Ok, fine, let’s talk about the 400 pound gorilla in the room.

By | 2016-05-31T14:50:03+00:00 May 31st, 2016|animals, anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, childhood, children, death, family, motherhood, parenthood, parenting|

It’s horrible, it’s sad, it’s tragic, it’s frustrating and angering, and so much more, but it happened, and all of us ranting and raving and searching for blame isn’t going to change what happened. I’m sure by this point, you know I’m talking about Harambe, the beautiful and massive gorilla that was killed the other day to protect a child who had managed to get into the gorilla exhibit. I mean really that’s the point isn’t it? A child’s life was in danger, regardless of how it came to pass, and the only way to protect that child was to kill the majestic beast that threatened (most likely innocently) the child’s life. Took me a couple days to watch the video, but I realized I had to because I needed to understand more of what happened. It only took me a minute to know that there was no other alternative in this situation. You can watch it here if you haven’t seen it, and I can tell you that I gasped several times even knowing how it ended.

There’s no way to tell what Harambe might have done to the child, and many people believe that the gorilla was simply protecting the child from all the uproar of the witnesses. The child did sustain some serious injuries, but is expected to be ok. The child’s parents on the other hand, have to deal with this horror from now on, and that includes all the videos taken, all the comments and judgements hurled (including calls for prosecution), and the death of Harambe.

I can’t  help but be reminded of a moment from my firstborn’s early childhood, that still shakes me to think about. We had just finished one of our mommy and me classes, he was about 18 months old. We were in the foyer of this playspace, me putting my shoes back on and collecting my son’s things as well. There were tons of grownups and children milling about, some from the class that had just ended, and some from the one that was about to begin. Naturally, I turn to gather up my son, and he’s nowhere to be found. I look back inside the playspace thinking he went for the slide one last time, nothing. I looked under the benches thinking he was playing a little hide and seek, nothing. The panic sets in and this is all in the span of a minute. He’s gone. I ask everyone. Did you see a little boy walk out? Have you seen my son? I run out and I don’t see him. I run down the corridor and turn down the alley towards the parking lot where we parked the car, asking people along the way if they had seen a little boy, nothing. In the back of the building, in a deserted parking lot, there stood my little barefooted angel looking at all the cars. No fear whatsoever on his face (this was certainly an indicator to the future), and there I was with a mix of relief and rage. I promise you, in that panic, had someone or something been threatening him, there would not have been a moment’s hesitation, save my son at all cost. I can’t imagine what went through the zoo workers heads having to make that decision to kill “one of their own” to save this boy, but I can imagine what the mother is going through, and I promise you she’s feeling it, but the only thing on her mind at the moment, is that her baby is ok, and that’s what matters in the end.

Stay well.

Sometimes what matters is saying absolutely nothing.

By | 2018-04-07T23:19:29+00:00 May 24th, 2016|animals, anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, childhood, children, death, dogs, Life, parenthood, parenting, Uncategorized|

Those who have had the privilege (or curse, everyone has their opinion) of meeting me, know that I like to talk. And talk, and talk, and talk. My kids are often heard exasperating “Mom, do you have to talk to everyone you see on the street?”) I like to talk, and I like to talk to people as much, if not more than I like to talk to myself. When you talk to a lot of people, you get to know a lot of people, and I love that! It is rare that I walk around my neighborhood and I’m not greeted by someone on the street, and it works for me. It keeps me present and it keeps me grounded, and I am grateful for the people who pass through my life every day. I live in a big building on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, which means lots of people to talk to, from my neighbors to the awesome employees of the building. Just like any social situation, you hear things from time to time. Like “neighbor so and so” has a new grandkid, or “neighbor so and so” got engaged, or “neighbor so and so” has a puppy now. And sometimes it’s not great news, like two weeks ago when I heard that one of my neighbors children was killed in an accident. This neighbor is not someone I know well at all, and he isn’t here all the time either, but we’ve had conversations and he likes my dog, so there’s always polite chatting while he gets his dog fix.  I ran into this neighbor a couple days after hearing the news, we ended up in the elevator together and I was with a friend. I simply said “Hi, how are you?” He looked wrecked of course, swollen eyes, slumped over a bit, just clearly having a hard time. He worked up a smile and asked me about my kids, without answering the question. I knew then that he didn’t want to talk about his son, or couldn’t talk about his son. So as best as I could, I pepped up and gave him a quick answer as the elevator let us out of what had become a very tight space. Then I saw him again last week. Again we ended up in the elevator, this time I had my dog (thankfully), and this time we actually walked down the block a clip. The conversation was light and we talked about his dog who is getting up there in age, and about the weather, and nothing else. I watched him walk off on his way to work with his head hung down just enough for me to notice but something others might not sense if they didn’t know what I knew. It was then I realized he didn’t need me to say anything about his devastating loss, he needed me to just be the chatty neighbor with the cute dog that he knows me to be. And in that moment, I was grateful to be just that.

Stay well.

totems

Silence is just as important as talking.

It only takes a second…..

By | 2018-04-07T23:19:29+00:00 May 4th, 2016|anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, bears, birds, bulldogs, charity, gratitude, inspiration, Life, mental health, mind/body, motivation, nyc, office, Owls, prevention, relationships, sharks, social media, strangers, totems|

There I was heading out of a building, when I noticed a woman also heading towards the exit. It was one of those double door situations where you actually had to exit twice, ok? So I held open the first door for her and let her exit first, me following out behind her. Nothing. Not a smile. Not a nod. Nothing. She reached the second exit door ahead of me and pushed through it. I, being younger, more agile and way prettier (that’s important), was right behind her and loudly said “Thank you” as exited I the still opened door. I suspect if I hadn’t been fast enough, she would have let the door slam in my face. She didn’t even blink at my “thank you” which made me even more annoyed. Sure, I can have compassion and think that maybe she was just having a bad day, but seriously, it only takes a second! Thank you! Please! One second. I timed it!!! It’s true!!

So I don’t care if you are having a really crappy day, you assuredly have one second to be courteous to another human being. Try it!! Oh, and give it as a gift. Meaning don’t be attached to their response, as you may not get a “Thank you” or a “You’re welcome” but at least you’ll walk away knowing you’re not an a*@hole!

Stay well.

Totems say BE NICE!!!

Totems say BE NICE!!!