Friday, April 8, 2016

Your Friend's Messy House

You have a friend, maybe several friends, that are reluctant to have you visit or even see past their front door.  Your friend can take five minutes to locate a single document on his desk, or to locate her keys in her purse.

You think, my friend doesn't care about getting organized; such a slob, but I like my friend anyway.

Well, your friend probably suffers from depression or crippling anxiety, or both.  Your friend really wants everything to be perfect, and is so embarrassed that the item can't be quickly located, they start stressing.  If you could monitor their heartbeat and blood pressure while they search their desk, their car, their pockets, you would see that both are skyrocketing.  If you watch their face, you'll see it either go pale or get dark red patches.  Their hands are perspiring heavily.

And this happens to them several times a day.  At least.

Later in the day, reflecting on the incident, your friend is deeply ashamed.  "I can never do anything right," they think.  "I disappoint other people all the time."

So....go easy on them.  Maybe you can help; probably you can't. 

Probably the best thing you can do for your friend is, at some other time and in some other context, praise their skill at something:  "You tell such great jokes."  "I can't tell you how much it cheered me up when I came into the meeting and saw that you'd be there, too."  "Your friendship and support mean a lot to me."

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Overnight guests

Your overnight guests may need a few simple things to make them comfortable.

First, make sure they know where they will sleep and how to find the bathroom at night.  If possible, light their way; otherwise, provide a small flashlight with fresh batteries.

Be sure the bathroom has minimal supplies -- toilet paper, soap at the sink, a clean handtowel.  If you can, provide towels that have a different color and texture than others that might be in the bathroom.  You and your spouse probably know that one of you uses this towel bar, and the other one uses that bar.  But a sleepy guest at four a.m. does not, and won't want to wake you to ask.

Third, many people over 40 will probably appreciate a bed that has a headboard and a small mound of pillows in clean pillowcases.  I occasionnaly have acid reflux problems and mild asthma.  At home, I sleep with my head and shoulders elevated on a small rampmof pillows.  I was recently offered a guest bed wth nice sheets and a good mattress -- set in the middle of the room, away from any walls, without a headboard.  I did round up pillows, but they skittered all over the floor as Ibtried to fall asleep.

Last, offer a capped bottle of water near the bed (if you can't provide a small pitcher of water and a glass).  A nught table -- even a chair set near the bed-- and a box of tissues will also be appreciated.