another reason to love jon stewart

I’m adding my voice the chorus of people mourning Jon Stewart’s last day as host of The Daily Show.

photo copyright comedy centralI know I am not alone in my love of Jon Stewart. I love his incisive, biting comedy/insight/brilliance; I love his ability to cut through the political bullshit to say the things that need to be said in US politics. And I love the kindness and compassion that is woven into so much of what he does.

Of that last bit, I have first-hand experience…

…so I’m going to share a (slighted edited) story that started as a number of posts on my old blog: the story of a conversation I had with him back in 2006; a conversation that cemented my feelings, and the reason I double-adore him.

~     ~     ~     ~     ~

Back in the mid-2000’s, I was doing a lot of freelance writing; one of my clients was a business and entertainment weekly that was published in Princeton, New Jersey. I wasn’t paid a lot, but I was adding to my portfolio while talking to and writing about some amazing people including Dr. Ruth (note to self: tell that story sometime), Tom and Jen Chapin, “plus size supermodel” Emme (size 14, really? plus-sized?) (but i digress). I also came this-close to interviewing Steve Martin, but had to settle for the chance to sit behind him at a talk he gave at Princeton University for their creative writing program.

All those were wonderful experiences,
but the time I talked to Jon Stewart
— for a story that never got published — tops ’em all. 

~     ~     ~     ~     ~

In January of 2006, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced that Jon Stewart was going to host the next Academy Awards. Though I enjoy watching the Oscars, I’m never really sure why. I’ve seen too many great movies get passed over for forgettable ones (hello? crash instead of brokeback mountain?), and the shows can be so boring — with long winded expositions (cinematography; what would a film be without the gifts of light and shadow that a cinematographer creates? blah, blah, blah…yes, yes, we appreciate it already…now give the bloody award!). But putting Stewart out front? I was already a huge fan of The Daily Show, and I figured he would make the pomp and circumstance that is the Academy Awards way more enjoyable.

A day or so after the news came out, I got a call from my editor/friend Jamie: “Did you hear that Jon Stewart was going to be hosting the Oscars?” she asked. (yes, i told her, i had …) “Did you know that he grew up in the Princeton area?” (no…) “Wouldn’t that be a cool local-angle story?” (well, yeah…) “…and would you want to do it?”

Ohmygodohmygodohmygod! Would I want to interview Jon Stewart?
Hell, yeah! I was so excited I was vibrating. How cool would that be?
(the only question was: could i interview him and not make a complete idiot of myself?)

Before I went batty with future-tripping, I remembered we had to snag the interview. (cause i had experience in this before: see the above re: losing out on an opportunity to interview steve martin.) Y’see, when dealing with celebrities of that stature, it wasn’t easy for our little weekly journal to push to the front of the line.

After a week of trying, we couldn’t even get in the door for the ask. We worked every contact we could think of. We tried the logical Comedy Central route; no go. I reached out to all my blog-buddies (this was back in the days of the dinosaurs: i.e.: pre-social media) to see if there were Six Degrees of Jon Stewart in my world. While I got a lot of support and good vibes, there were no connections. We tried knocking on every door we could think of in Lawrenceville; no luck. We thought if he just knew that a hometown publication wanted to interview him, the odds were pretty good that he’d be willing to give us a few minutes. Still, we were nowhere.

We were almost ready to give up.

Then, after weeks of behind-the-scene’s wrangling, my editor/friend got an email from Jon Stewart’s publicist at the almost-last-possible-minute before our deadline saying: “Do you still want to interview Jon? Is there still time?”

Editor/friend was on the phone with me in seconds. Still time? I thought. Honey, even if I have to pull an all-nighter to make deadline! Hell yes, there’s still time.

I got off the call with editor/friend with a phone number and a time to call that same day…
(ohmygod, i’m thinking: i’m going to call jon stewart!).

My hands were shaking as I started jotting down some notes for the call, terrified that I would break into a thousand pieces of excitement.

At the appointed hour, I called the number Mr. Publicist had given us…

“Comedy Central; this is Beth.”

“Hi Beth; this is Deb Cooperman…I have an appointment to speak with Jon Stewart …” (ohmygod i have an appointment to speak with jon stewart!)

“Just a second Deb, I’ll put you through.”

So there I am, on hold with my heart beating in triple-time in my ears. (don’t be a stupid fangirl cooperman, you’re a professional; you have a story to write. breathe! you’ve worked with celebrities before; no big whoop. they’re just people. famous, talented people, sure, but people: chill-the-fuck-out.)

