Thursday, September 14, 2006

Another Birthday

Today I am 49. It’s amazing what a difference a year can make. In the whole scheme of life one year is such a short amount of time, yet while it was passing it seemed so long. And now that it’s gone, it went by in a heartbeat.

The year between age 47 and 48, I spent crying. I cried the entire year and on my 48th birthday I was still crying. I can distinctly remember the three days prior, crying off and on, not feeling as if I had made enough progress in my quest to get a new life. Feeling frustrated and unhappy with where I was at. The day of my birthday I was either sitting in my computer chair, crying, or laying on the couch, crying, or laying on my bed crying, or driving in my car, crying. I wrote about all that crying last year in this very spot.

On my 48th birthday Jane happened to call me, not realizing it was my birthday….. and she listened to me sob about how I couldn’t stop crying. (It was the psychic twinkle thing that made her call me, that I’m sure about.) She sent me “Happy Birthday” flowers that very afternoon and they sat on the dinning room table where I live, long after most of them had died.

Last year was the year I wanted no birthday at all. No cake, no presents. Of course my mother was having none of that and we eventually got around to cake and some presents, but that was a few days after the birthday and by then, I had recovered and resolved to stop all the crying.

This has been a much better year! It has been a year with no real crying to speak of. It’s been the year when I’ve made all sorts of progress…..the kind that I can see. My biggest accomplishment has been school. This is the year that I will finish a degree started long ago. It’s been the 13 year Bachelor’s degree (with an 8 year break in the middle….what was I thinking!). And, with that degree, I can move on to look for a different career path to take….in the hope of being able to finally afford an apartment of my own to live in….. a home of my own…..I think that my 50th Birthday might possibly be even better….. At one time I dreaded the idea of ever being 50; to think that I might now actually be looking forward to entering my 50th year is more progress that I ever thought possible.

I am however, making a birthday resolution, similar to the New Year’s resolutions that people make and never keep. I do really try to keep mine and actually am somewhat successful at the whole resolution business.

A new friend that I made this past spring told me that one of the good things about me, is that I see the potential in people, even if they haven’t reached that point yet. She said that’s it’s a wonderful quality, yet at times does not work to my benefit. I have trouble letting go of those who have yet to meet the potential that I see in them. I need to let go of a few people in this new birthday year. I'm not waiting for them to "come around" any longer.

So, there you have it, another birthday, with a resolution to boot. And new plans being made. I wonder where I will write next year’s birthday blog from. I truly am hoping that it will be from some nice little apartment in NYC….. Only time will tell that story.

This is enough writing about a birthday for one year…….

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A birthday present from my daughter...

For my 49th birthday my daughter took me to get my nose pierced. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while and for some reason, today seemed like the day to do it. It just felt like it was the “right day” to get my nose done. I can’t wait until it’s healed and I can get a little tiny diamond to wear in it. Of course my parents will be appalled. I am, however, entering my 50th year. If I want to have my nose pierced…then that’s what I’m doing. It’s not a tattoo!

Maybe I’m in yet another of these “life crisis” I seem to go through from time to time. Over the course of this past year I’ve had so few of them that I’m almost feeling normal again. Normal in the sense that my life feels like my own, like I recognize who I am. I think having a small diamond stud in my nose is part of who I’m meant to be.

When I called Erin at work this morning to relay my piercing epiphany, she was right there with me, having had hers done over the summer. I mentioned going tomorrow, on my birthday; she said we should go today. I think she was afraid that I might change my mind again if I waited until tomorrow. I made this decision at 9:30 this morning while sitting at my desk. There was no more debate. It was a done deal.

Yes, I do believe that I was meant to have my nose pierced. Radical for an almost 49 year old…yet it feels right to me. And it looks so cool!

Monday, September 11, 2006


We collectively mourn today, in varying degrees of separation. Those families who were directly affected "that morning" five years ago, loosing husbands, wives, sons and daughters, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends and coworkers....first responders, there to save others, and just ordinary people, trying to make a living.... who vanished into thin air...we can't feel the depth of the pain that their families experienced, yet we can understand it.

We can understand the anguish felt by emergency personnel who spent hour upon hour, days upon days, searching in the massive pile of smoking, pulverize rubble......their mission always to save....... and knowing that would not be the case.

