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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Clothing and Teens? What are they saying by what they wear?

Teens often talk about their intentional clothing choices in my therapy sessions. They explain that what they wear is an important way of communicating who they are.  I had a client who said that she would were the same jacket to school everyday of the year. Another one had purchased a beautiful red prom  dress and now could no longer connect with it. She worried about not being beautiful enough to carry it off. Or someone else, who could only wear clothes that were a certain fabric or style. If they wore the uncomfortable piece of clothing, they would be stressed all day. Another student said that she  wore  perfectly matched colors and meaning-full t-shirts for the day's activities.

Flower earrings at Selby gardens
I know that I have my own quirks about clothing. I won't wear clothing with tags that are left in, It annoys me. I sometimes wear the same pants for days in a row because it is what feels good to me. I won't wear wool unless it is below zero temperature . I don't like anything too tight or constricted on my legs, it makes me claustrophobic. I like wearing pinks and turquoises and don't like yellows and browns. I don't like wearing name brands labels on the clothing. And the list goes on and on. It all has meaning for me and I rarely say these things out loud 

As adults, we are  focused upon getting our children and teens  to fit in and accommodate to spoken or unspoken dress codes. Perhaps we are losing an important conversation by not asking and listening to their answers. 

Friday, March 29, 2019


Whimsy museum , Sarasota, Fl
I do love to work. Actually  I love having the balance of work and play. When I am not working, I feel that there is a piece of me missing. And when I am working, I need to remember the play part. I feel whole when I have both in my life.
My grandfather retired in his 80s in NYC. He was legally blind and deaf for the later part of his life. This did not stop him from traveling to Japan for a month at a time to buy new silk  fabrics by feel. He loved working and he loved being respected for his abilities.
My uncle Harry worked  as a furrier until he was 74  and then continued as the head of shipping at the Brooklyn Museum until he was 85.
My mother worked in ESL until she was 75 and then as a piano teacher and news writer until her late 80's. 
I identified with all of them. I have always thought that I would find ways of recreating myself as I got older. And  I find that I am similar to many  other women and men of my generation that feel the need to be of value and find meaning in our lives.   It is a good feeling  to learn, grow and be noticed . Perhaps it is selfish but I don't think so. It feels so  amazing  to continue to work, mentor and teach as long as we can. We cannot fix the world but we certainly should not be deserting it either. So whether we are retired or working, it seems very important to continue to inspire ourselves, our friends, family and  the community around us. 

The Whimsy museum is a play space for adults and children where the art is both  beautiful and fun. It is located in Sarasota, Florida and a wonderful destination for all ages.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Kindness in the Trump Era

I have a walking habit. I love to walk and purposely chose my  new Florida  home in an area that would allow me to walk easily.  I am lucky to have  three different walking partners. One of them is my friend Lavilla and we walk at sun up three days a week. We regularly admire the beautiful Florida sunrises , the flowering trees, the herons and other big birds. We also talk about the miserable state of politics and how mean people can be to each other. As we walked today, I turned my admiration to Lavilla. 

Palm Tree
She told me that she had been worried about one of the residents in our areas. This older  man walks daily with two small white dogs on a  long  tattered rope leash. He  usually  responds to hellos from passing walkers wtih a gruff, hey and never stops to chat.  Lavilla had noticed that he had not been walking for a few days so she took the moment of concern and did something about it.

She walked up to the front door of the man that had never expressed any kindness  to her in order to check on him. He answered the door and she asked how he was. He  smiled widely and told her that he was so touched by her concern that she was invited to come in and sit down. They spoke for  a few minutes and  then  she left. 

She felt so good about taking this small step. I continue to  wonder what hundreds of small steps might look like in this world......