Saturday, February 27, 2010

Eggplant Parmigiana therapy

Sometimes you just need to eat something that comforts you.  If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you'll probably remember some days last summer when I was a bit of a wreck - (no point in going back there).  But as you'll recall, the Divorce Diet (you can eat anything you want and you don't gain weight) is a thing to be appreciated, so tonight, I was deciding between Mexican food and Italian food and once again eggplant parmigiana won out.  

We've had a couple of days of snow, my dog Lucy is recovering from a urinary tract infection which requires frequent walks, I'm tired of winter and life is complicated.  I deserve some comfort.  Today there was an 8.8 earthquake in Chile and fears of tsunamis in Hawaii, which fortunately didn't happen.  There is always a war, an earthquake, death, illness...and there is also dancing, beautiful days (today was a perfect day - warm enough to melt much of the snow), friends, and eggplant parmigiana.  Interestingly, the eggplant was better in Brooklyn!  It was cheaper and tastier. Turns out that Grimaldi's in Fort Greene is truly an excellent restaurant. 

The point is - I'm going to enjoy the divorce diet as long as I can, and I will probably need a cannoli very soon. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Gay Agenda

I'm not talking about politics or gay marriage, I'm talking about a fantastic singing group called "The Gay Agenda."  They are singers and songwriters and absolutely adorable.  I'll post a You Tube video of them singing, but trust me, you have to see them live.  They're just great!  

Monday, February 22, 2010

The official description of the Mastery Workshop

I found this on Facebook this morning.  It is much clearer description of the workshop:

"The Mastery Workshop is an intensive weekend workshop founded in the belief that when we have an experience of self-empowerment, the circumstances of our lives, including HIV or cancer, do not necessarily have to determine the quality of our lives. In a time of crisis we explore the possibilities of living full, rich and empowered lives. The workshop is designed to release the relationships and patterns that keep us tied to the past and undermine our self-worth. The work is accomplished through one-on-one interaction between trained facilitators and participants, group support, emotional exercises and visualizations, which are used for self-discovery. The Mastery is not a belief system -- each participant spends quality time and receives nurturing support to discover his or her own self-worth, manner of self-expression and uniqueness.

Founded in 1985 by Sally Fisher and originally conceived as The AIDS Mastery Workshop, the workshop has since expanded to include people dealing with a wide-array of life-challenging and life-changing issues. Reflecting that wider inclusiveness, the name was ultimately changed to "The Mastery Workshop" and serves people just like you and me."

Sunday, February 21, 2010

"Strong enough to be vulnerable"

Anyone who's read this blog knows that I have been attending Friends in Deed, an organization that helps people who have been dealing with life threatening illnesses, caregiving or grief. And last November, I did the Mastery there, a weekend workshop that has been around for over twenty years.  The Mastery is, I guess, about self-actualization, feeling your feelings, looking at old patterns, letting go of "your story," forgiveness, opening yourself up, and working on making some changes in your life. 

When I was in the Mastery as a participant last November, I was in a very different place than I am now.  This time I participated as a volunteer, in the "back row."  Everyone in the back row has done the Mastery and have been through the process and many have done the back row dozens of times.  We help by making and serving meals, cleaning up, talking to people who are taking the Mastery, participating in a few exercises, and generally making the weekend flow smoothely.

Sally Fisher and Robert Levithan lead the Mastery and they are amazing group facilitators.  I just love them both.  I think that the first time I took it, I was so filled with grief, I just ate all the good meals, did the visualizatons, cried, felt all my feelings, tried to take down some notes about what they were talking about, and was held up emotionally with all the support in the room.

This time, I was able to be more present, to listen, to breathe, to have the honor of hearing people's stories.  Out in the "real" world, we all have masks; we are what we do, we're part of families, organizations, we have labels.  I'm a doctor, a teacher, a lawyer, a mother, a father, a caregiver, a whatever.  And my story is, "I lost my mother when I was twelve, or I have been divorced, or my kid is a drug addict, or I'm depressed, or I wish I could quit my job and do something I love, or I should have had more loving parents, or I wish my husband would appreciate and listen to me, or why doesn't my mother accept me for who I am?"  We all live with our stories and carry them around.  In the Mastery, you are asked to drop the mask and the stories and just be you.  Just let the walls down, open up and allow strangers to get to know the essence of who you are - be naked - knowing that you are totally safe and in a room of other people who are either naked with you or have been naked before and survived.