“Hello?” the voice says.  (ohmygod, it’s jon stewart!)

“Hi Jon, this is Deb Cooperman…”

“Hi Deb; how’re you doing?” (he called me deb…ohmygod; jon stewart said my name…) (chill-the-fuck-out cooperman!)

“I’m fine, thanks,” I say. I congratulate him on his new baby — a daughter who’d been born just days before — he says he’s getting little sleep, but she’s amazing. I tell him I know he’s really busy, and I appreciate him taking the time to talk to me for this article.

“Glad to,” he says, actually sounding glad to.

A minute or two goes by, and it’s going well, I think. My professionalism kicks in (read: i’m not acting like a butthead); I’m asking the questions, taking notes, breathing, and the butterflies are calming down (wheew). I’ve asked a few questions, and he’s responded: gracious and funny, and it’s flowing nicely.

Then, about 5 minutes into the conversation he asks what the thrust of our story is. “Hometown boy makes fabulous,” I say (having relaxed by then, obviously), and he’s quiet: “Hm. That’s not what my publicist told me …”


As I was soon able to piece together (dancing as fast as i could): in pitching this story my editor/friend did an amazing job of researching and selling the hometown angle. She’d discovered that a teacher who Stewart loved had recently died of Parkinson’s, and he’d worked on a local benefit to raise money for research, so in one of her pitch letters, she mentioned that perhaps Mr. Stewart would like to talk a bit about her influence. Unfortunately, it seemed that Mr. Publicist told Stewart that we would be focusing the entire story on the teacher rather than having her be a possible element in it.

After this came to light, Jon very pleasantly, but also very definitively, put the kabosh on “yet another article about me right now.”

I told him we would be happy to shift the focus of the piece; that it would be no problem (i was tap dancing then, big-time). It seemed that he was used to big publications where you actually have to get editorial OK for somthing like that (not so in our little weekly). Still, he, very politely said: “Why don’t you just confirm that with your editor and then reschedule another call through Matt?” (aka: mr. publicist.)

Within seconds after hanging up I was on the phone with my editor/friend and she was, as I suspected, totally cool about changing the angle of the story. Easy enough, we thought, to do something like: “Hometown boy Jon Stewart is on a roll…he just had a new baby, is on the top rated Daily Show, and is about to host the Oscars. But when I talked to him, he didn’t want to talk Oscars or politics or comedy: he wanted to talk about Selma Litowitz, his beloved English teacher from his days at Lawrence High School.” Easy. No problema.

But nope. Not so easy.

Editor/friend emailed Mr. Publicist, and said there had been a misunderstanding, but we loved this even-more personal angle. She closed with a request to reschedule. Mr. Publicist quickly shot back a note where he wouldn’t cop to not giving his client the full story in the first place (it may well have been an innocent mistake on his part originally, but her request was in the frikkin emails; how could he miss that? why would he try to pass it off as if it were her mistake?).

In the end, the bottom line was this: Mr. Publicist refused to bring the request back to his client’s attention. He refused to reschedule. There would be no follow up call with Jon. End of the road; buh bye and sayonara. (grrr)

I was so bummed I began sending negative vibes hoping that Mr. Publicist Man would get a really bad hangnail that throbbed like crazy, hurt like hell and took over a week to heal. Maybe it would even get infected. (if i had been less evolved, i might’ve wished him worse, but clearly, i am WAY spiritual.)

After getting over the frustration and disappointment of not being able to talk to Stewart again, (getting over the anger of stubborn-dickhead publicist man), and not having enough interview juice to write the story for the paper — I came to admire Stewart even more.

Because he was busy…and his life was crazed, but he took time out of all of that to talk to a Princeton, NJ based business and entertainment weekly because he thought the story was going to focus on a teacher who’d meant so much to him.

He was right. Although he’s an intelligent, funny interesting local boy who made fabulous, we didn’t need yet another story about him. There were plenty of stories about the great work he was doing on The Daily Show, his New Jersey roots, his new daughter, and his upcoming hosting gig on the Oscars, among others. But he didn’t want that.

He wanted to talk about a teacher who made a huge difference in his life. And even though the fundraiser he’d hosted on behalf of her charity had been a year and a half before, he was still willing to take the time to talk about her and the cause to this relatively small business and entertainment weekly .

