Articles — 16. The Sixteenth Year(45)

A New Beginning

Justin Walter 16. The Sixteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_New Years iStock New Articles

Bryan Stevenson graduated from Harvard, and, despite his mother’s concerns, he decided to work in Arkansas with prisoners on death row. His story is chronicled in the book “Just Mercy” which he authored and the movie by the same name. The movie states: “For every 9 people who have been executed in the U.S.one person who has been on death row has been proven innocent and released – a shocking rate of error”. As we stand on the threshold of a new year, many of us hope for new beginnings.   Some are burdened by mistakes made in the past.   You...

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Gifts

Justin Walter 16. The Sixteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_Christmas iStock New Articles

Is there a particular gift that you have secretly been wanting This year, more than ever, I have been hearing people talk about how difficult it is to buy gifts for loved ones.   Some say that they don’t know what the other person might want or need.  The size, colour or style is usually a matter of personal preference and often we don’t know these details.  Also, we might not know what the person already has or will be receiving from others. Over the years I have given gifts that were met with comments such as “I just bought myself...

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Christmas Choices

Justin Walter 16. The Sixteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_Christmas iStock New Articles

I have fond memories of Christmas when I was a child.  Besides the concerts and thoughts of school break we had the expectations of what would happen in the upcoming days. On Christmas Eve, my mom, dad, sister and I would stay home and have a nice meal followed by opening of the gifts.  I don’t know if this was primarily because of our maternal Scandinavian roots, lack of patience, or anticipation of a very busy Christmas day but we always loved to not have to wait until the twenty-fifth for the presents.  Then we would go across the street...

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Success in the Work World

Justin Walter 16. The Sixteenth Year Business Business_And More Business_Productivity Business_Small Business Business_Solo Professionals iStock New Articles

My first “job” was in the 1960s as a part-time waitress in my hometown while I was in high school.  I earned one dollar an hour and thought I had it made!   Since then, I have worked in government, private and public organizations as well as building my own professional private practice. Throughout the decades I have learned from watching others and making mistakes.  Following are some tips that will help those in the workplace who are employees, partners or owners of businesses: You are the business – No matter what you do, you are the one who brings value...

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Time Marches On

Justin Walter 16. The Sixteenth Year iStock New Articles Self Improvement Self Improvement_Goal Setting Self Improvement_Personal Growth Self Improvement_Success

When I was in high school in the 1960s, I was the newspaper correspondent for the Indian Head News.  I remember entering the news office for the first time and being quite impressed by all the equipment necessary for printing as well as the strong smell of ink.  My responsibilities were to report the “goings on” at the school for each weekly publication.  I was paid by the inch and so my columns were fairly long!  😊 After graduation, I moved away and have not lived in Indian Head since then. In 2006 I was appointed as the Medicine Hat...

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Stress Test

Justin Walter 16. The Sixteenth Year Health and Fitness Health and Fitness_And More iStock New Articles Self Improvement Self Improvement_Stress Management

Have you ever been booked for a stress test?  The procedure involves doing exercise in a way that your heart pumps harder and harder while medical personnel monitor your breathing, blood pressure and heart rhythm.  This is an accepted scientific method that will help to assess any heart problems that may need to be treated. Stress tests for psychological issues unfortunately, usually require an individual’s self-awareness or observation by others who are close to them.  There might be significant problems coping with daily life, unhealthy habits, overwhelm or lack of strategies to revolve problems and improve Have you ever removed...

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Liar Liar

Justin Walter 16. The Sixteenth Year iStock New Articles Self Improvement Self Improvement_Personal Growth

Sometimes I ask my grandchildren the question “What do I love more than you?”  Immediately they answer, “The truth”.  I have taught them that if a person doesn’t tell the truth, you don’t really know who they are, and you can’t trust them. Everyone has been lied to at some point but not all lies are given for the same reason. In fact, there are many reasons why a person might lie including the following: To avoid consequences – Children don’t lie to get into trouble. They lie to get out of trouble.  It’s the same with some adults.  When...

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What Price?

Justin Walter 16. The Sixteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_Remembrance Day iStock New Articles

November is a special time for me as it focusses my thoughts on remembrance and the price of freedom that was paid for me.   Even though I was born after World War II, I was strongly impacted by the stories that my mother told me about sacrifices everyone made during the war years.  We sometimes forget that the fighting lasted for almost six years! Young men joined ranks and left their homes for unknown locations and secrecy.  Their training involved doing things that would help them in battle but haunt them afterwards.  They were conditioned to sleep lightly, respond with...