Robert said that when he was a young man, someone he was dating told him, "I would like to find someone strong enough to be vulnerable."

That was the line that most resonated with me this weekend.  And to see how much I have changed, just since November. I'm no longer feeling intense grief, I'm feeling happiness and living in the moment more easily.  Life feels good most of the time, even though it's February and once again I had to walk Lucy at five a.m. (at least this time I didn't get locked out.)  When people allow you to see who they really are - you fall in love with most of them.  I met so many exceptional people this weekend (including the one I kissed.)  

I feel so grateful that my life is filled with wonderful people, so much love and compassion, so many friends.  I know that I am lucky now and my greatest wish is to find ways to really give back for all that I have been blessed with.  

The food was still delicious, but what most nourished me was the friends I have made at Friends in Deed, and the new friends I have met this weekend.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I kissed a boy....

....and I liked it.

And that's about all I'm going to say about it, other than it's been a long time since I felt that kind of adolescent excitement and today, people said to me, "You look like you're glowing."

Funny how that happens.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

One night at a time

Maybe because it's February, one of the most depressing months of the year (for me and probably everyone in the northern hemisphere) - and I'm still "piecing together a new life for myself" - I'm feeling a bit blue tonight.

It's okay, just as I wrote those words, the thought came into my mind: "Fine, great!  Feel it.  Don't fight it."  And maybe just writing a little will also help, just to get out what the thoughts are.  I made a few calls to talk to friends and no one - not one person - was around to talk.  Of course, I didn't try too many, so here I am writing to whoever reads this.  It's interesting that I find out people I didn't expect are reading this blog and it's gratifying to know this isn't just mental masturbation.  

This is about a journey. It was for a very long time, a journey that involved a husband, a wife, a daughter and two dogs.  And now it's just me and the two dogs and my daughter, whenever I can grab a quick conversation or a few texts.  It's lonely sometimes, and sad, and a bit scary.  I don't know what's coming in the future, but then no one knows.  It's just that some people know who they are doing what they don't know what will be with.  And even then, it's iffy.  We can all get hit by a bus unexpectedly and die.  Cheerful, aren't I?

There is that great feeling of "we can handle whatever comes because we're in this together."  I miss that feeling.  And - I'm also relieved that I'm not living in a relationship that was on life support, that wasn't growing or deepening, but just stagnating.  My friend J said this quote about Jung: 

Yet unless any one of us negotiates our own sense of inflation and alienation (according to Jung, the first basic steps)...we cannot move to the places the Eckhardt Tolle talks of....we remain in ego inflation or ego alienation. Only the next step is the one toward individuation...and it doesn't happen without suffering. Jung's quote is "any step for the Self (the inner wisdom) is a defeat for the ego"...

Suffering as growth.  Suffering as inner wisdom.  I think it's pretty annoying.  Metaphysical growing pains.  I think that's what it means. This has been a painful week - both physically (I fell down the other night, tripped over a sneaker, broke a glass of water, cut my finger and landed on my knee) and emotionally painful, issues with my sister; I love her but cannot seem to find a peaceful way to co-exist or communicate. 

I'm grateful for so much in my life, even that it's February, because in four weeks spring will be here and the days will be longer, and the flowers will bloom and the leaves will come out on the trees, and life will at least look, on the outside, so much more beautiful. 

Monday, February 15, 2010

Fred Hersch

Last night, for Valentine's Day, I got to see an incredible performance at the Cornelia Street Cafe with Fred Hersch, a brilliant pianist (and our upstairs neighbor), and Jo Lawry, a fantastic Australian singer.  

I've never heard anyone play the piano as beautifully and emotionally as Fred.  Here is a gorgeous You tube video of his playing "So In Love."  


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day 2010

"Saint Valentine's Day (commonly shortened to Valentine's Day)[1][2][3] is an annual holiday held on February 14 celebrating love and affection between intimate companions.[1][3] The holiday is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentine and was established by Pope Gelasius I in AD 496. It is traditionally a day on which lovers express their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines"). The holiday first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished." (From Wickipedia.)

 For the first time in many years, I am not living with a spouse, or in love, or feeling the need to be in a relationship.  

Those of you who are celebrating Valentine's Day with a person you love, I wish you a very special day.  I'm celebrating self-love today, with a walk in Central Park, time with friends, and maybe an evening out listening to Fred Hirsch, a fantastic jazz pianist who lives in our building.  Whatever I do, I will do it in honor of my journey, this amazing year of change and possibility.  Valentine's Day should be about love for everyone - for family, friends, for all the people in our lives and all the people in the world.  I mean, you can't buy everyone chocolate, but you can show you love them.   

