Scarlett, 6, wrote to us at The Psychology of It asking for a "scientist" to help her understand "that if we all just die anyway, why do we live?" Below is my open letter to Scarlett.
What is it that makes a house a home? What are the things that make our home a sanctuary? Why can we sometimes not wait to be able to "just get home"? What is the psychology of home?
Brodie is a cricket playing, North Melbourne loving, Year 7 student and big brother to Hannah who's almost 9. He's just started learning to play the guitar, which he loves and has the most amazing smile! Brodie is also one of the kindest most gentle young men I know and he's shared some of his 13-year-old wisdom in this very special Conversation on the Couch.
Thursday afternoons are without a doubt my favourite time of the week because that's when I pick my nephews, Will (11) and Tommy (9) up from school and spend the afternoon with them - no parents allowed.
Paul Hogue is a tennis playing, yoga teaching, free spirit who is currently on a quest to find the perfect Portuguese tarts and meditation rooms in London, England. If he could do one thing from the past, just one more time, it'd be to have yum cha with his gorgeous Nan, Aud.
Perusing a small, jam-packed bookstore at Airey's Inlet recently, I stumbled across The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k by Sarah Knight. The sub-heading reads "How to stop spending time you don't have doing things you don't want to do with people you don't like."
"So, I've got this idea for a new website...", I shared half a thought I'd been having about a way to motivate my way out of an almost-year-long writer's block.
"You're not reading my mind are you?"
"Are you analysing me now?"
"You won't put me in a straight jacket will you?"
"Do I have to tell you my deepest darkest secrets or my life story?"
Welcome to The Psychology of it. Come on in and make yourself at home. Grab a coffee or a wine and curl up on the couch.
It's lovely to meet you. I'm Jodie Fleming, a daughter, sister, aunty and friend. I'm also a breast cancer survivor, salsa dancer, hospice volunteer and general lover of life.
I spend my work days as a clinical and health psychologist, a career I came to after trying half a dozen other things, so now that I'm here I'm embracing the privilege that it is to do what I do.
But, like all of us, I am and do a lot of other things as well.
One of them is writing.
After finishing my first book early last year (after three years of tantrums, tears and laughter), I sort of didn't know what to write about anymore and I became crabby, grumpy and irritable. I knew I needed to write.
So one day, walking the dogs with my photographer and friend, Peta, the idea for this website was born.
I'm excited to say that The Psychology of it is my new muse - the place where I am able to bring all of the pieces together - where I can write for you about everyday life, demystifying the psychological science behind it and providing you with some handy tools to make your life the most meaningful life you can live.
So let's start a conversation - write to me, follow me, like me (please like me!) ask me questions and I will write to you, for you and even about you if you like.
I'll also point you in the direction of some excellent places to visit on the interweb.
From one human to another,
Dr Jodie Fleming
Clinical & Health Psychologist
BA (Psych), Post Grad Dip (Psych), DClin&HlthPsych, MAPS.