You are making your cold 1000x worse

Do you know who Sylvia Boorstein is? I didn’t know who she was until I found her book “Happiness is an Inside Job” on a mark-down table at Powell’s City of Books when I was looking for a cheap way to chill TF out I guess. Sylvia Boorstein is the wise Jewish-Buddhist grandmother you never had. She was the gateway for me to mindfulness, meditation and how to stop making a Big Deal out of everything.

Anyway- she has a story she tells in The Courage to Be Happy (which you can purchase on Amazon on audio-CASSETTE – what even IS that?) about her teacher, Sharon Salzberg, reminding her at the end of their meetings, “Sylvia, be happy.” I was so thrilled to find Sharon Salzberg has a collection of guided meditations available on the Insight Timer app (and do you have that? What are you DOING? And PLEASE don’t say you’re paying for Headspace or Calm or any other app you have to pay for. Stop it. You’re being silly.). Anyway- Sharon Salzberg has a loving kindness meditation which is magical anyway, but it was so cool to hear her say “be happy” over and over again.

OK- so- here’s the whole point. Sharon Salzberg has been doing a month-long meditation challenge and she’s invited those doing it to blog about it on her blogging platform. But I forgot my password. And the password recovery thing sends me an email which links me back to the “forgot your password” page which sends me an email which links me back to the “forgot your password page” which- you get the point. I emailed the support team asking them if it was part of the mindfulness challenge LOL. They didn’t respond.

SO I’m blogging about it on MY blog. The most useful thing I’ve learned is how to interrupt my reactions to discomfort. She has a meditation which asks you to consider your physical sensations. I have a cold like everybody has right now and I’m tired like I always am. And the thing is, I feel woozy and headachy which is bad enough, but what I also do is assign a ton of meaning to these feelings. I feel bad that I feel bad, but I feel worse about how I’m going to feel later- like later when I have to concentrate, or when I have to be enthusiastic about stuff in front of students or tomorrow when I have to work another full day or on the weekend when I’m supposed to be doing another set of things I have to do. I start to resent all the stuff I have to do when I’m sick and just want to lay down for a month… So this physical discomfort I have is made 1000x more powerful by all the thoughts and emotions that I attach to it.  She’s given me a tool to interrupt that thought process.

And perhaps you have a cold and are making it 1000x worse like me. So listen to this meditation I’m linking to again. For free! You don’t need to suffer more as a result of your suffering. So stop it. You’re being silly.



In loving memory of a 1998 Toyota Camry

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to celebrate the life of this black 1998 Toyota Camry that I owned for 14 years of its 21-year life.


My dad got it from my uncle- supplemented with the money I made working at the summer camp Sarah Silverman grew up at in New Hampshire right after I graduated from college. I needed a car to get to the teaching job I would start that fall- 2005. My dad and I drove it to Southern California where it lived happily ever after.

Well almost happily ever after… I had to replace the whole front half of the car after I rear-ended somebody on the 101 12 years ago. Um and I got that pretty dent by running into a building…

I learned how to work a car in my dad’s Jeep Cherokee in Portland- but I learned how to drive in LA in this car. I learned how to pass semi-trucks (maybe while screaming out loud…) and how to work my way around multiple lanes of traffic and eventually… how to parallel park… although I still go to great lengths to avoid doing so…

It leaked miserably and unrelentingly when it rained. In the days after the rain, it steamed up and smelled like broccoli. The passenger door wouldn’t open from the outside. I had to wedge something into the release switch thingy to get the gas cap to open. The air conditioning was busted a long time ago. It had a slight moth infestation. The driver-side mirror had been knocked off by a semi (and then the trucking company denied it happened and I couldn’t afford to have it fixed). The cd player only worked if you kept pushing the cd back into it over and over again and it finally gave in. I was told to replace the struts about 10 years ago and never did. Oh but it got me from A to B for fourteen years and no car payments.


On Valentine’s Day, the engine shut off while I was attempting the 60 minute commute to Eagle Rock and, miraculously, I had enough momentum to get to the side of the road. The mechanic said it needed a new engine and didn’t recommend that I put the money into it.


Kars 4 Kids will be putting it out of its misery officially.

In lieu of flowers, please get yourself a nice car wash and possibly, a sparkly license plate frame.

Happy trails, my little car. Rest in pieces.


P.S. Here’s an article about Camrys from the 90’s written 4 years ago that you might enjoy: