Peggy & Judy - here's our story:
Peggy, in my own words:
I have a life long interest in science, particularly neuroscience. I was a psychotherapist and later director of a partial hospitalization program in a metropolitan hospital. I helped people with severe mental illness manage their symptoms, and knowing about neuroscience was a big help. I also developed courses on aging and anorexia for psychotherapists. Long before it was popular or necessary, I did telephone therapy to help people who were afraid of leaving their home.
I have been an avid reader and artist all my life. Since retiring I've had the time to write and illustrate books, starting with a children's book, a true story about Maui, my cat, who “rewired” his brain to regain use of his paralyzed back legs: "The Pulling, Climbing, Falling Down Tale of Maui and His Back Legs". Mau's story was the inspiration for our original blog, MAXyourMIND,.
I love being outdoors and hiking, fly fishing, gardening and travel are particular enjoyments. My other love is family and I'm involved in my two daughter's lives and helping care for Lucy, my grandchild.
Judy, in my own words:
Grade school teacher, school administrator are all on my vitae but 30 years as a psychotherapist in private practice in Southern California was what I most enjoyed.
Retirement from my practice was not planned but my diagnosis in 1995 of fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue (similar to Long-COVID) finally caught up to me. During these many years my personal health struggle was eye-opening.
Hopefully, my first hand experience helped others with chronic conditions by facilitating Therapeutic Creative Expression workshops and being a keynote speaker at several national Fibromyalgia conferences. I was grateful to receive certificates of appreciation from the National Fibromyalgia Association for being one of 35 people in the United States in 2006 & 2007 as a “Leader Against Pain”. However, I would have preferred certificates of good health.
Retirement has given me the time (if not the energy) to pursue my lifelong love of all things creative. To amuse myself I spend time doting on Gracie Allen my rescue dog, writing, painting, drawing and sleeping in. I published a children's book (Well . . . the truth is Peggy published what I had written and illustrated) The Real Tale of Little Red Riding Hood & the Wolf.
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Q & A about our relationship
How did we meet and decide to partner?
We went to school together from the 4th grade through high school. Judy remembers Peggy befriending her when she transferred to Madison Park #2 in the fourth grade. Peggy invited her to read horse stories from the library and watch her draw horses. Peggy had a horse named Misty and Judy was dumbstruck that anyone her age had their own horse.
In high school we had different "best friends". Neither of us were in the popular crowd but we had most of our classes together. After going our separate ways in college we serendipitously learned, 50 years later, we were both psychotherapists, fascinated about neuroscience and lived in the same area. After retirement Judy talked Peggy into blogging and the rest is history.
Why on earth did we go from 30 year careers as psychotherapists to writing, drawing and creating an on-line site and newsletter?
Our aim is to share all the information we've accumulated about mind-body-spirit health and well-being before it is thrown in the trash after we die.
Selfishly, writing, drawing and keeping up with current research are good ways to keep our brains from turning to mush while amusing ourselves.
Why did we have 3 blogs? One is not enough?
We definitely are not minimalists but after 5 years of juggling 3 blogs and a newsletter we consolidated it all into PeggyJudyTime, now the site for EVERYTHING - links to our published books, free PDF's, NEWSletters, products, science research, mind-body wellness tutorials and art.
From our blogs we are moving the most informative and relevant articles to PeggyJudyTime.
MAXyourMIND blog focused on information about neuroscience and scientific research for physical, mental and emotional well-being. It was the repository for what we learned and taught in our psychotherapy practices and current scientific research.
CURIOUStotheMAX was originally Judy's outlet to share her art, personal observation and anything from the wide, wild world that peeked her curiousity.
The HeART of Spirituality was a site which focused on how artistic expression can be used to heighten spirituality, prayers from all major religions, articles, and spiritual insights - non-denominal, major religions' beliefs and Baha'i World Faith insights.
We are not scientists so why the emphasis on neurology and mind-body research?
Long before it was talked about in psychology classes we were interested in the brain. We found the research on neuroscience was helpful in explaining to our clients that mental health wasn't a matter of will-power, or character. When our clients learned how to "tweak" their thinking and behavior it helped them tremendously.
How do we stay positive, if not happy?
It would be a bit suspicious if we were happy all the time - we too, are at the mercy of our brain's neurochemistry. So we use the Happy Hacks in our book Hacking Your Way to Happiness ourselves. Peggy is a naturally positive person some of which is inherited and a lot of which is her finding delight in the daily, small moments of her life. Judy used to be the same until she developed Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue and now the positivity comes and goes along with the symptoms. We are both happy to be able to continue to help others in our retirement.
How do we describe our collaboration?
HAPPPY! We've managed to focus on each other's strengths and respect (mostly ignore) the differences. In the years we've been co-bloggers and co-authors there's only been one time one of us got mad. Crawling on hands and knees for forgiveness was appreciated! The crawling part is painful at our age so we do whatever we can to not irritate each other.
Understanding human nature helps and knowing that we are there to support each other makes it easy.
What are each of our strengths?
Peggy is much better at details and staying on track. Judy always has lots of ideas, and depends on Peggy to keep her focused. Judy has a bit of an "unconventional" view of the world. Peggy is able to translate that into images which appear on the newsletters, blogs and books.
What are each of our weaknesses?
We respectfully decline to incriminate ourselves! However, you can read between the lines of our strengths . . . Our biggest weakness is neither of us are marketeers and getting the word out about our blogs and books is difficult. We grew up in the age of dial phones and snail mail. Being technologically impaired creates a steep learning curve to figure out this new techy world. To keep motivated we give ourselves periodic and substantial percentage pay raises. Our current salary is now $0.00.
What are our biggest failure?
Marketing, marketing and marketing. It's daunting and time-consuming. We have a mailing list and send out PeggyJudyTime newsletters and offer a LOT of free materials. We have Instagram, Pintrest, Linkedin, Twitter accounts but social media is like a bowl of melting fruit jello - lots of the "fruit" that was once tasty gets soggy and sinks to the bottom (where the nuts have already settled).
What do we do for fun?
Peggy takes care of her granddaughter Lucy several days a week. Lucy is smart, inquisitive and keeps Peggy moving, laughing and learning. Peggy loves gardening and always is reading two books at a time - a scientific book and a mystery. Judy takes senior art classes to keep her "right brain" occupied so she doesn't go bonkers. Our collaboration on the "cartoon pictures" amuses us and hopefully our subscribers too
What's next for us?
We are in a continual state of "evaluation and evolution". We're always researching new scientific discoveries and how to make
the information we find & books better, more accessible. There's a huge backlog of information we've not yet posted or published - by last count there were over 1500 drafts and more than 5 stories ready to be edited and illustrated for publishing.
STAY TUNED for our ever changing information & FREE stuff . . .
and tell a friend about PeggyJudyTime (remember! we are not good at marketing . . . )