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Something totally trivial

I saw this on someone's blog just now and thought it would be a good distraction from my slightly blue mood.  It was. I think I'm going to attempt to get myself to a yoga class now.  Virgin Yoga.  (Will they let me in?) 

Your cell phone: BlackBerry
Your hair: Brown
Your mother: Dead
Your father: Dead
Your favorite food: Chocolate chip cookies
Your dream last night: I visited my mom
Your favorite drink: Champagne
Your dream goal: Writing and making a living at it again
What room are you in: Bedroom
Your hobby: bicycling
Your fear: dying too young
Where do you see yourself in 6 years: Writing and in love
Where were you last night: Friends In Deed
Something you aren't: Daredevil
Muffins: Chocolate zucchini from City Bakery
Wish list item:  Book contract or play produced
Where did you grow up: Long Island
Last thing you did:  Watched Jon Stewart
What are you wearing: a T-shirt
Your TV:  I'm addicted 
Your pets: Two beagle girls
Friends: All around me
Your life: Up and down, mostly up
Your mood: Edgy
Missing someone: My daughter
Vehicle: Feet
Something you aren't wearing: shoes
Your favorite store: Lord and Taylor (because no one else is there)
Your favorite color: Blue
When was the last time you laughed: Last night watching John Oliver on Jon Stewart
Last time you cried: Last night watching John Oliver on Jon Stewart (kidding) Last night
Your best friend: Lucy
One place you go over and over: Movie theaters
Facebooking: Too often
Favorite place to eat: NoHo Star, Shake Shack, Gotham

Later:  So I went to yoga and it wasn't exactly virgin, everyone there had done it before and the class was great.  I remembered why I loved yoga so much years ago (I stopped in 2002 when my beloved teacher moved away.)  I love the way my body feels and I love the messages.  Today it was about how yoga is the search for oneself, the true self.  And by doing yoga we take care of the body so the search can continue.  The teacher was a beautiful woman, with long legs and long blond hair and I looked at her and thought, "Wow, she is so gorgeous, no kids probably, just gets to do her yoga and practice" and after the class we had a long talk and it turns out she's got two kids and her husband is moving out and she's a wreck, trying to deal with it all.  So we hugged and I can't wait to go back next week.  I have to say I love the gym again - and that there are very good yoga classes there now.  You were right, Mia.  As always. 

Getting out the grief

Last night, even though I was feeling quite happy - I love snow, a blizzard was coming, etc., I decided to go over to Friends In Deed for a Tuesday night meeting which is led by Cy O'Neal.  I always feel that I am in the presence of a very wise woman when I listen to Cy.   But I was feeling pretty good and was just listening, and dear friend shared something that was painful and it moved I suddenly got in touch with my own sadnessThere were only a few minutes left in the hour and a half session, but I was able to raise my hand, quickly talk about what was bothering me, Cy said, "Oh, I would so much rather be you, feeling my feelings, working through the grief, being a human being...." I don't even remember what else she said, but it felt so good just to get out the tears.  It almost didn't matter what she said at that point, it just mattered that I got in touch with the feelings.

So then this morning, in my readings, of course I found something that related.  In the Language of Letting Go, by Melody Beattie, this was today's reading.  (EVERYTHING IN CAPS ARE MY COMMENTS - PLEASE FORGIVE ME MELODY)

"Letting Go of Sadness

A block to joy and love can be unresolved sadness from the past.  

In the past, we told ourselves many things to deny the pain: It doesn't hurt that much...Maybe if I just wait, things will change...It's no big deal.  I can get through this...Maybe if I try to change the other person, I won't have to change myself.  (I LOVE THIS ONE.) 

We denied that it hurt because we didn't want to feel the pain.

Unfinished business doesn't go away.  It keeps repeating itself, until it gets our attention, until we feel it, deal with it, and heal.  That's one lesson we are learning in recovery from codependency and adult children issues.  

Many of us didn't have the tools, support, or safety we needed to acknowledge and accept pain in our past.  It's okay.  We're safe now.  Slowly, carefully, we can being to open ourselves up to our feelings.  We can begin the process of feeling what we have denied for so long - not to blame, not to shame, but to heal ourselves in preparation for a better life.

It's okay to cry when we need to cry and feel the sadness many of us have stored within for so long.  We can feel and release these feelings.  

