I Am a Jewish Psychotherapist, The Forty-First Week of the Second Year in the New Abnormal
Do I speak of the unspeakable? This past week marks a tragic low in inhumane acts. I cannot get my head around it. As a Jewish psychotherapist I am in a similar position as I was when we faced the pandemic. I am going through something that I am also hearing from my clients. The sadness, along with so many other emotions, have been omnipresent this past week.
What is Self-Care? The Fortieth Week of the Second Year in the New Abnormal
When I was growing up in suburban New Jersey I didn’t know anything about self-care. The first experience I had that felt like self-care was when my mom treated me to a facial at Strawbridge and Clothier. They were having a special promotion. Although I couldn’t control my weigh, we could try to tackle my acne this one time.
Saying Nothing, The Thirty-Ninth Week in the Second Year of the New Abnormal
“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” That was a common idiom of our mother’s lexicon. She lived true to that statement. Even when she attempted to comment on something she disapproved of, she did her best to soften it. As a teen, I often was asked the question, “Janet, do you think that’s the most complementary outfit?“ Or it could have been make-up, pants, hair style or any other appearance-related observation. As a sensitive teen I was crushed no matter how much she tried to say it diplomatically.
Hygge, The Thirty-Eighth Week of the Second Year in the New Abnormal
Happy New Year, The Thirty-Seventh Week of the Second Year in the New Abnormal
Hurt by Half, The Thirty-Sixth Week of the Second Year in the New Abnormal
I was ten years old. The person who I had considered my best friend was in the Stafford School auditorium with her class, and I was with my class for a school-wide assembly. Assemblies felt important. Usually the principal spoke. He was a tall, somber man who communicated in hushed tones lending an atmosphere of solemnity to childhood gatherings.
Labor Day Weekend, The Thirty-Fifth Week of the Second Year in the New Abnormal
Relationship Issues, The Thirty-Fourth Week of the Second Year in the New Abnormal
Behind the Facade, The Thirty-Third Week of the Second Year in the New Abnormal
Growing up my mother and her mother were sticklers for good manners. I made a point of saying please and thank you. I was afraid they would view me as rude, and I didn’t want that moniker. My grandmother would point out other children who might have been louder than us, or publicly whiny, and she’d use those children as cautionary tails of behavior we were to stringently avoid.
Summer Relief, The Thirty-Second Week in the Second Year of the New Abnormal
Although this cannot be said of much of the country or world, we in New York City have enjoyed a reprieve from the intense heat of July. It has been delightful. Today I relished a breezy morning riding my low-to-the-ground bicycle up and down Park Avenue for the annual Summer Streets event. The Department of Transportation closes streets on Saturdays in all five boroughs throughout late July and August for pedestrians, joggers, and cyclists as a way of promoting greener transportation.
Mundane Day, The Thirty-First Week of the Second Year in the New Abnormal
What am I doing this weekend? Nothing special and everything essential. In an Instagram world of glamourous posts, my weekend is the antithesis of awesome. I started early to ensure I could easily access the washing machines needed for the weekly laundry. Luckily for me, it was a ghost town before 7 am, and I peacefully and quietly secured my machines and loaded them from the full hampers.
Optical Illusion, The Thirtieth Week of the Second Year in the new Abnormal
Lost in Brooklyn, The Twenty-Ninth Week in the Second Year of the New Abnormal
I set out to go to The Brooklyn Museum to see the Africa Fashion exhibit. I had intended to see it twice before but got waylaid, so my determination to get there yesterday was fierce. My plan was to slowly jog in Prospect Park getting out at the arch and walking the few blocks to the museum. Once I made it to Prospect Park at an unfamiliar entrance, I opened up Maps on my iPhone and set off.
Ai Instillation, The Twenty-Eighth Week in the Second Year of the New Abnormal
I was tired, it was hot, and I was happy to be at MOMA, the Museum of Modern Art, on West 53rd Street. The galleries were crowded, but I took my time enjoying new exhibitions and old favorites. After the slow perusal of four floors, I was spent. But I still had almost an hour before our dinner reservation down the block.
Bickering, The Twenty-Seventh Week of the Second Year in the New Abnormal
My son told me last weekend that he hoped he won’t have disagreements in his relationships like I have with my husband when he’s older. It was interesting to hear, and as far as I understand he believes that with the amount of therapy, mindfulness practice, as well as the fact that I am a psychotherapist, I should be further along in my personal development, especially when it comes to my marriage. There was a time I would have agreed. I would have seen my defensiveness when my feelings are hurt, and that my feelings get hurt at all, as a fault in my character.
Maine, The Twenty-Sixth Week of the Second Year in the New Abnormal
Summers are not as warm in Maine as they are in New York City. The air is fresh with ocean mists and the sun has been shy peeking out from the fog on this visit. We came to Portland to visit friends, enjoy lobster in any number of ways, and walk the charming streets in this compact city.
Rest & Activity, The Twenty-Fifth Week in the Second Year of the New Abnormal
Fathers Day, The Twenty-Fourth Week of the Second Year in the New Abnormal
Happy Father’s Day. When I say that it conjures up so much for me and for so many others, I expect you included. Many of us have had varied relationships with our fathers nothing like Father Knows Best, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, Blackish, or even Home Improvement. If only we could tune in for 30 minutes a week and enjoy the comical moments that focus on the highlights of the best parts of them, with a little silly thrown in.
Split, The Twenty-Third Week of the Second Year in the New Abnormal
It was a mere coincidence that we happen to be in Split, Croatia the same day the New York Times travel section featured 36 hours in Split. It’s about the same amount of time we’ll be in Split, which is a beautiful port city on the coast of the Adriatic Sea.
Goodbye Grumpiness, The Twenty-Second Week of the Second Year in the New Abnormal
I noticed that by the end of my work week I was short on compassion. My go to was frustration, impatience, or barely disguised anger. It was simple things. I was missing paperwork that had been promised me. A pair of reading glasses broke. And then there were a string of simple annoyances.