Meredith Watkins, M.A.
A CA-licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with years of experience specializing in individual therapy, Christian therapy, parenting, relationship, and women’s issues, Meredith currently has a private practice in Carlsbad, CA. Ultimately, her desire is to help her clients manage their own feelings and issues more effectively, creating space for joy and fulfilment in
their relationships and lives.
Learn more at www.meredithwatkins.net.
Recently, success has been on my mind. Not so much the I’m-going-to-strike-it-rich-quick variety, but the how-can-I-feel-most-fulfilled-in-the-life-I-am-leading sort. As a single mom, building a private practice in psychotherapy (during a national recession, no less, when therapy is generally viewed as a luxury), financial concerns are, best-case scenario, hovering in the back of mind, and, worst-case, screaming in my ears. It’s a situation to which I’m sure many of you can relate.
It’s an interesting irony, I think, that in our modern day and age of convenience and streamlining, we are under more stress than ever before. If asked, I think most of us could agree that our ancestors endured true hardship, including immigrating to a new land, travelling under uncomfortable and even dangerous conditions, surviving diseases that sometimes had no cure and simply putting food on the table every day. And yet no one spoke of “stress” or being overwhelmed.
The term depression tends to be slung about carelessly these days. We wake up in a funk, things didn’t go well at work today or we missed the most recent episode of Mad Men and we’re “depressed.” Technically, we’re not depressed. If we want to be nit-picky, we would clarify that we feel disappointed or lethargic, perhaps even frustrated or hopeless.
It’s no secret that our society has a little, shall we say, hang-up on body image. While women are the primary targets, let’s not forget our testosterone-laden brethren, who are not exempt from “good-natured” ribbing from pals or offhand comments from wives or girlfriends. And in this season of resolutions, our figures are public enemy number one.
You want peace in the world? First, make peace in yourself. Only you know what this means for you, and if you’re not sure, take a moment and think about it. Then do it. Choose peace. On line at Macy’s, choose a quiet heart and mind. While making your fifth batch of Christmas cookies, take a deep breath and smile. When you nearly spill water on your computer (as I just did), choose to be grateful that you didn’t and laugh a little bit at your “drinking problem”.
The spirit of the holidays has been trampled as our consumerism feeds on the belief that “what I give determines my worth as a person”. Professional insight: This isn’t true. God bless the recession, though. With fewer pennies jingling around in our piggy banks, we have to be creative in our gift-giving, and even come back to why we celebrate to begin with. We would do well to learn the lesson most Italians have long embraced: Il bel far niente, the beauty of doing nothing.