One of my favorite podcasts is the Happiness Lab, hosted by Yale professor Dr Laurie Santos. Santos takes you through the latest scientific research and shares inspiring stories that may alter the way you think about happiness. Her class, Psychology and the Good Life is the most popular class in the history of Yale. It’s available free online through Coursera. I have tried for a few years to develop and offer a similar class at West Chester University, but haven’t been able to get it off the ground. It’s on my “someday” list.
One of the many reasons I love Santos is that she promotes other podcasts. In a recent episode she shares an episode of a new podcast, Doubledate hosted by Phil Donahue and his wife, Marlo Thomas. Together they visit the homes of famous long-married couples and have conversations about enduring love and all its challenges.
Back in the day, one of my favorite television shows was the Donahue Show. These were pre-Oprah days. For those of you that don’t remember, Donahue was the first talk show format that included audience participation. The show had a 29-year run on national television. It began in 1967 (I was 3) and ended in 1996.The show often focused on issues that divided liberals and conservatives, such as abortion and civil rights. Donahue has been called the “king of daytime talk”.
As a child I used to pretend I was Donahue and would “interview “my stuffed animals. I’d hold my pretend paper towel roll microphone into the stuffed animals faces- asking them the tough questions of the day. I’m not kidding. I distinctly remember asking my stuffed dog Snoozy what he thought of divorce. I was in fourth grade, and my parents were in the midst of divorcing. Snoozy thought it should be illegal.
The statistics indicate that only 50% of marriages last. So, when someone I know commits to marrying another, I really want to ask them both a million, “What would you do if…type of questions. For example, “What’s your take on vacations and where do you most want to travel?” Or, “Pretend you’ve been married 35 years and you’re planning for retirement, where do you want to live?” My husband and I will celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary this fall, and we would have been well served to explore those themes pre-marriage.
My son is getting married in September, and his fiancé is a pediatric nurse at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. I have tremendous respect for nurses, especially these days. She is an amazing, bright, beautiful young woman. My mom was a nurse, she would have loved her.
They recently got an Australian Shepherd puppy, Winston. If you want to smile, check out – Winston Of West Chester on Instagram. As much as I’d love to ask my son and fiancé to play “Donahue” with me, I realize it’s just not their idea of a “Sunday Funday”. But perhaps they’d listen to an episode of a Double Date. You might like it too, and if you have any podcasts that you would recommend, I’d love to hear your favorites.