Sunday, February 18, 2018

Me vs The Man: The Rapid Fire of Words

It’s about to be a new week. A new day. Nobody wakes up thinking…
“Today I’m going to be diagnosed with cancer.” 
“Today I’m going to be shot.”
“Today somebody is going to make me feel like crap.” 

No. We wake up with hope. 
We wake up with hope for a day full of success and not failure. 
A day filled with love and not hate. 
A day filled with more good news than bad news.

News is something that’s embedded into our daily lives. News is on our phones, it’s on our televisions and on our tablets. We all know that journalism is something that is full of good and bad news. I go to work knowing I will likely help cover stories that are often sad and tragic. Friends consistently text, “How can you sit there and watch that all day? How do you cover these stories daily?” Someone has to. They’re often the stories that people don’t want to listen to but need to be to heard in order for there to be change. 

It’s a topic I got into Friday with a stranger who knew I was a journalist. He said he recognized me from Twitter and that he knew I worked for “the network” (which the way he said it made it feel like I was part of some secret society out to hurt people). He started yelling at me about how we need to protect our youth from the “evil” being reported on tv. Don’t ask me why he was yelling. Maybe he thought I couldn’t hear him over the rain. Maybe it’s because I didn’t take my earbuds out to directly acknowledge his rant. He continued his rapid fire of words on how school shootings, etc should stop being covered by the media. He continued this one-sided debate as we waited for the bus… in the rain…with our umbrellas shielding us from the elements. I was not amused.

I had just finished a long workweek and was headed to an MRI. I was not in a mood to be lectured about how “news sucks” and that journalists need to do more to “protect” people. I wanted my umbrella to protect me from more than the rain. I wanted the umbrella to protect me from his words too! I am not a big debater. I like to tell stories. I like to make a point now and then on topics and issues that are important to me…but I am not one who thrives on debating with a stranger. I’d rather put words into action and help make the change that’s needed. So, my action was to turn to this guy and sternly say, “Protect people from what? From reality?! From the fact that 17 people were killed in a school and that there needs to be more gun control?! That three officers were shot and killed this week in just two states?! That, yet another child died of the flu? Sir. I’m sorry the news upsets you, but I’m not sorry for reporting it." The man just stared at me. The bus came. We put our umbrellas down and boarded the bus… in silence.

Silence is what I needed in that moment, but it’s not what this nation needs now. The United States isn't just about you and me. It’s about US. I think it’s important to think about things that you haven’t personally experienced and things that haven’t directly effected you because in some way or another they have. They will. They do. These are the stories being told in newscasts in cities around the country.

Don’t turn off the news. Don’t put down your tablets and newspapers. Don’t stop educating yourself just because you don’t like what you are seeing. It’s the world WE live in. It’s a world WE can change. It’s a world WE have a voice in…just remember to use your voice responsibly and educate yourself.

I was educated Friday in a life-lesson I needed reminding of. Umbrellas shield us but don’t protect us from the elements entirely. If we were protected from everything we wouldn’t know right from wrong. We wouldn’t know what changes needed to be made in the world, within our country, within ourselves. Sometimes it’s okay to put away that umbrella and let the rain hit you.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Make Your Own Magic (Part 2)

Be the reason someone smiles today! That's my Birthday wish! It’s for you to do something to make someone smile, feel good about themselves, or make a difference.

You know I'm all about kindness, giving and compassion. It’s something we all can use a little bit more of on a daily basis…especially now. Yesterday, I wrote about creating your own magic. There’s magic happening everyday, but we don’t always take the time to recognize it. It doesn’t have to be just the sweet, sticky kind of magic. It could be the magic full of passion and hope that brings change.

Hope. Hope is one of my favorite words. So as I celebrate my Birthday, my hope is that you’ll take a moment to make someone smile. Make a difference. 
Share your magic. Share the magic that only you have the power to sprinkle about. THEN… sprinkle it on Twitter by re-tweeting this and using the hashtag #MakingMagic.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Make Your Own Magic

Good morning! It’s a new day. A blank slate. A new beginning!
What will you do with your blank slate?
Will you scowl at the man mumbling something over and over…
Or will you give him a welcoming look that makes him smile and chuckle like he just uncovered a four-leaf clover.
A four-leaf clover.
Something you’d likely linger over.
It’s said it represents hope, faith and luck.
So when a moment wreaks havoc, you feel stuck in a rut or run across a schmuck…

You shouldn't wait for other people to make special things happen. You have to create your own magic. 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

The Gift of You

Good morning! Merry Christmas Eve to all of you celebrating! I don’t celebrate Christmas but I do celebrate the gift of another year. Today begins the final week of 2017. Can you believe it!? I can’t! 2017 went way too fast… just like this holiday season. As I wipe the sleep away from my eyes and brew some coffee, the cold brisk air coming in from outside has me thinking and reflecting. 

