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Can/Can’t Canteen Can Can

…my smorgasbord of feelings…

It’s fully impossible for me not to notice AND acknowledge that when I reflect on my *smorgasbord of feelings over the past five months, it’s almost always associated with food. (see aforementioned reference to *smorgasbord)

Okay, it’s more than a casual food association. It may not even be “almost” always, but ALWAYS. My moods and feelings are like a vulnerable-loving-forgiving-physically-stagnant, casserole of emotions, covered in crispy french fried onions, located on an all-you-can-eat buffet of mostly unpredictable, hungry/foody/full feelings.

Buffet…Smorgasbord…Canteen…Chow Fest…FEELINGS.

It’s so interesting, because these days, I am generally peaceful. In many ways, I have never actually liked or loved myself (and others) more than while this pandemic has been going on. P. S. I am thinking about food right nowcheddar cheese on an egg bagel with honey mustard

Okay, I’m back.

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you’ll see that my daughter, Charlotte, has been baking and creating decadent treats on nearly a daily basis. A key fact is, I am not overindulging in her amazing culinary creations.

Bearing witness to Charlotte’s visionary process has helped me understand myself better. My imaginative and often funny thoughts of food – casseroles, carbs, KETO, vintage gelatinous “aspic-tacular” platters, buffets and canteens are all really healthy ways of coping with:

  • Missing people
  • Craving human touch
  • Concerns about money and being able to provide for my kids
  • My worry over other people’s health
  • Wearing pants inside out and backwards
  • Simply wearing pants
  • Wearing pants that, once fit and now feel like medical-grade compression wear
  • Seriously though… I’m not going to list everything. This is the last bullet point. You catch my drift.

Like you and most everyone, I’ve had to sit (long stretches) alone with myself. I never, ever forget that we’re collectively in this trauma together and not being alone, even though I’m physically alone sometimes, is incredibly comforting.

Also, even if I’m a little more than slightly flabby, I’m really not too shabby. I imagine the same is true for you.

So, even though I ate two dinners last night, (and thought of food even more), it’s not the end of the world. I mean, it doesn’t happen every night and in evaluating what transpired in that extra meal, one could say that I just had a really early breakfast. (Three hours after my original dinner.)

On a physical front, I KNOW I have to move my body more. I haven’t been too into “getting physical,” until I decided to start dancing at least 45 minutes per day.

Oh fine. I’ll move my tush.

Today, I danced for 90 minutes. As I moved my body, I thought about the aforementioned, vintage gelatinous “aspic-tacular” platter. I laughed as I danced, because the committee in my head was entertaining. It was hard to breathe, but I just kept going.

I even danced a “Can Can,” that I think seemed more like a “Can’t Can’t.”

But, it’s all okay. I mean, everything I mentioned in this post is okay.

Sure, I hope I eat only one dinner tonight. I pray that I’ll dance as hard tomorrow as I did today.

And all the while, I hope I can continue to laugh at and enjoy all of my food associations, my temporary flab and life on life’s terms in general.

I’m sending you so much love and virtual hugs. Please be gentle with yourself. You are a gift and very brave to be walking through this surreal time.

Stay safe and healthy. I hope we can have dinner together, (just one) soon.

Featured

How are you?

So… How am I?

“How are you?”

Most of the time, I have no idea how to answer that question. Do you?

In some respects, this collective trauma has left me feeling less alone than any other time I can recall. I’ve also found myself growing quieter and maybe a little more peaceful. I can’t really explain why but I’m not too into exploring or even asking, “why?”

Some key things I have noted in the past several months:

  • A lot of things are less funny, including me. I’m okay with that.
  • I notice little wonderful things in my daily life and I’m on the lookout for them.
  • I do a gratitude list every single day, even (especially) when I feel crappy.
  • I have become much smaller and I don’t mean in the physical sense, but my emotional investment in things that once appeared to matter, really don’t. I’m grateful for this too.
  • I forgive my sloppy eating but not in a way where I’m giving myself permission to eat five dinners. I’m just kinder to myself and I think, others.
  • I pay far more attention to how I use my own physical, mental, emotional and financial resources – I’m more discerning.
  • I don’t think I’m ugly even though I am physically not even close to my best.
  • I am sometimes incredibly sad, but rarely depressed.
  • I am shocked by other people’s behavior and especially meanness. I have learned in the past several months that I’m actually more naive than I ever thought possible.
  • I’m not becoming cynical.
  • I have a new appreciation for my previous trauma. The silver lining is that this is just another trauma and this time, I’m not alone in it.
  • I miss human touch.
  • Some of my favorite family moments have happened during this time period.
  • I generally think more in “we” and not “me.”
  • I’ve grown less judgmental.
  • I have fallen more deeply in love with fundraising and nonprofit management since the pandemic began.
  • I am very impressed by my (and other people’s) children and their ability to cope, hope, adapt and act for positive change.
  • I’m inspired to and must help the arts community.
  • I’m devoted to learning how to be an antiracist and I have a lot to learn and do.
  • I am sure I’m not destined for greatness but am good enough. What a relief.

So…

How am I?

I am okay with not knowing what’s coming down the pike and when I’m uncomfortable, I just sort of sit in my uncomfortableness. It always passes, comes back, passes again and so on…

How are you?

When Thanksgiving sucks…again

I’m posting this again, not because the post below is so great, but because I hope anyone who feels sad, lonely, pissed off and/or fearful on Thanksgiving, to be reminded that:

  1. You’re not alone
  2. It will pass
  3. Holidays come with stress, often veiled in “should-ing,” pressure and lots of carbs, sometimes topped with crispy fried onions.