I was sorry I didn’t get to talk to him again so I could publish the story the way he wanted to tell in the weekly, but I will never tire of telling it in blog-land…telling people why I loved him even more after he cut short our interview.

I am definitely going to miss his awesomeness on The Daily Show. So much.

But with the humor, smarts and heart that he has, I can’t wait to see what he’s going to do next.

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 3.13.56 PM


Addendum: When I decided to re-visit this story in honor of Stewart’s Daily Show sign off, I did a Google search to make sure I’d spelled Selma Litowitz’s name correctly, and I discovered this: a Stewart “super-fan” has spearheaded an online fundraiser for the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation as a thank-you and tribute to Stewart, in honor of Litowitz. I have a feeling he’d like that.

checking in from a slow burn

mosey wood pond copyright debcoopermanHello friends.

I’m writing this post to all of you, but mostly to those who check in from time to time and have sent some notes wondering where I’ve been.

I’m still here.

And there has been a pull to something else in my life that has been taking a good chunk of time and energy, so I’ve been on a bit of a slow burn with my work.

Just for a while.

I’m using this slower time to simmer and plan some new things. Virtual sessions; some more in-person workshops; a video series. I might even jump on the podcast train.

But for now, I just wanted to say hi. Tell you I’m here, and here, sometimes here, and in the free Write Yourself Awesome community. I’m still working with one-on-one clients, but yes, the virtual stuff is on the back-burner for a while.

I’ll keep checking in; please do the same.

More blogging and schtuff for you soon.

Until then: I hope you’ll keep write freely and living fully.

a musical poem (#npm15)

dylan highway 61 revisitedMy classmates and I had been squirming through most of our 7th grade poetry unit, so the day our English teacher stood in front of the class, pulled out a rock album and put it on the record player we were a little confused. Had he given up on poetry?

As the song started, he walked around the class handing out dittoed copies of the song’s lyrics and told us to read along. (you don’t remember ditto copies? clearly you are a youngster.) (or i am old.) (but i digress.)

When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose …
You’re invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be without a home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

For kids who’d grown up on The Beatles, Carol King, Jim Croche, James Taylor, Cat Stevens and Carly Simon, the lightbulbs started to go off. We were moved by — and related to — so many of the lyrics that we’d hear on top 40 AM radio…(you don’t remember when AM radio was king? yeah, again: you’re young/i’m old. now let’s resume, shall we?)…we understood the poetry in those songs, even if we wouldn’t call it that.

So for those of you who still think you don’t like poetry, I get it. I felt that way once.

Try today’s poem. The one that turned my idea of poetry on its head. From Bob Dylan. (and frank juliano, english teacher.) (thanks, mr. j.)

Like a Rolling Stone

Bob Dylan

Once upon a time you dressed so fine
You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn’t you?
People’d call, say, “Beware doll, you’re bound to fall”
You thought they were all kiddin’ you
You used to laugh about
Everybody that was hangin’ out
Now you don’t talk so loud
Now you don’t seem so proud
About having to be scrounging for your next meal

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be without a home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

You’ve gone to the finest school all right, Miss Lonely
But you know you only used to get juiced in it
And nobody has ever taught you how to live on the street
And now you find out you’re gonna have to get used to it
You said you’d never compromise
With the mystery tramp, but now you realize
He’s not selling any alibis
As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes
And ask him do you want to make a deal?

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

You never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns
When they all come down and did tricks for you
You never understood that it ain’t no good
You shouldn’t let other people get your kicks for you
You used to ride on the chrome horse with your diplomat
Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat
Ain’t it hard when you discover that
He really wasn’t where it’s at
After he took from you everything he could steal

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

Princess on the steeple and all the pretty people
They’re drinkin’, thinkin’ that they got it made
Exchanging all kinds of precious gifts and things
But you’d better lift your diamond ring, you’d better pawn it babe
You used to be so amused
At Napoleon in rags and the language that he used
Go to him now, he calls you, you can’t refuse
When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose
You’re invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

befriending the soul (yes, another poem – #npm15)

photo copyright Kenyon CollegeI met Ingrid Goff-Maidoff in college. Kenyon is small liberal arts college–a little hamlet in the middle-of-nowhere Ohio–surrounded by farms and fields, and hidden ponds and streams. If you went to Kenyon, you were part of an intimate community…mostly because there wasn’t anywhere else to go. About an hour north-east of Columbus, students lived on campus, walked up and down Middle Path (photo above) to eat in campus dining halls, to study in the library, and socialize. All at this little campus on the hill.

