Positive Body Image
Ahhh, Naps, The Forty-Eighth Week in the Second Year of the New Abnormal
Napping was my top priority this past week. They were usually twenty to thirty minutes max. They made a tremendous difference in my mood. I was able to get through the week with a greater capacity for patience. I had more room for the things that usually get under my skin, like loud car horns in grid lock, or the annoying overspill from packages protected with shredded paper or other messy stuffing.
I Am a Jewish Psychotherapist, The Forty-First Week of the Second Year in the New Abnormal
Do I speak of the unspeakable? This past week marks a tragic low in inhumane acts. I cannot get my head around it. As a Jewish psychotherapist I am in a similar position as I was when we faced the pandemic. I am going through something that I am also hearing from my clients. The sadness, along with so many other emotions, have been omnipresent this past week.
What is Self-Care? The Fortieth Week of the Second Year in the New Abnormal
When I was growing up in suburban New Jersey I didn’t know anything about self-care. The first experience I had that felt like self-care was when my mom treated me to a facial at Strawbridge and Clothier. They were having a special promotion. Although I couldn’t control my weigh, we could try to tackle my acne this one time.
Saying Nothing, The Thirty-Ninth Week in the Second Year of the New Abnormal
“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” That was a common idiom of our mother’s lexicon. She lived true to that statement. Even when she attempted to comment on something she disapproved of, she did her best to soften it. As a teen, I often was asked the question, “Janet, do you think that’s the most complementary outfit?“ Or it could have been make-up, pants, hair style or any other appearance-related observation. As a sensitive teen I was crushed no matter how much she tried to say it diplomatically.
Hygge, The Thirty-Eighth Week of the Second Year in the New Abnormal
Behind the Facade, The Thirty-Third Week of the Second Year in the New Abnormal
Growing up my mother and her mother were sticklers for good manners. I made a point of saying please and thank you. I was afraid they would view me as rude, and I didn’t want that moniker. My grandmother would point out other children who might have been louder than us, or publicly whiny, and she’d use those children as cautionary tails of behavior we were to stringently avoid.
Rest & Activity, The Twenty-Fifth Week in the Second Year of the New Abnormal
Mother's Day Ambivalence, The Nineteenth Week in the Second Year of the New Abnormal
I, like many, have mixed feelings about Mother’s Day.
As a daughter I knew that I loved my mom, and I also yearned for her acceptance, spending far too much of my babysitting money to bask in the momentary approval of an expensive Mother’s Day gift. I’d set up Arlene’s Kitchen, honoring our mom. It was a made-up restaurant in our home with hand-written menus for the family. Nervous about what I might cook, I’d prep all the possibilities from eggs, any type of French toast or bagels & lox. As down home as those brunches were, they were followed by the certainty that my clean-up techniques would be met with inevitable disapproval. No one could make a countertop shine like my mom.
Our Relationship With the Weather, The Seventeenth Week of the Second Year in the New Abnormal
Growing up we wore rubbers or rubber boots, gently stretching them until they covered our shoes. It was a hassle taking them on and off. But to keep our leather saddle shoes somewhat dry, we sported rubbers over our two-toned oxfords. These days my low rubber boots are the only shoes I need when it’s wet outside. They keep the water from soaking my socks and allow me to walk about in the rain.
BRRR, The Fifth Week in the Second Year of the New Abnormal
Wow! I just went out to walk Lucy. It sure is cold out there. A good portion of the country is very cold. New York City is no exception this weekend. Just taking Lucy out for a short walk means bundling up for a solid five minutes to make sure the least amount of skin is exposed to the frigid air.
Swimming on Vacation, The Fourth Week of the Second Year of the New Abnormal
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
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.
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.
A Good Morning, Week Thirty-Three in the New Abnormal
It's Hot! Week Thirty in the New Abnormal
Happy Halloween, Week 27 in the Time of Transition
The first time I wore a mask I was three years old and was aware of the tiny holes for my nostrils, and the slit for my mouth. Not easy breathing, but so exciting to this little girl. I was a cat, Felix the Cat, to be precise. My one piece, highly-flammable costume had a small tie in the back of the black and white jumpsuit. I held a small paper bag for my trick or treat goodies next to my sister Sharyn and my dad who came home from work early to escort us up and down our New Jersey suburban block.
Small Moments, Week Thirteen in the Time of Transition
I Went All the Way
Sometimes something so simple can be hard. I had the idea of riding my bike on the last Summer Streets on Park Avenue down to the Brooklyn Bridge. I keep my bike in my office. It’s a short folding bike, allowing for both my feet to touch the ground when I stop. It’s in my office so I can get out when the impulse strikes. It rarely strikes. I call myself a wimpy rider since I want to easily touch the ground, and I am not skilled enough to weave in and out of traffic. I will only face the streets to get into Central Park or ride on the East River promenade to Randall’s Island where there are few...
No, Thank You
I ran my first race in over a year. It was slow process, both recovering from benign injuries, as well as running 15-minute miles this morning. In the past months I went through acupuncture, medical massage and physical therapy putting Humpty Dumpty back together again. So, tentatively, step by step I took on Central Park’s Drive.
What I noticed right away was the throngs who passed me as I inched my way forward. I am no stranger to being left behind. In elementary school I often was picked last in kickball, more for my lack of popularity than for any inability to kick and catch the ball. In junior high school I was not asked to parties. I awkwardly went to school...