I hope that if you do feel crappy on Thanksgiving, you don’t beat yourself up for feeling the way you do.

I’m sending you love and acceptance of wherever you are, exactly as you are.


When Thanksgiving Sucks…

Continue reading “When Thanksgiving sucks…again”

For Juliette: A Love Letter You May (still) Hate, (for now.)

Nov. 24, 2019

I wrote the letter that follows today’s entry, to Juliette, exactly five years ago, one day before her 11th birthday. It’s interesting to look back to see what’s changed, what hasn’t and what will likely never change.

There’s so much in the past five years, no one could have ever predicted, but we walk through and not around. This is something I so love about you and our little family. 

You are without question, one of the smartest, most empathetic and beautiful human beings I know. I’m not even being biased about it because I’m your Mom.

Tomorrow, you turn 16. This is an age I’ve been warned about from many sources. I don’t know, but I am really enjoying this time with you and witnessing all of the many ways you’re blossoming into an extraordinary young woman. (Okay, but you still live under my roof and follow the rules!)

While you’ll always be my baby and the one who made me a mother, I respect the very mature young person you’ve shown yourself to be.

And I won’t even get started on your singing. Your vocal gifts blow my head off of my neck. When others compliment you, believe them.

I love you endlessly and this is something I know you know. I’m so grateful that no matter what doubts we may have, we never doubt that one essential fact.

Happy Sweet 16! I hope our homemade Ramen and purple cake will bring you joy. You know that experiences are everything and stuff is just, well… stuff.

Love,

Mom


Continue reading “For Juliette: A Love Letter You May (still) Hate, (for now.)”

ABCs of 5779 & 5780

During this transition into 5780, I decided to do an exercise: to sum up this past  year and vision for year to come, in less than five minutes.

I forced myself not to overthink, but to fly through a list that I believe is the truth – the good, the bad and the ugly. There was a lot of ugly in 5779, but toward its close, my family and I experienced more hope in our “Happy House.” May it represent better things to come for me, my family, you, your family and humankind.

 Blank Instagram Landscapes

  • Afflicted
  • Burdened
  • Crafty
  • Dumped
  • Exit
  • Freaked
  • Genuine
  • Happy House
  • Inventive
  • Job
  • Kicked
  • Loved
  • Mishegas
  • No
  • Prayer
  • Quandary
  • Responsibilities
  • Scary
  • Tricky
  • Unjust
  • Vacant
  • Whipped
  • X-rated
  • You   (Yeah, YOU.)
  • Zapped

Blank Instagram Landscapes (1)

  • Authentic
  • Better
  • Caressed
  • Defused
  • Energized
  • Free
  • Gentle
  • Hopeful
  • Illuminated
  • Jerusalem
  • Knowledge
  • Loved
  • Mom
  • No
  • Open
  • Present
  • Quiet
  • Renewed
  • Simple
  • Tranquil
  • Unencumbered
  • Visionary
  • Well
  • Xenophile
  • Yippee
  • Zeal

Shana Tova. Even if you feel it more sour than sweet, may we have the patience to wait out the sour until it transitions into sweetness.

XO, Pamegranate

Getting to the meat of the issues

I haven’t published anything in months. While there are enough heart-wrenching stories to tell, they aren’t for public consumption. Continue reading “Getting to the meat of the issues”

The Practice for the Panicky Parent

I recently learned that my kids see all that I am. They’ve known about my many flaws for some time now, but I am just starting to get okay with this fact. My hope is that I can use their truths about me as a learning tool for personal, parental and professional growth. Continue reading “The Practice for the Panicky Parent”

Lightening up about mistakes

Tonight, for some unknown reason, I suddenly thought of a beauty product I tried a few weeks before my wedding in 2002… Epil-Stop.

Please see below for happy customers.

Like most brides, I wanted to feel and be as lovely as I possibly could.

Continue reading “Lightening up about mistakes”

A Smart Old Bird

A smart old bird had vision.

She could see the tallest peaks and the deepest trenches,

at the same time…

And, even while she flew blind,

with clipped wings.

She never lost sight of the rich landscape.

The bird spent lots of time jumping over and around injurious terrain,

while awkwardly trying to flap her compromised wings.

One day, the smart old visionary bird

chose to look at her clipped wings for the very first time.

She noticed they were taped to her body

and not clipped at all.

She pecked off the gooey tape and celebrated her wings and the key lesson she’d just learned:

If she was to be a true visionary bird,

she had to look at and care for the condition of her wings,

even more than viewing the entire landscape.

Then, she soared

to look for other birds to fly beside.

Philanthropy is Phly: Not Phancy – Redux

I originally wrote this article in 2016. Not much has changed except my two daughters, phor example, no longer permit me to say, “fly,” let alone spell it with a “ph.” I am hardly permitted to breathe as it’s incredibly embarrassing for them.

I am reposting this because of my unwavering love of philanthropy and the importance of instilling it in my children and all of our children. Philanthropy is often perceived as only monetary funding. It is so much more than that. 

ORT has an upcoming event at WhirlyBall in Chicago and it has been designed intentionally to interest kids in philanthropy and tikkun olam. (Repair of the world.)

Worst case scenario, at least the kids who come to Sunday Funday on January 27th can be exposed to the different struggles of other kids throughout the world. This is not to diminish any child’s struggles, but to enhance their lives by opening their world to philanthropy.

One more shift that’s transpired since I wrote this post is that I have learned how to be somewhat handy and forego the need for a “Schneider.”

If you need your toilet fixed, I’m your gal. Continue reading “Philanthropy is Phly: Not Phancy – Redux”