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Memorial Day, 2015

May 26, 2015 by Janet Zinn
Traditionally today is the day you can safely wear white. The unofficial beginning of summer. Staying in Manhattan is a treat when so many go away. It’s such a simple pleasure. This afternoon I went for a jog on the East River and enjoyed the array of characters I encountered. The row of men fishing. Most had rods and used fish meat as bait. But some had traps and used chicken gizzards. I got thumbs up as I slowly ran by. Appreciating the encouragement I smiled back with my thumbs up for their potential catches. It was a New York moment. I passed a family ready to barbecue, a plastic checkered tablecloth on top of which were a rainbow assortment...

Why Don't I Like Her?

Why Don't I Like Her?
May 18, 2015 by Janet Zinn
Ms. Garcia was fussy. She was tense and persnickety. She was one day old when I met her and addicted to meth. Understandably, she was not easily soothed.

Some of my best teachers were infants. There was a time years ago when I held babies at St. Luke’s Hospital in the nursery. It was a wonderful program initially created for newborns who were at risk for AIDS. But as crack grew to epidemic proportions, the program expanded to include drug-addicted infants. Most of the nurses were wonderful, but their work load was full, so they enlisted volunteers to help with the holding and feeding, giving the babies human touch when their families were unable to be there.



What I found fascinating about...

Mother's Day, 2015

May 11, 2015 by Janet Zinn
"We are all married to the same man."

Judy Mannarino, Talented Artist, www.judymannarino.net



Mother’s Day is a day fraught with mixed emotions. We’re parents, but we’re not mothers. We wish to be mothers but we’re not. We’re mothers, but we wished we weren’t. We love our children, but we get frustrated sometimes. Our mothers are no longer here. Our mothers are here, but we’re not sure how we feel about that. We’re indebted, we’re sad, we’re expectant, we’re disappointed. We’re ambivalent.

This morning I woke up, took my shower and came into the living room/dining area when I saw a card and gift. For the first few years of motherhood, Larry, my husband, wasn’t aware that Mother’s Day meant something to me. I...

Anger Management

May 04, 2015 by Janet Zinn
Shortly after a lovely run in the park, and a chat in the colorful garden on this beautiful Sunday, I was crossing the street when a red mini SUV made a fast right, cutting me off. I slowed my walk so as not to be hit. I yelled into her open window, my right arm up,

“HEY!”

She gave me the finger and yelled, “Fuck You.”

I was pissed. Then I saw that she went onto my block. I silently wished her no parking space. A private revenge for scaring me, then blaming me for getting upset. As I arrived at my apartment building, I saw her car parked at a hydrant. Angry, I walked over to the vehicle. She was unloading stuff,...

Walking the Dog -- A Grounded-Spirituality Post

Apr 27, 2015 by Janet Zinn
I had given myself a self-imposed deadline to write this post by tonight. But I was making no headway. I tried to start a couple of times, but they went nowhere.  Lame ideas with no way out. And, it was a busy day, testing my thin veil of discipline. Finally I sat down to write in earnest, well, I was hoping for that when Lucy, our dog, indicated that she had to go out. So, I got up hesitantly, got her leash, put on my jacket, checking for bags and treats, and we headed down the stairs to a lovely Spring evening. I was walking down the block when we ran into a friend with her adorable dogs. I rarely...

A Theatrical Moment

Apr 20, 2015 by Janet Zinn
I was so happy. Sitting in the mezzanine of the historical Palace Theater, one of what I believe are only four theaters sitting directly on Broadway. It was a perfect combination of Gershwin music played by a full orchestra and sublime dancing and choreography. As much as I love the theater, it’s been a long time since I was transported in the way An American in Paris carried me away to pure joy.

Utter happiness and joy are powerful experiences that can get us through harder times. I value those transcendent moments. But I’ve chased them for so long, not appreciating lovely moments since they weren’t absolutely amazing. For instance, watching a sunset, or listening to Emma, my daughter, tell me...

