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Thank you Mr. Sondheim, Week 31 in the Time of Transition

Thank you Mr. Sondheim, Week 31 in the Time of Transition
Nov 28, 2021 by Janet Zinn

I was working at Strawbridge and Clothier in the Men’s shoe department.  This was a branch in the Echelon Mall in Voorhees, NJ, a short commute to Philadelphia.  I was a student at Rutger’s University in Camden, still a theater major, though I would finish with a degree in English.  Paul Puccio, an English major at another college, who worked in Men’s Furnishings, introduced me to the music of Stephen Sondheim.  I was 18 years old.  He was enamored with Follies and Alexis Smith.  He invited me over to his home where I listened to his original Broadway cast album with Paul narrating to a neophyte. I was changed for life.  

Thanks Giving & Thanks Getting, Week 30 in the Time of Transition

Thanks Giving & Thanks Getting, Week 30 in the Time of Transition
Nov 21, 2021 by Janet Zinn

We’re about to ascend upon Thanksgiving and the winter holidays.  I’m grateful for a quiet dinner with Larry and a restful weekend.  I’ve been looking forward to this coming weekend since rest is usually ad hoc, and I am often trying to locate windows of opportunity to relax.  

Don't Get Caught with Tattered Underwear, Week 29 in the Time of Transition

Don't Get Caught with Tattered Underwear, Week 29 in the Time of Transition
Nov 13, 2021 by Janet Zinn
I was doing my laundry last week.  While hanging my underwear on the hand dryer, I noticed the rips that must have happened over time, the time spent quietly during the pandemic.   Everything was so comfortable, so I never stopped to examine them.  And comfort has been key.  Though comfort still matters, I’ll take my underwear without rips.  

Happy Halloween, Week 27 in the Time of Transition

Happy Halloween, Week 27 in the Time of Transition
Oct 30, 2021 by Janet Zinn

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.  

Funny Thing About Gratitude, Week 26 in the Time of Transition

Funny Thing About Gratitude, Week 26 in the Time of Transition
Oct 24, 2021 by Janet Zinn

I find it incredibly annoying when I’m upset about a person, place, or thing, I’m on a rant, and the individual listening responds by telling me I should be grateful.  It feels like a dismissal of my complaint, valid or not, and a recommendation that I pivot to a “soft music inserted here” blissful moment when I see how lovely life is and how wrong I was to find the awful in this grand world we inhabit.  

Hello Sunrise, Week 25 in the Time of Transition

Hello Sunrise, Week 25 in the Time of Transition
Oct 17, 2021 by Janet Zinn

When I was a young child and my bedtime was 7:30, the advent of a darker evening meant that I was awake longer while the night sky became opaque.  It felt as if I was staying up later, even though I understood in theory I was going to bed at the same time.  Since the pandemic my bedtime has gotten earlier.  I go out less, plus I got older these past 19 months.  I have yet to go to bed at 7:30, but it feels easy to get into bed when it’s been dark for a few hours.  

A Rare Moment of Calm, Week 24 in the Time of Transition

A Rare Moment of Calm, Week 24 in the Time of Transition
Oct 10, 2021 by Janet Zinn

I hit the ground running.  There was so much to get done and I’m still behind.  I did the best I could, which means I had to readjust from vacation mode to New York City-paced backlog catch-up.  Within a few days the vacation glow is flickering.  

 

Getting Away, Week 23 in the Time of Transition

Getting Away, Week 23 in the Time of Transition
Oct 03, 2021 by Janet Zinn

Sometimes we just need to get away.  It helps to clear our heads and take a break from day-to-day stress.  That’s exactly what we did this weekend. It’s been a long time coming.  I booked this trip before the pandemic shut down our world.  I rebooked three times in the hope that quarantines were a temporary inconvenience.  In the end we had to wait until the Canadian borders opened up for the fully vaccinated. 

Singing in the Park, Week 21 in the Time of Transition

Singing in the Park, Week 21 in the Time of Transition
Sep 19, 2021 by Janet Zinn

As a young child I delighted in our Magnavox HiFi.  I would sit on the scratchy green wool sofa in our den while listening to Rosemary Clooney.  Her album, Rosemary Clooney Sings for Children with its pink background was a clear favorite.  I loved the track, Betsy, My Paper Doll, because I was the lucky recipient of the Betsy McCall paper dolls hidden in the pages of my mother’s McCall’s Magazine.  The other song that spoke to me was The Little Shoemaker because my father was in the shoe business.  At six, it felt like Rosemary Clooney was singing to me personally.  I hadn’t realized Rosemary Clooney was an icon until years later when I watched her sing with Bing Crosby in White Christmas on the Sunday Million Dollar Movie.  

