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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.  

Bears of Central Park, Week Thirty-Two in the New Abnormal

Bears of Central Park, Week Thirty-Two in the New Abnormal
Aug 06, 2022 by Janet Zinn

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

It's Hot! Week Thirty in the New Abnormal
Jul 23, 2022 by Janet Zinn
Heat waves are oppressive.  I’m walking slowly, drinking more water, and commiserating with everyone else who is melting in this humid weather.  I have always preferred hot temperatures to cold, but sometimes it’s just too hot.  As a child I’d ride my Schwinn to the Haddontowne Swim Club and cool down swimming and playing in the chlorinated water.  Today, I can ride my bike, but I’m going to opt for the indoor version in my air-conditioned apartment, going nowhere, and enjoying the solitude.   

Peaches, Yum! Week Twenty Nine in the New Abnormal

Peaches, Yum! Week Twenty Nine in the New Abnormal
Jul 16, 2022 by Janet Zinn

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

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.  

Ah, Spring, Week Twenty-Three in the New Abnormal

Ah, Spring, Week Twenty-Three in the New Abnormal
Jun 05, 2022 by Janet Zinn

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.  

Reparenting on Mother's Day, Week Nineteen in the New Abnormal

Reparenting on Mother's Day, Week Nineteen in the New Abnormal
May 08, 2022 by Janet Zinn

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

Just a Little Bit, Week Eighteen in the New Abnormal
Apr 30, 2022 by Janet Zinn

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

City Blooms, Week Seventeen in the New Abnormal
Apr 23, 2022 by Janet Zinn

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.    

On Repeat, Week Sixteen in the New Abnormal

On Repeat, Week Sixteen in the New Abnormal
Apr 17, 2022 by Janet Zinn
Life isn’t linear.  I had always hoped I’d solve what I considered to be my problems, and then live a quality life.  The truth is that we revisit issues time and time again.  Even when we think we’ve beat it, it will show up unexpectedly.  Perhaps it’s why the movie Groundhog’s Day resonates for so many of us.  

Rest for the Weary, Week Fifteen in the New Abnormal

Rest for the Weary, Week Fifteen in the New Abnormal
Apr 10, 2022 by Janet Zinn

In my mind this weekend was filled with activity.  I was going on long walks, I was starting to prepare for Passover, reading as research, writing, walking Lucy, finding items to give away, cooking for the week, and everything else that involves time and effort when not at work.  I forget what is required to get so much done, especially when a nap is in order.  

What We Don't Know, Week Fourteen in the New Abnormal

What We Don't Know, Week Fourteen in the New Abnormal
Apr 03, 2022 by Janet Zinn

Awards, Week Thirteen in the New Transition

Awards, Week Thirteen in the New Transition
Mar 27, 2022 by Janet Zinn

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.