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Monthly Archives: June 2014


“The dishwasher needs to be emptied and could you sort your laundry?”
‘What do you do when I am not here?’
‘Can you buy this?’
‘Do you need change?’
‘You over analyze everything!’

Adolescent angst and righteous indignation from a son to his clueless mother.

Thank G-d for my grandchildren!

Thanks for stopping by! It means more than you know.



In trying to understand empathy, I have found some interesting and insightful media meant to describe it. Truly, to me, empathy is not definable in black and white terms by virtue of its very nature. The empathy we feel towards another changes when that person is right in front of us. What about when that person is halfway around the world? Can we understand the horror of a child kidnapped if it is not in our own backyard? Do we turn away because the news is frightening rather than stand up and fight for the rights of that family to find their child at any cost? Can we feel the desperation and terror of their anguish?

For me, being empathetic takes energy; it absorbs some of another person’s pain. It is turning experience into awareness and action to ease or aid someone else’s struggle. It is not easy to stand in the shadow of the disenfranchised but it is an injustice not to.

We humans are so fragile, and on the surface, we show our bravado, our distance and attempts to control situations to benefit ourselves and advantage. We lose touch with the reality that everyone we meet is fighting some sort of a battle. If we know, can we help? If we did, would we?

Thank you for stopping by and I would love to hear what you think empathy is or is not. Please share your ideas, quotes and media. We are all in this together.

This beautiful, open, honest young woman ~ Anna Clendening ~ put a face on anxiety, panic attacks and depression for millions of people.

Every person who has ever suffered a panic attack, a depressive disorder, an anxiety attack or any other mental health issue, has spent a life in shadow. The stigma, lies, shame and fear has kept each one locked in an individual cage of isolation. Some suffer for minutes, others suffer for years. So many suffer alone or cannot get relief from conventional methods.

The blame and casting off from those who have never mourned, grieved, struggled to get out of bed, or make it through another day is the real dis-ease in our society. To those who foolishly think they are immune, there is not one person who has not been touched by some form of anxiety, phobia, depressive disorder or mental health issue in their inner circle of family and friends.

I can only say that I sobbed as I listened to her heart and soul bared for all to see. I imagine that if you have a shred of empathy, or have ever experienced such pain or despair, you will find it hard not to cry with her as well.

Life is filled with peaks and valleys…. Anna Clendening climbed out of the darkest of months to honestly share her situation, on national television, and offered hope to others who struggle silently each day. The love of her parents gave her strength and she showed the courage and strength others take for granted. This is Bravery.

What a breath of fresh air ~ Hallelujah!


In Life

Friendships with women “of a certain age” seem more precious and fragile to me. They arise like soap bubbles, frothy and shiny, but have to be caught before they slip away. I have to work to catch the opportunity before it is gone.

I do not live in the city where I raised my children; there are no mommy coffee dates and well-planned birthday parties at indoor amusement parks. The memories of Saturday afternoon dinners shared among good friends, and their children, are of a time many years ago.

At this age, I go to work and home. Very rarely, do I have the energy to plan activities in the evenings. However, there is an opportunity to meet people once a year, or every six months, in a long-denied rendezvous of talk and reality. Our spirits merge like magnets, pulled together and hanging on each word, laughing together and grateful for the encapsulated histories we have created. We don’t see each other often, but when we do, we go back to our routine of honesty, laughter, tears, and empathy.

It is a wonderful thing to bypass the posturing and the posing, the nonsense, and the false compliments and go straight to the good stuff: the truth!

We talk about our adult children, the changes in our bodies, the experiences with our families, our concerns for future employment, and what miracle will become our retirement plan. We don’t pretend to be a size 6 or 10 or 14, we know things have softened. But, it is not just our bodies, it is our hearts too. We are more sensitive, aware, and acknowledge the good and bad that occurs in the world and our prayers for the safety of children everywhere. We understand the language of grief and sadness and share it in our conversation. We float from one topic to another, untethered from any destination or motive, and simply speak eye to eye.

We are well-educated but know that intelligence and experiences aren’t always recognized for the accomplishments that they are in a life of ups and downs. We leave the narcissism to others and talk from the soul.

It is such a gift to find, at this stage in my life, that I can be drawn to some personalities who make me feel welcome and treasured. Underneath all the stress and artifice, there are deep wells of emotion and the freedom to share it all with another smart, empathetic, compassionate woman.

Is it better to have a therapist or a friend? At this age, perhaps they are one and the same.

We allow ourselves, without fear, to shed the masks and the tears, and question where and who we are. The delight in unraveling conversation is joyful, but limited in time. That is what makes it all the more precious and recognized for the gift that it is.

Thanks for stopping by! It means more than you know.

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