Happy Jewish New Year, Week Thirty-Nine in the New Abnormal
The Hebrew Year 5783 is upon us. It’s a celebration of new beginnings. Sometimes called the great reset. We have a tradition of bringing bread crumbs, which symbolize our sins, down to the river to release them so we can start anew. For me the letting go of the recent past to move on is an unburdening. It’s a kindness we can give ourselves in letting go of what we deem to be opposed to our values. It’s a personal forgiveness so we can live better lives through right action.
Life is Beautiful, Living is Hard; Week Thirty-Eight in the New Abnormal
I woke up this morning to a stunning sunrise. I slept well and was in a better mood than I had been the last couple of days. Sunrises bring hope. They help me to begin the day with gratitude. The day is lovely. It’s warm enough to avoid outwear, but cool enough to enjoy the breezes on my walk. The outdoor cafes are filled with happy brunch diners. The city is moving along nicely.
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.
It's Hot! Week Thirty in the New Abnormal
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.
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.
What We Don't Know, Week Fourteen in the New Abnormal
Awards, Week Thirteen in the New Transition
Though award shows don’t hold the same cache as they did in my childhood, this weekend is the Academy Awards. Fraught with politics and self-promotion, the awards have lost some of their shimmer. Yet, while growing up I wrote and rewrote my acceptance speeches. It was my fantasy of ultimate success. If I felt insignificant or hurt, my bright future would prove to the world I was somebody. My bullies would see I was special. That was my secret revenge.
Welcome Spring, Week Twelve in the New Abnormal
Hello Spring, you couldn’t come soon enough. We’ve all needed to lighten our loads. And what better way to start than by taking off our parkas? Like the shining moon hidden under the clouds, you’ve come from behind the cold for renewed hope.
Tech Unsaavy and More, Week Eight in the New Abnormal
I don’t really understand Instagram. I’ve heard it’s for boomers. As a Baby Boomer, I am virtually clueless on how to navigate this social media platform. I can send hearts to a photo, but opening attachments, or anything more than loving a post eludes me. I keep meaning to find a tutorial I can follow, but my time is spoken for, so learning how to use Instagram stays low on my to-do list. I post to Instagram weekly. I’m not sure if it goes through, or if people just see pictures but can’t open the attachments.
The Wrong Way I Meditate, Week Six in the New Abnormal
I felt so fortunate that I had a meditation practice prior to the pandemic. I chose to double up my meditations to give myself devoted time each morning before I started my day. And, when needed again at night, or anytime I had to find my way back to myself.
Thwarted Plans, Week Two In The New Abnormal
I keep deluding myself into thinking I know the best formula for getting through these difficult times. I meditate twice daily. I make sure I don’t make plans more than once a week, except in special circumstances. I go for daily walks. I work. I try to make dinner a few times a week. I like doing all these things. While I’m doing teach of them, I feel perfectly fine. But in other moments I am short-tempered. I am impatient. I long for more support.
So Long, 2021, Week 35 in the Time of Transition
2021 was so, so long. In this last week I have little interest in reviewing this past year. The fact that I, that we, got through it is good enough for me.
Thank you Mr. Sondheim, Week 31 in the Time of Transition
I was working at Strawbridge and Clothier in the Men’s shoe department. This was a branch in the Echelon Mall in Voorhees, NJ, a short commute to Philadelphia. I was a student at Rutger’s University in Camden, still a theater major, though I would finish with a degree in English. Paul Puccio, an English major at another college, who worked in Men’s Furnishings, introduced me to the music of Stephen Sondheim. I was 18 years old. He was enamored with Follies and Alexis Smith. He invited me over to his home where I listened to his original Broadway cast album with Paul narrating to a neophyte. I was changed for life.
A Rare Moment of Calm, Week 24 in the Time of Transition
I hit the ground running. There was so much to get done and I’m still behind. I did the best I could, which means I had to readjust from vacation mode to New York City-paced backlog catch-up. Within a few days the vacation glow is flickering.
Getting Away, Week 23 in the Time of Transition
Sometimes we just need to get away. It helps to clear our heads and take a break from day-to-day stress. That’s exactly what we did this weekend. It’s been a long time coming. I booked this trip before the pandemic shut down our world. I rebooked three times in the hope that quarantines were a temporary inconvenience. In the end we had to wait until the Canadian borders opened up for the fully vaccinated.
A Pandemic Birthday, Week Eighteen in the Time of Transition
A few years ago I was at a networking event when I spotted an old acquaintance. I was happy to see her, filled with memories of the two of us with mutual friends enjoying parties, volunteering, and talks in the mid-80’s. When I approached her and reminded her who I was, in a cold tone she responded, “Yes, I know who you are.” I felt hurt and dismissed. I thought about those early years in New York City when I couch-surfed and lived hand to mouth. It was a hard time, and I was not always my best self. I had thought warmly of this person recalling her dedication to friends and of her strong work ethic. Her taciturn words indicated she thought less of me.