The famous psychosexual therapist, radio and television personality, documentarian, lecturer, and author, Dr. Ruth tells all about her approach to living fully by sharing many personal anecdotes and suggestions. Dr. Ruth explains many aspects of the concept of joie de vivre—including experiencing sadness, since every life has both highs and lows. She describes her own serious hardships: as a Holocaust survivor, Dr. Ruth lost all her family when she was quite young before emigrating and serving in the Israeli army, where sustained a serious injury; she was divorced twice, raised her daughter as a single mother, and lost her beloved third husband to illness. Yet she has always found ways to be positive, remembering the good instead of not dwelling on the bad.
She strongly recommends looking at photos of your happy times, taking risks, cutting your losses, going after what you want.
Dr. Ruth decries boredom and says that sharing intellectual growth together, through hobbies and other interests, is more important to the continuity of a loving partnership than enjoying a great sexual connection. She admits to actually being shy about discussing sex! Dr. Ruth says it is alright to fantasize as long as you are not actually acquainted with the person, like a celebrity. She is wowed by some famous people and even name drops a bit.
Dr. Ruth is open about her own limitations and to the fact that life will inevitably be bumpy. She offers stories about how she rises above difficulties and advises the reader to find a way to do the same. Dr. Ruth jokes about her height and how she rises above that impediment by pushing herself forward and asking for help. She believes in carpe diem: since one never knows how much time is left, one must make the most of the present in order to have no regrets.
Dr. Ruth jokes about her pushiness, telling the story of how she pursued her third husband, Fred Westheimer, despite or even because she was warned off by a rival for his affection.
Dr. Ruth values education greatly and explains that she is not a medical doctor, didn’t finish elementary or high school due to living in wartime Europe, nor did she get a college degree, but earned a doctorate in Education and always seeks to learn more. At age 86, Dr. Ruth claims that it’s never too late: she will keep working and learning, and she is “still becoming Dr. Ruth!”
Though many think they know all about Dr. Ruth due to her iconic stature, this book offers more that is truly enjoyable to read in her own familiar voice.
Miriam Bradman Abrahams, mom, grandmom, avid reader, sometime writer, born in Havana, raised in Brooklyn, residing in Long Beach on Long Island. Longtime former One Region One Book chair and JBC liaison for Nassau Hadassah, currently presenting Incident at San Miguel with author AJ Sidransky who wrote the historical fiction based on her Cuban Jewish refugee family’s experiences during the revolution. Fluent in Spanish and Hebrew, certified hatha yoga instructor.