Ingrid was younger than I — two years I think — but we both traveled around in theater circles. I remember a number of sweet conversations that went a little deeper than the average college chats, but in college, those two years difference often feel like a chasm, and though I’d call her friend, I remember thinking of her almost like she was a little sister.

Soon after she graduated, she sent me an invitation to her wedding. I was working in non-profit theater at the time, and I wasn’t making much of a profit so there wasn’t any disposable income to speak of to make the trip (to…was it martha’s vinyard? or somewhere on the cape in massachusetts?). I remember being so touched to be invited, and I was bummed that I couldn’t go.

We lost touch not terribly long after that as people do when lives spin off away from college. From time to time I’d wonder how she was. She had been a wonderful actress, a lovely singer, and a sweet and thoughtful “kid.” I wondered where she wound up. (strangely, i never bothered to look her up through alumni channels, and, when the google thang came into being, i never googled her.) Then, one day, when checking out Jen Louden’s Teach Now program, I saw her face attached to a testimonial on the site. I clicked the link in the testimonial, and…it turns out, she was still living in Massachusetts with her husband–and now: two children. And she’s a poet and artist. Not just any poet either; a modern-day Rumi-like poet if you asked me (and yeah, i know you didn’t, but you’re reading, so, y’know, tough.) :) (but i digress…).

Ingrid has a way of diving in to the mysteries and beauty of the universe and surfacing with soulful understanding and expressions that are nothing short of sacred.

(and no, i’m really not exaggerating.)

As you can tell, I’m a fan.

I think you will be too. Read the poem below, and then check out her website. Be sure to sign up for her email list; trust me, it will be one you’ll definitely look forward to opening.

Befriending the Soul

Ingrid Goff-Maidoff

Befriending the soul, you say,
Come now partner, Buddy up.
Befriending the soul, you say,
Where have you been all my life?
And you begin to remember
How to really listen.

When she comes to you, she brings gifts:
The broken cup of childhood;
The aroma of your grandmother’s kitchen;
A dream you have forgotten;
A wound you have forsworn.
These all belong in the wholeness, she says,
These are all the wonder of you.

Look, she shows you a diamond ~
A diamond with ten thousand sides.
All of these I am polishing, she says,
The beautiful, the betrayed, 
The banished, the un-forgiven.
See, friend, she holds it ~
I accept and attend with love to them all.

She holds a mirror to your face.
Looking into it you see the whole universe:
Forests, mountains, rivers, sky, lakes, gardens,
Villages throbbing with life…
Sun, moon, emptiness, galaxies full of stars…


rewarded with presence

jen louden quote

When I first read this line, I felt a settling in my belly…a thunk; a softening, which, for me, is the physical manifestation of “yes.”

Damn, that woman nailed it…she so eloquently articulated the essence of what I believe…and what I often say about the benefits of a writing practice.

So naturally, I love this.

At the same time, part of me is jealous. Jealous that Jen’s out there saying things that are very similar to the stuff that I say.

Only she’s been saying it longer.

And her audience is bigger.

And she has several vibrant programs. And she’s had several books published.

She’s also been featured in magazines and on rock-star blogs and, hell, she’s even been on Oprah.

So blahblahblah; comparison comparison comparison, not-good-enough, blahblahblah, bullshit bullshit bullshit.

Oy. Wow. Look at that, huh? Look what I uncovered by writing it down. (well, duh.)

So ok…that bit of blahblahblah side-tracking is a perfect example of what I believe and what I know:

When you get present, when you spend time with yourself (and in my world, this happens by putting thoughts on the page)…you uncover truths about yourself.

This is part of what Jen teaches – and what she’s taught me (as a student in her teach now program) – and what I teach too.

I support women who believe that walking a little off the beaten path in service of finding and living a life that has meaning for them (when so much about the world conspires to fit us into an “acceptable” norm) is rewarding, challenging, wonderful and worth it.

Sure, it’s one step forward, two steps back sometimes. And our lives are packed full of distractions, and things that are hard…things that make it so easy to lean into the distractions.

But whatever you do to “pause and listen to your heart” is worth it. Because, as Jen says: life will reward you with presence.

And isn’t that what people who are standing at the edge of their time on the planet talk about? They’re certainly not – as the age old saying goes – lamenting: “I wish I had spent more time at the office,” but “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me” and “I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.”

This is what they want; and it’s what I want…and I’m betting it’s what you want too.

