The Human Agenda: Conversations about Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity

weddingringesequalitysamesexmarriage2Today I’m joined by Joe Wenke who has written the book, “The Human Agenda: Conversations about Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity.” Please listen to the entire segment and I would LOVE to get your comments in the discussion section of my website!

 

 

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For My Friends Around The Country Who are Ready for The Snow to Stop!

On Fitz in The Morning today we introduced a new song for all of our friends across the country ready for…well…the snowmen to die!

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Cindy Crawford Untouched: Get Real

cindy-769x1024On the show today I said that Cindy Crawford’s stomach doesn’t look good in the recently released photo. And it wasn’t long until the texts, phone calls, and emails came rolling in to say I was a horrible person and that I am everything wrong with men in this country. I don’t understand why someone can’t give an honest opinion.

Cindy Crawford is a beautiful woman, but like all of us she has gotten older. And when we get older our bodies change and NEW FLASH…it ain’t always pretty. And that is okay! My concern is that as Americans we are so focused on being politically correct it leads us into denial and dishonesty. Secondly, people are saying Cindy was trying to show America that it is okay to get older and have some flaws. Well, from what I understand that photo was leaked, and had it not been…you and I would have seen a picture that made 48 year-old Cindy look like a 21 year-old Super Model. My point was not to be cruel, but we don’t have to bullshit each other either. Getting older is awesome, but it ain’t always pretty on the outside. What people need to get from the photo is that despite not having the body she did at 25…she hasn’t stopped being sexy and saucy!

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What to Do When They say, “I love you, but I’m no longer in love with you.”

iloveubuti27mnotinlovewithuI can’t count the number of times I’ve heard someone say, “I love them, but I’m no longer in love with them” when referring to a spouse. And unfortunately I can’t count the number of people who have told me that they have had that statement made directly to them. I recently spoke with a woman whose husband had used that heart piercing statement when discussing the difficulties in their marriage. She then asked me how she should handle it. So let me share my answer with you as well.

My first word of advice is to not overreact, and I know that makes you want to slap me, but the statement can mean many different things. And this is especially true if a man says it, because we can rarely communicate feelings clearly! So the first step is to clarify what your spouse or significant other is saying. They could actually mean any of the following:

  • It’s over and I’m ready to move on.
  • My love is so buried underneath of hurt and frustration that I can’t feel it.
  • I want to feel like we are in love again.

As you read through those you can easily see that most men will not use those statements, but I promise you that “I love you, but I’m not in love with you” can mean one of the three.  If a woman says it then she will usually follow up with the clarification before being asked. She will usually follow “I’m not in love with you” by either letting you know she wants to work it out or throw you out.

Once you clarify what is being said you are truly the one with the decision to make. You can run like a bat out of hell or run directly into it! Choosing to stay and make your marriage work will at times feel like you are in hell, but you can survive and come out of it with a little piece of heaven on earth. Do everything you can to save your marriage before giving up or allowing someone else too. When I officiate weddings I say something like the following:

May you always remember that love is not always something that you feel, but it is something that you do. To love is to listen, learn, labor, and laugh. You must be willing to listen to each other, learn more about each other, work on your relationship, and laugh at how silly you both can be in trying to get your way.

The most important point may be “to love is to labor”, because having and keeping a good relationship takes work. And yes there will be times when you or your spouse doesn’t feel in love, but that doesn’t mean you stop actively loving each other. And that is my main point today. Don’t stop loving someone even when they say they have stopped loving or being in love with you. And I wish I could end with that sentence, because it sounded so damn good, but I can’t stop there.

I want to be honest and say there may come a time when you have to let someone go. Please never stay in a relationship where you are being abused emotionally, spiritually, or physically. Life is too short for you to live that way. I’ encouraging you to not allow the pain and anger of hearing, “I’m not in love with you” to cause you to quickly give up. Simply let that person know you are willing to get help and do your part to change things for the better.

My Favorite Book on Marriage:

The Heart of the 5 Love Languages (Abridged Gift-Sized Version)

 

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How to Help & Handle Grief

grief1If you have dealt with the loss of a dear friend or family member or recently gone through a relational breakup then I hope you will take the time to listen to this interview. My guest is Janelle Breese Biagioni who is a trusted friend who offers practical advice from both her personal experience and education.

You can purchase Janelle’s book through Amazon 

Life Losses - Healing for a Broken Heart
Click to Checkout

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You’re Too Old

I was recently speaking with a gentleman that is considerably older than myself (I’m 48), and he said those three words you see in the title for my post. I’m sorry but my midlife crisis is still in full swing, and I just can’t bring myself to repeat the title again. He was explaining to me that it would be difficult for me to begin a new career, because employers would see my age as an issue. My first thought was, “I should really go buy a Corvette!” My second thought was in the form of one word, “Seriously?” I don’t feel old, and surely I don’t look that old? Hell, I’ve finally figured out who I am and what I want in life!

