|I used to think that when it came to actors or musicians, or really any public figure, I didn't care about their personal lives. (Black will probably take issue with that statement as I make an exception for historical figures, especially those from the Tudor period.) Yes, I know the personal lives of "celebrities" sells magazines and grabs headlines. But for me, it was about their professional work. However, when it comes to sharing stories about their mental health struggles and challenges, I now have a totally different attitude. It's not only brave but a wonderful way to help others. Recently, I heard musician and songwriter, Bebe Rexha, speaking with Gayle King on CBS This Morning, and what resonated with me was how she wished growing up that her favorite artist had talked about mental health. And, I know that Demi Lovato, Glenn Close, and Anderson Cooper, all mental health advocates, are teaming up to do an event later this month. So, I think the more people that can talk openly and honestly about it, the better!|
|In about sixth grade, a friend of mine, Janet A., was
seriously ill, but no one would talk about what was wrong. I later found out it was "the Big C" because
people back then would not say the word "cancer." Years ago, Red had a miscarriage, but although
she could have used the support, told very few people about it. She would come to learn, years later, that they
are more common than many people realize. Today, you have famous
people openly talking about their miscarriages. The same is happening with mental illness –
with celebrities and athletes (gripping essays)
speaking out. |
There have always been stigmas associated with mental health issues – just as there used to be with cancer and miscarriages. But we need to bring it out into the open, raise awareness, and not only acknowledge it has hit crisis proportions, but that it can be treated. And, celebrities can help shine a bright light. Not only during May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month, but all year-round.
FULL QUESTION: What do you think about hugging? And how do you handle hugging in the age of COVID?
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|Being a warm and fuzzy person, I’ve always been a hugger, but
even before the pandemic, I was aware that some people liked hugs more than
others, so would “regulate” my hugs accordingly. For example, neither of my children have
inherited my hugging “gene”, although sometimes they don’t get a vote, instead getting
a big ole’ mom hug. But I digress (as
My biggest adjustment in terms of “COVID” hugging, especially now that things have become a little “easier” (I’ve been vaccinated and had a booster), is that I simply ask people what their preference is. For some, a hug is welcome (and the human touch wanted), while others are good with a fist or elbow bump, while others prefer to keep their distance entirely. Which, to be honest, is usually people that wouldn’t have wanted a hug even before COVID, so not a big deal.
|Anyone who knows me knows I am a non-hugger. Always have been. I am also that person who is always curious,
so found there is science behind why people are or are not huggers. And, although I fully appreciate that
hugs provide a wealth of
health benefits (I was fascinated by this study), that still does not change that I find
hugging can be selfish (the hugger often is the one needing a hug).|
COVID, and especially the fact the omicron variant is so contagious, provides a legitimate excuse for me not to hug. However, I will make exceptions for close friends that I know need the hug – as long as I also know that they, like me, are fully vaccinated and still mask-up outside the home.
FULL QUESTION: New Year … New Resolutions? What’s the best New Year’s resolution you’ve ever made? The worst?
The year was only a few minutes old when Red’s youngest daughter asked what her New Year resolution was going to be. But before Red had a chance to respond, Sawyer said one of hers was to build on last year’s goals at the gym since her “before” (January 2021) and “after” (December 2021) photos had given her the motivation to keep working at it.
Red then realized that sometimes the best resolution might not be something new, but a continued commitment to something you’re already doing. Although, in her case, her best and worst New Year resolutions hadn’t changed from when she answered the question last year (nor had Black’s attitude toward resolutions) …
||I'm glad you didn't ask how many New Year's resolutions I've kept! I'm going to address the worse resolution first. It's the one where I promised myself that I was going to keep on top of emails because at any given time I can have tens of thousands (yes, that's the number) of emails in my inbox! They've all been read; I just haven't figured out what to do with them. I guess figuring that out should have been the resolution. On the other hand, the best resolution was to listen to my kids more. I have a bad habit of finishing their sentences or interrupting their thoughts with thoughts of my own. Granted, I'm far from perfect at it, but I'm getting better. And making a conscious effort to let them complete their thoughts before I talk has really improved our conversations, for both them and me.|
||Easy question … because I do not make New Year's resolutions. I see goals and resolutions as ongoing efforts that start when you identify an objective – not because it is January 1 st. Some may be small and achieved fairly quickly, while others may take a lifetime. The key is finding a way to remember them and realizing you may hit roadblocks, detours, and/or delays … but there are many roads that will take you to the same destination.|
FULL QUESTION: I get so confused by all the different Nobel Prizes, so what exactly is Nobel Prize Day?
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|As a former straight-A student and lover of history, I’m almost afraid to admit this, but I only recently learned that the award ceremony for Nobel Prizes occurs every year on December 10, even though the winners for the six different categories are announced in October (list of this year’s winners). And except for the Nobel Peace Prize, which to me is the “biggie”, I couldn’t have named any of the other categories (Chemistry, Physics, Literature, Physiology or Medicine, and Economics). Or the fact those five are presented in Sweden while, for some reason, the Peace Prize is awarded in Norway.|
|I find it funny that Red did not try to use the fact she loves Tudor history, and Alfred Nobel, who established the Nobel Prize, was Swedish as her “excuse” for not knowing more about the prize. Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, left a controversial last will and testament that used the bulk of his wealth to establish the Nobel Prizes. (It is ironic that money earned by developing and manufacturing explosives and munitions would fund a “peace” prize.) Talk about a way to get remembered. But, so is being honored with a Nobel Prize.|