From Finding Nature to Caring With Patience

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“Suzanne Gelb Image”

”City Life – Is Nature Needed?”


Dear Dr. Gelb:

I live in the city, work hard and spend little time in nature. I’m concerned that unless I get more in touch with nature I am not living a wholesome life, but my time for recreation is limited because of many commitments. How important is it for me to try to change my lifestyle?

City Life

Dear City Life:

When people are not content with their surroundings or environment, it is not uncommon to want to escape and try to find a place where they feel more nurtured. I believe, however, that if one looks hard enough, it is possible to find nature almost anywhere, some say even in a prison cell; and without taking the time or space here that would be needed to explain, I would add that freedom is a state of mind. The most congested cities in the world have parks and recreation facilities. Even one’s own backyard or the little alley adjoining one’s apartment building for example, are invariably filled with more nature than one could explore in a lifetime. So, to step into one’s backyard or even a city street, is to invariably find that nature is all around. One can even look up and explore the phenomena of the universe. As one person aptly put it when feeling a need to escape their environment into nature, “I had to do some soul searching and ask myself what I was really running from?”

”Caregiving – Why the Impatience?”

Dear Dr. Gelb:

My 85-year-old mother lives with our family and I am grateful for that, but her ailing health makes her demanding and uncooperative. I know her demeanor is not intentional, but I am getting more and more impatient with her as the days go by. How can I temper this?

Near Boiling Point

Dear Boiling Point:

One of the most difficult things for a child to do is to nurture a parent. Much of the problem tends to stem from feelings of inadequacy, of being trapped, burdened, confined, restricted, or even bound to a situation that the caregiver/adult child feels to inadequate to handle. Expectations that tend to be projected upon an ailing parent or a physically challenged relative, for that matter, can be emotionally painful to handle. Therefore I believe it is so important for potential caregivers to explore their own needs and if they choose to accept and make the sacrifice, then typically they need to learn how to become a caregiver. Otherwise, abuse can follow in the attempt to provide care. When conflicts, such as impatience, arise with this responsibility some affected caregivers have sought psychotherapy to resolve these issues; others have recognized the need to do something about the problem and have found relief by taking a workshop on caregiving, or even joining a local support group.

”’Suzanne J. Gelb, Ph.D., J.D. authors this daily column, Dr. Gelb Says, which answers questions about daily living and behavior issues. Dr. Gelb is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Honolulu. She holds a Ph.D. in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Human Services. Dr. Gelb is also a published author of a book on Overcoming Addictions and a book on Relationships.”’

”’This column is intended for entertainment use only and is not intended for the purpose of psychological diagnosis, treatment or personalized advice. For more about the column’s purpose, see”’ “An Online Intro to Dr. Gelb Says”

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