Exotic Minnesota, Week Thirty-Six in the new Abnormal
It’s cool, clean and sunny in downtown Minneapolis this morning. I am taking my time this morning on this solo vacation. Yesterday I went to the largest state fair in the country on the outskirts of St. Paul. Wow! It was definitely not an experience to be had in the Big Apple, which made it a truly exotic experience for this New Yorker. I entered in the morning and left as the crowds swelled in the early afternoon. The grounds were sprawling, and I got lost any number of times leading me to impressive displays of award-winning crafts, deco buildings, and backstage settings.
Another Year Older, Week Thirty-Five in the New Abnormal
Today I turn 63. In my 20s and 30s I wanted a lot of celebrating. By 40, after I started my present career as a psychotherapist, low key became my preferred option. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted recognition. Sometimes, I say with some embarrassment, I demanded recognition. But smaller became better for me. Today I took myself to the Bronx to walk among the August flowers at the New York Botanical Gardens.
Scaffolding, Week Thirty-Four in the New Abnormal
Pre-Covid, I took a wonderful writing workshop with Emily Raboteau at the Key West Writer’s Workshop. Not only was it a beautiful setting, but the guest speakers and the workshop itself were invaluable. One thing Professor Raboteau taught us was the necessity of proper scaffolding to support the writing. It took time, but I built my scaffolding. It’s been more precarious than proper, but I worked with the materials at hand and I’m finding my way.
A Good Morning, Week Thirty-Three in the New Abnormal
Bears of Central Park, Week Thirty-Two in the New Abnormal
I entered Central Park at 79th Street. The small, seated area was cordoned off so that Central Park Conservancy workers could clean the sculpture of the bear trio that adorns a circular inlet. I had never seen the careful scrubbing of the artwork and appreciated how diligently they were working to rid the bears of debris. The park is as beautiful as it is thanks to Conservancy employees and a myriad of volunteers who work assiduously to ensure that we can all enjoy all the Park offers.
Friendship Day, Week Thirty-One in the New Abnormal
I’m writing this on International Friendship Day. It has me thinking of past friends, some gone by mutual consent, some, as the wonderful Claudia Shear put it, are ‘location specific’, and some died too young. The rest still bring me laughs, tears, and meaningful moments either with posts, texts, emails, or on a rare visit.
It's Hot! Week Thirty in the New Abnormal
Peaches, Yum! Week Twenty Nine in the New Abnormal
It’s 1967, it’s hot. It’s a July weekend so I’m not at Hilltop Day Camp. The sprinkler is on, back and forth from one side of the lawn to the other. I have mixed feelings about sprinklers. I love the constant whir of water from the circular type, but I don’t get a break. It’s more of a free for all than a game. With the alternating side sprinkler, I can time it to race through when it comes my way, while taking a breath when it switches sides. In the end, that’s my preference. Get soaked, get hot, and start all over again.
Moods Ebb & Flow, Week Twenty-Eight in the New Abnormal
The cycling of moods continues. Today I’m happy. It’s beautiful outside. I get to walk on fairly empty sidewalks, and I’m ticking things off my to-do list. Earlier this week I was crestfallen. Too many tragedies and so much shared pain in the world. I find it fascinating how the ups and downs shift from day to day. Well, really, from moment to moment.
Compassion vs. Disregard, Week Twenty-Seven in the New Abnormal
Reactivity, Week Twenty-Six in the New Abnormal
Honestly, the news this week has not been good given my values. A lot of powerful women have been sharing opinions. Yes, I concur, but I have found that it’s been challenging to be my best self in the face of these upsetting decisions. I’ve not been able to separate my reactions from the deeply disturbing news. In this moment the political is personal.
Dashed Plans, Week Twenty-Five in the New Abnormal
Falling Down but Not Falling Apart, Week Twenty-Four in the New Abnormal
I’m moving a bit slower presently. While on vacation I sprained my ankle. I wasn’t going to let that stop me from enjoying every moment of our amazing time away. Now that I’m back home, I’m doing bi-weekly physical therapy while curtailing long walks. I only made it to Central Park once this week. In full walking mode, I usually make it at least five times weekly. Thank goodness for Carl Shurz Park, it’s close, by the East River. A smaller park, but volunteers and park workers have created a beautiful outdoor space. Sometimes it gets crowded, but Lucy, our dog, and I walk around them.
Ah, Spring, Week Twenty-Three in the New Abnormal
It feels absolutely freeing to wear lighter clothing. Spring is here and I’m thrilled. Even if the mornings or evenings require a light jacket, putting away the wool is such a relief. In theory, I love the changing seasons. Each season bringing a mood, a swath of colors, or, as in winter, shades of white and grey. But, in practice I prefer the warmer months. If only I could transplant New York City to a more temperate climate. Alas, such are the compromises I’ve made to be a New Yorker.
Post-Vacation, Week Twenty-two in the New Abnormal
I don’t like the phrase at the end of a vacation, “Back to real life.” I think vacations are real life. It’s a break from the everyday, but enjoying that break is very real. Coming back to my work and apartment, and New York City after this vacation was a terrific reentry.
Goodbye Galapagos, Week Twenty One in the New Abnormal
I’m sitting at the Quito airport in the wee hours of the morning. This past week I had about one hour total of internet. It was divine. I thought I had overcome my reliance on electronics, but I have been habituated. And, as much as I enjoyed the downtime, I also am happy to be on my way home to enjoy the benefits, while cursing the downside of being “connected.”
A Trip to the Equator, Week 20 in the New Abnormal
No one could have prepared me for the beauty of Ecuador. Wherever I turn the vista is extraordinary. The pictures barely capture the awe that we’re experiencing. Going on vacation is the refresh I so needed.
Reparenting on Mother's Day, Week Nineteen in the New Abnormal
Though cards, commercials, and media would have us romanticize motherhood, the truth is Mother’s Day can be stressful for so many. Whether families grapple with mental illness, death, physical illness, the court systems, mismatched needs of child/mother, in-law drama, or whether there are reproductive issues, or other circumstances that make the day difficult, allow for kindness and caring while enduring the day.
Just a Little Bit, Week Eighteen in the New Abnormal
I would much rather have a small sample of something I really like than to substitute it for an alternative. If ordering a dessert when I go out, though I rarely go out presently, I prefer to order a dessert I want than to order the fruit salad or an equivalent. I can enjoy one or two spoonfuls, savoring the texture and flavors. Just a little bit goes a long way. It’s not just desserts I prefer in small doses.
City Blooms, Week Seventeen in the New Abnormal
A three-minute walk from our apartment stands a small lone cherry blossom tree. It’s located behind a dull brick building. On this seemingly empty city block the tree feels like a sign of hope. Hope that beauty can hold up in the face of asphalt and concrete.