Author Archives: Bob Ritzema

About Bob Ritzema

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 . Michigan to help family. I maintain a part-time therapy practice in Grand Rapids. I currently worship at Monroe Community Church in Grand Rapids. I can be reached at bobritzema@hotmail.com.

Lessons in Loss from Brooks and Beethoven

My most recent post on this blog described an article by Arthur C. Brooks in The Atlantic titled “Your Professional Decline Is Coming Sooner Than You Think.” In it he described research demonstrating that fluid intelligence declines after midlife. Due … Continue reading

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Getting Past Professional Decline

Sometimes, articles addressed towards those in midlife contain insights that are pertinent as well to older adults. Such is the case with an article by Arthur C. Brooks in the July, 2019 Atlantic titled “Your professional decline is coming (much) … Continue reading

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Forgetting and Identity

I recently re-read Falling Upward, Richard Rohr’s book describing the differences between spirituality in the first and second half of life. Some of the things that I hadn’t paid much attention to when I first read the book six years … Continue reading

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Traffic Jams And My Reason For Hope

I’ve written on my other blog about Tish Harrison Warren’s book Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life. She’s interested in how we can find the sacred in the mundane events of daily life. I wrote there about … Continue reading

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I’m fortunate that, early in my 8th decade of life, I’ve had few people close to me die. The most significant loss has been of my father. Besides that, it’s mainly been aunts and uncles, acquaintances, and distant friends. Should … Continue reading

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Playing Pool While Old

“Ya got trouble folks,” sang Professor Harold Hill, the con man in The Music Man, “Right here in River City Trouble with a capital ‘T’ And that rhymes with ‘P’ and that stands for pool!” Professor Hill convinces the town … Continue reading

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The Christian Communist

I’ve been writing recently about stuff–our tendency to acquire too many things, our difficulty letting go, our need to simplify as we get older. Recently I ran across a quote on possessions and spirituality by Thomas Merton, the Trappist monk. … Continue reading

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When Fraility Arrives

Recently, David Sedaris wrote an article about his family, in particular his elderly father, who fell on the eve of his 95th birthday party. When family arrived he fell again and was disoriented, so he was admitted to a rehab … Continue reading

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The Changed Lines of Generational Power

I have been reading Being Mortal by Atul Gawande, who is a surgeon, a staff writer for the New Yorker, and a Harvard Professor. He’s a busy guy! His book explores how medical advances have changed aging and death, not … Continue reading

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Save the World? Don’t Look at Me!

Earlier this year I read Assimilate or Go Home: Notes From a Failed Missionary on Rediscovering Faith (San Francisco: Harper One, 2016) by D.L. Mayfield. Mayfield is a young woman of faith who spent much of her early adulthood volunteering … Continue reading

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