Window Dressing, Week Forty-Six in the New Abnormal
I have always found great pleasure in walking the city streets. Throughout my 43 years in New York City, I’ve seen a lot. And, yet, I always find something new. This past week I started to notice the ubiquitous iron work on so many buildings and railings. There’s a long history, centuries old, of metal and iron works. On closer inspection there are common patterns. Chances are they’re cheap. But not all buildings have the less expensive options. There are stunning pieces of craftsmanship.
Marathon Weekend, Week Forty-Five in the New Abnormal
The streets are brimming with runners. It’s the first November weekend, which means daylight-savings-time along with the New York City Marathon. Friday, while walking through Central Park, I came across a rally. It was a celebration of all the countries represented in the marathon. There were flags and delegates from 140 nations.
Halloween Weekend, Week Forty-Four in the New Abnormal
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.
Chasing Colors, Week Forty-Three in the New Abnormal
Manhattan is slower to display the vibrant array of Autumn colors associated with this season. I had planned to leave the city to enjoy the same lush views that friends had posted in their feeds. That never happened so I opted to wait for our city’s briefer period of transformation. It has yet to fully show itself. However, my walk to the North Woods in Central Park gave me a glimpse of what’s to come. The North Woods themselves are still greenish. But the walk to and from the north end of the park gifted me with moments of yellows, oranges and reds.
Make it Quick, Week Forty-One in the New Abnormal
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
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
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.