2017 was a year of adjustment for me. I wrapped up my major cancer treatments in August. Adjusting to life after cancer has been, and continues to be, a journey. “Some days you wake up and feel amazing. Other days you wake up and don’t know if you ever felt okay in the first place. That’s okay! You’re in recovery,” one friend said. Everyday, I remember that simply waking up is a gift. A young woman I know isn’t waking up today. She lost her fight against cancer last week. Her emotional memorial service was yesterday. She spread light, hope and faith. She was one of the people who inspired and cheered me on during my fight. She was a gift. 

We are all gifts. Your family is a gift to you. You are a gift to them. As you unwrap presents remember that the biggest gift is you and what you put out into this world. If you are struggling…remember you are a gift from God. You are not alone. You matter. What you do matters. The kind of energy you radiate into the universe matters. Your actions on social media … on the street … in person...everyday… matter. You matter to those blessed to have you in their lives. Why? You are a gift that cannot be duplicated. 

Happy Holidays to you all! 

Friday, September 29, 2017

The Silent Prayer of a Sincere Heart

May we be inspired by the Jewish tradition’s message that each of us has the potential to renew our lives in meaningful ways, repair that which is broken, and together, build a world of justice and peace. Jewish tradition demands that we live exemplary lives of hope and kindness, stepping in to the breach and shining the light of goodness where there is darkness. In the spirit of this season we pray for peace and safety for everyone.”

A Rabbi wrote that. I found that in one of my older blogs and remembered just how much it struck a chord with me. It still does. As most of you know, it’s the time of year Jews atone and reflect on the previous year. Speaking of previous… let me rewind to yesterday.

Yesterday, as I jogged through Central Park and took in its’ beauty I reflected. I stopped as the leaves sprinkled down from the towering trees that have called Central Park home for decades. Trees that have been there before I was even born. The leaves reminding me of what I was going through this time last year. This time last year I was in my old apartment going through chemo. I could barely walk. Yesterday, I ran nearly two miles. As the leaves fell… each one represented something to me. 

The Torn Leaf -A battle won but never forgotten and a fight that continues for so many.

The Gold Leaf-Hope. Hope because there’s always a golden glimmer of it. There’s hope in the golden rays the sun shines upon us every day.

The Green Leaf (that probably should be dangling in the air)-Regret for things I haven’t done but am lucky enough to still be able to do.

The Red Leaf-My desires. 

I looked at those leaves and found myself crying in the middle of Central Park. The last time I cried in Central Park I had just taken the, “You have cancer call.” This year the tears were of a different kind. I wiped them away… texted a fellow warrior… breathed in the blue sky… said “Thank you” and ran home.

I know this is a time for forgiveness but it’s a time to be grateful as well. I’m grateful for who I am…. the journey I am on… and the ability to ask for the forgiveness—the forgivness that thousands of fellow Jews are also asking for.

G’mar Hatimah Tovah

To those I may have wronged,
I ask forgiveness.
To those I may have helped,
I wish I had done more.
To those I neglected to help,
I asked for understanding.
To those who helped me,
I thank you with all my heart…

Remember to love each other. Show compassion for each other and lift each other up. Remember God hears even the silent prayer of a sincere heart. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Ben Platt's Picture Perfect Night

If you hadn’t heard of Ben Platt before today, you will now. The Los Angeles native who played the prince in Cinderella, “in a blue sequined vest at the age of six,” is now the prince of Broadway. “Oh my God!” he mouthed moments after he nabbed the Tony for Best Actor in a Musical for Dear Evan Hansen. “Holy Crap! Ok! This is a Tony! Hello! Ok! Ok!” he shockingly told the audience Sunday night. While Platt was in disbelief, the first Tony nomination and win for the 23-year-old was not unexpected. Shot full of adrenaline, Platt went on to thank everyone from his physical therapist to his brother-in-law who was home watching his “edible, edible nephews.” Speaking of eating... the Tony audience gobbled up his performance of "Waving Through A Window." 

Dear Evan Hansen is a show about an awkward high school student whose social status is transformed by a blooming lie following a tragedy. The story deals with bullying, teenage suicide and the perils of social media. “Everyone has a bit of Evan Hansen in them,” the newly minted Tony winner told the press after his speech. “I hardly remember what I said,” said Pratt. I remember though. The Picture Perfect star ended his speech with these words for young people:

“Don’t try to be anybody but yourself. The things that make you strange are the things that make you powerful.” 

A picture perfect message on a picture perfect night for Ben Platt.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

National Cancer Survivors Day

It’s June 4th and it’s National Cancer Survivors Day! It’s meant as a day to celebrate survivors and inspire those recently diagnosed to show them you CAN. You CAN do this! 

So, Happy National Cancer Survivors Day to all you fighters and fellow survivors out there. YOU are some of the strongest people I know. YOU inspire. 

To those warriors cancer took from us. Your fight is never forgotten. YOU are never forgotten. You are here with us every day. To the cheerleaders who threw us into that basket toss so we could fly when we couldn’t… Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! We could not have done it without YOU!

The fight isn’t over until we find a cure. To the researchers, scientists and doctors around the globe tirelessly trying to find a cure … You CAN. You WILL. Thank you. There is a CAN in CANcer. 

Now, let’s celebrate!