Grief is a cleansing process.  It's an acceptance process.  It moves us from our past, into today, and into a better future - a future free of sabotaging behaviors, a future that holds more options than our past.

God, as I move through this day, let me be open to my feelings.  Today, help me know that I don't have to either force or repress the healing available to me in recovery.  Help me trust that if I am open and available, the healing will happen naturally, in a manageable way."

You don't have to believe in any kind of God to buy this.  You maybe have to believe in something, love, friendships, ice cream - whatever works.  Something bigger than you.  At least that helps me.  I love thinking about babies who just have their feelings all day long.  One minute they're happy, they're laughing, they're joyful and the next minute something pisses them off and they're wailing their heads off.  Somewhere along the way we were taught to stuff all those feelings, through some method, for me it was food, shopping, TV, driving, anger, any kind of diversion to avoid feeling.  Once your heart cracks open though - through whatever reason - the willingness to actually feel seems to make it much less scary and stuffing the feelings doesn't work.  Many years ago, in my twenties, I had anxiety attacks because I was so afraid of my feelings.  When I was a kid, if I was crying about something and I went to my father, he would say to me, "I can't talk to you when you're crying.  Go to your room and when you're finished, we'll talk."  I loved my father, but what a schmuck.  Another friend told me recently her mother said, "Never let them see you cry.  Never let them know that you aren't strong."  Whoever "they are."  All the messages in our society is, feelings are ugly, messy, embarrassing, weak and inappropriate.  I think they are healthy, healing, powerful and positive.  I was numb for more years than I care to recall.

I loved that scene in Broadcast News when Holly Hunter unplugged the phone so she could have a good cry.  To me at that time it seemed so bizarre, fascinating, but impossible for me to do.  Remember (if you're old enough) how strong we all thought Jackie Kennedy was at JFK's funeral because she kept her emotions so under control?  I guess having her two young children and all the world's leaders surrounding her and the TV cameras made it difficult to really wail and carry on.  But my guess is she was on many milligrams of Valium and hopefully came home and cried for months.  At least I hope she did. 

Monday, February 8, 2010

A new understanding - Tolle

Early this morning (5 a.m. to be precise) - after I took my dogs out for a walk (Lucy needed a walk desperately, she's 15 and you can't argue with her), and after I realized that I was locked out of the building, and couldn't reach my loft mate, Abigail, who was sound asleep, I was able to borrow someone's cell phone and wake her up.  I happened to go on Facebook when I couldn't fall back to sleep, and was IM'd by a friend in Spain, who told me that he was reading Eckhart Tolle's book "A New Earth" - and that he was loving it.  I had started the book a year or so ago and stopped after about thirty pages.  For some reason I decided to pick it up again and read it.  Perhaps because last night had been a difficult night for me and my dreams had been rather upsetting, I must have felt the need to read Tolle. So I re-read the first thirty or so pages that I didn't remember at all, and then eventually came to this section, which deeply resonated for me:

"The Peace That Passes All Understanding

There are many accounts of people who experienced that emerging new dimension of consciousness as a result of tragic loss at some point in their lives.  Some lost all of their possessions, others their children or spouse, their social position, reputation, or physical abilities.  In some cases, through disaster or war, they lost all of these simultaneously and found themselves with "nothing."  We may call this a limit-situation.  Whatever they had identified with, whatever gave them their sense of self, had been taken away.  Then suddenly, inexplicably, the anguish or intense fear they initially felt gave way to a sacred sense of Presence, a deep peace and serenity and complete freedom from fear. This phenomenon must have been familiar to St. Paul, who used the expression 'the peace of God which passeth all understanding.' It is indeed a peace that doesn't seem to make sense, and the people who experienced it asked themselves: In the face of this, how can it be that I feel such peace?

The answer is simple, once you realize what the ego is and how it works.  When forms that you had identified with, that gave you your sense of self, collapse or are taken away, it can lead to a collapse of the ego, since ego is identification with form.  When there is nothing to identify with anymore, who are you?  When forms around you die or death approaches your sense of Beingness, of I Am, is freed from its entanglement with form: Spirit is released from its imprisonment in matter.  You realize your essential identity as formless, as an all-pervasive Presence, of Being prior to all forms, all identifications.  You realize your true identity as consciousness itself, rather than what consciousness had identified with.  That's the peace of God.  The ultimate truth of who you are is not that I am this or that, but I Am.

