“Be Here Now” Club

There were just three days left in my 365 writing project and my daughter is home on winter break. My husband, off to work, suggests I put on a movie for her so I can write. He knows I feel the impending heat as I am inches away from typing an imaginary “the end” on a non-traditional manuscript in a category of its own: organically, … Continue reading “Be Here Now” Club

“Learning Relationships From When Harry Met Sally” Club

Last week I watched one of my favorite movies with my son: When Harry Met Sally. My freshman year of college in 1992, as a journalism major, my first feature article assignment needed to be based on research but I don’t remember any other constricting guidelines. I know that this was pre-Internet so a Twitter poll was not an option, neither was posting something to … Continue reading “Learning Relationships From When Harry Met Sally” Club

“Not Fearing Death, Just Not Wanting It” Club

““Cowards die many times before their deaths. The valiant never taste of death but once. Of all the wonders that I yet have heard, It seems to me most strange that men should fear, Seeing that death, a necessary end, Will come when it will come.” I joke about how this tiny speech from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is the only thing I ever memorized which … Continue reading “Not Fearing Death, Just Not Wanting It” Club

“2016: FOAD, but Thanks for Everything” Club

Eight is my favorite number, yet 2008 wasn’t so great. I had thyroid surgery in January, broke my knee in February, got audited in April, and lost my job in June. During 2016, another multiple of eight, every member of my immediate family landed in the emergency room, my mother was in the hospital twice, our apartment got flooded, a scary clown craze damaged our … Continue reading “2016: FOAD, but Thanks for Everything” Club

“I Don’t Do Holiday Cards” Club

I don’t do holiday cards. I did once. No, twice. I feel the tug, though, as beautiful cards fill my mailbox. I desperately want to be part of the “Holiday Card” club, but find once again, my perfection paralysis prohibits me from playing at all. I’m chock full of ideas, but they usually involve hand making one of a kind cards, which doesn’t work well … Continue reading “I Don’t Do Holiday Cards” Club

“Starting Anew” Club

With the new year upon us, marking another trip around the sun, collectively and symbolically we give ourselves permission to make a fresh start; renewed promises, redefined goals, refreshed perspectives. Somehow seeing the January 1st date, like a blank page, gives us a boost, the momentum we somehow lack the rest of the year. We can use any day to change our life, change our relationship, … Continue reading “Starting Anew” Club

“I Kept My First Wedding Photos” Club

For years after I got divorced, I didn’t think about the two boxes of wedding photos I left at my ex-husband’s apartment. Last year, a decade after I left the apartment, my Ex moved and asked me if I wanted the photos. One box contains the wedding square-shaped proofs and the other box contains the hand-printed photo album. Instinctively I said I’d take them thinking … Continue reading “I Kept My First Wedding Photos” Club

“It’s Not Always the Worst Case Scenario” Club

Earlier this year I watched a Dr. Oz segment where a psychiatrist suggested coping techniques for those of us who struggle with immediately jumping to Worst Case Scenario explanations. Occasionally I go there too soon, without justified reason and rile myself up unnecessarily. The psychiatrist offered this advice: instead of assuming the worst, think the opposite; assume just as extreme in the best case scenario. … Continue reading “It’s Not Always the Worst Case Scenario” Club

“Rediscovering Memories” Club

One of the things my ex-husband held hostage after our divorce, was the equivalent of a studio apartment of things we stored in his parents’ basement. I wasn’t interested in the old leather couches or my son’s baby clothes, but there were two small boxes containing some old journals, report cards, greeting cards, and other mementoes. I didn’t remember exactly what was in there, but … Continue reading “Rediscovering Memories” Club

“Obsessed with Time” Club

I am betting anyone with gold member status in this club is also a member of the “I Can Guess the Time Accurately Within Five Minutes Club” as well as the “I Don’t Like Crowds and Lines Club“.  I’m horribly tortured by the notion of wasted time. I hear the clock as if it’s attached to a megaphone. It ticks louder for me than it does … Continue reading “Obsessed with Time” Club

“Mental Health Challenges” Club

I have a few mental health challenges. I was born with generalized anxiety disorder which developed into panic disorder. Six years ago, the extreme morning sickness I experienced in my second pregnancy left me with a real condition called HG/PTSD and on top of it I have a mild (ha ha ha) case of hypochondria with a side of OCD which makes it hard to … Continue reading “Mental Health Challenges” Club

“Afraid of Happiness” Club

I can easily relate to the phrase, “fear of failure.” As far as fear goes, it might be the most obvious. “Fear of success,” on the other hand, sounds preposterous. I’m a perfectionist who prefixes every Google search with “best.” Success in itself isn’t even a success to me; it is what is expected. I thought success was my programmed (genetic) default. There is nothing scary about success; is there?  As … Continue reading “Afraid of Happiness” Club