Yes, it can be scary, and you have to do the work. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to wait. (and yes, i am hearing paula cole in my head now.)

The thing is, this process of pausing and listening to your heart is not like turning on a light switch. You don’t get present and stay there. You go back to sleep sometimes. You get distracted. Old habits die hard. Ego takes over. Comparison and envy (see above rant re: jen-does-what-i-do-only-better-and-longer-and-more-whatevah).

But what I believe – and what this statement from Jen reminded me (and captured) so amazingly – is that it’s a process we have to commit to. We CHOOSE it. Again, and again and again. And I – and my Writer Babes – choose this way of living (this way of being) every time we pick up and pen, start where we are, and write.


It’s with this in mind, that I’m working to better articulate what I do and how I do it. For a long time, when I’ve talked about my work, I’d lead by talking about writing. “I am writing evangelist,” I’d say. Or “I’m a writing coach.” And I am. Sort of.

But what I’m realizing – and what I’m having to admit (to myself and the world) – is that I’m a coach who uses the tool of writing to gain presence. And that presence helps us choose a life of meaning and happiness.

For years I’ve talked about how a writing practice (like the one that i have and the one that i teach) will help if you want to write a book, blog posts, poems, songs, short stories, etc. etc. but it’s the practice; the self-expression and exploration; the working out of the needs and wants and the shoulds and the gotta-dos that is the most important part.

A writing practice is a place to find support. A place to kvetch in safe space. A daily session with a therapist who has your best interest at heart…without the co-pay.

Writing is the tool. And the thing you get by using that tool? Presence. A writing practice can guide you to the heart of you. As you write, you’ll meet yourself on the page. The practice will help you find the strength to live what you discover, and let go of what’s holding you back.

It’s not always easy. But isn’t it worth it?

I think so.

Writing is how I choose. It’s how I listen to my heart.

If this is how you do it – or how you think you might like to do it – stick around; stay awhile. Chat with me in the comments or join and engage in the Write Yourself Awesome community on Facebook. Subscribe to my email list (i call it my fabu-list.) (see what i did there?). And if you’re local (NJ area), come to one of the local Living Out Loud (aka: the writer babes) workshops. Stay tuned for virtual workshops too. (and a blog that better articulates what i’m about and what i can offer you in your quest for a life of meaning and awesomeness.)


certainty – (day 1 reverb 14)

IMG_6287On the first day of Reverb14, Kat McNally offered us this prompt:

What can you say right now with certainty?

That I’d misspell “certainty” 50% of the time were it not for spell-check.

It’s snowing outside. (well, here in the beautiful boonies of western NJ it is.)

I’m fortunate. Life is challenging and messy, and sometimes I wish I could press a button and make some things easier (for me and others), but barring that, I practice focusing on what I can do to be more mindful, present and kind.

Writing helps me do that.

Speaking of which: I currently have 5 boxes filled with old journals. They shall go unread by others and will burn-baby-burn like a disco inferno when I’m gone. (if those who are left do what i ask …)

Sometimes the things that I want require big stretches and growth that I don’t actually want to do. Sometimes I do them anyway. Sometimes I don’t. I wrestle with that.

I have lost too many people I love to cancer and too many people I love are still dealing with it. Cancer fucking sucks.

The generation that once said “Don’t trust anyone over 30″ is now over the age of 50…and then some.

My hair looks better the day after washing it. And even better than that the day I go to a salon to get it cut. (ok; that’s kinda shallow, but the question wasn’t: what profound things can you say right now with certainty, right?)

I can drink a cup of coffee at 9pm and still sleep soundly at 10pm. The upside of ADD.

My office is in a constant state of getting-organized. (see the aforementioned ADD reference…)

Working from home is a blessing and a challenge.

Related to that: I miss the community of my old job, but I don’t regret leaving it to pursue my biz/work.

That’s it for now.


If you’re playing along with #Reverb14, pop a link to your response to today’s prompt below (or if you don’t blog, feel free to drop your full response below). I’m doing a drawing at the end of the month for a free session with moi. The more times you chime in, the more times you’re entered to win. See you in the comments. :)





throw-down thursday (2-6)

Oh so much going on in the life away from this corner of cyberland, and those of you who check in regularly will notice that I’ve missed a couple of throw-downs. My apologies.

I’ll share more about all the schtuff soon … in the meantime …

This quote has a lot of resonance for me lately. Maybe you too?

throw-down thursday the readiness

throw-down thursday (7/18)

Where’ve I been, you might be wondering … well, I’ve been juggling and kvetching … and yeah, dropping some balls along the way.