Not everybody who experiences great loss also experiences this awakening, this disidentification from form.  Some immediately create a strong mental image or thought form in which they see themselves as victim, whether it be of circumstances, other people, an unjust fate, or God.  This thought form and the emotions it creates, such as anger, resentment, self-pity, and so on, they strongly identify with, and it immediately takes the place of all the other identifications that have collapsed through the loss.  In other words, the ego quickly finds a new form.  The fact that this new form is a deeply unhappy one doesn't concern the ego too much, as long as it has an identity, good or bad.  In fact, this new ego will be more contracted, more rigid and impenetrable than the old one.

Whenever tragic loss occurs, you either resist or you yield.  Some people become bitter or deeply resentful; others become compassionate, wise, and loving.  Yielding means inner acceptance of what is.  You are open to life.  Resistance is an inner contraction, a hardening of the shell of the ego.  You are closed.  Whatever action you take in a state of inner resistance (which we could also call negativity) will create more outer resistance, and the universe will not be on your side, life will not be helpful.  If the shutters are closed, the sunlight cannot come in.  When you yield internally, when you surrender, a new dimension of consciousness opens up.  If action is possible or necessary, your action will be in alignment with the whole and supported by creative intelligence, the unconditioned consciousness which in a state of inner openness you become one with.  Circumstances and people then become helpful, cooperative.  Coincidences happen.  If no action is possible, you rest in the peace and inner stillness that comes with surrender.  You rest in God."

When I read this I had a deep inner sensation that this is exactly what has happened to me this past year.  I lost all the external ego identifications: daughter, wife, mother (Zoe moved to San Francisco), a member of a couple, a worker among workers.  I lost a home, many of the "things" that I thought mattered to me and I came to realize didn't matter at all.  I basically had to re-invent myself.  And yet there is a sense of inner peace I've never experienced before. Really.  Last summer, when I was in the thick of it all, a friend of mine said to me, "Tragedy becomes you."  Now I know why. 

When you think about this in a larger sense - in Haiti for example, I wonder how most people cope with so much loss. 

Sunday, February 7, 2010

What is it with you and fun? (Part II)

“What is it with you and fun?”  My husband said that to me early in our marriage. 
I think it was a Saturday afternoon, a beautiful spring day and he was sitting at his computer, which is what he did pretty much all the time, and I said something like: “Hey, how going for a bike ride…or a walk in the park, or anything that’s fun!”
And that’s when he looked at me -- with an odd expression on his face -- and said, “What is it with you and fun?”
            Now any normal person would have either left him right then, or they would have responded, “Ah, come on!  Fun is good for you!  You need those endorphins! You need that Vitamin D!”   
            But I felt – shame, honestly.  He was right and I was wrong.  You’re not supposed to have fun after you turn... thirty.  He’s an artist.  He’s serious. 
            I am….shallow.  Worthless. 
            So I put fun into a drawer for a couple of years, but then luckily for me I had a baby girl and we had fun.  That baby turned into a toddler and eventually an adolescent, at (practically) every stage of her life, we had fun.  We danced and we made up songs and rode bikes, and did funny accents and went on adventures.  
Kids understand fun.  They live in the moment and they want to play.  They like to be silly and they enjoy being wild and crazy. To this day, as she's about to turn 22, my daughter and I still know how to have fun.
            My husband, truthfully, had moments of lightness, but he was more like …well, Seattle – which averages 245 rainy, cloudy, gray days.  And I’m  a little more like…well, southern California – like San Diego. 
            Maybe it was because he was married to me – but his gloominess fed my gloominess like Miracle Grow.  The more I tried to lift his spirits, the more I failed and the worse we both felt. 
            His fun was sitting in front of the computer (if he was looking at porn I could understand, but I don’t think he was.)  He also played guitar – flamenco – beautiful music, but sad – soleas, sadness, loneliness, suffering – and lots of drinking.  There are a few happy songs, bolareas  - but he didn’t play them that much.
On the outside I did what I was supposed to do: went to work, came home, did the chores, walked the dogs, watched TV, read a book, went to bed – alone. 
            I literally had to pop two Excedrin  (for the caffeine) in the morning, before I could even get out of bed – so I could make coffee and have more caffeine.           
            It was like having a kid inside of you and starving her.  Until one day, in a marriage counseling session this voice says, “Hey, if you’re not happy and I’m not happy, what the hell?!  Let’s get a divorce and get this over with!”
Who said that? 
I did.  I did!! 
I felt like a thousand pound weight was lifted off my shoulders.  I literally danced across 86th Street towards Central Park West.  Whoooohoooo! 

