Goodbye With the Old, Week Fourteen in the Time of Transition
I’m in my congested closet trying to decide which of the various, multi-colored pocketbooks and bags I’m going to let go. I tend to rely on the same two or three, but I love to choose from the others on special occasions. Of course, there have been few special occasions in the past year or so. Nonetheless I had the privilege of attending a joyous outdoor event last night, and though no one else would care, I was so happy to sport the perfect small, blue bag for the evening.
Small Moments, Week Thirteen in the Time of Transition
Lazy Summer Days, Week Twelve in the Time of Transition
I still remember my summers visiting friends and family at the Jersey Shore. This was well before Atlantic City was burdened with casinos. These were the days of shows at the Steel Pier and fragrant strolls on the boardwalk with Mr. Peanut greeting us on our way to James for salt water taffy. Those were the lazy summer days I enjoyed in my former years.
July 4th, Week Ten in the Time of Transition
No Ending to Mental Health Awareness Month, Week Five in the Time of Transition
Ennui, Week 48 in the Time of Coronavirus
I am certainly dragging my feet. Whether it’s writing this blog or cooking a meal, I lack whatever eagerness I had in past years. I have no...
Pandemic Envy, Week 47 in the Time of Coronavirus
We have become accustomed to the average pandemic envy like seeing those who prepare feasts as a way to get through this time of Coronavirus. Many of us have felt jealousy for acquaintances in larger homes. The more exhausted have longed for the energy cited in posts of new hobbies or accomplishments. Some parents envy those with no children, or those with safe help for their families. A number of people who feel alone have been envious of those who post happy couple or family portraits. Individuals who feel trapped with their families begrudge others who they imagine live blissfully alone. Now add to that the newer vaccine envy.
Without distractions I’m able to feel my emotions strongly. Sometimes this...
You Never Know, Week 46 in the Time of Coronavirus
Sometimes I find myself quick to judge. I hear a whiny individual at a Zoom meeting, and I silently groan. I also know that there have been times, and I chance to say there are still times, in which I am the one who warrants another’s groan. In my more open-minded moments, I remember that everyone is trying the best they can. We are all going through this pandemic, and there’s nothing easy about that. But there are other times when my exhaustion and impatience take over and I am unforgiving of anyone who annoys me from the selfishly maskless to virtual-meeting squeaky wheels.
Something I’ve noticed recently in my professional and personal life is how instantaneously we are to jump from one emotional state to...
What We Don't Know, Week 45 in the Time of Coronavirus
I have to admit that I wasn’t sure that the judge I watched numerous times on Law and Order was Fran Lebowitz. It looked like her, but was she a doppelganger, or was she, in fact, the writer? After watching “Pretend it’s a City,” Martin Scorsese’s excellent (in my opinion) docu-series of Fran Lebowitz, I was happy to learn that, yes, it was her as Judge Janice Goldberg in the original Law & Order.
The short series on Netflix was a delightful, laughter-filled escape from current events this past week. I learned a lot, evaluated my own thinking, and admired FL’s ability to speak her personal truths, thoughts I often have, but don’t share aloud. Somehow the cable show also had me pondering on the...
Boy, Oh, Boy, Week 44 in the Time of Coronavirus
Yesterday I hit the wall. Before I lost all steam, I had lofty plans. I had research to do. There is always cleaning and organizing. I was behind on my writing. Yet, by the time I was three fourths of the way through a walk in Central Park, I felt as if I was dragging my leaden legs on the southern arc of the Reservoir. When I finally reached home, I couldn’t get my sweats on fast enough. Then Lucy had to go out. I love her, and also dearly wished there was someone else who would have taken her out. I was able to speak with a friend from the other coast, and that gave me a pleasurable energy shot. Though life in California is as fraught as it...
Cautiously Optimistic, Week 43 in the Time of Coronavirus
Is this really a Happy New Year? Yes, we survived 2020. And, yet, recalling how happy we were to be in a new decade just a year ago, we are constantly reminded of the unexpected turn of events in March.
In this first weekend of the new year, we take stock of the meaning of “hindsight is 2020.” Relieved that 2020 is behind us, our memories are raw from all we witnessed, and all we faced personally. I now know the impact of ongoing stress on my body and mind. I am just beginning to understand what is required to sooth myself and support others going through the intensity of extreme tension. Sometimes it means reaching out and caring for someone, taking the attention off myself. Other...
So Long 2020, Week 42 in the Time of Coronavirus
Before the end of this week we will welcome in a new year. Never will there have been a greater collective sigh throughout the globe than at the rotating midnight hour of 1/1/2021. We all faced many challenges throughout the year. And we all learned essential truths about ourselves. I learned that doing less was a relief. I learned that patience is not an end point, but an ongoing process. I learned to use my crankier tendences as a reflection on what vulnerabilities I am attempting to protect. I learned that I still have a lot to learn in asking for help. Plus, I learned that 2020 gave us endless opportunities to learn. I also learned that even with the possibility of learning, sometimes learning to relax was the...
