Once in awhile I read a writer whose work I find engaging, thoughtful, or funny and I like to pass on my discovery to you. Recently I found two very funny and engaging columnists – Lisa Kogan and Vicki Glembocki – and I knew I had to introduce you to them if you haven’t discovered them already.
Lisa Kogan writes for Oprah Winfrey’s magazine and her column that was featured on CNN’s website, originally published in April 2007, is about how hectic life can be. Being the ZenBagLady I am, it was this hook and excerpt that got me reading (and loving) her column:
“A friend once told me about the Buddhist concept of pain without suffering; it’s a notion that fascinates me. I mean, is it really possible to say, ‘Yep, my stomach aches, all right, but I don’t have to add insult to injury by letting that pain run amok: I can decide to skip the part where I moan, ‘Now I can’t meet my friends at the movie and I’ll probably miss work tomorrow, which means I’ll blow my deadline, lose my job and die penniless and alone, never having seen "Dreamgirls.’"
Calming a frantic brain in the face of high anxiety is a pretty tall order, especially for a woman like me who tends to operate on two basic emotions: panic and barely suppressed panic.
But assuming one can actually achieve pain without suffering, where else might this dynamic be applied? Is there such a thing as anger without brooding? Sex without strings? And the real question –my current obsession — can a person feel unbelievably busy without feeling unbelievably overwhelmed?
…Almost everybody I know — whether they’re wealthy or struggling to make ends meet, whether they’re bachelor girls or celebrating their 25th anniversary, whether their kids are grown or toddlers or nonexistent –everyone seems to be suffering from some sort of culturally induced ADD. Our brains are swamped and our bodies are tired. Blood pressures are up, serotonin levels are down, tempers are short, to-do lists are long, and nerves are shot.”
Click here to read the entire column.
Kogan’s most recent column, Last Will and Testament, addresses the two things I’ve been thinking a lot about the last month: age and death.
For most of my adult life I’ve been told I don’t look as old as I am. Lately many people say to me, “You’re too young to be a grandma!” and while that makes me smile, I also know this sentiment will end soon. Under the makeup, straight out of bed, I look 44. Not that there’s anything wrong with looking 44 – so far I’ve welcomed the tiny lines and small freckles I was denied as a child – but I know this life isn’t permanent and I wonder how I’ll grow old. Gracefully? Or will I fight?
Another writer whose column I read every month in Women’s Health is Vicki Glembocki. I particularly like this column because it deals with the opposite of death, or at least the opposite emotionally: a woman’s sexual peak. It’s called Paging Mr. December.
“Could it be that it has finally arrived? That I have stepped, however ungracefully, into my sexual prime?
“At last! I’ve been telling Mr. December for years that we were almost there. ‘Just wait! I’m heading into my mid-30s. And you know what that means. My peak! It will be like the Playboy Mansion has moved to our backyard! Every night will be like the drainpipe scene in Nine 1/2 Weeks!’”
But Glembocki finds out that the whole “sexual peak in your 30s” thing is merely a myth, that a woman’s testosterone levels are low and continue to decrease the older she gets.
“I, on the other hand, am confused. A life without a bona fide sexual prime doesn’t make sense. How then do we psychoanalyze The Graduate? How do we justify in-her-prime Demi and in-his-prime Ashton (who, incidentally, has made my short list for next year’s Men Who Can Stop by Anytime calendar)? How do we explain uncontrollable growling? I was so not growling at cute boys in movies in my teens, when testosterone was supposedly coursing through my veins.
“’A lot of women don’t develop sexual self-awareness until later in life,’ says Ian Kerner, Ph.D., a sex therapist in New York. Berman calls it the ‘emotional’ sexual prime. As she puts it, ‘You’re socially secure. You’re clear about who you are. You’re more confident sexually, more assertive, less inhibited.’ That certainly explains Kinsey’s findings, especially since those poor gals were living in an era when good girls weren’t supposed to have sex, much less like it. I guess feeling comfortable enough with who you are that you hang photos of hot movie stars in your office is what being in your prime is all about.”
I guess this explains my iPod playlist and why it’s filled with songs like “Paralyzer,” “Crazy Bitch” and “Do You Wanna Touch”.
But that is all I’ll say on the subject since my mother and daughters read my blog and, well, there are some things they just don’t want to know about me. I really just wanted to introduce you to Vicki Glembocki and recommend that you Google her to read more of her columns.
As always, please let us know of other writers you like to read on a regular basis, too, by posting a comment or sending me an email. Good writing should always be shared.