Thursday, December 18, 2014


When pressure is on you to do something -- start it, finish it, make a decision, confront an issue -- if you don't start, finish, decide, confront, you are immobilized.

There are two of you -- Grownup-you, and Child-you.

Grownup Em  has learned the rules, has had experiences, coped, handled, negotiated, choreographed, avoided, confronted, and accomplished many things.

Child-Em has needs, fears, impractical dreams, and expectations. She often feels quite small, vulnerable, and not very capable.

Child-Em  panics. Wants to hide, or sleep, or watch a dumb TV show.

Grownup-Em tells Child-Em what to do, or not do, and calms her by pointing her in a direction.

If you remind the child parentally -- patiently, logically, lovingly -- the child feels safer, and can even handle rather scary things. Therefore, the Grownup-you needs to guide the Child-you, into "Tackle one thing at a time."

The Grownup knows how to organize disorder into an orderly sequence of activities.

Like -- "One two, button my shoe,
Three, four, close the door,
Five, six, pick up sticks.
Seven, eight, close the gate.
NINE -- you're fine!
Ten is not the "big fat hen,"
It's just the end.

So LOVE the Child and coddle the Child,
Tell the Child in you "it's okay."
Help the Child push worries away,
Banish, make vanish all the fears --
And strongly advocate "no tears!"
The balm is being calm.
It helps the two of you
Unwind, and re-find
Peace of mind.

Monday, December 15, 2014


Here's me a few years ago, talking about my most favorite gift.

John Cullum is no longer in the show that I mention in the video -- "Scottsboro Boys," which was a cast, music, and a memory that stays with him. Off Broadway, or on Broadway, it's not the success of the show, but the family feeling he had with the actors, director, and stage crew that he cherishes.  

I feel the same way about my favorite gift -- it's  not very expensive, not very rare -- just a gift I was given in a light-brown manila envelope, stuffed with crinkled-up newspaper.

Why the gift is still my favorite, most cherished gift is not because of the way it looks, but what the giver figured out, and why the gift was chosen.