Newest Blog Entries


Crave a Sense of Belonging? Finding a Community Helps

December 20, 2019 Barbara Ballinger & Margaret Crane

The other day Margaret was schmoozing with the concierge in her new apartment building who told her he’s worked there for 10 years and loves his job. “What do you love most about it?” Margaret asked. “It feels like family,” he said. What does that mean? It’s simple. The concierge thinks that he matters in his job, to the residents and his colleagues. It’s the same feeling of belonging that we get when we join any group whether at work or in our free time. We feel a part of a larger community where we can contribute to others’ lives...


Hey, What’s the Rush? How about Stopping to Smell the Roses

December 13, 2019 Barbara Ballinger & Margaret Crane

Life today can be a dizzying carousal ride. We rush to catch a plane. We run to hail a cab. We race to work so we’re not late, and then we try not to rush to get through our work. We cut sleep so we have more hours during the day. The young rabbinical intern at the Jewish New Year service Barbara attended relayed a story in her sermon about how more people are starting their days earlier—think 2 a.m. so they can have lots more time to exercise and meditate before starting the “real” day at 8 a.m. or...


Chuck the Tchotchkes & Create a New Tradition: Experience the Holidays this Season

December 06, 2019 Barbara Ballinger & Margaret Crane

It’s trumpeted everywhere that this is the season and time to be joyful. However, many of us have the opposite reaction. Thanks to a combination of consumerism, obligation and bad taste with a price tag of gifts and tips hanging over our heads, we sometimes feel more oppressed and overwhelmed than happy. We shop till we drop. Then, the insecurities bubble to the surface: is the gift for our grandchildren the right one? Do they really need another video game or doll? Does Dad even wear ties any longer or should I get him this chic (cheap) one on sale?...


Help! I’m Caught in a Technological Loop & Can’t Escape

November 29, 2019 Margaret Crane

I did a very impulsive thing when I first moved to New York City. I signed up on an app for a cleaning person to come every month for a year. Little did I know that I would not be communicating with a person but would text/email with a robot (I think they're called text bots) and get caught in a technological tangle. I decided to call him PITA (pain in the ass). I think of PITA as a him. I’m not sure why but maybe because a female robot would be softer, kinder, more considerate and not let me...


At Thanksgiving, Eat, Drink & Be Mellow, Please

November 22, 2019 Barbara Ballinger & Margaret Crane

As the holidays heat up, so does our stress. This time of year is not necessarily a Norman Rockwell portrait or even a Lifetime Movie moment. Both depict Thanksgiving as a time of symbiosis to revel and rejoice. In fact, it can trigger quite the opposite response.  Part of the stress overload may have less to do with food prep or whether it’s your turkey recipe for deep fat frying versus your cousin’s for brining.  We have found that too often the peace can be undermined by those pesky nosey questions. Then all Thanksgiving hell can break loose.  We have...