Author Archives: bobritzema

About bobritzema

I am a fourth-generation American of Dutch ancestry and am trained as a clinical psychologist. In 2012, I retired from Methodist University in North Carolina to return to my parents' home and provide them with assistance. I maintain part-time therapy practices in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Fayetteville, North Carolina. I currently worship at Square Inch Community Church in Grand Rapids. I can be reached at bobritzema@hotmail.com.

An Art Show and an Old Friend’s Vocation

I recently went to an exhibit of paintings by Franklin D. Speyers, one of my college roommates. Frank currently has a show entitled “West of the Imagination” at the Center Art Gallery of Calvin College, the school where we both … Continue reading

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Caregiver Vigilance

I wrote in September about my 91-year-old mom’s fall and subsequent hospitalization. She suffered two compression fractures in her back, causing her a good deal of pain and significantly limiting her ability to do things for herself. After she left … Continue reading

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True Solitude

In his book New Seeds of Contemplation, Trappist monk Thomas Merton wrote of the spiritual benefits of solitude. He notes, though, that not everything that looks like solitude is genuine: “There is not true solitude except interior solitude.” Just getting … Continue reading

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Mom on the Mend

My mom, who is 91 years old, fell a couple weeks ago. She was in the bathroom, heading for the toilet in the middle of the night when her feet flew out from under her. She normally takes her time … Continue reading

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Among the Stones (Far from the Madding Crowd)

It’s been a contemplative summer. I read a book on Centering Prayer, a contemplative form of Christian prayer, and have tried to incorporate aspects of it into my spiritual practice. I’ve been slowly working my way through New Seeds of … Continue reading

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The Older I Get, The More Versions Of Me There Are

Rachel McAlpine, who blogs at Write Into Life, recently posted about the challenge of adjusting her identity as she ages. She writes, “I’ve been searching for an inherent personal coherence, consonance, or harmony. But this is not straightforward, because right … Continue reading

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“Touch Me”

There’s an interesting incident near the end of David Foster Wallace’s magnum opus Infinite Jest that says a lot about how humans treat each other. It’s the story of Barry Loach, the head trainer at Enfield Tennis Academy. Earlier, Barry’s … Continue reading

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“You Don’t Really Start Getting Old Until You Stop Learning”

In the June 5 issue of Time magazine, Bill Gates was interviewed about the books that have influenced him. I was struck by one of his comments: “You don’t really start getting old until you stop learning.” Is that true? … Continue reading

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The Effects of Childhood Trauma

  A 2016 article by Emily Guron, Health and Caregiving Editor for Next Avenue, described the longstanding effects of childhood trauma. As Gurnon summarized, these effects range from physical problems to emotional problems, substance abuse, and risky behaviors: “Research has shown … Continue reading

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Finding Immortality

How long do you want to live? It’s not that we can determine how many years we will be on this earth, not exactly. We do have something to do with it, though. Most obviously, we can take care of … Continue reading

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