Napping; A Ground-Spirituality Post

Apr 13, 2015 by Janet Zinn
I admit it, I take naps. They are a small delight given my crowded schedule. I used to think that naps were a luxury I couldn’t afford. I had to get on with life, seizing every moment. Days were filled with activities, proving how busy I was. Somehow being busy justified my existence. Or, rather, I defended against the notion that I was lazy. It all started when my Grandmom Becky called me lazy when I was a teen. To her it was a nasty trait, with filth as a close second. She spent hours mopping her white tiled, kitchen floor. When finished she’d scrub any perceived grout from her bathtub. If she wasn’t cleaning she was exercising, staying fit...

Tidying My Life; A Ground-Spirituality Post

Tidying My Life; A Ground-Spirituality Post
Apr 06, 2015 by Janet Zinn
I’m reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It’s a unique philosophy of organizing. My biggest take-away so far is to ask the question of each item in my apartment, like clothing or books, “Does this item bring joy?” It’s a great question, and it got me thinking. Could I do this in the rest of my life? I ponderedt this today as I was choosing what to eat. It was nice to appreciate what I had and enjoy it in this way. Then I thought, what about my social life? Shouldn’t I be hanging out with those who bring joy to my life? I do for the most part, but there are still times when I don’t take joy...

Nice; A Grounded-Spirituality Post

Nice; A Grounded-Spirituality Post
Mar 29, 2015 by Janet Zinn
This winter got to me. I became grumpier. I’ve been quick to judge. Yet this past week something renewed my faith in others. I had a rare late dinner with a friend. We laughed and caught up, enjoying this reprieve from our busy lives. I went home on the bus, slightly tipsy from the glass of wine I enjoyed with the meal. It was rainy, so when I got home I was happy to unload my umbrella, rain coat and bags in the vestibule. I took off my rubber boots, went online and received an email. It was from a name I didn’t recognized. Luckily I read it. Noam Franklin wrote that he was the last to get off the...

Rushing to Yoga; A Grounded-Spirituality Post

Mar 23, 2015 by Janet Zinn
It could have been any day.   I woke up, and immediately did a mental check list of all that had to get done before I left the apartment. I had promised myself that I would make room for yoga. It had been too long and I missed the class and the benefits from going. So, in addition, to gearing up for a busy day, I was in a crunch to get through the family rush hour to make it to class.

First-things-first. I meditated, or I sat down on a mat, spending time with myself, trying not to think of anything except the moment, but getting caught up in the quagmire of my thoughts. Every thought took me away from the...

Grounded-Spirituality

Mar 15, 2015 by Janet Zinn
"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience." - Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

I wanted to start writing a bit about accepting our humanness. There’s so many ways in which we can feel badly about ourselves. The point of these short blog posts is to accept our flaws and learn from our mistakes. Selfishly, I’m writing these as much for myself as for anyone else. I can be oh, so critical. I’m hard on myself and judgmental of others. I’m not proud of this, but I can be a snob. For example, when I go on vacation, I try to avoid personal conversations with strangers. As a therapist I need to distress and...

In Pursuit of a Good Vacation

In Pursuit of a Good Vacation
Feb 18, 2015 by Janet Zinn
What I left behind in going away

It turns out I’m not much of an all-inclusive gal. We are in a gorgeous setting, in the warmth of Mexico. I am so happy to be out of the New York winter for the week. And, yet, in this lovely setting, I hear muzak when I yearn for quiet. I dine at restaurants that have stunning menus with adequate food. We are in the lap of luxury, and I crave simplicity. Tonight we walked the property. It is spa-like in design, though I heard a mariachi band playing to diners at a themed buffet. We went to the café for an after-dinner espresso. There was a lounge singer nearby....

Getting it Right

Feb 01, 2015 by Janet Zinn
There is a myth that if we just did things better or differently we could avoid some unpleasantness. That certainly has been my credo for a long time. My self-criticism has known no bounds. I was sure that my unhappiness was a matter of me lacking something essential. And, once I was able to gain that something special, I would know eternal happiness. In my mind this included having more money, a fit body, harmonious relationships, and constant inner peace.

I thought I just needed to be more positive. Or, I should be more disciplined, or less critical. Maybe that’s true, but going on a mind loop of what I need to change hasn’t actually helped me. So, rather than perpetuate...

