News from Jude Bijou and Attitude Reconstruction™      


Joy, Love, and Peace for 2021

Attitiude Reconstruction                                     

February 2021                                              Your Living Situation
Praise for AR and the newsletter.

Thank you again for keeping my mind in perspective and thankful for what I have and not what I've lost.

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I am pleased to announce the reprinting (and slightly edited) version of Attitude Reconstruction

It includes a revised "action" chapter, full Blueprints on the inside front and back cover, and little futzes here and there. Available, signed, sealed, and delivered for only $15.00 (includes tax.).

Great for these times for all those special people in your life!  
To buy yours at this price, contact me at  [email protected]       
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Check out the helpful content on the Attitude Reconstruction Website


"There's one home in this area within your price range, but it has a mouse."

      Superbowl Sunday Santa Barbara CA

"Our son, Jeffrey --  right now he's living with us, but eventually he plans to move to one of those newly discovered planets that are capable of supporting life."

"At this point, I'd forgive any past indiscretions just for some new stories."

"I said I don't want to fight. That's your cue to apologize."

"He gets so dramatic when I lower the thermostat."

Hey Jude,

I'm so sad that my grandmother just died but just don't want to feel it because I think if I feel the sadness, I'll never quit crying. 

I was really struck by the words President Biden said as he paid homage to those lost to Covid19. He wasn't just talking about those 460,000 souls but pointing the way to all those who have experienced loss.

The idea is not to negate our loss, but to truly heal, we must remember.

"To heal, we must remember. It's hard sometimes to remember, but that's how we heal."

Greetings dear ones,   
I was watching television and put the program on pause. After a few minutes, the screen switched to a collage of photos of different places. They put in new images recently and I was drawn into a train going through the mountains. The location was "Skagway, USA." That brought me back to Washington state, where I grew up. In investigating, I found Skagit, a county north of Seattle, and was reminded of how breathtaking, comforting, and familiar all the scenes were.

Upon further investigation, I discovered that the train and mountains in the photograph were of Skagway Alaska! As I google mapped that area, I resonated with what I saw and made a vow to put it on my bucket list. To get to the train, I'd need to first fly to Juneau, then take a ferry to Skagway, and finally get to my destination for the three hour rail trip through magnificent country. I like the idea of taking so many modes of transportation, but will definitely need to plan my trip outside of mosquito season. They are so big and love me too much!
This month I'm going to share my take on the trend to live single and lay out the benefits and pitfalls. Then I'm going to go over relationship pet-peeves. I'll offer Attitude Reconstruction's suggestions about how to handle them so they don't ferment and sour your partnerships.  
But first, 
A Few Articles  

Interesting insight about how your saliva predicts the probability of how sick you will get if you get Covid19.

I recommend you eat potato chips.

For those of you that cherish the season of winter. Here are some artist's renditions of snow.

Crying during the pandemic is going mainstream and a good way to cope with stress, according to the Washington Post.

Feeling alone during the pandemic? This gal tried fostering kittens.

"Ive been a mess since Jake left for college, so now we have a boy who comes in a couple of times a week to leave wet towels all over and challenge everything I say."

Fun Videos

Dogs demonstrating that life is to be enjoyed. Guaranteed to bring a smile.

Mama cat instinctively comforting kitten having a nightmare.

SNL Census taker and old lady -- Betty White.

This makes me laugh. Tucker and Pearl doing food testing. There are several of these wonderful short videos of Tucker, sometimes with his friends and relatives. Check them out on youtube, such as:

       Most all black and white cartoons borrowed from Cartoonbank.
Photos of Skagway, Alaska via Google.

Going It Single       

You know the adage "times are changing." Well that couldn't be truer when it comes to our living habits. According to a recent report from the U.S. Population Reference Bureau, 28% of adults are single person households in 2020. In 1960 - like 60 years ago -- only 13 percent were.
This is because more people are waiting until they are older to get married and there are more elderly people healthy enough to stay in their own homes. There are also more middle-aged folks making the choice to go solo. Research has found one person households went from 13% in 1960 to 28% in 2020. Married couples with children now only make up 19% of households, down from 44% in 1970. Non-family households went from 15% in 1960 to 35% in 2020.
There are some downsides to living alone: it's easier to feel bored or alone, experience a lack of safety, and have no one to help. In addition, going solo is more expensive. However, people report preferring the freedom that this brings, especially when it comes to the level of cleanliness in common areas, the noise factor, and privacy.
"The rise of living alone is the greatest social change of the last 50 years," said Eric Klinenberg, author of Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone. He speculates that as well as the freedom and flexibility living alone brings, connecting online helps people not feel as lonely. They also seem to have more time to do enjoyable activities, such as visit with friends, volunteer, or pursue
outside hobbies.
Of course it can be a bummer not having someone to share events with both during and afterwards. In addition, in terms of perceptions and convention, things haven't changed so radically about being solo vs being coupled. Table for one brings with it a label of "He or she must be lonely." And "I feel like a fish out of water going to a restaurant by myself."
It will take a while for society's mentality to shift, but as we look at those couples with their pregnant pauses and no eye contact or both people engrossed in their phones and other electronic devices over dinner, it's best to relish and celebrate the many benefits of independence.
The moral of these shifting trends is that if you live alone, do your best to find healthy activities and other folks to for support your lifestyle and health. If you don't like your status, find constructive and creative ways to change your living situation.