The little girl was alive and well and no one was ever going to say “what’s with you and fun” to me ever again.
            I am determined to have fun the rest of my life – even if I’m in a nursing home someday - I’m going to find pleasure and be silly and enjoy this one brief lifetime that we have on this planet.
            So that’s my mission – to live – happily - in San Diego.  Not literally.  I love New York.  In New York there are plenty of people who are serious and work hard, and also enjoy having fun.  And the sun shines an average of 245 days a year, and now I can dance as much as I want to.  

               Actually, I realized after writing this piece is that it isn't just about fun.  It's about being who we really are and accepting who we really are.  Maybe some people can do that with no problem, but it took me a long time and I'm grateful that I finally have.  And I hope that my ex is happier now that he's able to be who he really is without someone nagging and trying to change him.  I know I am! 

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A walk in the 'hood

My family moved into SoHo in 1987 and the neighborhood was quiet, filled with artists and writers, there were a few restaurants - Fanelli's, Food, Spring Street Natural, Raoul's - those are all that I can remember.  Dean and Deluca was a small gourmet shop on Prince Street, next door to a really cramped health food store - "Whole Foods" was the name as I recall - long before the giant chain existed.  When Zoe was born, we walked up to the water park on Mercer Street past the garage and said hello to all the guys who worked there.  There were no fancy boutiques or upscale hotels.  

It's a bit sad to see what's happened to SoHo now and on the other hand, it still feels like home to me.  It's the neighborhood I've lived in longer than any other neighborhood.  I run into so many people I know daily and this is the winter, when you hardly see anyone.  

This afternoon, I was reading and I suddenly remembered a store that sold really great ravioli.  I thought it was worth a walk to see if it was still there.  I knew that the chances were slim that it would be - after eight or so years - but it was a mission and I was curious.  It was also located next to Sullivan Street Bakery and I was craving some good bread, since I've stopped eating sugar for the past few days.  

I went over to Sullivan Street and sure enough not only was the ravioli store gone - so was Sullivan Street Bakery.  Actually, a different bakery called Granddaisy Bakery was in its place, with all the same breads.  I got a baguette (the only thing that cost under six dollars) and headed over to see if Lupe's, an old favorite Mexican restaurant, was still there.  And you guessed it, I'm sure - gone.  Mexican Radio, another favorite restaurant, now sells my favorite burrito, a Cajun burrito with shrimp and chorizo for nineteen dollars.  This is crazy - a nineteen dollar burrito? 

But Ben's pizza is still there.  And this afternoon I went to Ippudo (just north of SoHo) for some delicious ramen. So I guess I'm not ready to give up on SoHo or Manhattan yet.  It's still home and I'm still so grateful to live here.  

Oh - and The Ravioli Store is now located in Long Island City and they sell their ravioli at Fairway and the Food Emporium.  And I'm not sure where Sullivan Street Bakery is, but I know they still sell their breads around town. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Out of the muck

Update:  I am feeling much much better, even though it's February 3 - and I hate this month and I'm getting a little tired of winter (even though it's been quite easy here.)  And I had to spend $2,000 today on that same tooth that had root canal a few weeks ago, now I have a post and a new crown to pay for.  

But - on the other hand, I'm watching Jon Stewart now and I love John Oliver.  And I went to yoga on Monday and after the class I told the teacher how old I am and he said "Wow, you look amazing!  You're going to kick ass in a couple of weeks.."  or something like that.  Which is so un-yoga of him and a terrible thing to tell me, since I am so competitive.  But I have to say that I really did kind of enjoy the class, even though it was so hard.  And I'm running now on the treadmill too, which I love. Thirty minutes at a pretty good pace, it's amazing how much more I can feel the endorphins, even writing about it gets me excited.  

So personally, I am feeling good.  But I have to find work and get a good income. It's been a hell of a year, but I'm starting to see that all the hard work I've done is paying off.  I'd like to volunteer somewhere that will utilize all that I've learned at Friends In Deed. I feel like I've been studying grief and coping for the last year, as I've sat in meetings.  And I've met so many wonderful people. 

I know that the Haitian people are still struggling and it's going to take a very long time until life gets better there.  And we still have no health care bill, the economy is still not great and many people are still out of work. There was a warning tonight on the evening news about heightened concerns about a terrorist attack in this country.  

I'm looking at the glass and it's half full and half empty.  But maybe slightly more full...because my daughter is coming to visit me next month and I couldn't be happier!