Daily Living

My Loving Friendships (In Honor of V-Day Month)

DeAnna's friendsI’ve always considered myself somewhat of an introvert.  I am not sure you would have thought that if you met me in one of my volunteer positions, at work or even on-stage, doing improv, because I always appreciated the value of being friendly and outgoing in these situations.  However, when I went home at night, I much preferred my own solace to that of a person I would call a friend.

How callous I must sound – you could say that.  I offer no apology; before, I might have, but no longer.   This is how I found my inner peace, although I am grateful to admit that I now know and feel differently.  [Read More…]

Nine Tips to Help Teach Kids to Love Themselves

heart balloonTeaching our kids how to love themselves is an ongoing task. It is a legacy that, when passed on correctly, will forever be an asset, much more than money or the best college!

You teach youngsters that to love themselves is to answer to their own hunger with food, to their own thirst with water and to their emotions with kindness and gentleness, no matter what they are. It is pretty straightforward.

When your kid becomes a teen, you teach him to love himself by not giving in to peer pressure. Withstanding peer pressure equals loving oneself.

You explain that not to have sex when too young or under-pressure is about self-respect and self-love. Depending on religious beliefs, you may say they need to wait until marriage, or not. [Read More…]

Love Thy Children, Love the World

Wendy Sue Noah's multiple family photosOh, that title sounds LOVE-ly, yes?!  But what do I really mean here, besides sharing my hippie (not religious) ‘love thy neighbor as yourself’ mentality?

As a single parent, with no romantic partner for over a decade, Valentine’s Day and the concept of love has taken on an entirely new shape for me – one that is ever more encompassing and one that does not leave me feeling incomplete or resentful for not having a partner to share it with.

It is the kind of love that keeps growing, expanding and revealing itself to me throughout my everyday life. [Read More…]

How to Create More Intimacy With Your Valentine

red heartFebruary is perfect for cuddling, with the cold weather and longer nights. No wonder it’s known as the month for romance. But does caring for your growing children make you too tired to bring Cupid back into your intimate relationship?

Lucy was on the fast track at work and active in her family, having three children and parents who were declining. Her interest in romance was waning and she was devastated by changes in her body and her psyche. “I have totally lost my libido and I feel as dry as the Sahara desert. In the past, I had been happily led around by my active sex drive – it has been my life force for so long.  Now, I have lost my ballast and my identity. I want to have those feelings again.” [Read More…]

Valentine’s Day Regaling (Two Parts of Many Thoughts)

red heartRound One

You think North Korea, Russia and Syria cause trouble?  The Cabal that should make your blood curdle exists in secrecy.  Men around the country feel their icy grip each year on Valentine’s Day (and beyond).

Dentists and their steely compatriots, florists, smile and mock us.  As they grow stronger, they add more underlings. You think Personal Trainers really want to make you healthy?

They have no pity.  You can almost imagine our villains cackling and rubbing their hands together as men all over the country ply their loves with chocolate and candy. [Read More…]

By |February 16th, 2015|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living|Tags: , |0 Comments

Valentine’s Day: The Power of the Minority Can Help the Majority (An Open Letter to Speaker John Boehner)

1 percentDear Speaker Boehner:

I recently saw your interview on “60 Minutes,” and was left with the feeling that I have work to do on your behalf.  In past years, I’ve written Valentine’s Day posts on “The Power of One Helps Make a Whole” and “The Power of One: Honoring Yourself.”

This year, during Valentine’s Day, I will take this a step further to embrace you with open arms while trying to sort out your methodologies and approach. I’ll call it “The Power of the Minority Can Help the Majority.” I am not discussing politics, Mr. Speaker.

I find it hard to believe that anyone with goodness in their heart can support policies which will hurt the majority of others, especially the downtrodden.  I’m writing to appeal to your better nature and your heart. [Read More…]

By |February 14th, 2015|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living|Tags: , , |0 Comments

The Power of One – A Gift to Yourself

Valentine's Day - Huff PostTwo year’s ago, in my Huffington Post Valentine’s Day essay, “The Power of One,” I wrote about how important Valentine’s Day is and how I start thinking about the upcoming holiday soon after the last holiday ends!  I explained how I spend several months formulating who I’ll send cards to and who I’ll call/see/meet simply to say “I love you” and express my thanks and gratitude for being in my life.

How, in the weeks leading up to it, I’ll buy V-Day boxer shorts (once cotton, now solid silk) for my now fully-grown stepchildren (and their partners); the largest Reese’s chocolate heart I can find and heart pajamas for my husband; a heart necklace and/or bracelet for my young daughter and the proverbial stuffed animal with heart for my rapidly growing elementary school son (who, at this point, is finding this very unsettling). [Read More…]

By |February 13th, 2015|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living, Rituals & Spirituality|Tags: , |0 Comments

Valentine’s Day: The Power of One Helps Make a Whole

It’s hard to explain my (utter) fascination with Valentine’s Day. On the therapist’s couch, this near-obsession has been explained away as a move to fill an unfilled heart, a response to a loveless childhood and a push to find my own heart — all true, but not a fully convincing argument for those accustomed to my ongoing madness.

Each year, I ruminate about the next holiday… well… after the holiday ends. Like my young daughter’s obsession with her next birthday, I begin formulating how I’ll spend the day, who I’ll send cards to and who I’ll call/see/meet to say “I love you” and express my thanks.

In the weeks leading up to it, I’ll buy V-Day boxer shorts (once cotton, now solid silk) for my now fully-grown stepchildren; the largest Reese’s chocolate heart I can find and heart pajamas for my husband; a heart necklace and/or bracelet for my young daughter and the proverbial stuffed animal with heart for my rapidly growing elementary school son (who, at this point, is finding this a bit unsettling). [Read More…]

By |February 12th, 2015|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living, Rituals & Spirituality|Tags: , |0 Comments

A Family Valentine’s Day

Melanie Elliott's family

I’m kind of one of those people who consider Valentine’s Day a Hallmark-created holiday.  Growing up, I tried not to buy into the importance of the day and the romantic notions that permeate this holiday.  I wasn’t quite successful.

There was a part of me that longed for the flowers and chocolates and the boyfriend who’d treat me like a queen on this special day.  But, that was only a part of me.  The other part of me didn’t want to be defined by whom I was with or how I was treated when February 14 rolled around.

[Read More…]

Repercussions of a Greeting Card Holiday


v-day cards
Valentine’s Day falls in the dead of winter, and this has been one of the coldest, snowiest and wettest. Romantically, I can imagine a roaring fireplace in an isolated cabin, some brandy, no children, reading Marguerite Duras’ The Lover to each other. But I am lucky if I get some cheap chocolates and flowers from the East Village Key Food.

It is a holiday of disappointment, even if I know in the back of my head that my expectations are unrealistic. [Read More…]

By |February 8th, 2015|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living, In Vitro/Natural Childbirth|Tags: , , |0 Comments
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