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Change Changes Us

Justin Walter 16. The Sixteenth Year iStock News and Society News and Society_Weather Pandemic Self Improvement Self Improvement_Stress Management

It is amazing how quickly summer left us, and fall moved in.  We all knew it was coming but the transition seemed to occur so quickly.  One day our air conditioners were humming, and we were enjoying the outdoors in light clothing and before we knew it, the air cooled to the point that we now need warm jackets. My patio has been transformed from a comfortable garden lounge to an area devoid of plants, umbrellas and brightly-coloured cushions. And now we are waiting for yet another seasonal change – winter Some changes occur so often and repetitively that we...

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The Simple Life

Justin Walter 16. The Sixteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_And More iStock New Articles Travel and Leisure

Several years ago, I became a member of a family tree software program.  I was surprised to learn that in the mid-1700s some of my ancestors lived in Pennsylvania and appeared to have Amish roots.  As a child I had heard family talk about my maternal grandfather being Pennsylvania Dutch but, at the time, didn’t connect this with the Amish.  So, a few years ago I decided to visit Bird In Hand, Pennsylvania to learn about the people.   What an interesting experience. Since my trip I have been fascinated with the Amish ways.  Don’t get me wrong – I won’t...

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What Stage are you In?

Justin Walter 16. The Sixteenth Year iStock New Articles News and Society News and Society_World Pandemic

To state that the last few months have been unusual would be a severe understatement.   The world has never, as a whole, experienced the challenges caused by the pandemic. I have noticed that people are in different stages and tend to move from one to another.   Here are some of the categories that you might find your loved ones or yourself in: Fear – When we first heard about the pandemic and the catastrophic consequences that it could bring, everyone was fearful! Part of the problem was the “unknown”.   We didn’t know if or how it would affect us at...

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Dealing with Tigers

Justin Walter 16. The Sixteenth Year iStock New Articles Self Improvement Self Improvement_Personal Growth Self Improvement_Techniques

Pretend you are sitting quietly and all of a sudden, the door opens and in comes a fierce tiger from the jungle.   What would you do? Would you: Run away as fast as your legs would carry you?  Perhaps you would try to hide behind an object with the hope that the tiger won’t get you. Try to defend yourself by picking up the closest object and either using it as a shield or as a weapon? Pretend that you are like opossums who just hang from their tails and look dead? The answer that you choose is an indication...

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What is Stupid

Justin Walter 16. The Sixteenth Year New Articles Uncategorized

I came across a quote the other day that caused me to laugh right out loud John Wayne nicknamed “the Duke” was a rough and tough character who was often seen in cowboy and war roles during what was known as the “Golden Age” of films.  I have heard several interviews in which he used simple common-sense concepts to communicate with his audience.  The quote that I found this week states:  “Life is hard; it’s even harder when you’re stupid”.  How true! Now I don’t think the word “stupid” is referring to one’s IQ but instead to foolish choices that...

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Respect

Justin Walter 16. The Sixteenth Year iStock New Articles News and Society News and Society_World

The word “respect” has different meanings and can be used in different ways.  Some refer to respect as admiration for a person because of their skills, qualities or achievements   Others use the word when describing relationship and how individuals treat each other.  The bottom line, I believe is that respect is about accepting others for who they are and what they believe even if you don’t agree.  Now this doesn’t mean that you have to move into agreement or put up with repeated messages that wear you down and kill your spirit. Having mutual respect always requires healthy boundaries. I...

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Are You Worried?

Justin Walter 16. The Sixteenth Year iStock New Articles News and Society News and Society_World Pandemic Self Improvement Self Improvement_And More

Over the past months there has been a great deal of fear and confusion associated with the COVID-19 and how legislators are dealing with it.  Some parts of the world are completely locked down by government officials while others have had very few restrictions.  Mixed messages abound regarding the importance of wearing masks and taking shots.  Some medical officials state these are vital while others claim they are experimental and even dangerous The media is quick to offer statistics and also to threaten consequences for those who do not comply with recommendations.  “Talking heads” who dominate twenty-four-hour television often speculate...

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Transition

Dr. Linda Hancock 16. The Sixteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_And More New Articles

The other day my daughter said “You don’t transition very well”.  This wasn’t a criticism.  It was a fact. You see from April 28th when I received the first text message from my grandson asking me to move to Westman Village until July 28th when I physically moved to Calgary, I have been bombarded with decisions, change and adjustment. It was one thing to get in a vehicle and drive to the new condo and quite another to get settled.   Notifying everyone of change of addresses and having documentation updated was a huge undertaking.  There was legal paperwork for the...

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Life's a Puzzle

Dr. Linda Hancock 16. The Sixteenth Year New Articles Self Improvement Self Improvement_Inspirational Self Improvement_Personal Growth

Since I was a child, I have enjoyed challenges.   When people gave on untangling knotted string, I enthusiastically took on the task.  Answering riddles, doing word games and figuring out mysteries were always fun for me.   In fact, I believe that this way of approaching the world has helped me to do my work as a psychologist. Every spring our family would buy a 1,000-piece puzzle to work on during rainy days at the summer cottage.  My uncle taught us that doing a puzzle was more than just randomly grabbing a piece and hoping you could find a match.   In...

