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.
Reparenting on Mother's Day, Week Nineteen in the New Abnormal
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
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
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.
Rest for the Weary, Week Fifteen in the New Abnormal
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
Awards, Week Thirteen in the New Transition
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.
Welcome Spring, Week Twelve in the New Abnormal
Hello Spring, you couldn’t come soon enough. We’ve all needed to lighten our loads. And what better way to start than by taking off our parkas? Like the shining moon hidden under the clouds, you’ve come from behind the cold for renewed hope.
Joy of Having Plans vs. Wanting to Do Nothing, Week Ten in the New Abnormal
This past week has been jubilant in some ways. First, thanks to Larry and his friend Alan, we enjoyed our first indoor concert in over two years. Elton John, his band, and crew did an amazing job of giving music and lifetime memories to their audience. I was so happy to be there, even as I was overloaded to be among a mass of people.
CIty Gallery, Week Nine in the Time of Coronavirus
We went for a lovely birthday celebration of a new friend. To get there we took the subway. It’s been quite a while since I last went on the underground train. The most recently expanded line, The Q Train, has an artist featured on each of the newest stops. We got a good look at a few by Chuck Close done with tiles as portrait mosaics.
Tech Unsaavy and More, Week Eight in the New Abnormal
I don’t really understand Instagram. I’ve heard it’s for boomers. As a Baby Boomer, I am virtually clueless on how to navigate this social media platform. I can send hearts to a photo, but opening attachments, or anything more than loving a post eludes me. I keep meaning to find a tutorial I can follow, but my time is spoken for, so learning how to use Instagram stays low on my to-do list. I post to Instagram weekly. I’m not sure if it goes through, or if people just see pictures but can’t open the attachments.
The Winter of Our Discontent, Week Seven in the New Abnormal
The Wrong Way I Meditate, Week Six in the New Abnormal
I felt so fortunate that I had a meditation practice prior to the pandemic. I chose to double up my meditations to give myself devoted time each morning before I started my day. And, when needed again at night, or anytime I had to find my way back to myself.
Thank You For Your Kindness, Week Four in the The New Abnormal
Small kindnesses have huge impacts. This week I hadn’t felt well, and the comments, texts, calls, messages, and extra care have been particularly meaningful. Larry, my husband, asked me if he could help take care of me, if I would let him. The truth is I usually don’t let him help me. I can be stubbornly independent, even at my own expense. So, I “let” him. Every query to see if there was anything he could do was welcomed. He made trips to the pharmacy to find the right over-the-counter remedies. He cooked or ordered dinner. We chatted casually. Something we don’t often have a chance to do.
Thwarted Plans, Week Two In The New Abnormal
I keep deluding myself into thinking I know the best formula for getting through these difficult times. I meditate twice daily. I make sure I don’t make plans more than once a week, except in special circumstances. I go for daily walks. I work. I try to make dinner a few times a week. I like doing all these things. While I’m doing teach of them, I feel perfectly fine. But in other moments I am short-tempered. I am impatient. I long for more support.
So Long, 2021, Week 35 in the Time of Transition
2021 was so, so long. In this last week I have little interest in reviewing this past year. The fact that I, that we, got through it is good enough for me.
Generosity of Spirit, Week 34 in the Time of Transition
I always thought I was a generous person. Then I got married and I came to realize that I was only generous in certain circumstances. If something was my idea, great, I was happy to offer services, a gift, or lend an ear. However, if asked, I found I could be withholding. Somehow I felt being asked for something implied I was stingy. And I was. Sometimes I still am. Apparently a generous heart is not a one way endeavor.
We Are Not Okay, Week 33 in the Time of Transition
I’m finding this holiday season to be quite odd. On the one hand, many of us are able to travel, visit with friends and family, and celebrate the holidays in person rather than on Zoom. On the other hand, our nervous systems have been taxed beyond what we thought possible as we forge ahead.
Thank you Mr. Sondheim, Week 31 in the Time of Transition
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.