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Swimming on Vacation, The Fourth Week of the Second Year of the New Abnormal

Swimming on Vacation, The Fourth Week of the Second Year of the New Abnormal
Jan 29, 2023 by Janet Zinn

I swam for an hour, my head submerged in the warm pool with tiny, wavy prisms, iridescent in the sun-drenched water.  The luxury of having a pool to myself is priceless.  Being able to move seamlessly underwater, thanks to my swimmers’ mask, allows me to stay beneath the surface, enjoying what I’d describe as a meditation in motion.  

Doing & Being, The Third Week of the Second Year in the New Abnormal

Doing & Being, The Third Week of the Second Year in the New Abnormal
Jan 22, 2023 by Janet Zinn

I have salt lamps in my home and work offices.  They are supposed to have a calming effect with the soft pink glow.  I also have a host of self-help books with recommendations on ways to be happier, less stressed, or healthier in every way.  There are not enough hours in the day to prepare and slowly enjoy nourishing meals, move our bodies, meditate, document our thoughts, our habits, our gratitude, mindfully practice yoga, recycle, enjoy nature, be nice to everyone, call our friends, practice aroma therapy, see our health professionals, read or listen to the news, laugh, bring some art into our lives, be creative, be informed, be conscious, relax, be generous, and be happy.  I am overwhelmed living my best life. 

What's For Dinner? The Second Week of the Second Year of the New Abnormal

What's For Dinner?  The Second Week of the Second Year of the New Abnormal
Jan 15, 2023 by Janet Zinn

I was preparing dinner as I do many nights.  Last night was pesto glazed salmon and garlic-marinaded skirt steak with sauteed spinach, garlic bread, and a spicy salad.  Thanks to Marion Zinn, my mother-in-law, I have the best marinade for the steak.  She was a wonderful hostess and served many delicious dishes.  Conversely, my mother would get anxious when hosting guests.  Nonetheless she deserves a shout out as an excellent baker. All three of my siblings and I have fond memories of annual birthday cakes baked from scratch, stored on a glass cake plate with an aluminum cake dome.  I used to cook and bake regularly, but as life’s responsibilities expanded, my domestic duties dwindled.   

The Happiness Challenge, The First Week in the Second Year of The New Abnormal

The Happiness Challenge, The First Week in the Second Year of The New Abnormal
Jan 08, 2023 by Janet Zinn

I subscribe to The New York Times.  As an online subscriber I often miss stories and articles that are of interest to me. However, I was fortunate enough to receive the Happiness Challenge of this last week.  It wasn’t an outsized commitment but small acts of recognition and gratitude.  

So Long 2022, Year Two in the New Abnormal

So Long 2022, Year Two in the New Abnormal
Dec 31, 2022 by Janet Zinn

Here we are as we move away from 2022 to 2023.  It’s the weekend.  It’s also a milestone in the annual calendar.  

 

One thing I know for sure is that as much as we hope and try, mistakes will be made this coming year.  We might prefer to forget the hardships of the last three years, but we’re still recovering.  We may want to reach new goals, or old goals yet to be achieved.  Hopefully we’ll get there, but the challenges and lessons along the way may not be easy.  As we work on being better and doing better, they’ll be disappointments and setbacks.  

Lost Gloves, Week Fifty-One in the New Abnormal

Lost Gloves, Week Fifty-One in the New Abnormal
Dec 17, 2022 by Janet Zinn

I’m going to think of my gloves as rentals.  No matter what I pay, and how I try to keep them deep in my pockets when they are off my hands, I seem to lose one or more throughout the winter-wear season.  Say what you will about gloves, they undoubtedly lack permanence.  I suppose we could say that about life itself.  

Emotions During the Holidays, Week Fifty in the New Abnormal

Emotions During the Holidays, Week Fifty in the New Abnormal
Dec 10, 2022 by Janet Zinn

I was in an emotional tailspin earlier this week.  I could tell I wasn’t in the right headspace as I kept thinking of past mistakes I’ve made, times I’ve previously hurt friends, and ways in which I had poor judgement. I was not coming out a champ.  More like a chump.  The negative barrage is not unfamiliar, but it happens less often than in former years.  By Tuesday, I knew that I needed to clear my head so there’d be space for self-care and kindness.  Luckily, I had my weekly therapy session.  

