taking a break
Unexpected Kindness, The Eleventh Week of the Second Year in the New Abnormal
I left my passport at the hotel two and half miles from Reykjavik. I was leaving for JFK the next day. We had had a magnificent trip, and my passport was in the safe where I left it along with U.S. dollars I wasn’t going to spend in Iceland. Our driver, an adventure tour guide in his own right, was going to drop off some guests and pick up passengers to bring back to the capitol city the next morning. He would be happy to bring back my passport and drive us to the airport. The magnificent experience continued.
Greetings from Iceland, The Tenth Week of the Second Year in the New Abnormal
The small, Nordic, island country of Iceland is around 5 hours away from New York City. It’s a magical place with other worldly terrains and natural wonders. We left the city for a long weekend with the hopes of at least getting a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis. We were not disappointed. And we got so much more.
Sunrise Reflections, The Ninth Week in the Second Year of the New Abnormal
Unlike many recommendations for sleep hygiene, I do not go to sleep the same time each night. Some nights I work late, some nights I enjoy the theater or other live entertainment. Some nights I’m reading, while others I’m catching up on a television show. I do my best to listen to signs of being tired if I’m at home, and I put myself to sleep accordingly. Inevitably, this leaves me in a perpetual state of never quite catching up with the shows I enjoy.
Be Gone the Bygone, The Eighth Week of the Second Year in the New Abnormal
Years ago I had a phone book. It looked like a fabric-covered hardback, divided by letters of the alphabet neatly cut into tabs descending on the paper’s edge. Often the pages were outlined in gold ink. I’d get an updated one every few years and I’d transfer the names, addresses, and phone numbers into my new, usually colorful, phone book. These were also the days in which long distance phone calls were a big deal and we were reminded to speak quickly since we were being charged by the minute. Phones had cords and were strategically placed in one or more locations in our homes. A bygone era. Yes, I have become a senior stereotype.
Live Music, The Seventh Week of the Second Year in the New Abnormal
I Quit! The Sixth Week of the Second Year of the New Abnormal
I was walking downtown listening to a light novel, a quasi-romcom. It had started off well and then it took a nose-dive from there. About halfway to my destination I turned it off. I simply wasn’t enjoying it anymore. I had wanted a break from heavier subjects or professional readings. This was not the break I needed.
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.
What's For Dinner? The Second Week of the Second Year of the New Abnormal
I was preparing dinner as I do many nights. Last night was pesto glazed salmon and garlic-marinaded skirt steak with sauteed spinach, garlic bread, and a spicy salad. Thanks to Marion Zinn, my mother-in-law, I have the best marinade for the steak. She was a wonderful hostess and served many delicious dishes. Conversely, my mother would get anxious when hosting guests. Nonetheless she deserves a shout out as an excellent baker. All three of my siblings and I have fond memories of annual birthday cakes baked from scratch, stored on a glass cake plate with an aluminum cake dome. I used to cook and bake regularly, but as life’s responsibilities expanded, my domestic duties dwindled.
The Happiness Challenge, The First Week in the Second Year of The New Abnormal
I subscribe to The New York Times. As an online subscriber I often miss stories and articles that are of interest to me. However, I was fortunate enough to receive the Happiness Challenge of this last week. It wasn’t an outsized commitment but small acts of recognition and gratitude.
So Long 2022, Year Two in the New Abnormal
Here we are as we move away from 2022 to 2023. It’s the weekend. It’s also a milestone in the annual calendar.
One thing I know for sure is that as much as we hope and try, mistakes will be made this coming year. We might prefer to forget the hardships of the last three years, but we’re still recovering. We may want to reach new goals, or old goals yet to be achieved. Hopefully we’ll get there, but the challenges and lessons along the way may not be easy. As we work on being better and doing better, they’ll be disappointments and setbacks.
The Compassion Diet, Week Fifty-Two in the New Abnormal
Should we end this year and start the new year with resolutions? For me, the answer is no. I will think of what I’d like to let go of, and how I will be caring to myself and others, but there is no declaration in that. What I have been thinking about as I view commercials and advertisements enticing us to try new weight loss pills and programs is the mixed up past I, and so many of us, have had with messaging around food, eating, and the lack of joy in caring for ourselves. In the spirit of that, I am thinking of a diet of compassion. Not a food diet, but nourishment, nonetheless.
Lost Gloves, Week Fifty-One in the New Abnormal
I’m going to think of my gloves as rentals. No matter what I pay, and how I try to keep them deep in my pockets when they are off my hands, I seem to lose one or more throughout the winter-wear season. Say what you will about gloves, they undoubtedly lack permanence. I suppose we could say that about life itself.
Emotions During the Holidays, Week Fifty in the New Abnormal
I was in an emotional tailspin earlier this week. I could tell I wasn’t in the right headspace as I kept thinking of past mistakes I’ve made, times I’ve previously hurt friends, and ways in which I had poor judgement. I was not coming out a champ. More like a chump. The negative barrage is not unfamiliar, but it happens less often than in former years. By Tuesday, I knew that I needed to clear my head so there’d be space for self-care and kindness. Luckily, I had my weekly therapy session.
A Pile of New Yorkers, Week Forty-Nine in the New Abnormal
I made it to page 50 of the New Yorker with the promise of a poem on the next page. Of course, this is the November 14th Issue, which may seem to indicate I’m a month behind. Not so, since I arbitrarily picked it up from a pile that goes back to issues from last year, I now am down to eleven unread issues. This is my ongoing plight with New Yorkers. My pile expands or contracts based on what’s happening any given week.
Bargains Abound, Week Forty-Eight in the New Abnormal
I just deleted 129 emails from my inbox. I’m not that popular, it’s simply that retailers with black Friday weekend deals want my money. Some of the emails remind me that I looked at something I chose not to buy in case I need to see it again. I do not.
Arrgg, Change; Week Forty-Seven in the New Abnormal
A couple of days ago I installed an iPhone update. I find this new format annoying. I get it, things change. But sometimes the changes come all at once and too fast. I just wasn’t ready for a new change, small as it is.
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.
Halloween Weekend, Week Forty-Four in the New Abnormal
It’s Halloween Weekend and the city is ready for the many trick or treaters at every age. As a child of the sixties our Halloween was comprised of a trip to Kiddie City to pick out a cardboard box with a clear window displaying the plastic mask with a thin mouth opening with two nostril holes for labored breathing that allowed for a muffled song of “trick or treat” at the door of kind home-owners who distributed candy, both great and questionable. My favorite candy were plain Hershey chocolate bars, M&Ms, Twizzlers, or Good and Plenty. I was not a fan of the chalky Necco Wafers or boxes of raisins. We had plenty of fruit and raisins in our home, so I was on the lookout for forbidden treats that I would hide in the back of my closet.