women friends have sustained me over the years; our sorrows, joys, disappointments and day-to-day challenges so often intertwined. King's music embodies our collective journey.

Reveling in Retirement

Jody Gastfriend | Posted 07.15.2013 | Fifty
Jody Gastfriend

What is your retirement fantasy? Is it learning to play golf, retiring to a beautiful seaside resort, learning a language, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro or just kicking back, waking up to a good cup of coffee and no commute?

Why My Mom Loves My Dad's Mistress

Jody Gastfriend | Posted 04.16.2013 | Fifty
Jody Gastfriend

My father's ability to combat the isolation of dementia by creating an imaginary and omnipresent mate may not be unique to him. Imagination may possibly hold the gifts of comfort and solace as we face the uncertainties of old age.

A Valentine's Day Love Letter to My Younger Self

Jody Gastfriend | Posted 04.15.2013 | Fifty
Jody Gastfriend

Being a woman "of age" has its advantages. One of the biggest is knowing how things will turn out. During this season of valentines, I'm going to pen a love letter to my younger self.

6 Tips For Navigating The Caregiving Frontier

Jody Gastfriend | Posted 04.11.2013 | Fifty
Jody Gastfriend

Imagine a GPS that guides you easily along a road for hundreds of miles, then suddenly the voice command blurts out, 'Turn left...No turn right! Make a U-turn. Stop! Go!' You'd feel pretty frazzled, right? Well, that's what caregiving is often like.

5 Ways To Avoid Being The Worst Guest Ever

Jody Gastfriend | Posted 02.20.2013 | Fifty
Jody Gastfriend

Call me old-fashioned, but I think the altruistic suck-it-up spirit is disappearing. Whatever happened to sit down and shut up?

Seniors and the Holidays: 4 Ways to Develop a Plan of Care

Jody Gastfriend | Posted 02.09.2013 | Fifty
Jody Gastfriend

Sometimes the signs are right there in front of you -- whether you can spot them immediately or not. For me, it was during the holidays, when my dad wandered away from a family gathering and emerged hours later, disheveled and upset.

Four Things To Know If You're Worried About Memory Loss

Jody Gastfriend | Posted 01.25.2013 | Fifty
Jody Gastfriend

A few weeks ago my sister sent me an apologetic email. She had forgotten my son's birthday. The same week she couldn't remember where she parked her car and she lost one of her favorite earrings. Her excuse? "I'm a card carrying member of the "I can't remember sh*t club," she said.

Passing The Turkey And The Torch: What To Look For When You Go Home For The Holidays

Jody Gastfriend | Posted 12.25.2012 | Fifty
Jody Gastfriend

Holidays can be incredibly stressful. In the midst of all the activity and eating, they can also provide an opportunity to observe our parents as they age.

2 Simple Rules For Happiness

Jody Gastfriend | Posted 12.17.2012 | Fifty
Jody Gastfriend

Through my work I come in contact with many folks who feel stuck. I hear their stories and see that their spirits are depleted. I work to help them solve problems related to senior relatives who need assistance but I also wish I could help them get out of their job ruts. Yet how do you get un-stuck when you have mouths to feed and a mortgage to pay?

Patience is a Hard-Won Virtue

Jody Gastfriend | Posted 12.04.2012 | Fifty
Jody Gastfriend

As humans, it is so easy to squander the gift of time we get back in our lives thanks to technology. Being able to really cherish that time is the thing that makes us super humans.

Back To School: A Simple Word Of Advice For Stressed-Out Moms

Jody Gastfriend | Posted 11.02.2012 | Fifty
Jody Gastfriend

Now, watching the young mothers flailing about in the school supplies aisle at Target, I just want to pull them aside. I want to tell them to be kinder to themselves, to go on a last picnic or trip to the beach with their kids, and to soak up the remains of the summer sun and the fleeting years with their children.

Is Your Marriage Graying?

Jody Gastfriend | Posted 10.10.2012 | Fifty
Jody Gastfriend

Would Christian Grey ever settle down, change diapers, take out the garbage on Thursday nights or agree to a birthday colonoscopy?

Music Can Be Gentle on the Mind

Jody Gastfriend | Posted 10.01.2012 | Fifty
Jody Gastfriend

Not only did Glen Campbell get the audience's patience, he inspired their reverence. The music that connected the crowd to so many emotions also connected them to Campbell.

Belly Dancing and Laughter: How to Add Years to Your Life - or Life to Your Year

Jody Gastfriend | Posted 08.27.2012 | Fifty
Jody Gastfriend

I looked around the room at my friends, each straining to make circular motions with their less-than-flexible hips while trying to keep their heads still, and tried (unsuccessfully) to stifle a giggle.

What I Love About Dad: A Father's Day Tribute

Jody Gastfriend | Posted 08.14.2012 | Fifty
Jody Gastfriend

My father can no longer ride in on a white horse -- or even a white sedan -- to rescue me. But even with dementia, he appreciates the straightforward and heartfelt words: "I love you."

Why Mother's Day Cards Make Me Laugh

Jody Gastfriend | Posted 07.13.2012 | Fifty
Jody Gastfriend

Mother's Day cards make me laugh. I'm not talking about the wild-and-bawdy cards for single-again Moms or even the sound-chip cards showcasing a chorus of tiara-topped poodles. No, I laugh at all those heartfelt cards that pour forth with flowery verses and profusions of adverbs, all designed to express some level of gratitude to mothers near and far.