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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

When a wave and a smile are magic

By Gina Barreca




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) You know how you get into those moods where you convince yourself that the only thing to do when you're absolutely miserable is to make yourself even more miserable, as if misery were some kind of contest?

And when you're in that kind of mood, there's some part of you determined to make yourself so thoroughly unhappy you are guaranteed to take home the poor-me crown?

Picture me, then, having a perfectly rotten day.

Waking up to a washed-out gray morning, I'd started to feel as if every decision carried with it the potential for a cataclysmic spiritual crisis.

And I mean everything.

Choosing the wrong font for certain emails, for example, might act as the harbinger of ruin; parking too close to the building where I work would mean somebody else would attempt to squeeze a vehicle so close to mine that it would simply be easier just part their car inside my car.

Parking far away would prove I was the abject failure I always imagined myself to be.

(Who but a schmuck pays $300 a year for parking and then walks three-quarters of a mile in the rain to get to the office? Sure, people do that all the time when they work in a city. But who does that when her building is located on acres and acres of open farmland and rolling hills? For several hundred bucks a year, I want access to what by implication is promised when the money is routinely deducted directly from my paycheck under the heading "parking." Not that I'm bitter.)

I was facing a day filled with budget cuts at work, computer problems and calls from home about a repeatedly (not direly, only annoyingly) sick cat — and I was fully intending to cap it all off by driving in the rain to pick up a cheap pre-cooked chicken for dinner.

You've had those chickens, right? They sort of look like very short extras from a zombie movie: Basically, they're dried skin pulled tight over brittle bones with a little bit of ooze emerging from somewhere. Frankly, you don't want to make inquiries concerning the ooze's orgins.

I don't even really like the cheap pre-cooked chicken, but it seemed like the kind of half-baked idea, literally and metaphorically, to signal the day's finale.

Then a stranger wrecked the whole thing.

I was coming off a ramp and onto the highway, eyes narrowed against the blur of rain, fists clamped around the steering wheel, radio news station in the background announcing the end of the civilized world as we know it (plus additional rain) and some guy actually permitted me to merge.

Then he had the nerve to smile and wave.



And without thinking about it, I smiled and waved back. It wasn't a fake. I meant it. I think I even said "Ooh, thanks, mister!" out loud in my car.

It turns out that, when it comes to changing moods, I'm a cheap date.

When I realized that my fundamental perception of the day could pivot both immediately and entirely on the smallest of incidents, I admit to being startled. I was happily surprised, of course, but still was it really just so easy to feel better after feeling bad?

(Not always, of course. Not when there's real cause for sadness or when I'm caught by sense of loss or longing emerging from somewhere deep or damaged. That's when I check in with the professionals — the therapist, the doctor and the old friends who know me best — to see if I need some kind of real tune-up.)

There was a small, flinty part of me that wanted to clutch the misery and hold it close. But you can't wave with a clenched fist and you can't really smile with gritted teeth.

Maintaining unhappiness was too much work.

Trust me when I say that I didn't mean to forget being frustrated, angry and sour-pussed. It just happened. One kind gesture and SHAZAM, there I was with my heart opening like a parachute and my hand waving like a 5-year-old's at a Fourth of July parade.

I still picked up dinner on the way home, but decided to get fresh pizza. It went better with the parade.

Gina Barreca is a columnist for The Hartford Courant.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


Previously:


Gwyneth needs to recouple with reality
Let's all take the new SATs! --- or not!
Laugh often and 19 more rules to live by
Confessions of a promiscuous shopper
Can women ever be good enough?
Why are women left holding the bag?
Check Your Bumper Sticker At The Door
How a customer became a sucker and then got mad
Using reality TV to reveal your personality
Unlearning the kindergarten lessons of life
Things everyone must stop doing right now
Six truths about summer --- it's no picnic
Anthony Weiner --- we've seen enough of you
When women shop, expectations usually out of stock






© 2013, The Hartford Courant Distributed by MCT Information Services

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