“My Grandmother Fell” Club

When my cousin called me this morning I was sure she wanted to discuss the Chanukah dinner we were tentatively planning for when my sister comes to town in two weeks. Turns out she was calling to tell my grandmother fell. The home health aid arrived in the morning as scheduled and when my grandmother didn’t answer the door, the aid called the agency, who … Continue reading “My Grandmother Fell” Club

“I’m the Human Version of the Pop-Up Video” Club

I’ve recently realized that I’m the human version of the VH1 pop-up video. This thought dawned on me when I found myself whispering “extra or background information” into my son’s ear in the middle of watching Moana. Talking during a movie, sacrilegious, I know, but I really thought I was adding to his experience, just like a video thought bubble. This blasphemous cinema behavior got … Continue reading “I’m the Human Version of the Pop-Up Video” Club

“I’m a Good Gift-Giver” Club

I’ve always praised myself for being an extraordinary gift giver. From the time I was eight years old, I would save up my birthday and holiday money and use it to buy presents for my parents and sister. I valued the fact that it was MY OWN MONEY I was choosing to use to buy them something rather than myself. A martyr for no reason, … Continue reading “I’m a Good Gift-Giver” Club

“My Daughter is the Only Jew in Her Class” Club

My daughter came home from school the Monday after Thanksgiving to find her classroom delightfully decorated by her teacher, whom she adores. There was a Christmas tree, garlands, stuffed Santas, snowmen, and reindeer, and Christmas gel stickers adorning the windows. “What do you want for Christmas?” was the talk of the day and on our walk home, my daughter admitted she felt “uncomfortable” because no … Continue reading “My Daughter is the Only Jew in Her Class” Club

“My Husband, My Editor” Club

When I decided to write every single day for a year, my husband was my biggest cheerleader even though he was inadvertently forced to take on this project with me. Every single day (usually night; minutes shy of midnight), he reads over my autobiographic essays, searching for typos, inconsistencies, and misguided T.M.I., before I hit the blue PUBLISH button.  This project was my Queen Mary … Continue reading “My Husband, My Editor” Club

“Stage Mother” Club

Earlier this year I began watching one of my favorite shows, So You Think You Can Dance  and realized they threw a monkey wrench in the traditional format, and in lieu of 18-30-year-olds, this was So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation featuring 8-13 years old dancers. Initially, I thought this would be great to watch with my six-year-old daughter who loves to dance, only I … Continue reading “Stage Mother” Club

“I Make Lists” Club

I’ve made lists my whole life and it wasn’t because I mimicked my mother doing it. In fact, my quest for an organized life – from drawers and closets to bills and computer files and photos is a perpetual, organic, never-ending feat. Life is the queen of dispensing out things to add to the “Things to Do List,” and reality is, I have it easy. … Continue reading “I Make Lists” Club

“Measure a Year in Words” Club

If you told someone they would have to write 34 essays in a row, they might seem intimidated. Even a writer might break a sweat, but for me, 34 left seems doable, the almost home stretch. I am at mile 23.9 of a 26.2 marathon. Maybe I’m not relaxing, but I’m thinking beyond just finishing, I’m thinking of the type of finish. Obviously, I’m looking … Continue reading “Measure a Year in Words” Club

“Grieving” Club

Grief is such that it lodges itself in your throat until you either have to swallow hard or cry it out. The problem with the crying route is it is like disengaging a cork which is clogging up a hole in a pipe, and when unplugged, a deluge explodes from within. Once you let one cry out, the others topple out uncontrollably. Crying only makes … Continue reading “Grieving” Club

“Writing a Eulogy” Club

I never wrote a eulogy before but have often thought about it, which doesn’t make me morbid since I have spent equal time pondering my Oscar acceptance speech. Tomorrow we bury my aunt and when they ask if anyone wants to say anything, I will feel the weight of eyes on me, the vocal one, and I will feel compelled to say something but I … Continue reading “Writing a Eulogy” Club

“My Aunt Died” Club

My father had called me at 1:30pm to tell me he was on his way to his sister’s house because the hospice nurse said based on her breathing, it would be a matter of hours. At 4pm he texted me, “she’s gone.” “She’s gone,” I read aloud to my husband who was tiling our kitchen wall, his hands covered in mastic. “Oh, I’m sorry babe,” … Continue reading “My Aunt Died” Club

“I Hate Thanksgiving” Club

Thanksgiving isn’t my favorite holiday. Partly because I’m not a holiday person altogether and partly because family gatherings haven’t been easy since my parents’ divorce 17 years ago and my own divorce 12 years ago. When it comes to my son, even though we’ve had a solid co-parenting schedule for over a decade which predetermines with whom our he spends the holidays, every year has life aberrations. … Continue reading “I Hate Thanksgiving” Club

