That Time I Failed a Summer Camp Swim Test Because of a Hand-Me-Down Swimsuit

At 10, I was a strong swimmer. I'd been swimming since I was seven, when my complicated, hot-tempered father had taught me to swim at Orchard Beach, a huge, crowded public beach in the Bronx. We couldn't afford a "swim club," like many of the families we knew, who spent their summers lounging at the saltwater pool at Shorehaven Beach Club (now closed) and admiring the teenaged girls who competed at the end of the summer to become "Miss Shorehaven." ...more

In Defense of Grocery Store Cashiers

I chat with cashiers, visit with bank tellers, and linger at the Farmer's Market to talk with the friendly folks who barter their goods for my cash. For me, the exchange of serious business is better with real human interaction....more

The Moment I Realized I Had Become "Garden Lady"

I was hunched inside my flourescent orange raincoat, poking pole bean seeds in the dirt, when two teenage boys ambled past, one nestling a basketball under his arm. The same spring rain that had coaxed me out into my vegetable garden had driven the boys from the court next door. "Hi, guys," I said standing a little robotically after long minutes of crouching. "How's it going?" ...more
I loved this! And I bet you looked beautiful in your garden, even if the boys didn't recognize it.more

Should You Try Transcendental Meditation?

After maybe a minute, I was quite sure that the 20 minutes was almost up. When was the last time I sat calmly for 20 minutes? I was perplexed by how relaxed I felt. I learned to let go and just "be," something not very familiar to me, or for that matter, our culture as a whole. That's when it hit me. Perhaps it wasn't just David who needed to learn to meditate. TM where have you been all of our lives? ...more
How cool! I'm a big fan of meditation. Like you said, it can change your life. I'll do great for ...more

Introspection Lately

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately, in particular about my interpersonal relationships and the workings, history, and psychology of them. This is in large part, well, almost entirely, due to a failed recent relationship that I've been doing a lot of thinking about. This relationship was emotionally and verbally abusive and led to my breaking up with the person who I now believe to be a narcissist. BUT in reviewing this relationship and the psychology behind it, I'm learning a lot about myself, my motives, and my psychology, as well. And some of it I'm not enjoying, honestly....more

Will I Handle Aging Like My Father or Like My Mother?

Watching how my parents handle old age has taught me quite a lot. My mother has taken the scenic route of anger, resentment and blame. She complains about every little thing the caretakers do at the facility she lives in. The person who does her laundry is an ass; the person who helps fix her television is a moron. The food is awful and the other residents are worse than the food. ...more

They Like Me! (Or Maybe They Don't. And I Don't Care.)

Image Credit: Spirit Science http://thespiritscience.net/ Most of us want to be liked, right?  It's human nature, isn't it, to crave acceptance, to want to be part of a tribe?  But worrying about whether people like you can be debilitating....more

Even After Two Divorces, It Was Just a Break-Up That Changed Everything

We sat in my living room as we had dozens of times in the nearly six months we’d been together. He was smiling, the same smile I adored from the moment I first saw it on the lips I never wanted to stop kissing, the lips I loved watching as he talked....more
Good for you, Vicki!  Isn't that just the most liberating thing ever!  One of the greatest joys ...more

My Period and Me

At the school bus stop, in fourth grade, Julie Hoff asks me, "Do you know what menstruation is?" I want badly to impress her because she's older by two years and she's pretty, but I also don't want to say anything dumb, so I just shake my head. ...more