20th Anniversary, Week 20 in the Time of Transition

20th Anniversary, Week 20 in the Time of Transition
Sep 11, 2021 by Janet Zinn

I’m teary this weekend.  It’s hard to watch the news because my mind pivots to the many clients who spoke of their losses the days, months, and years post-9/11.  As we commemorate the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, those of us who remember can clearly recall the exact circumstances when we witnessed or heard of the attacks.  I am one of the fortunate who worked downtown, but I had taken the day off to attend a seminar.  I never worked in the World Trade Center, but our social service center had a direct view.  There were so many other stories like that of those who for unforetold circumstances were not in the towers when they fell.  

Not This! Week Seventeen in the Time of Transition

Not This! Week Seventeen in the Time of Transition
Aug 22, 2021 by Janet Zinn
I remember when I was in my 20s I took a self-help seminar.  I was doing a team activity, and I really didn’t like one of the members.  She was inappropriately rude, saying things like, “I can feel your anger.  Your jaw clenches.  It’s not pretty.  Why don’t you just let it go?”  Though it enraged me that she would say such a thing, only adding to my ire, I thought I was supposed to become more tolerant of others.  So I pushed my anger down, thinking I was “letting it go,” and tried to be accepting of this team member.  

Cloudy, Week Fifteen in the Time of Transition

Cloudy, Week Fifteen in the Time of Transition
Aug 08, 2021 by Janet Zinn

I shifted my routine earlier this week to catch the sunrise.  Typically I relish the space between sleep and daytime.  The sweet spot of the morning.  Following those moments I shift into meditation, then move on from there with coffee and the rest of the day.  As soon as I awoke I brushed my teeth and ran to the East River to get a glimpse of the sunrise.  

Goodbye With the Old, Week Fourteen in the Time of Transition

Goodbye With the Old, Week Fourteen in the Time of Transition
Aug 01, 2021 by Janet Zinn

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

Small Moments, Week Thirteen in the Time of Transition
Jul 25, 2021 by Janet Zinn
When I was in the fifth grade, our teacher, Mrs. Hannah, introduced the idea for a swap lunch.  The concept was that mothers (it was 1970) were to create a brown bag lunch, and they would be swapped for a lunch with another student.  We picked names out of a hat.  As there was an odd number of children in the class, Mrs. Hannah was going to provide a lunch as well.  I can’t remember who was the recipient of my mother’s lunch.  But I do recall being mortified.  It included a tuna salad sandwich on Pepperidge Farm white bread and an apple for dessert.  Not a winning combination.  

Lazy Summer Days, Week Twelve in the Time of Transition

Lazy Summer Days, Week Twelve in the Time of Transition
Jul 18, 2021 by Janet Zinn

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

July 4th, Week Ten in the Time of Transition
Jul 04, 2021 by Janet Zinn
When I was a child our family would pack into our Ford station-wagon and head out to Pennypacker Park to watch the fireworks.  We played in the playground or chased fireflies until the moment when it became dark.  Then the night would light up and we cheered with delight as we gazed skyward.  It felt magical to enjoy a hot night of colorful pyrotechnics.  The crack, pop and whiz of the fireworks foretold if we’d be seeing a Roman Candle or a burst of high-definition pink chrysanthemum.  My favorite was the waterfall, cascading sparkles in the sky. 

No Ending to Mental Health Awareness Month, Week Five in the Time of Transition

No Ending to Mental Health Awareness Month, Week Five in the Time of Transition
May 30, 2021 by Janet Zinn
We’re at the end of May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month.  That doesn’t mean we can ditch the care we require for our mental well-being.  Perhaps now more than ever we must hone in on our emotional welfare.  As we face many more options than what had been available just a month ago, I find that I am oversaturated with hopes, desires and hesitation.  Listening to my intuition is key, but the noise of opening up, facing all we can do, what we “should do,” along with what we’d like to keep from our time in the pandemic, can feel dizzying.  I face many choices, while I proceed at a low speed.  

Ennui, Week 48 in the Time of Coronavirus

Feb 07, 2021 by Janet Zinn
Again and again I hear from others, “I’m so over this.” Of course, this refers to the pandemic and its related restrictions. Yes, we need to lessen the spread of Covid-19, yet that doesn’t mean we’re happy about what’s required.  Now, even with the spotty vaccine rollout, we are expected to buckle down more so with the presence of new strains, which, in turn, places new stressors on us.  With added stressors any energy we have burns quicker.  We are exhausted and might feel resentment, anger or woe.  This is what has happened in the daily grind without proper reprieves.

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

Jan 31, 2021 by Janet Zinn
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

Jan 24, 2021 by Janet Zinn


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...