Tamar Epstein

It is in playing and only in playing that the individual child or adult is able to be creative and to use the whole personality, and it is only in being creative that the individual discovers the self." Donald Woods Winnecott (2005). Playing and Reality, p.73, Psychology Press

I spent my 50th birthday at a taping of The Maury (Povich) Show. This kitschy gift from my 20-year-old daughter provided us both with a powerful coming of age moment. Watching larger-than-life-tabloid-worthy family dramas unfold before us, we had the opportunity to examine our own history and relationship. Her ability to have fun and be silly with me, yet take on the significance of the moment, definitely lightened the day.

It hasn’t helped that since my friends and I turned 50 the world seems to be experiencing its own set of existential crises. While I find myself reflecting on death and loss more than ever before, these thoughts and fears are balanced by a genuine sense of calm, confidence, and satisfaction I don’t think I’ve ever felt before.

Advice I wish my 20-something self would have heeded?

Play. Take time to discover yourself. Learn to set good boundaries.

Advice to myself as a young mother:

Be good enough and imperfect. Learn how to meet your own needs. Aiming for perfection can cause problems for both you and your children.