Sep 2011 19

Project Vic:  This is the next in an ongoing series of videos where I blog about my own efforts to walk my talk as a mediator and mend my relationship with my dad. It’s one thing to be a terrific mediator when you’re with strangers dealing with a problem you’re not living with, and quite another to apply those skills when you get home to your family.

Not that I live “at home,” or at least not with my dad, anyway.   It’s been quite awhile. But it always amazes me that parents of adult children can forget that they’re still the PARENT and no matter how old the child is, the child is still the CHILD. I’ve got bad news for those of you enjoying your empty nest as the kids go to college and start their own lives….you’re still the mom or the dad.

I still want my dad to be proud of me (my mother passed on in 2010). I don’t care if I’m 47 years old. The sad fact is that he’s never acted like he was proud of me, at least not to my face.  Let me take that back.  Once, when I gave a talk at the Indiana University Law School circa 2007, both he and my mom seemed proud of me. They didn’t exactly say anything to that effect, but they sort of acted like that. Sort of.  Enough for me to connect the dots, anyway.

So Making Divorce Work is my second book. My first book, Your Divorce Advisor, was published by Simon and Schuster in 2001.  When I went to my dad’s house back in January, I looked for a copy of Your Divorce Advisor. I’d given him a copy. It appears that he threw it away, because it certainly wasn’t in the house. 

Interesting, huh?

And when I asked him the 3 word title to  my new book, Making Divorce Work, he said, “Uh, I think it has the word ‘divorce’ in it….” right after he’d attended the book signing party.

My parents (like Howard Stern’s parents!) took great pride in the fact that they didn’t carry photos of their kids in their wallets and that they didn’t trot photos out every time they ran into their friends.

Excuse me?

Maybe it’s a function of not having children myself, but I LOVE to see photos of people’s kids and to hear how they’re doing, particularly when the news is good.

Am I in the minority here?

Would you please weigh in as to whether I’m out of my mind for thinking this way (I know I’m out of my mind, of course, but is this attitude why?) in the Comments below?

Parents are always parents, right? And children are always children, right?

 
Diana Mercer is the co-author of Making Divorce Work: 8 Essential Keys to Resolving Conflict and Rebuilding Your Life (Perigee 2010). Join the conversation and community on our video blog and check out Diana’s divorce blog on the Huffington Post

Sep 2011 08

Author Gary Young talks about writing his new play, On Hold: The Myth of Male Maturity, at the Independent Writers of Southern California gathering (IWOSC).

I find the writing process fascinating. Everyone seems to do it differently, yet the end product is a book, a play, a script….Gary is also the author of Loss And Found: How We Survived the Loss of a Young Spouse.

There are a lot of interesting people who attend the IWOSC meetings.  Dues are inexpensive and there’s always something interesting going on.

Diana Mercer is the co-author of Making Divorce Work: 8 Essential Keys to Resolving Conflict and Rebuilding Your Life (Perigee 2010). Join the conversation and community on our video blog and check out Diana’s divorce blog on the Huffington Post

Sep 2011 05

My mom died January 1, 2010. Within about 6 weeks my dad was engaged to be married….to one of her best friends.  Needless to say, this sent a shock wave through our family. If you’ve been following Project Vic on this blog, you’ve seen how difficult it has been for my brother and me to navigate all of this…the loss of our mother, the rocky relationship with our father, and now the question of how the heck someone can get engaged in 6 weeks after being married 55 years.

The good news is that Bea, my father’s fiancee, is lovely.  We’ve started calling her Mom 2.0 and I think she’s embraced our now-blended family pretty well.

She came to the book signing party for Making Divorce Work in Indianapolis in 2011 and was just a delight. The video shares her thoughts about the experience and the party. 

My brother and I would rather have our mom back, but Bea is a great second choice.

Now we just wonder how long it will take her to realize that our dad, Vic, is actually a “project” and to realize exactly what she’s in for if they actually get married.  Hmmmmm….

The truth and reality of life is that families are what you make of them.  We could let all of this ruin our lives, or we can choose to move on.

And move on we have.  My brother is newly married at 53 with a baby on the way. His youngest child just graduated from college. My husband is Jewish and I was raised Presbyterian. Bea’s son is disabled.  Yet we all come together as a family. Sometimes more successfully than others, but we’re still family.

And that’s the mesage I try to convey to our mediation clients.  Parents with a 2 year old hear, “You’ve got to figure this out, because you are going to be co-grandparents.” And I’m not just saying that to convince them to settle or to mediate their differences–it’s true.  It’s a little hard to hear when you have a toddler, I suppose, but once you’ve chosen to marry and have children, you’re just adding additional squares to the patchwork quilt that’s already your family.

 
Diana Mercer is the co-author of Making Divorce Work: 8 Essential Keys to Resolving Conflict and Rebuilding Your Life (Perigee 2010). Join the conversation and community on our video blog and check out Diana’s divorce blog on the Huffington Post

May 2011 18

Author Gary Young talks about his book, Loss and Found, which is about the death of a spouse while you’re a young person.

Gary is an experienced author and very insightful.

Gary is a great example of a successful self-publisher.  He’s also an active member of IWOSC, the Independent Writers of Southern California. It’s a great organization that puts together programs for writers on lots of different topics, like writing workshops, marketing seminars, writing for business, blogging…plus it’s a great way to meet other writers.  As writers, we so often write alone or in small offices, so it’s great to interact with other writers.

 
Diana Mercer is the co-author of Making Divorce Work: 8 Essential Keys to Resolving Conflict and Rebuilding Your Life (Perigee 2010). Join the conversation and community on our video blog and check out Diana’s divorce blog on the Huffington Post

May 2011 12

An excerpt from our book, Making Divorce Work, was published by Mediate.com this week and went out in their newsletter. Hooray!

You can read it here: 8 Peace Practices

If you’re not familiar with Mediate.com, they’re a portal for all things mediation. They have a great free weekly newsletter (which is where the 8 peace practices was featured) and offer all kinds of services to mediators. They’ve been in business a long time and I’ve met the owner-operator numerous times at mediation conferences.

I’m not affiliated with Mediate.com but love them. They are very generous with their knowledge and do their best to help mediators and arbitrators stay on top of their game.

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