February 20, 2017

Be Kind ... Breathe Deep ... OM

A few months ago I saw a segment on MSNBC called, "You're Not Alone." Millions feel rage and embarrassment about our new administration. The malice/malevolence that spews from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue each day creates angst and disbelief across our country and around the world.

According to a Gallup poll from this weekend, Trump's 40% job approval rating about one month into his presidency is 21 percentage points below the historical average rating for elected presidents in mid-February (61%). It is also 11 points below the lowest mid-February reading for any other president.

Not helping is that fact that the U.S. military is tracking a Russian spy ship moving up the East Coast to within 30 miles of the Naval Submarine Base in Groton, Connecticut. This is too close to New York!!

I'm a wreck.

How to combat the non-stop, anxiety-inducing news created by #45?

Be kind to one another. Let the other person go first at the light. Open the door for the person behind you. Watch more Corgis on YouTube. Breathe. Meditate. Reach out to help others. Create beauty. Find ways to renew yourself so that you don't feel victimized by the new surreality.

Arianna Huffington writes, "As Marcus Aurelius, who spent nineteen years as Emperor of Rome facing nearly constant war, a horrific plague, an attempt at the throne by one of his closest allies ... wrote, 'People look for retreats for themselves in the country, by the coast, or in the hills. There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind.'"


February 8, 2017

Misophonia Madness: Here's the Rap

                                               Illustration: Pamela Kogen (My amazing and talented sister)

For some reason, there's been a lot of noise recently about misophonia, aka sound sensitivity, aka don't chew or breath around me. The New York Times just ran a piece, "Misophonia Sufferers: Scientists May Have Found the Root of Your Pain." NewYorkMagazine.com featured "An Explanation for Why Some People Can't Stand Even Small Noises."

I've been writing about misophonia for several years. Click here for my Huffington Post, "Sound Selective Sensitivity: The Rap on Misophonia." 

Wondering whether the sounds of scrunching, munching, scratching, and scraping drive you up the wall, too? Click these three links to test your hearing sensitivity:

The LOUDEST Noise Ever

Sound of Scratching a Fork on a Plate

Eating Potato Chips Sound Effect (4 People at Once)

I also have a Facebook page, "Misophonia Madness" where fellow misos from around the world join in on the discussion. We've got representatives from:

  • USA (Arizona, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Texas, California, Kentucky)
  • Australia
  • Algeria
  • England
  • Canada
  • France
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Iraq
  • Spain
  • Italy
  • South Africa
  • Sweden

In summary, if you see me sitting in your midst wearing noise-cancelling headphones, tiptoe past quietly ... and wave silently. I'm just trying to avoid hearing you use words with the letters "p," "k," or "t."

February 3, 2017

Birthday Reflections

As I turn yet another year, I am truly grateful for this wonderful new chapter in my life. After a major pivot on July 1, life is now more positive and enriching.

I'm grateful for my health, my beloved husband of 31 years, my incredible children who grace my every day of living, my amazing family (Mom of 86, Mother-in-law of 88, awesome brother and sister, great sister/brother-in-laws, nephew and nieces) ... not to forget my daughter-in-law-to-be, my cat Truman, my beloved friends in all parts of the world, and a warm home that is filled with love and harmony.

This year my birthday falls on a Friday. (None of this mid-week feh-celebration stuff.) It's party time!!  Pop the cork. Turn up the music. Here's to birthday mirth! (Click here.)


February 1, 2017

Remember when you used to feel like laughing?

I wanted to share a 2-minute:59-second distraction from the horrendous news that plagues and shames our country since inauguration day. 

In an excerpt from the Dalai Lama's book, "My Spiritual Journal," he writes, "I have been confronted with many difficulties throughout the course of my life, and my country is going through a critical period. But I laugh often, and my laughter is contagious. When people ask me how I find the strength to laugh now, I reply that I am a professional laugher."

For just a moment, stop multi-tasking. Erase the latest newsflash from your mind. Close out of Word. Put down your pen. Finish swallowing what you're eating and  

January 27, 2017

Accompanying Schpiel to my New Pencil Sharpener Story

As you know from a previous blog, I am in love with pencils and my swanky, new electric pencil sharpener. (Click here for "My New Pencil Sharpener: What a Tool!")

So imagine my glee when my writing pal, Kathryn Haydon (co-author of Creativity for Everybody) shot me an email about CW Pencil Enterprises. They've got #2 Ticonderoga (yes ... these are the ones you used for the SATs), along with vintage, specialty, colored, jumbo-size and pencil sets. The point is ... this place is heaven for a pencil freak like me.

CW Pencils, located at 100a Forsyth Street in NYC, is about to re-instate a Pencil-of-the-Month Club. Not only will these magnificent tools of the trade inspire your writing, but when you sharpen the pencils loudly, it will make others think you are working hard in your office.

Class trip, anyone?

January 23, 2017

Proud to be Among Millions in the Global Women's March

                                                                                                                                          Photo: Palmer Davis

On the day after the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States, I (the one in the weird black hat) was proud to be among the millions participating globally in the Women's March. Why? I stand together with other individuals and organizations committed to equality, diversity, and inclusion ... and with those who understand that women's rights are human rights; that climate change is real; that U.S. public schools are not a "dead end." I stand against defunding Planned Parenthood so that all women have access to feminine healthcare. The potential banning of all Muslim immigrants is not just. And funding cut and curbed for the National Humanities for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities? At what cost?

The challenge now is to keep our voices heard as new policies in education, medicine, the arts, and women's rights threaten to bring us back 50 years.

Below: Women's March (15,000 strong!) at the State House in Montpelier, Vermont.


Photos: Bonni Brodnick

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