Goodbye 2014

Jan 01, 2015 by Janet Zinn
I vacillate between seeing the New Year as a fresh start and thinking of January 1st as the day after December 31st, part of the ongoing process. Either way, I seem to get serious thinking unoriginal philosophical thoughts. What happened this past year? How did it impact me? Did I laugh enough? Did I grow? What did I learn?

I enjoyed the company of my friends. I enjoyed time alone. No, I didn’t laugh enough. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m always thinking of what else needs to get done, or comedy isn’t as funny as it used to be. Perhaps Robin Williams death quieted my laughter for a bit. In the plus column I worked on being less invested...

Matisse Makes Me Happy

Dec 15, 2014 by Janet Zinn
One of the pleasures of living in New York is the amazing art available to view. I realized that being a member to various museums was an easy way to make short visits to old favorites and new exhibits. This week I went to a new show at MOMA. I’m not a huge fan of contemporary art. It is a good show as far as these go, and I was happy to be introduced to the art of Dianna Molzan. She has a fresh perspective on how we deliver art, and it made me smile. Because contemporary art is not my first love, I moved quickly through the 6th floor gallery.



When I finished, it was still early member hours and...

Something Different

Something Different
Nov 24, 2014 by Janet Zinn
I can be a solitary person. I like my alone time. I like to figure things out on my own and I like doing things by myself. But I learned something new about myself today while running my first race in awhile. I resist change. In the past I was happy to be a solo runner. I am a very slow runner, mindful of my age and the wear and tear my body has endured. I was pleased to be running at all, and it took me a couple of years to run even one race.   Then I ran one run, uncertain of the shouts and cheers the volunteers provided. They meant well, but I liked going at my own...

NYC Marathon

Nov 03, 2014 by Janet Zinn
Watching the NYC Marathon runners down First Avenue was simply inspiring. Seeing each person with their own reasons for running push through to continue their relentless course communicates discipline and tenacity. For a few hours this windy, Autumn day I screamed on the sidelines to strangers. I was able to see someone I knew, which was amazing.

The marathon is meaningful to those who run their race. They set a goal and mostly achieved it. And, if they fell short, they can be proud of making the effort to complete it. The marathon is very real, but it’s also a metaphor for life. In my work as a psychotherapist, I witness my clients face challenges in their lives. They work hard...

My Two Careers

My Two Careers
Sep 28, 2014 by Janet Zinn
In my every day life I’m a psychotherapist. I love what I do and I am always awed by the courage and growth I witness in my practice. I am committed to my work and my clients, giving what I can to do the work necessary   Even though I go for long walks, meditate, go to my own therapy, take vitamins, and do what I can to laugh, I tend to be exhausted by the end of the week.

Given my line of work, it’s ironic that when I go on vacation I tend to lie about what I do. But I have reason to lie.

Sometimes I make the mistake of being honest when asked, “What do you do?” This past...

Larrys' Wedding

Larrys' Wedding
Sep 06, 2014 by Janet Zinn
I just had a wonderful time. My friend Larry married his love, Larry, in a full service Episcopal wedding. It was a lovely blend of Christian tradition and modern love. After was champagne, a buffet, and most importantly, dancing. Larry and I met in our early college years while we both worked at the Echelon Mall in Voorhees, NJ. I was of a mixed mind working there since the mall had edged my dad’s independent shoe store out of business. Larry and I became fast friends. He always had a smile on his face and we laughed easily together. Within months we realized that he got his school shoes at my dad’s store. The most fun we had together was...

Strap/Hanger

Strap/Hanger
Aug 16, 2014 by Janet Zinn
My hangers have been more important than I am. When I go out I quickly find that I have thin strands coming out of my sides. I haven’t gotten into the habit of cutting the strings on my dresses and shirts that hang out of my sleeves when I wear them. Instead I have loyally kept them attached so that I can hang them neatly in my closet. Apparently I respect the garment more than I care for myself.

Actually it has more to do with the discovery that there are still small life skills that allude me. I was in my last year of college when I saw someone drying themselves with a towel following a shower. I had always...