Thursday, January 25, 2018


Tried to flip my thoughts this morning as I wistfully looked at Living Danishly: I stay close to work. I do not work nor will I probably ever work as hard as my single parent grandmother did etc., etc.

Very often, I remember something my grandmother told me when I talked about a difficult week that I'd had. She said sweetly and convincingly -- I'm sure that it was nothing that you couldn't handle. She didn't say it in an offhand or dismissive way but more of a You're smart; you've got this...I believe in you way...

Went to yoga after work and saw several people that I hadn't see in a while. Several asked where I had been. It's a fair question as I've only been to the yoga studio four times this month.

One of things that the author of Living Danishly learns right away is that it's not easy being an immigrant. Now, imagine being a refugee.

When I was on Instagram yesterday, saw author Dani Shapiro's post; she gets under my skin, sometimes, with her melancholy.

Life is full of so many befores and afters. When I was younger, I used to believe that our lives contain only one shock, one loss, one dividing line. In fact, my memoir Slow Motion begins with those very words: before and after. A friend just sent me this photo of @mmaren and me taken at a birthday bash in LA just a couple of months ago. At this moment his father is still alive. We’re waiting to hear about @j_maren’s college news. We’re on the edge of our seats about @mmaren new film. Oh, time. How you do your work, boldly, unrelentingly. How you present us with gauntlets and gifts. There is pain, to be sure. And also beauty, joy, relief, love. A long, linked chain of befores and afters. #writer #writing #writersofinstagram #writerslife #memoir #fiction #memory #slowmotion #brithdayparty #losangeles #independentfilm #collegeacceptance #tbt
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Sunday, January 21, 2018

Greater Than

Went to Zumba on Saturday then spent the bulk of my day with the 'Fugee since it was her birthday. It was a joint celebration because the 'Fugee and her niece's birthday are days apart.

I enjoyed everyone's company and it seemed like the birthday people enjoyed themselves. I know that we all enjoyed the toddler's company. It's amazing how the little ones are fascinated and ready to engage with technology. At some point, our youngest party participant, went and got her sunglasses so that she could take a selfie. She was also very fascinated with her aunt's "real" camera.

At some point, I started talking with the toddler's mom about how life is -- for the most part. I also mentioned that I'd bought several tickets for this most recent 450 million lottery. She said that winning the lottery would be nice but she has a feeling that everything she earns will be with her own ten fingers. Yeah, I know the feeling...

Something small-ish had been weighing on my mind. I bought a used lawnmower last year and the guy told me to make sure that I drained the gasoline. Grass-cutting season was much longer in 2017 so I didn't get around to it but  I did yesterday and was so relieved that I finally got the chance to check something off my list.

Back to the party. The 'Fugee's niece has such delightful dishes. It made the eating experience so much more joyful -- that and the sweets and the half and half in the coffee.

On another note, I'm feeling a bit weary. Feeling like a 9-to-5 soldier -- marching in step -- trying to get things done but barely making a dent in the tasks that I need to do but I guess that I'll keep marching on...

Out of all the signs that I saw about the Women's March, this one brought tears to my eyes and I'm not quite sure why.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018


Went to our once a month restorative yoga class at work. The whole practice, especially the guided meditation, was sweet and it was precisely what I needed as it was one of those days.

Last night, I went swimming after a two or three week hiatus. I've shaved 13 minutes off of my time. It wasn't a goal but I guess that I've become a more efficient swimmer and that's nice. I still have swimming goals like learning how to do a flip turn and possibly bilateral breathing but I'm not in a rush.

I have a book on swimming but every time I think about reading it for tips, I also think about the Big Bang Theory when Leonard is giving Sheldon the business about learning how to swim on land.

I love this picture.

And this one: My authenticity is my rebellion.

When  I was on Instagram last night, found out that yogi Heidi Zoltak had died at the age of 45. She was diagnosed with Mucosal Melanoma last year and the way she shared her journey was grace in action.

I felt so sad and overwhelmed, preparing myself to write the following, but had to catch myself remembering who this post was all about. Heidi would be pissed if i took the "feel sorry for me" approach to all of this. My beautiful wife and best friend moved on tonight. She no longer suffers from this disease anymore. Our wonderful social worker, Cece, noticed a smile on her face just before she left us. I would do Heidi injustice by saying the world is worse off without her and this is only because she left it such a better place than before she got here. As one of our friends recently posted, "Heidi was the miracle given to us". Although she was taken early, her impact on each of us goes far beyond a lifetime. She will always have a place in our hearts. She will always be looking over our shoulders during those tough times, telling us that it's all going to be ok. She was the most selfless and giving human being i have ever met in my life and i thank god i had the oppotunity to be a part of that. Not to mention, her sassy self could put anyone in their place if and when she deemed it necessary. I leave you with this sunset picture i took tonight. The night my best friend moved on. She always loved the sunsets. I know she's up there now, in that beautiful sky, looking down on us. I know i'll see my soulmate once again, but until that day, i'll send a kiss to her every time i see that sun drop below the horizon. She loved all of you, i love all of you.
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Sunday, January 7, 2018

What To Chase

Watched episodes of Empire with my cousin last night then stopped by the grocery store around 10:30 p.m. for a #MilkEggsBread run since the weather people were predicting icy conditions.

It was warm enough for me to walk this morning but the weather warnings were still there. Since the ground had been cold for so long, the rain would make roads, sidewalks etc. potentially hazardous so I've been at home -- cooking, cleaning, relaxing and reading; sometimes it's good to be on lock-down.

Enjoyed my walk since I wasn't compressing my body trying to keep warm. Also listened to a podcast which, for some reason, I don't normally listen to unless I'm walking. My walk also reminded me that there is a season for everything and I found myself anticipating the bushes and flowers in bloom.

While in the locker room on Saturday, heard a catchy song and wrote down phrases so I wouldn't forget it. Realized that I had already watched the video after having visited the Zumba teacher's Facebook page. Dua Lipa's New Rules is totally going on my iPod. Love the collective and diverse feel of the video too...

Like Dianne Bondy, I enjoyed what Lilly Singh said about growth. As soon as I finished typing that sentence, I went to sign up for Sharon Salzberg's February meditation challenge.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

New Beginnings

Hibernating seems like such a good idea right now.  Stayed in bed for a long time on Sunday and Monday but I also spent a great deal of time on New  Year's Day cleaning and cooking. It felt like a  good way to start the year and I'd truly like to do major uncluttering and stay on top of household chores in 2018. Felt such a sense of relief when I finished and the space felt different and spacious even though I didn't toss much.

I made no real resolutions but I will make whatever adjustments I feel are necessary to make me happier and content...

I work in an old building and the heating unit was blowing cold air so  it was hard to concentrate (on Tuesday)  and hard to type. One of my coworkers texted me today to say that she could hear water pouring in one of the departments and to stay put as there was no internet quickly followed by no lights. So I stayed put and dealt with work matters until I heard that everyone was told to go home. It was nice to have extra and unexpected time to take care of a few things.

Window at Work

In the spirit of new beginnings, this poem speaks to me: