Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Sorry, I Didn't Get That

I am in pain.  In early May, I went to bed and woke up with a pain in my shoulder. I thought it would go away in a day or so; cricks in the neck and shoulders usually do.  It didn't.  Then, I started to get a little tingling down my fingers.  I thought it was stress.  The stress passed; the pain didn't.  I had a massage; no help.  Daughter felt a really tight little knot; she tried a little myofascial release.  OMG. For a bit, it felt better.  The knot loosened.  Then, the pain got worse.  The knot became a big knot.  The tingling multiplied.  I'm seeing the chiropractor on Thursday.  In the meantime, my discomfort grows as the day goes on.  I can't sit for long periods of time because of the discomfort.  I really have to work to concentrate.  I can do it - it's just hard.

Here in the Trenches, our clients are in pain.  Usually, it's not physical pain, but let's face it, pain is pain.  In some ways, emotional pain is worse.  If I move a certain way or really concentrate on what I'm doing, I can sometimes not feel the pain.  People who are suffering from emotional pain have trouble concentrating at all.   The pain almost never goes away.  Crazy thoughts intrude at the most inopportune moments.  They're so raw that they don't have the strength to push the thoughts aside.  The pain is exhausting.  Yet, we ask them to keep their pain in check, marshall their strength, think clearly and make the decisions that will determine the course of their lives into the future.  The problem with this is not that we ask them to do this.  The difficulty is that we expect that they can and should be able to think clearly enough to make rational decisions.  The worst part of it is that some of us get impatient when they can't.  You know, I expect that the work with the chiropractor is going to take time.  I'm not going to feel perfect right away and be able to run out and lift my body weight.  Why would I expect anything different from my clients?  They need time.  They need our patience.  They need us to explain the same thing 20 times because it's just not sinking in.  That's part of what we do.  It is part of our value to our clients.  So, I try to remember my shoulder and keep my patience.  The clients need that from us.  Here in the Trenches.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Five Ways Working With Your Personal Trainer Will Help Your Divorce

As you all know, Daughter is a personal trainer.  Daughter also just moved back to Maryland, so instead of training me online, she trains me in person.  I am not your typical online training customer, in that I do all the exercises she tells me to do, just as if she were in the room with me.  It is not the same as having her with me, but it gets the job done.  Anyway, on Saturday, she was putting me through my paces.  It was rough.  She was cheering me on, telling me I could do it.  I was telling her I hated her, and wondered why I let her grow to adulthood.  She praised my finishing the workout.  I told her to shut up.  She told me it was for my own good.  It, of course, is.  I have dropped time off my running.  I was told I looked hot at my son's wedding. All thanks to Daughter.  So, thank you, Daughter,  You are the best, even if I don't tell you while you're torturing me.

Working with Daughter got me thinking about the Trenches.  The folks who walk through my door know they need to be there.  They really don't want to do what they have to do, but they need the result.  I tell them what they need to do to move forward.  It's not easy.  They get frustrated.  They wonder why they are paying good money so I can make them do the things they don't want, so I can teach them a new way of relating that they don't want to do.  They trust me. They trust that I'm helping them do the right thing for them.  Then, one day it all falls together.  Everything I've been saying, everything I've made them do suddenly makes sense.  It all works.  They feel better.  They get what they need and move on.  They take back all the terrible things they were thinking about me.

Aside from the similarities, in what ways will working with your personal trainer help your divorce?

1.   Working out releases stress.  Believe me, you have more than enough stress when you're in the Trenches.
2.   In order to do #1, you need a personal trainer.  When you're under stress, the last thing you want to do is work out.  What you really want to do is stay in bed and pull the covers over your head.  Having a trainer makes you go to the gym.  Accountability matters.
3.  Your trainer will help you feel successful at a time when you don't feel like you're doing much right.  Doesn't everyone need a cheerleader?
4.  Your trainer will make sure you do things right.  Poor form and too much weight spell injury.  Injury will keep you out of the gym and make you feel unsuccessful.  Good form and appropriate weight will keep you on the slow and steady path to being and staying in good shape.
5.  You will feel better and look great.  Isn't living well the best revenge?

Here in the Trenches.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Greece Will Break Your Heart

Unless you've been living under a rock lately, you know that Greece has defaulted on their loans to the World Bank, their people voted to decline the EU's bailout offer because the EU required greater austerity on their part, the Greek banks are still shuttered, and tomorrow, the EU is voting on whether to expel Greece.  Yet, Greece's people and government are declaring victory.  I think the EU was wrong to think that greater austerity was going to be the answer for Greece's woes.  Hear me out.  As a result of the huge recession in which Greece finds itself, the country has already imposed austerity on its people. Austerity isn't working.  The EU, however, figures that because more austerity would work for most of its members, it will work for Greece.  Unfortunately, fewer people actually pay their taxes in Greece than in most other nations and on top of that, corruption is rampant.  Their poverty rate is one of the highest in Europe.  Extravagance is not their problem.  So, how will more austerity help? Yet,  the World Bank and the EU persist.

No, this is not a political blog, and I am in no way expressing an opinion as to what should happen in Greece.  What's going on with Greece is, however, is just like what happens in the Trenches.  The  EU and the World Bank figure that if they do the same thing they always did, something different will happen in Greece. What about Greece?  They're declaring victory while their economy is still in the toilet and they have no plan to change what they did that got them into this mess.  It's kind of like divorcing someone, then marrying the exact same kind of person.  Or maybe it's like engaging in behavior that ends your marriage, then after your next marriage, engaging in the same behavior.  It's guaranteed to bring you back to my office, that's for sure, but it won't solve what brought you there.

What about the lawyers here in the Trenches?  Most are terrific, but many are incredibly like the EU and the World Bank.  To them. a case is a case is a case.  There's no difference between one and another.  All clients are the same.  Therefore, there's only one way to handle a case - their way. What the client wants and the case needs doesn't matter.  It's too much effort to actually dig deep and help the client find the process that works for them.  Some of their clients are happy, but most are at least vaguely dissatisfied.   I have a lot of cases in my office.  Some of them are litigated.  Some are mediated.  For some, the clients work it out and get advice as they need it.  Still others are collaborated.  All of the processes are chosen to fit the needs of the client and the case.  One size does not fit all, not in Greece, and not here in the Trenches.