“Waiting for Death” Club

“I’ll see you tomorrow at 2pm,” my father tells me, “but you never know what can happen. I keep waiting for the phone to ring and for him to tell me she’s dead.” My father is waiting for his sister to die. Her son is waiting for his mother to die. I am waiting for my aunt to die. You know the anticipation and anxiety … Continue reading “Waiting for Death” Club

“Fell in Love” Club

I have several friends going through a divorce and several others floating in murky marriages. I’ve swum through these familiar rivers and felt like I was drowning but have definitely emerged less cynical and more hopeful, lucky to have found love (THE REAL DEAL) the second time around and witnessing the collapse of other marriages, I am grateful for second chances. Marriage has peaks and … Continue reading “Fell in Love” Club

“The Power of an Apology” Club

I was never one to give much weight or validity to an apology no matter how sincere. I am a proud Leo who has always struggled with apology and forgiveness. I work hard to do everything right all the time and my sense of virtue and justice hovers over me as an identifier. I’m aware I have to loosen up in terms of both. In … Continue reading “The Power of an Apology” Club

“Rebranding the Immigrant” Club

When did the word immigrant become synonymous with one kind of immigrant? When did the word immigrant immediately imply radical Islamic terrorist? (Kind of like instead of tissue we say, “Kleenex.”) Why, when America has long been defined as a melting pot, is it now trying to rebrand: “Make American great again“. Let’s bring it back to the days of Leave it to Beaver, and … Continue reading “Rebranding the Immigrant” Club

“I Got Soap in My Eye” Club

Do not trivialize the impact of getting (toxic, all natural, highly potent) soap in your eyes. It may not seem like a blatantly obvious essay topic, but if your eye has ever fallen victim to an unintentionally misdirected assault of soap, you would commiserate. I had meant to do a quick face wash before I drove my daughter to school this morning. I have been … Continue reading “I Got Soap in My Eye” Club

“Life is My Writing Prompt” Club

Before I launched my 365-Day writing project,  I came up with a 13-page (10 point font, 1.5-spaced) list of ideas. In the early days of the project, this numbered list guided me; I’d even used the strikethrough feature to cross out the topics I wrote about. As the year progressed and the calendar pages flipped faster than the leaves fell off the trees, I couldn’t keep … Continue reading “Life is My Writing Prompt” Club

“I’m a Jew Who Loves Christmas Songs” Club

I didn’t grow up in a religious home; I knew I was Jewish and knew it was important that I know that. Together with my parents, I came to America as a refugee from the former Soviet Union in 1979. The anti-semitism drove my parents out; they wanted to live in a country where their religion didn’t prevent them from going to college or getting … Continue reading “I’m a Jew Who Loves Christmas Songs” Club

“My Son, The Theater Star” Club

When I first learned my son got a starring role in his first high school play, I was ecstatic. Not just because I was living vicariously through him, but because he had finally found something in which he felt not only did he excel, but he passionately enjoyed. After two months of intense rehearsal, I was an eager mama, armed with tickets for three of … Continue reading “My Son, The Theater Star” Club

“I Organized My Father’s Tools” Club

If I ever thought my junk drawers were bad, they were Martha-Stewart level pristine compared to my father’s quarter century’s worth of tools, messily shoved into two unorganized plastic tool boxes and one cardboard box – with no systematic approach. This year on his birthday, he was at a nine-level stress factor, with his sister just entering hospice and him in the midst of helping … Continue reading “I Organized My Father’s Tools” Club

“Bring Your Wife to Work” Club

There are several days a year when I ask my husband to play “Bring your wife to work day.” Some days I do it out of convenience and other days I do it because I need a reminder about what matters most. On these days, I go to work with him as a hospital clown, where I will suspend reality for an hour and jump … Continue reading “Bring Your Wife to Work” Club

“What Do We Tell the Children?” Club

This morning’s Election Day Hangover rhetoric included the omnipresent, “What do we tell the children?” My daughter woke up 6 AM, walked into my room, tapped me on the shoulder and said: “Who won?” “Trump,” I said. She grabbed her hand on top of her head and said “Oy vey! Now, what?” “Don’t worry love, we will be OK,” I said. She stood there quietly, … Continue reading “What Do We Tell the Children?” Club

“Wasn’t It Just Yesterday?” Club

I feel too young to hear myself say it, but as I drove to pick my son up from play rehearsal at 7:30pm (gasp!) from HIGH SCHOOL (double gasp!) I inhaled deeply as I pulled off the exit and exhaled loudly, as my mind, obviously plagued by too many Hallmark cards, commercials, and TV movies, thought, “Wasn’t it just yesterday that my father was picking … Continue reading “Wasn’t It Just Yesterday?” Club

