All posts tagged: Comfort

Hygge and Kisses: Even the Danes Couldn’t Save My Relationship from Trump

During the last few months, there has been a lot of anger shown toward the Trump Administration, coming from both sides of the political spectrum. Whether it has been a deep frustration with his attacks on the mainstream media and the court system, a true hatred of his immigration and healthcare bills or outright shock at his administration’s too-close relationship with Putin, 80 percent of America seems to have a gripe with the president. I’d like to add another complaint to the list: I blame Donald Trump for ruining my romance this past winter. His election — and the chaos that it has wrought — has caused so much stress and anxiety that, during the first three months of his presidency, it was just too difficult to find love. My relationship with Debbie started out promising. We met at a dinner party a few days before Trump was inaugurated. Our hostess was worried about the night being successful and fun, so she warned her guests that “no one can talk about politics.” After dinner, Debbie …

Taking Care of the Strongest Man I Ever Knew

My father asked me, “How long does it take?” I felt all the sound, light, air — everything — leave the room; only the weight of those words remained. I was standing at the side of his bed, lightly stroking his forehead. Mom was exhausted, slumped in a chair in a dark corner. He was dying and wanted to know when it would be over. He had seen so much life and death on the farm — animal life and death — for 40 years, he knew when death was near and he was ready for it. But for him to ask me… that took me a minute. I was the youngest and a girl. You didn’t reveal this kind of vulnerability to your youngest daughter. Four months earlier, I’d come home for a visit and it had been clear to me: Dad was not going to make it. It was upsetting to see him so much thinner and weaker than just a month ago. It was before the dialysis. Before the hospitalization. That January afternoon, he sat …

18 Seriously Comfortable Shoes for Spring and Summer

My shoe predicament has become even worse. About two springs ago, when I was on the hunt for the bestest, comfiest, maybe even cute-in-a-certain-light pair of shoes, I wrote this piece and was pretty proud of myself for rounding up such stellar soles. Over this past winter, however, I’ve realized that I’ve become so picky and obsessed with cushion and easy-to-wears that I’m down to TWO — count ‘em, just TWO — pairs of shoes: These perfect comfort-and-support sneakers from Asics (The GT-2000 4) and these vaguely chic, utilitarian suede boots from La Canadienne (The Felicia). I toggle back and forth between the pair. I blame some of my choosiness on going through some big physical ordeals this past year or so that made me ONLY do what feels good and right. Anything that rubbed, pinched, pressed or made me hobble around was so far from ok that I would ONLY wear shoes that felt like heaven. Now that it’s springtime and the sun wants to shine on my toes, I need to expand my …

I Got You — Caring for My Wife During Chemo

As my wife sat in the treatment room during chemotherapy, she would sometimes sing to me a song that became a sort of anthem for us. Headphones on, she’d hum and sing, “We ain’t gonna give up on this now, we refuse to turn around. This won’t be easy, no way, no how, but we won’t back down…” The song was ”We Got It” by Ne-Yo from The Wiz, one of those live TV musical events we’d watched together after her surgery back in 2015. In some ways, she was Dorothy and I was some unfortunate combination of the Scarecrow, Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion. I would chime in, “And when the night is so cold, dark and lonely, All you got to do is look at me and hear what I say…” And then together we would sing, “We got it! We got it!” “I got you…” I got you. When Margit asked me to share my experience as a “caregiver” during her treatment, I felt a bit uncomfortable. I saw it as …

When I Lost Weight, My Daughter Didn’t Recognize Me

I am watching home videos with my daughter, who is nearly 15 and prone to bouts of nostalgia. She likes to remind herself of a time when life was simpler — when she received toys instead of gift cards for her birthday, when her little brother still idolized her, when her favorite thing about the science museum was the diorama room and she could run freely through the exhibit since no one else’s favorite thing about the science museum is the diorama room. On the television screen, my children’s cheeks are still rosy and full, their smiles silly and unguarded. I love watching their skinny little legs kicking in the pool, their pudgy fingers picking up one goldfish cracker at a time. The only thing I don’t like about these old home movies is seeing myself on camera. The me I see onscreen is quite heavy – 40 pounds heavier than my current weight, to be exact. Because I am short – only 4’9” – a gain or loss of even three pounds is visible …

Margit’s Note: Cozy Up

Slide into the soft pants, wrap up in a blanket, put the kettle on, turn on some grooves and let’s find some comfort. The Danes have it right in their Hygge practice — which is now, for obvious reasons, all the rage. In these times when we feel uneasy about our world, we look for ways to soothe our bodies, soul and surroundings. Yet comfort isn’t just about the tactile — the hot bath or the warm hug — but your environs, your state of mind, your security, your sense of peace with yourself. “The most common form of despair is not being who you are,” said Kierkegaard. To find comfort is also to relax into our truest state — to find home. Music is my ultimate comfort drug. It envelopes me, moves me off my seat, soothes and is an instant mood changer. Scratch that; it’s better than any drug. While writing this, I’m listening to one of my most easy-breezy Spotify playlists. It has a West Coast soul vibe: “Strawberry Letter 23” by …

A Love Affair with Blundstones

When you work long days that merge into nights, running around, climbing up and down ladders and scurrying over catwalks, your shoes swiftly become your best friends. Freshly graduated from the University of New South Wales, a Bachelor of Arts degree under my belt, my dreams of working in the theater were giddily realized after I miraculously landed a gig as a lighting technician at the Sydney Opera House. This was 1984 and the joint had only been open for a dozen years. There were old-ish guys that worked backstage who proudly boasted they’d helped to build the place! I was the third female ever to be hired in the lighting department. We were all called “sparks” or “electrics.” The stagehands were known as “mechanists” and they were a bigger and more dominant crew. I only ever saw one woman in their numbers. I was a green and keen kid — 20, almost 21 — and utterly thrilled to be working on real live proper theater. Operas, concerts, ballet, rigging lights in the Exhibition Hall …