Friday, July 28, 2017

Relationship as Bicycle

I got to thinking that relationships are like a bicycle.  C'mon...bear with me and my metaphors.  You can't just get on and ride (well, I guess you can, but that's for a different post).  You need to learn how to ride a bike.  It takes practice, and often training wheels and even some coaching.  Then you are off and riding.  And you think that can continue forever!  But maybe the tires get low on air.  Or you roll over a nail or some glass.  And the chain gets a little squeaky.  Without attention and care, your bike won't last as long as you assumed it would.  So I can attend to my shiny schwinn bicycle...check that the tires are at the correct pressure, polish the chrome, maybe add some streamers through the spokes (now I am dating myself), even paint a racing stripe and put a basket on the front.  I might do all this because I want the bicycle to last.  Because it is important to me and I place value on that bike and the fact that it transports me to all sorts of cool places.  Or I could just keep riding it and assuming it will just go forever...until the chain breaks.  But by then it might be too late.  What kind of relationship do you want?  For me, I want to take really good care of that bike I struggled so hard to learn how to ride like a champ.  I want it to stay shiny and fast for a long, long time.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Human Touch, Part 2

Yesterday's blog post (Human Touch, Part's a quick read) was initially written to be a stand alone piece.  A thought which grew out of an acknowledgement that I was in need, and want, of human touch.  Being single, and childless, means that at times I go for long stretches without human contact.  That is...unless I ask for it.

Yesterday I happened on this article.  It is from a website I really like - The Good Men Project.  Please ignore the title of the article, which I assume was meant to grab attention, and read it now!!!  (click's a longer read, but well worth it).  Plus, the rest of this won't make any sense if you don't.

Holy crap!  I sit hear thinking I have it rough, but it really never sank in before...the untenable position in which men find themselves in our society.  At a young age many boys are told to be tough, that cuddling with mom makes them "soft", that hugging their friends implies they might be homosexual (as if that were a bad thing), that expressing care for others could only imply a sexual advance or harassment.  This is so frightening to me.  Because those messages basically eliminate all human contact other than sex.

Think about it.  I, as a woman, can ask a friend (male or female) for a hug anytime I want.  True it might be difficult for me to be vulnerable in that way, but it is within the realm of "acceptable".  I can cry on a friend's shoulder, or cuddle with my nephews, or walk down the street arm in arm with my sister.  I have access to human contact and I am not ridiculed or mocked or questioned about my ulterior motives.

But how many of you would welcome that same request from a male friend without thinking twice?  I know I have been guilty of keeping space between me and a male friend for fear of sending the wrong message.  But shit, how about keeping it simple...just that we are all human and in need of care and connection?  I think it is imperative that we examine the message we send to young boys about human touch and connection.  Men deserve it as much as women do.  And we all need it.  The isolation the alternative creates makes me really sad.

I am optimistic, however, that there is a growing awareness that is creating a slow, but conscious shift.  And for the record, any friend of mine that wants a hug need only ask :-)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Human Touch, Part 1

In my field of massage therapy we often talk about the importance of human touch.  There are lots of benefits to massage...pain relief, stress reduction, improved movement, and much, much more.  For certain populations, we highlight the benefit of the touch itself.  For senior citizens, many of whom are widowed, the touch they receieve in a massage session is the only time they are touched and we all know how beneficial it is to a person's well-being.  There has been research which proves premature babies develop healthier and more quickly if they are held each day, as opposed to being left alone in the incubator.

But what about the other, less obvious, populations who are also in need of touch?  Single people?  People, like me, who are "in between" relationships and don't have children.  I touch people all day, but sometimes I go days without human touch, except for that which I give to others in my work as a massage therapist.  What about those in relationships, who are going though a difficult time with their spouse and haven't had a hug in days or weeks or months?

I think we often underestimate the power of touch and sometimes the smallest gesture can make a world of difference to another person.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


I have had a good week.  Nothing monumental...I didn't win the lottery or anything.  Although the Mets are winning!!!! so actually pretty monumental :-)

Mostly it has been personal revelations, heart (re)opening (which I know sounds hokey, but if you had been doing as much blind dating as I did this summer, you would totally be nodding), inspiration to tackle a big life question, professional milestones and some pure fun (see Mets reference above).

For me (and I assume for most) none of this happens in a vacuum.  I wouldn't be where I am, or be enjoying (mostly) the journey nearly as much without the people with whom I intersect.

So to all of you...those who pass through and leave, those who stop just long enough to poke or challenge me, those who pop in and out, those that come to stay for a while and those who have been journeying with me for as long as I can remember...

Thank you for helping to make the fabric which is my life strong, warm, resilient and colorful.  I love you.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


My friend, Meredith Koch, is the embodiment of bravery and perseverance.  Back in May, there was a freak accident and a piano fell on her, breaking her back. You heard me. A paraplegic. Since then she has been beating all the odds, and shocking her doctors and PTs. 

At 14 weeks post injury she arrived at my sports conditioning class and kicked ass!! She did every exercise (with a few modifications) and even balanced for a few seconds on her own 2 feet to give me a thumbs up!  

But what about the days when the progress seems slower than usual?  Or she feels scared that she won't fully recover and be able to do all the things she dreams of doing in life?  

Meredith reaches out to me and others when she is having those days and I think it is so impressive that she is strong enough to fight and also is authentic enough to admit when she is down, and ask for help and support.   One of the true signs of strength in my book (there is that book again).  

You impress and inspire me every day, Mere. You are such a model of positivity and inspiration.  You are fighting the good fight and we are all here for you, as you face your challenges and inspire others to do the same.  

You go girl!!!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Slowly disappearing

I went to a family meeting recently at the home where my mother resides.  She has Alzheimer's.  She has been living with it, or depending on your vantage point, dying from this disease for over a dozen years.  First she just seemed disinterested in the conversation.  Then she started being moody in a way she never had before.  It progressed from there.  Thinking she needed to go home when she already was.  Getting confused about what day it is.  She hasn't known my name since about 2009.  She doesn't know I am her daughter.  Until recently, she at least knew that she knew me, and was mostly happy to see me.  Now there is rarely any recognition at all.  She doesn't really sing much anymore.  She doesn't walk the halls like she used to.  People offer to take pictures of us but I say no, because this woman is not my mother.  There is no light behind her eyes.  Her smile has changed, her eyes don't twinkle, she no longer laughs.

I realize we don't get to decide how we die, but damn, if I have any say in it, this will not be it!  

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Never Say Never

This is the next tattoo.  In years past I was a big fan of the word "never".  It was a control thing.  And a false sense that I knew who I was and how my life would unfold.

I will never be divorced.

I will never jump out of plane.

I will never travel on my own.

I will never do that, say that, be that, want that.


But the funny thing is that now I love that I don't want to use said word anymore.  It opens a world of possibilities...some that I invite, some that I don't.  But all are part of what makes my journey interesting, and meaningful.

I have no idea what the world will bring...and sometimes that is scary, but mostly it is exciting to know that life will unfold...if I allow it to happen.