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Connecting with Risk-takers

Last Sunday, I went to a free event in New York City called Conversations New York. Over a hundred strangers came together on a sunny, breezy day in Bryant Park behind the main branch of the New York Public library. All around me, people lounged on the lawn eating lunch, playing ping pong, and reading books and magazines at the outdoor reading room. For the … Continue reading Connecting with Risk-takers

The Unexpected Stress Relief of Japanese

Amidst an ongoing struggle to protect myself from poisonous news in a world gone insane, I accidentally stumbled on the calming effects of learning Japanese. I had no desire to learn Japanese. Although it could come in handy since my son and daughter-in-law are fluent in it, when I had tried to learn it in the past I’d found it tedious, frustrating and too hard. So I … Continue reading The Unexpected Stress Relief of Japanese

I Want it Now!

My mother asked me how my internet search for a relationship was going. “Terrible,” I told her. “I’ve been doing this for years and it’s a complete failure.” “Years?” she asked. “10 years! No, 15!” I said. 15 years was a nice round number and added just the right amount of dramatic spice to my pessimism. But I knew I was lying to my mother (and myself). Here’s what … Continue reading I Want it Now!

Manufacturing Romantic Chemistry

I once dated a guy, I’ll call him Mark, who said that he chose to never fall in love. “You choose that?” I asked. “But haven’t you ever met someone you couldn’t help but fall in love with?” I was asking, of course, because I was quickly falling for him and wanted to test the waters. “I don’t permit myself,” Mark insisted. When he saw my incredulous … Continue reading Manufacturing Romantic Chemistry

Musicals begin with an “I wish” Song

Today, on This American Life, I learned about the “I wish” song in movie and Broadway musicals. The main character sets the story in motion by singing about their fondest hope for themselves. 3 of my favorites are Somewhere over the Rainbow, in The Wizard of Oz; Wouldn’t it be Loverly, in My Fair Lady; Tomorrow, in Annie. This reminded me of our own lives. … Continue reading Musicals begin with an “I wish” Song

Tricking Myself out of Fear

I was feeling as if life had passed me by and it was too late to do anything truly great. I tuned into an interview of the filmmaker Richard Linklater on NPR, and felt even more of a failure. He’d accomplished so much and I hadn’t. (It’s a great habit comparing yourself to successful people if you want to create paralysis.)

In thinking about my past life, I decided I fell far short of my dreams. I was clueless about what I wanted for my future life. That’s not exactly true. I knew exactly what I wanted but I was terrified I would fail. Continue reading Tricking Myself out of Fear