Finding Joy, Week 39 in the Time of Coronavirus
I found joy on a rainy day. Usually when it rains in this pandemic, I’ve been apt to wane in energy. But when it was pouring outside this past week, I turned on an old dance playlist that Larry had previously made for me. It includes disco, Klezmer music, Irish folk music, jazz and so much more. I was in heaven. It’s been so long since I’ve moved with utter abandon. There I was in my office, all alone, dancing for a good hour to song after song, gyrating and laughing. The power of music and movement is transformative.
I was slow to get out of bed as I felt the cool air while listening to the patter of the raindrops. Coffee helped but it wasn’t the power elixir...
The Desire for Instant Gratification, Week 38 in the Time of Coronavirus
We made it through a very different Thanksgiving. Then on black Friday I received so many emails advertising the “best” sales of the year. I was intrigued. I opened up small business and non-profit websites. I purchased a few things that I unquestionably don’t need. Now after the sale I’m not even certain if they’ll make good gifts. What I do know is that there was something compelling about the immediate gratification at a time when so little is happening. For a few brief hours I’d take breaks to peruse websites while making a couple of impulsive purchases. Call it clearance therapy.
It felt like a small liberation to acquire a few seemingly needless items. The bargains were incredible. And it felt strange to engage in such a frivolous action. I understand...
Thanksgiving, Gratitude & Disappointment, Week 37 in the Time of Coronavirus
There’s no doubt that this is a Thanksgiving like no other. Many will spend Thanksgiving, if it is being spent at all, without loved ones. In a large number of cases, it will be the first holiday without someone because they died, either of Covid-19 or from other causes. It’s hard to feel thankful for these facts. We can embody gratitude for what we’ve had in the past. Or we may feel grateful for not having to be social when we’re not up to seeing anyone. However, that’s a far cry from the delight of festivities of past years.
Gratitude and its cousin, appreciation, can feel like a burden in times of fear, sadness and loss. I am all for gratitude journals, and gratitude as a tenet of...
Time, Boredom & Patience, Week 36 in the Time of Coronavirus
I woke up early this morning. My plan was to sleep in. But we all know what happens to plans in this time of the coronavirus. I took advantage of the early hour to run to Central Park to slowly jog in the park. There are parts of my body that demand the slow pace. While runners and walkers passed me by, I chose patience for my leisurely stride. I admit there were moments I compared myself to other grey-haired runners who were twice as fast. Then I went back to kind self-talk as I slowly but surely went around the Park Drive and other paths.
The park looks beautiful. Though drawn out, my run was anything but boring. Yet, for many of us boredom has set in during the...
Light Coming Through the Darkness; Week 35 in the Time of Coronavirus.
I hadn’t realized how stressed I’d been these last 4 years until the presidential election results came in. My shoulders almost immediately released the tension I’d been holding. I felt lighter. Hopeful. The heavy months since the coronavirus were revealed changed our world even further adding to my stress. Mostly, I felt as if I was on the defensive, cautious when outside, exhausted at home. In talking to so many other like-minded friends and family I heard they, too, felt a collective sigh of relief Saturday.
I have no doubt that those who supported the president’s re-election do not share our jubilation. They wanted something else. But I cannot endure more divisiveness. I don’t want to live defensively anymore. I’m hopeful we can come together to create a change that is...
Voting Anxiety; Week 34 in the Time of Coronavirus
The stress of this election during the pandemic seems to have expanded as we move closer to Election Day. The conflicting commercials incite doubt and fear. The news is alarmist. And we’re taking it all in. It felt empowering to vote, but it didn’t last long.
We ‘re living in a divisive environment. Many friendships have ended solely based on political preference. Families are divided over presidential partiality. Now that we’re in the time of coronavirus we get even more agitated when someone claims that they’re voting for the opposition.
It’s challenging to feel at peace now. With any luck I feel it first thing in the morning and last thing at night between the time I...
Dropping, Spilling & Breaking; Week 33 in the Time of Coronavirus
Today while making chili, beans spread out in the sink while I was draining them. Usually I’m not so lucky to have a contained spatter. Just two weeks ago glass shattered in all directions. I put on my shoes and cleaned up the shards that extended into two rooms. I’ve certainly seen an uptick in drops, breakage and absent-mindedness. It seems to have increased in these last few weeks. Yes, I can be clumsy, but I usually don’t have to clean up a spill every day. Well, I can’t say that anymore.
The amount of energy it takes to get through our days when we’ve been limited to external outlets is trying. There’s bound to be some fallout. For me one...
I Was Wrong; Week 32 in the Time of Coronavirus
Last week I made acorn squash with essence of orange and maple syrup. I asked Larry to bring a spoon, as I thought that might be easier than a fork. He proudly came back with a grapefruit spoon. Silently I was annoyed. Didn’t I just ask him for a spoon? A regular spoon? I begrudgingly took it from him. I was tired and rather than open up with vulnerability, I found myself closing down with negativity. When I tried the spoon, which has unobtrusive serrating, it turned out to be an excellent choice for the squash. Larry likes to find the perfect tool for the job, and I was wrong to not trust him. In the past I wouldn’t have even tried the utensil. I would have marched into the...