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Dr. Bill Austin

Ya' Gotta Know When

Positive Comparisons

Empathetic Listening

The Wrong Big Picture

Staying Young On The Inside

What Is Your Bread?

Growing The Bottom Line


What's It Like to Retire?

Creating a Safe Relationship

Disease and Relationships

Trying to De-Stress

Stress Reduction


Your Dog Can't Swim

What kind of listener do you want me to be?

Dealing with Criticism

Run Your Own Race, Part II

Run Your Own Race

The Next Chapter in Our Lives

Creating New Normals

Beating the Holiday Blues

Emotional Triggers

"You're with yourself, so you might as well enjoy the company" - Diane Von Furstenburg

The grace of forgiveness

Trying to blend a blended family

The Umbrella Story

How Disease Impacts A Relationship

Overcoming the Holiday Blues

Talking Dog for Sale

Trying to Blend a Blended Family

The Worst Beating I Ever Took

"It's my fault!"

You had it last!

It's All About Me!

The grace of forgiveness

Cooling the brain

Life's Puzzle-Box Top

Simon Says

Unenforceable Rules

Stone Face

It's All About Me!

You Lost That Loving Feeling

Don't Tell Me What To Do

Do it now

No Opportunity to Repair

The Umbrella Story

How Do We Express Our Love?

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Celebration for Dr. Don Buckley

Congratulations from Bivins Orthodontics

Whole-ly Rollers Bakery Gives a Sweet Gift

Farm to Table

Nulee Wellness Grand Opening

Professional Columns -
Relationships by Dr. Bill Austin


As we think about what we are going to write on the pages of a new year, the following might be of use. A friend of mine shared a wonderful idea about the New Year and it is something that Karen and I will be doing. He recommended that we get a large jar that will be known as our "blessing jar." Starting in January, we will write down the experiences we think have been a blessing, fun, and inspiring. Put the slips in the jar.

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At the end of the year, we will open the jar and read what we have written. Sometimes, it is easy to forget to appreciate the good times in our life, our marriage, and family so this is a wonderful way to remember how blessed we have been.

On a different note, I would like to share a column that helps us make the most of this year by learning from the wisdom of other people. I came across an article written by a nurse who worked with dying patients. She listed their five most popular regrets.

1) I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

The nurse said this was the most common regret. She went on to say that when people realize that their life is almost over, they reflect back over their lives. They regrettably see how many dreams were left unfulfilled. The nurse said that most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and died knowing that it was because of the choices they had made or not made.

This reminds me of a line from the movie Out of Africa. The line was, "I don't want to get to the end of my life and realize that I lived someone else's dream." Marlo Thomas, an actress and daughter of Danny Thomas, was going to star in her own television series. She told her father that she loved him but wished she wasn't the daughter of such a famous star. She felt that being his daughter, people would judge her more harshly. He told her, "Run your own race." We need to listen and value what others suggest but the bottom line is to be true to ourselves and run our own race.

2) I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

One of my ministerial friends told me towards the end of his life that he wished he had kept up with his friends. He got so busy with his career and family that the friendships that he came to value later were gone. Now, he was at the time of his life when these friendships could be so meaningful – especially, after his wife died.

Next month we will continue with the other regrets and how we can use them.

Dr. Austin has decades of experience dealing with relationships. He charges clients on a sliding scale according to their ability to pay. His first book, Creating Our Safe Place: Articles on Healthy Relationships, was published in 2004. His second book, Keeping It Safe, was published in 2009 and can be purchased through,, and at the Parrish Book Store in Virginia Beach.  He is also a sought-after speaker at meetings and seminars.

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