"THE LONG MEANDERING FINGERS OF ICE WILL THICKEN" Problems in Creative Living
I had already learned from more than a decade of political life that I was going to be criticized no matter what I did, so I might as well be criticized for something I wanted to do.
-- Rosalynn Smith Carter
Elinor was pleased that he had called; and still more pleased that she had missed him.
-- Jane Austen
No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her body.
-- Margaret Sanger
There are as many impediments to creative living as there are opportunities, but certain difficulties are especially apparent in the middle years. These problems, described by the women interviewed or by individuals in therapy, warn us of the potential obstacles to growth and allow us to prepare ourselves.
Everybody has problems, so I want to go directly to the questions Which ones are yours? and How bad are they? By problems, I mean the stress, emotional reactions, and disturbances we experience because we were all brought up in imperfect families in an imperfect world where nasty things happen. Good humor helps, but it is better for each of us to know our vulnerabilities than not to know them. Knowledge is power: if we know about the trouble spots, we can try to avoid or correct them.
Clinicians who study problems in the elderly have concluded that lateonset pathology develops because we have not resolved earlier conflicts and injuries. Therefore, we continue lifestyles and coping devices that serve us poorly. Jordan Jacobowitz and Nancy Newton note that poor adult lifestyles include tendencies to avoid adult developmental tasks, repeat old patterns in a rigid manner, or restrict functioning to limited areas where we are