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.
Peaches, Yum! Week Twenty Nine in the New Abnormal
It’s 1967, it’s hot. It’s a July weekend so I’m not at Hilltop Day Camp. The sprinkler is on, back and forth from one side of the lawn to the other. I have mixed feelings about sprinklers. I love the constant whir of water from the circular type, but I don’t get a break. It’s more of a free for all than a game. With the alternating side sprinkler, I can time it to race through when it comes my way, while taking a breath when it switches sides. In the end, that’s my preference. Get soaked, get hot, and start all over again.
Compassion vs. Disregard, Week Twenty-Seven in the New Abnormal
Dashed Plans, Week Twenty-Five in the New Abnormal
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.”
On Repeat, Week Sixteen in the New Abnormal
What We Don't Know, Week Fourteen in the New Abnormal
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.
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.
Funny Thing About Gratitude, Week 26 in the Time of Transition
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.
Small Moments, Week Thirteen in the Time of Transition
No Ending to Mental Health Awareness Month, Week Five in the Time of Transition
A Six-Year Old State of Mind
I would laugh uncontrollably with Robin Reed, a beautiful, tall girl with large green eyes. We would just look at each other and start laughing. However, my laugh, for reasons unknown to me would set off the teacher. And, I alone would have to sit in the corner, having been shamed...