Wednesday, December 29, 2010

On a good note

I don't really have much to say except that life is good today and I am so grateful.  I read this quote this morning:

"There is one thing in this world you must never forget to do.  Human beings come into this world to do particular work.  That work is their purpose, and each is specific to the person.  If you forget everything else and not this, there's nothing to worry about.  If you remember everything else and forget your true work, then you will have done nothing with your life." 


I love that quote. For me writing comedy and hearing an audience laugh is my life's work.  It's not so easy to get an audience, but still I write and hope that someday I will be doing my life's work and audiences will be there laughing.  I also hope that with that spoon full of sugar, there is more to it than simple laughter, but really also some worthwhile things to say.  Suddenly I sound very Jewish, like a Rabbi or something.  What is that?  Anyway, I am Jewish so I guess it's not such a big surprise.  Just the Rabbi part. 

It's almost the end of 2010, a year of so much transition and change and it definitely feels like it was so much better than the previous year, in so many ways.  

So hopefully, we will all remember why we are here and even if we can't all do what we feel is our true work, we will know it and look for opportunities to do it. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Christmas

It's 2010 and there are many reasons in the world to feel worried and sad.  The state of the world economy is still bad, although today in the newspaper there was talk of signs of improvement.  But Haitians are still suffering and a war is waging in the Ivory Coast and the Congo, and the crazy budget that Congress passed is truly, even to someone who doesn't really understand economics, very worrisome.  But in my little world, for today, I am filled with gratitude.

It isn't that I'm dancing on tables right now, or am madly in love, or won a lottery.  And my beloved Lola (the beagle) is still not doing well and I worry about her.  I got new medication to help her with pain she may have in her jaw, because the growth has affected her ability to eat.  And my darling daughter Zoe isn't here for the holidays and I miss her.  And it's winter, not my favorite time of the year.  And this morning, I had a hard time getting up out of bed to feed the dogs and make my coffee, but once I did, we had two lovely walks. 

I've been reading a lot lately, one of my passions in life.  I just finished "Freedom" by Jonathon Franzen, which I really enjoyed, and now I'm reading a book called "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett, about Mississippi (love spelling that state) in 1962 and I can't put it down.  I've added Keith Richards book "Life" to my reserved list at the library, along with "The Corrections" and I have many other books I want to read.  

I'm working and yesterday I got to wander around Harlem looking at brownstones with a couple who are looking to buy one.  I've always been curious about Harlem and I saw the Apollo Theater and Clinton's office, Mount Morris Park, which I'd only seen one time before and Morningside Park (was that once called "Needle Park" years ago because of all the drug use there?)  I loved wandering around Harlem and I look forward to more trips there.  I'm excited about next year and the reading of my play and I am enjoying helping people find homes.  When sadness strikes, as it did the other day when I got so worried about Lola, I made a few calls to friends, sobbed, and then eventually spoke to the vet and the feelings passed.  Right now, tonight, Lola is sitting next to the bed, taking a nap on a rug and she is very much alive.  Right now, most of the people I love are healthy and I'm grateful for that.  Lucy, my other beagle, is about to turn sixteen and she's doing great.  

I heard a story on NPR about the Asian people who live in the Gulf Coast (worked in the fishing industry) and who are dealing with all the stress of the oil spill and lost jobs, fears of the future.  They are living on money from BP for now, but that money will run out and they will have to find other jobs.  Those who are Buddhists seem to be handling the situation relatively well, because they are not afraid of sadness and loss.  It feels natural to them and not something to be afraid of.

I don't remember exactly how I felt last year at this time, but I'm quite sure I was still grieving.  I am no longer under that cloud.  Life is good, I have so much to be grateful for and I wish for everyone, a very happy, abundant and healthy new year. Let's hope that next year many of the problems we're facing start to turn around and more people find work and peace and some relief.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


After writing about moving on yesterday, I have to also say that there is still a part of me that feels sad about the ending of a long relationship, a family, and the lack of contact with someone I was with for so many years.  

I learned that word "and" - the idea that two conflicting feelings exist within us simultaneously - happy/excited about a new life and also sad/wistful about the loss of the old life.  It's good to know that it's not that unusual to feel this way.  


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Reality Bites

The reality of winter and cold, really cold weather.  And two dogs that need to be walked, separately now, because Lola can hardly walk, so I have to carry her out and Lucy, who needs a good, long walk.  Six times a day we walk, in the early morning, in the late afternoon, and then at night.  So between working and walking and going to the gym and trying to stay warm myself, my life is full.  And amazingly, happy.  Today would have been our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.  I celebrated by going to lunch with the people I'm working with and we had a fantastic lunch at Balthazar.  I love working again, I finally feel like the last year and a half of grief and loss are mostly behind me and though there's still plenty to be sad about, and worry about, and angry about -- it all basically feels pretty much like life.

I'm happy to wake up each morning, do my meditation, have my coffee, sit quietly and then walk the dogs and go to the gym, if I have time.  Simple things that feel just perfect.  These simple things I am so grateful for.  

They always say it's through the most adversity that we grow - I believe it's true.  I'm so grateful for the past year and a half.  I probably wouldn't appreciate these simple things now, if I hadn't lost so much and found myself in the process.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A year and a half

Slowly, I feel my life is coming together.  It's kind of amazing how that happens...almost without being aware of it, I have started to realize that I'm feeling happier, less emotional.  In some ways, I really enjoyed the emotion - it felt good to be able to cry whenever I felt like it, or needed to cry.  Now it comes unexpectedly, as it did during the news last night, when they reported Elizabeth Edwards' death, that made me cry.  I feel so sorry for her kids.  Life isn't fair, it doesn't play out the in the ways we think it should and often people, including her son, Wade, die too young and in shockingly unexpected ways.  I hope that her family will find some peace eventually, knowing she is out of pain and that her kids will always remember her. 

Anyway, I'm working again in real estate, with a fantastic woman and our office is like a little family.  We have some great clients and I enjoy meeting so any new people all the time.  

The best news is that my play is going to have a staged reading in April with most of the same cast who performed it at the Berkshire Playwrights Lab in July 2009.  The director is Matt Penn and he is a terrific director.  Fortuntely it's far enough away that I don't have to start panicking. Yet. There will be some panicking, hopefully not until at least March.

I'm sad about the state of the world, but there's not much I can do about that.  I'm disappointed in our President and our government and I hope that Sudan's imminent election doesn't lead to a war, and that the fighting in the Congo ends, and that the world's economy picks up and there are so many problems now - but for right now - I just feel grateful to be alive.