A Pile of New Yorkers, Week Forty-Nine in the New Abnormal

A Pile of New Yorkers, Week Forty-Nine in the New Abnormal
Dec 04, 2022 by Janet Zinn

I made it to page 50 of the New Yorker with the promise of a poem on the next page.  Of course, this is the November 14th Issue, which may seem to indicate I’m a month behind.  Not so, since I arbitrarily picked it up from a pile that goes back to issues from last year, I now am down to eleven unread issues.  This is my ongoing plight with New Yorkers.  My pile expands or contracts based on what’s happening any given week.  

Bargains Abound, Week Forty-Eight in the New Abnormal

Bargains Abound, Week Forty-Eight in the New Abnormal
Nov 26, 2022 by Janet Zinn

I just deleted 129 emails from my inbox.  I’m not that popular, it’s simply that retailers with black Friday weekend deals want my money.  Some of the emails remind me that I looked at something I chose not to buy in case I need to see it again. I do not.  

Arrgg, Change; Week Forty-Seven in the New Abnormal

Arrgg, Change; Week Forty-Seven in the New Abnormal
Nov 20, 2022 by Janet Zinn

A couple of days ago I installed an iPhone update.  I find this new format annoying.  I get it, things change.  But sometimes the changes come all at once and too fast.  I just wasn’t ready for a new change, small as it is.  

Halloween Weekend, Week Forty-Four in the New Abnormal

Halloween Weekend, Week Forty-Four in the New Abnormal
Oct 29, 2022 by Janet Zinn

It’s Halloween Weekend and the city is ready for the many trick or treaters at every age.  As a child of the sixties our Halloween was comprised of a trip to Kiddie City to pick out a cardboard box with a clear window displaying the plastic mask with a thin mouth opening with two nostril holes for labored breathing that allowed for a muffled song of “trick or treat” at the door of kind home-owners who distributed candy, both great and questionable.  My favorite candy were plain Hershey chocolate bars, M&Ms, Twizzlers, or Good and Plenty.  I was not a fan of the chalky Necco Wafers or boxes of raisins.  We had plenty of fruit and raisins in our home, so I was on the lookout for forbidden treats that I would hide in the back of my closet.  

Happy Jewish New Year, Week Thirty-Nine in the New Abnormal

Happy Jewish New Year, Week Thirty-Nine in the New Abnormal
Sep 25, 2022 by Janet Zinn

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

Life is Beautiful, Living is Hard; Week Thirty-Eight in the New Abnormal
Sep 17, 2022 by Janet Zinn

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

Another Year Older, Week Thirty-Five in the New Abnormal
Aug 27, 2022 by Janet Zinn

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

Scaffolding, Week Thirty-Four in the New Abnormal
Aug 21, 2022 by Janet Zinn

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

A Good Morning, Week Thirty-Three in the New Abnormal
Aug 13, 2022 by Janet Zinn
My short bob is all over the place.  I remember a time my mother would claim, “We have to tame your hair.”  I still hear you, Mom, but I am wearing it untamed today.  Maybe it’s the weather, maybe it was a deeply satisfying morning, but I’m feeling a bit untamed myself.  Today is one of three City Streets in which Park Avenue is open to cyclists, runners and pedestrians.  I took out my low bicycle and headed west to Park Avenue at 6:45 for a 7 a.m. start.  I trudged up a small hill, understanding this was the only practice I’d get before riding on the northern hills of Park Avenue.  

Moods Ebb & Flow, Week Twenty-Eight in the New Abnormal

Moods Ebb & Flow, Week Twenty-Eight in the New Abnormal
Jul 10, 2022 by Janet Zinn

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

Compassion vs. Disregard, Week Twenty-Seven in the New Abnormal
Jul 02, 2022 by Janet Zinn
Thurgood Marshall said"The measure of a country's greatness is its ability to retain compassion in times of crisis."  Yet what I’ve experienced in the last months and perhaps years is an eroding of compassion and care for others. So many are getting annoyed with others, some acting out in ways that are harsh and harmful.  This preponderance of disregard for other’s human frailties is hurtful to all of us. 

Reactivity, Week Twenty-Six in the New Abnormal

Reactivity, Week Twenty-Six in the New Abnormal
Jun 25, 2022 by Janet Zinn

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

Dashed Plans, Week Twenty-Five in the New Abnormal
Jun 19, 2022 by Janet Zinn
Our best intentions don’t always go according to plan.  I had all weekend to work on a project.  I planned on spending this weekend, as I have in the past, writing and rewriting to meet a deadline.  Lucy, who is my constant companion loves the cooler air and asked to be taken on walks more than usual. Once we were outside she was happy to let the breeze mess up her hair as she sat on the sidewalk.