Pet Peeves ... and What You Can Do About Them 
As a marriage and family therapist for close to forty years, I've had the opportunity to hear the full range of complaints that couples have about their partners. I'm not talking about big issues, such as sex, money, or child rearing strategies. I'm talking about little things that can become the focus of what's not working and lead to feelings of anger, isolation, separation, and disconnection.
Here's a partial list:    My partner...
* doesn't talk very much and doesn't make his needs and views known. He has the fantasy I should be a mind reader and magically know what he's thinking.
* talks in global generalities and is so dramatic that I can't bring up anything, much less find solutions, without things getting out of hand.
* gives unsolicited advice and tells me what I should do, whether it's about the kids, the way I drive, or how I dress. Her default setting is to try to control me, parent me, or lecture me.
* doesn't listen to what I say - he is distracted by television, computer, video game, football, or reading a magazine or book.
* is a naysayer / wet blanket. She rarely gives me compliments, appreciations, or the benefit of the doubt.
* interrupts me when I'm talking.
* is perpetually late or the opposite - always wants to be early to any event.
* doesn't acknowledge my feelings when I share them and instead tunes me out.
* doesn't clean up after himself, help with housework, or appreciate how hard I work to maintain the home.
* doesn't back me up when I set boundaries and consequences with the children.
* doesn't put the toilet seat down.
* drives like a grandmother or a race car driver.
* agrees to social events without consulting me.
                      "Since there's nothing else to do, want to ransack the place
                                            and clean it all over again?"

How to Make Peace with your Pet Peeves
Regardless of the complaint, as a psychotherapist and the author of Attitude Reconstruction, my strategy is usually the same. I
help people understand that what they're doing is not fueling feelings of connection. There is no right or wrong. There are just differences. And if they want to feel love, sometimes they just need to accept some things and let go. And sometimes they need to speak up and try to get things to change.
Most often the pet peeve is not really a deal breaker. Sometimes we just have to give it a rest and adopt a genuine stance of acceptance. Yes, accept that our partner doesn't put the toilet seat down, or call exactly when he or she promises. Acceptance is most easily accomplished by repeating until you can truly "get it," laugh, and let  go of things needing to be your way. "My wife drives the way she does, not the way I think she should drive." Or "My husband doesn't put his dirty dishes in the sink and that's the way it is."
True acceptance means that we don't make snarky comments or jokes about our differences. We put the complaint on the shelf.
However, if you know that you need to speak up, it's essential that you articulate your pet peeves by following the Attitude Reconstruction Four Communication Rules. Remember it's hard to be open and receptive when we feel attacked.
Rule #1. -- It's crucial that you talk about yourself rather than finger-pointing. Talk about how you feel, why, and what you'd like.
Rule #2 -- You must stay specific so that the other person can understand exactly what is so difficult for you ,and only address one topic at a time.
Rule #3 -- Focus on constructive win-win solutions, acknowledging what does work well.
Rule #4 -- Listen well, taking the time to truly hear and understand the other person's perspective.
Make your talk a discussion, not an ultimatum, and compromise to find the best solution that best honors you both. Either tactic, surrender or lovingly speaking up, will bring more intimacy and is preferable to fuming or striking out.
It takes some effort and boldness to make change but it's worth the effort. Consider buying a copy of Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life for details about how to go about the rewarding task of acceptance, and how to communicate simply, lovingly, and effectively.
Thanks for reading this newsletter. May you stay safe and maintain a positive attitude during these unusual times. 

If you have any suggestions about a newsletter topic, or general comments, I love to hear from you. It inspires me to formulate my thoughts so I can spread the word of Attitude Reconstruction.

 Feel free to write me at [email protected] 
                           With love,