We mourn in degrees of separation.....those who can still smell the burning jet fuel, or who walked the area of lower Manhattan, pictures in hand, endlessly searching for their lost loved ones. They mourn the most fiercely.

We mourn in degrees of separation....those of us who watched helplessly on our televisions...further removed, yet mourning nonetheless. No, we could not smell the smoke, nor *feel* the wailing of the sirens....yet we mourned too.

We mourn in degrees of separation.......those of us who live in tri-state area, but especially those of us who are New Yorkers. We mourn in a different way than the rest of the country. Just as those in Washington D. C. and in Pennsylvania, and all those with loved ones on four planes mourn. We collectively mourn together in a way that the rest of the nation cannot. Oh, yes...the rest of the nation mourns....but from further away....Separated by many degrees from the anguish that we, as New Yorkers feel.

The following was posted on My Space as a bulletin. The author is unknown....

-author unknown

I am a New Yorker. I was raised on Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and Rockefeller Plaza, the Yankees or the Mets, Jones Beach or Smith Point, or one of the beaches on the sound or the bay. I know the "THE END" means Montauk. Because I am a New Yorker.

I am a New Yorker. When I go on vacation, I never look up: skyscrapers are something I take for granted. The Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty are part of me. Taxi's and noise and subways and "get outa heah" don't rattle me, because I am a New Yorker.

I am a New Yorker. I was raised on cultural diversity before it was politically correct. I eat Greek food and Italian food, Jewish and Middle Eastern food and Chinese food because they are all American food to me. I don't get mad when people speak other languages in my presence because my relatives got to this country via Ellis Island and chose to stay. They were New Yorkers.

I am a New Yorker. People who have never been to New York have misunderstood me. My friends and family work in the industries, professions and businesses that benefit all Americans. My firefighters and police officers died trying to save New Yorkers and non-New Yorkers. They died trying to save Americans and non-Americans because they were New Yorkers.

I am a New Yorker. I feel the pain of my fellow New Yorkers. I mourn the loss of part of my beautiful city. But then I remember......I am a New Yorker.

And New Yorkers have:
Tenacity, strength and courage way above the norm
Compassion and caring for our fellow citizens
Love and pride in our city, in our state, in our country
Intelligence, experience and education par excellence
Ability, dedication and energy above and beyond
Faith--no matter what religion we practice.

Terrorists hit America in its heart but America's heart still beats strong. Demolish the steel in our buildings, but it doesn't touch the steel in our souls. Hit us in the pocketbook; but we'll parlay what we have left into a fortune. End innocent lives leaving widows and orphans, but we'll talk care of them, because they are New Yorkers.

Wherever we live, whatever we do, whoever we are. There are New Yorkers in every state and every city of this nation. We will not abandon our city. We will not abandon our brothers and sisters. We will not abandon the beauty, creativity and diversity that New York represents. And most importantly, we will never forget.

Becasue we are New Yorkers.

And we are proud to be New Yorkers.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Me and Gloria

For some time now, I’ve been wondering about Condoleezza Rice. Wondering why her name has all those e’s and z’s in it? Don’t they seem unnecessary? One each would certainly do. I’ve been wondering other things too though. Like why she never looks happy. Or why I’ve never heard her speak about women’s issues at all….even in the context that one might speak about women’s issues as a Secretary of State. Yes, it’s possible she’s done so and I’ve just missed it, but I read the news on a daily basis and don’t recall reading anything she’s ever said in this regard. And even when she’s smiling, she just never really looks happy.

However, she does play the piano well… and we can all assume that she’s a very smart woman, considering she is the Secretary of State. We, as women can be proud of that accomplishment. She does not appear to be one of those warm and fuzzy people though and she certainly does not seem interested in women’s issues. Here she is, this really smart woman, who seems so out of step with the rest of her gender.

Gloria Steinem is wondering similar things about Condoleezza.

New York Times Magazine, September 3, 2006, “All About Eve” an interview by Deborah Solomon (excerpt):

Q: Is Condoleezza Rice and ally of women?
Gloria: I wish someone would write an article called ‘How Did Condoleezza Rice Get That Way?’ She’s so separate from the welfare of the majority of Americans and especially the female and African-American communities to which she belongs.”

How weirdly cool is it that Gloria is in her house thinking about this, and I’m in mine, doing the same thing? (And she looks damn good for 72!)