The very successful business owner who dropped the three words of despair on me wasn’t trying to be cruel. He simply believes that employers are looking for younger employees. And at first I thought that he was being ridiculous, but then I began thinking about a few of my middle-aged friends. They are highly educated, have an incredible track record of success, years of experience, and yet…they are unemployed.

So I wonder if others of you in your forties, and beyond feel as though your age is hindering you in the marketplace? Do you think it is keeping you from moving forward or even getting a new job? We all know that age discrimination is illegal, but once you meet a hiring manager or they look at your resume they have a good idea of your age.

It must be an issue for many, because Liz Ryan wrote and incredible article about it on Forbes.com. She even gives us “forty to fifty somethings” a plan of attack when in an interview:

You don’t want to be in that police lineup, and the way out of it is to use your interview time to probe for business pain. Get your hiring manager talking about what’s really going on behind the job ad, and you’ll find that the quality of the conversation shifts dramatically. All of a sudden, you’re not a supplicant but a trusted advisor, a consultant digging to learn more about what’s not working. Job-seekers who use their interview air time to ask questions about the processes, the obstacles in a hiring manager’s way and the thorny problems they’ve seen before in similar situations vault themselves to a higher level of conversation than the ones who don’t.

Ms. Ryan says the hiring manager will forget about your gray hair shooting out of your ears if you show them you have the answer to their problems (my paraphrase). Because if they need to hire someone they have some form of a problem that must be solved.

I know and you know that those of us in midlife are far from being too old for a new career, promotion, or position. However, maybe the cards are stacked against us when we apply for a new job. So, we need to go into the interview with an energetic attitude, discover why they are hiring for a specific position, and then show them how we can solve their problems! And then once we get the job maybe we can afford that Corvette!

Tony Russell

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Three Comments to Ignore When Dieting

untitledI am somewhat of a yo-yo dieter. Meaning, that about every two years I have to go on a diet to lose about twenty pounds. Yes, it’s frustrating, but its just the way it goes, and I know what causes the weight gain, I know how to lose it, and at my age I’m just happy to be able to see my…shoes. However, over the years I’ve learned that when you tell others you are on a diet they will say one of three things, and I want to discuss them.

1-On that die you’ll lose the weight fast, but you’ll gain it right back.

Over 80% of people gain their weight back on ALL diets. Follow the plan and increase exercise as you reach your goal weight.  Doctors say being overweight still outweighs the risks of yo-yoing

2-Don’t call it a diet, it’s a lifestyle change.

No, it’s a diet. You are changing your diet to include healthy foods and reduce or get rid of bad food. If you don’t eat less then you won’t lose weight. Call it eating crap, call it hell, call it a lifestyle change if you want, but follow the plan and you’ll be successful.

3-You just need to exercise and eat better.

No shit! But increasing exercise while dieting may actually work against you for weight loss. Donald Hensrud, M.D who is a preventive medical specialist at the Mayo Clinic says that reducing calories is the most effective way of losing weight. The key is to consume less calories than you burn. Cut 500 calories a day from your diet and you will shed a pound of fat in a week, far more quickly than trying to burn it off by exercising. Don’t believe me? Train for a marathon and see if you lose weight.

My point is this, if you want to lose weight then find a healthy plan, and get on it. If you stick with the plan then you will lose weight, and if you begin exercising while eating healthier you will keep it off.

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Lessons Learned from A 78 Year-old Salesman

imagesU6VACESUI was in my early twenties when I watched a man who appeared to be in his sixties thank my managing broker (with tears in his eyes) for his kindness in selling his home. The amount of emotion the client was showing was due to recently filing for bankruptcy, his wife leaving him, and now he had just sold his million dollar dream home. And my managing broker not only helped him through the process, but did so without charging him a commission! This was one of many times I witnessed my manager sell property while cutting his commission, and finally I couldn’t take it anymore and blurted out, “Dad, why do you let these people take advantage of you?” Yes, my managing broker at that time was also my father.

My father probably wouldn’t have passed many of the screening exams or personality inventories I’ve taken in an attempt to get a sales jobs. He didn’t fit the “take no prisoners” profile that many companies look for today. Sure, he was persistent, and always went for the close, but he didn’t go for their throat.

