Are the Rumors True that I’m Retiring?

I’ve bitten the bullet (while I still have my teeth) and am taking the leap (while I still can leap) into the next phase of my life (which is getting shorter by the day)!  

judy's journal

judy’s journal

My office lease is up this February 2015 and coincides with my (gulp) 70th birthday.  

I have wrestled with whether to sign a new lease, rent space from another clinician, buy a van to set up a Therapist-on-the-Go practice (kidding), move to the South of France (sorta kidding) or fade into memory . . .  I will close my office along with my 69th year (no kidding).

Being a psychotherapist has been one of the most gratifying things I’ve done in my life. I’ve been blessed to have had thousands (yup, count ’em thousands) of people profoundly touch my life.  Therapy is a two-way street.  I’ve learned and grown along with my clients.  Their pain, hopes, struggles and faith have helped inform my choices, strengthen my faith and deepen my belief in human courage, resiliency  and ability to learn & change.

It is almost inconceivable to me that I will be 70 years old and have been “practicing” psychotherapy for 30 years.  It is hard to admit that in the last several years I have less physical energy and resiliency.  But it’s true.  (I like to blame my declining energy on fibromyalgia more than aging  because fibromyalgia should be good for SOMETHING).

As I take the leap I will try not to lose my grip on the cord of these words that I do my darndest to tether me in my life:

  • “Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity.  (THIS is a hard one!!)
  • Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face.
  • Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the rich, an answerer of the cry of the needy, a preserver of the sanctity of thy pledge.
  • Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech.  (GOTTA WORK on this – my speech isn’t always guarded as my friends can attest)
  • Be unjust to no man, and show all meekness to all men. 
  • Be as a lamp unto them that walk in darkness, a joy to the sorrowful, a sea for the thirsty, a haven for the distressed, an upholder and defender of the victim of oppression.
  • Let integrity and uprightness distinguish all thine acts.
  • Be a home for the stranger, a balm to the suffering, a tower of strength for the fugitive.
  • Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring.
  • Be an ornament to the countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of fidelity, a pillar of the temple of righteousness, a breath of life to the body of mankind, an ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of virtue, a dew to the soil of the human heart, an ark on the ocean of knowledge, a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on the diadem of wisdom, a shining light in the firmament of thy generation, a fruit upon the tree of humility.”  (A TALL ORDER for us humans – one “leap” at a time).

(The Baha’i World Faith, Baha’u’llah)

I’ll keep you “posted” (on this blog) where I land.  

Say a prayer that I land on my feet and not my head . . .

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 Post: I Have 17 Years and 4 Months to Live 

Freddie Parker Westerfield, All in a Day’s Work

It’s a big responsibility being a Canine Dog Therapist (CDT).  I take it very seriously.

Me thinking about how to amuse my clients

Me, Freddie Parker Westerfield, CDT, thinking about what my clients need today. 

I always know what might be most helpful to my clients.  Sometimes they need to laugh so I do something to amuse them.  Sometimes they need to calm down so I let them pet me.  Sometimes I have to demonstrate what they need to do to make their life better like shake things up a bit or tear into a problem . 

Moosie, my assistant

Moosie, my assistant

Moosie is my therapy assistant.  My Auntie Lyn gave him to me.  Auntie Lyn is very compassionate and knows how stressful it is for me to do everything on my own.

Moosie, exhausted after helping me demonstate how to get your teeth into "it"

Moosie, exhausted after helping me demonstrate how to tear into a problem.

I often use Moosie to demonstrate concepts such as:

  • No matter how life shakes you up  you can survive gut wrenching experiences
  • What we show on the outside is not always what is inside.
  • A broken heart is the least of your worries.
  • If you want to be inconspicuous don’t wear red.
Make an appointment if you want me to help you.

Me, Freddie Parker Westerfield, CDT, after a hard days work. 

It is gratifying to know that I help my clients . . .

while my human just sits there and watches.