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Let's Sing Along!

Dr. Linda Hancock 16. The Sixteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_And More iStock New Articles

Ever since I was a small child, I have loved music!  My dad had a beautiful bass voice and sang not only in the church choir and the barbershop chorus but also in the car and around home.  We always knew he was in the area because we could hear his cheery whistling as he came up the walk or worked in the yard.

Dad came from a family who loved music.  Most of us played the piano and there was never a family gathering when we didn’t end the evening with a good old fashioned singsong.  And each song usually ended in laugher.   Such good fun!

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Navigating the Journey

Dr. Linda Hancock 16. The Sixteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_And More iStock New Articles

One of the things that I was NOT looking forward to during my move to Calgary was driving in the big city.   You see, Medicine Hat spoiled me by the fact that I could go pretty well anywhere in ten minutes without facing several lanes of speeding traffic. So, after a couple of days in my new condo I was invited for an evening at the home of my daughter in Okotoks.  Could I manage that?   It might seem like a very trivial concern to the seasoned Calgarian but for me, it was a serious adventure. There were several things...

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Life's Surprises

Dr. Linda Hancock 16. The Sixteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_And More iStock New Articles

When I moved to Medicine Hat twenty-five years ago, I had no idea that I would love this city so much.   Over the years, I have been able to build good relationships with wonderful people and build a business.   My first two residential purchases ever were made here.   How I have loved the view of the river from my condo and the fact that I could travel to pretty much any destination in ten minutes.  I usually describe Medicine Hat to others as “It’s just a big town”. I never ever considered that I would leave Medicine Hat, but sometimes...

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One Country

Dr. Linda Hancock 16. The Sixteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_Canada Day iStock New Articles

I have learned that no matter where we go in the world, Canadians are welcomed.   We have a good reputation of being kind, honest, and peace-loving.   In fact, there is a silly joke about how Canadians are so nice that we apologize even when it isn’t our fault! Unfortunately, I have noticed that the pandemic has created fear and confusion which frequently threatens our unity.  Family members are upset with each other when they don’t share the same opinions.   People out in the public are being stared at or shouted down by complete strangers.  Even our leaders and health officials...

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Human Trafficking

Dr. Linda Hancock 16. The Sixteenth Year New Articles News and Society News and Society_And More

There are some things in life that we just don’t want to know or talk about but burying our heads in the sand doesn’t solve the issues. In fact, ignoring difficult situations just allows them to grow and our inaction actually cast us into the role of being an accessory. Today I am writing about a very difficult subject – missing children and human trafficking.  According to statistics published by the Missing Children’s Database, approximately 50,000 children go missing in Canada each year.   Some are found and some return home on their own.  Not all of them were trafficked.  Public...

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Success and a Mess!

Dr. Linda Hancock 16. The Sixteenth Year Book Reviews Book Reviews_And More New Articles

 Often clients recommend books that they have enjoyed or learned from.  It is interesting when I find myself reading several in a row with a similar theme.   This has been the case over the past few weeks.    The last four that I read are all so interesting as they tell the tales of individuals who did extremely well in their professional lives and terribly in their personal lives: David Nino Rodrigez wrote “When the Lights Go Out – From Survivor to Champion”.   He is a former heavyweight boxer with a record of 36-0 who was headed for the title...

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May Long Weekend

Dr. Linda Hancock 16. The Sixteenth Year Home and Family Home and Family_Holidays Home and Family_Holidays_Victoria Day New Articles News and Society News and Society_World Pandemic

Well, we are in pandemic lockdown again but that doesn’t change the dates on the calendar.   No matter what happens, one of the favourite holidays, May long weekend with soon be here. Many people look forward to this date for a number of reasons.   Which one would apply to you?” CAMPING – When the weather is nice it is fun to head for a vacation spot with family and gear.   Perhaps a boat, kayak or bikes will add fun to the few days away from home.   And of course, there will be barbecue foods and marshmallows to roast. ROYAL FAMILY...

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Spiderman

Dr. Linda Hancock 16. The Sixteenth Year iStock New Articles News and Society News and Society_World Pandemic

  Most people like superheroes and one of the most popular is Spiderman. This month I have been thinking about the tagline for this cartoon character spiderman that states “With great power comes great responsibility”.   What an idea to ponder!    Now that we are in even more restrictions due to the pandemic threat than in the past few weeks, all of us in society have more responsibilities to fulfill.   Political and health officials are responsible to decide when and how to limit interaction between individuals while, at the same time, weighting how the economy and mental health of their...

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