He answered my question with a simple, “Son you don’t have to make all of your money in one deal.” Can you imagine saying that during your interview with a sales manager? When dad was selling real estate he truly didn’t see it as a sprint, but as a marathon. He built relationships with his clients, always treated them fairly, and then just sat back and waited for the referrals to roll in. And guess what? It worked!

My father retired with plenty of money in the bank, and even better…he retired with a good name. By being kind, honest, and compassionate in his approach with others he profited greatly. Again, he was persistent, and always went for the close, but he never went for the throat.

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Three Life Lessons from Russell Wilson #SuperBowl

russRussell Wilson is only 26 years-old, but we must all agree he has the leadership abilities of a CEO twice his age. As I’ve watched him here in Seattle over the last couple of years there are honestly times I ask myself, “Is he really that nice of a guy?” I personally know those who would say yes, because he made a positive impact on their life through a visit to their child in the hospital. Yes, he really does make a weekly visit to children in the hospital, and yes he really does care about others. In my opinion he is currently the best “face” of any sport’s franchise. And it’s not only because of what he does on the field, but because of what he does off the field.

So what can we learn from this young man about life…not football, but life? I believe there are many things, but let’s just look at three:

  1. Life isn’t about us
  2. Life is about glorifying others
  3. Life is about getting back up after being knocked down

Russell Wilson realizes he is gifted to help mankind, but that he is not the gift to mankind. He simply understands that we were put on earth to share our gifts with others through encouragement, love, and compassion. And for him that appears to be done through giving his time and possibly a few dollars to local hospitals and charities.

You should know he gives away more than his time and money. He also gives away the glory. Russ realizes that he is only as good as the team around him, and so he quickly redirects the glory thrown his way. Yes, when other heave glory upon him he quickly drops back, and then releases a tight spiral of praise on the receivers, the offensive line, the defensive line, and/or others. No, the game and life is never about him, but about other and well…HIM. Russ has faith in a higher power who he believes helps him overcome any obstacle, and that brings us to number three.

Russ knows we all have a purpose in life, and therefore when you get knocked down it is all just part of the plan. When asked about throwing 4 interceptions, and falling behind early in the game against Green Bay on Sunday, here is what he said to Peter King:

“That’s God setting it up, to make it so dramatic, so rewarding, so special…I’ve been through a lot in life, and had some ups and downs. It’s what’s led me to this day.”

Trust me when I say that we can all learn a lot from that statement regardless of whether we believe in God or not. The life lesson from Russ is that when we are faced with adversity we can’t give up or shutdown. Life is full of adversity and failures, and in order to succeed we have to learn from them. Russ believes that setbacks are just setups! It is the setbacks in life that set us up for success.

Go Hawks,

Tony Russell

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It Does Take A Village: Raising Teenagers

villageIn 1996 Hillary Clinton wrote a book called, “It Takes A Village”, and she did so to share her vision for the children and families of America. Ms. Clinton believes that we must all join together to help each other raise and support our children.

In 1996 I didn’t have children, which meant that I  knew everything about how to raise them. After all, it isn’t until you have children (especially teenagers) that you realize you don’t have a clue! I am a licensed counselor, and at times my own beautiful children cause me to wonder how I graduated. And they are honestly great kids, but it is still difficult to know how to handle many situations.

My reasoning for blogging today is to simply say that Hillary is right, and if you know me very well…you know that wasn’t easy for me to admit! But as parents we can’t raise our kids alone. We need each other, and when I say need…I mean we need to help each other spy, cheat, and steal. As in dig a little deeper for information, cheat to get it, and not be afraid to take away (steal) privileges.

We can no longer sit back and just hope they “turn out okay”, because we began reasoning with them and showing trust at age 3. We can’t be another generation of naive parents who say, “My kid would never do that.” We need to know where they are, what they are doing, and who they are spending time with outside the home. And that may take some spying, cheating, and stealing, which is all legal in the world of parenting.

When is the last time you went online to see what your kids are posting? I would highly recommend doing some spying in the area of social media, but be prepared…the language, videos, and pics may shock you. And I promise you that you are going to read posts that some of your kid’s friends made and say, “Holy Shit.” And it is then that we must make a decision. Will we keep the information to ourselves, or do we become part of a village that cares and helps each other?

I have a lot more to write on this topic, but I’ll save that for another day. To get back to my original point, I want to reiterate that as parents we need to help each other. If we want to keep our kids safe then we need to begin communicating with each other. If we know our neighbor’s kid is getting into trouble then we need to share that with the parent. And if a neighbor has some information to share with us then we need to listen and not get defensive. Yes, we want to show trust in our children, but first let’s start by teaching them that trust is something we all must earn.

It Takes a Village, Tenth Anniversary Edition

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