“I Locked Myself In” Club

Today I locked myself in my master bedroom for an hour. I did this about fifteen minutes after going on a tirade to my husband on the phone, touting how well we’d be equipped if there should be an Armageddon or Apocalypse (I get those two confused). I brought up our friends as a contrary example; they eat out every single meal and need to … Continue reading “I Locked Myself In” Club

“I Know My Crossing Guards” Club

I pass a series of crossing guards on my way to pick up my daughter from school, each one as unique as a Crayola color. The first one up is a short, bald Russian man, about 75 years old with a thick accent. He shakes his head in disdain at anyone who will serve as a forced audience. He complains about teenagers not stopping for … Continue reading “I Know My Crossing Guards” Club

“Unpacking” Club

Today I unpacked 15 large heavy boxes of kitchen stuff. I carried each box the roughly 100 feet from my son’s room to my kitchen and began slicing one box after the other reuniting with the belongings which have been packed away for the last two months. It roughly resembles the feeling of moving into a new house, only it’s the same house with a … Continue reading “Unpacking” Club

“I’m in a Renovation Style Slump” Club

Over the last two months, I’ve declined from having no fashion sense to an all-time low: renovation style. This means I’ve rotated between three different pairs of paint-stained leggings with coordinating paint-smeared camisoles and one of two gray sweatshirts, which look almost identical. There have been about five various social functions of different degrees of formalness, from large family dinners to children’s birthday parties to … Continue reading “I’m in a Renovation Style Slump” Club

“I Celebrated Halloween” Club

The first memory I have of dressing up is in second grade when my mother attempted to transform me into a gypsy by layering me in multiple scarves, an oversized skirt, and a multicolored blouse. She added several fake gold necklaces and too many coats of dark black mascara and red lipstick. “What am I?” I remember asking her and she told me a gypsy, which … Continue reading “I Celebrated Halloween” Club

“I Went to Ikea on a Saturday Night” Club

People in a life transition, buying transitional (nonpermanent) furniture. It doesn’t last forever because you don’t want it to. You go to Ikea when you need your first apartment after college furniture, or when you’re moving in with your boyfriend before you get married – or when you first get married and need to supplement the pieces you two had together, or most of all, … Continue reading “I Went to Ikea on a Saturday Night” Club

“Scared of Dying” Club

My aunt who is dying of ovarian cancer chose to enter hospice today after her third trip to the emergency room in the last two weeks. The hospital sent her home in an ambulance saying there was nothing more they can do. Today my father met her in her apartment in Brooklyn to move around her furniture to get it ready for the hospital bed, … Continue reading “Scared of Dying” Club

“Soundtrack of My Memories” Club

Today I had to borrow my dad’s car to pick my daughter up from school. The radio was set to 104.3, Classic Rock and when a commercial came on, I clicked his presets, and just as I predicted, they were exactly like mine would be (if I wasn’t sharing my presets with my husband), verifying what I already suspected: I have the musical taste of … Continue reading “Soundtrack of My Memories” Club

“I Hung a Microwave with My Dad” Club

I didn’t even want a microwave but it was cheaper than getting a vent hood and is convenient for a quick defrost or boil. I knew it would be mounted above the range, under the cabinet above it. I knew we had an electrical outlet in the wall right where it would go. The truth is I thought it would be so simple I didn’t … Continue reading “I Hung a Microwave with My Dad” Club

“I Miss My Sister” Club

I was convinced I wrote about this club dozens of times; so much so that I didn’t believe the search function on my own blog. I miss my sister every single day, thinking about her many times a day, what she could be doing right now – or how she would handle any situation I might be in. I think of her especially as my … Continue reading “I Miss My Sister” Club

“Getting Rid of the Cow” Club

For the last two months, I’ve lived in a state of flux known as renovation/restoration from the flood. Anyone who reads my posts regularly must be rolling their eyes because just when there couldn’t be more life lessons to garner from a renovation, I find more. I find reasons for things where they might not be apparent. I often also find words where none need … Continue reading “Getting Rid of the Cow” Club

“My Aunt is Dying” Club

My aunt is dying. She was diagnosed with Stage 4 ovarian cancer five years ago and has done countless rounds of chemo, has gone into remission once, and no matter what, cancer comes back fiercer each time. My father brought his weak, frail sister to the emergency room for the second time in two weeks. She’s in terrible pain and all blocked up; nauseated and … Continue reading “My Aunt is Dying” Club

“No Lazy Day Sundays” Club

Scrolling through my social media feeds on Sunday night, I see a bunch of happy posts showing families apple picking in the midst of autumnal rainbow trees or else even better, people commenting, “I’m on my third cup of coffee and not moving from this couch.” I long for a day like this; when I have nothing to do. The clock in my mind ticks … Continue reading “No Lazy Day Sundays” Club