One of the places I’ve been during this stretch of juggling (read: quiet time on ze blog) was to the wedding of a friend/work colleague – just two weeks after Doclicious and I had our not-big-deal Big Deal nuptializing. It was great to live vicariously through the pomp and circumstance of a full-on wedding (we dressed schwankier for their wedding than we did for our own …), and great to raise a glass to their leap into married life while still shaking our heads that we actually did it. (well, maybe it’s just me who is still shaking her head. doclicious is pretty much saying: it’s about bloody time!)  (but i digress …)

The wedding was delightful and we danced up a storm. Though we didn’t dance to this song, it grabbed my attention like no song has in a while. It’s pretty awesome.  (i’m not a super-fan of the video, but hey, y’can’t have everything …)

Listen, simmer, then have a throw-down about it why don’tcha?

when self-care looks like a kvetch-fest

This post is part of the “Blog Lovin’ Tour” for Michelle Ward and Jessica Swift’s awesome new book The Declaration of You. The tour is an 8 week celebration where tons-o-bloggers are going to write in support and celebration of this fab book – and on some of the themes within. This week, I’m writing on “Self Care.”
I pre-ordered a copy, so I’ve been digging in for a couple of days now, and I’m loving it. If you’re here because you already know my stuff, trust me, it’ll resonate with you. (seriously. go get it.)
And if you’re here because you found me through one of the blog-loving tour links: Yee ha! Hiya, and thanks for stopping by. (and did you get the book? seriously. go get it.)


(ok, now … about self-care …)

I’m exhausted.

First, there’s the day-job – which is intense and demanding and can take a lot out of me.

Then there’s the side-biz that I’m working on (with an eye on making it my only biz sometime down the road).

Then, last week (after weeks and weeks of house-hunting) my partner and I put bid out on an awesome house, and we’re set to close in early August … so now we’re scheduling inspections and appraisals and a move (oh my).

And when I say that “we” are doing this, I actually mean mostly me. He’s a therapist and he’s with patients all day so I’m the main errand runner, lawyer caller, and all that fun stuff. Arg.

Did I also mention that said partner and I got hitched last weekend with a backyard wedding that we orchestrated ourselves?


Sometimes it feels like I’m competing for the gold in the Crazy-Busy Olympics.

To add to the excitement of these Olympics, I go and make a commitment
to write for Jessica and Michelle’s Blog-Tour.

On the topic of self-care.



Self-care? What the fargin farg is THAT?  Who has TIME for that?
I’m in training for the Crazy-Busy Olympics, right? Hello?

So, yeah, it’s true that I’m feeling kind of overloaded, streched and stressed. Aaaand, all that blahblahblah is just me having a vent-fest. And that vent-fest IS my self-care.

Cause the truth is: self-care is so ingrained in my life that I sometimes forget that I do it all the time. But it’s not bubble baths and spa treatments or a bi-weekly yoga date that keep me from going completely wacknoid when I’m in the midst of stress and change and to-do lists a mile long. Sometimes my self-care looks like a grade A bitching and moaning kvetch-fest.

Cause my self-care practice is writing.

Self-care happens every time I pick up a pen and a notebook and write out my feelings; the crankiness, the frustrations, the challenges and the oh-my-god-how-am-I-going-to-get-through-this-week weeks. Self care happens when I bitch about my schedule and how I had a crappy night sleep cause the hubster was snoring and damnit-I-need-sleep. (kvetch, kvetch, kvetch.)

Not to say that self care doesn’t also happen beyond crankiness and kvetching. It happens when I’m slowing down and paying attention; noticing the way the birds are swooping and diving on the bird feeder; how good the coffee smells; how I’m looking forward to dinner with friends on Saturday.

Self-care can be reporting on the events of the day or just turning down the noise in mind. (yeah, i just quoted carly simon …) Sometimes self-care is a stream-of-consciousness rant about things that I know don’t really matter in the big picture, but they’re pulling my attention just the same. Sometimes its a pep-talk to myself about sticking with my fitness goals when I really want to stay in bed.* Sometimes self-care is about getting down my latest thank you/more please … or honing in on those things that Michelle and Jessica call The Big Likes.

Y’know how – during their safety announcements – flight attendants always say that: “… in the event of an emergency, put your own oxygen mask on first …” …?

Well, writing is my oxygen mask. It’s self-care in the form of a chronicle, a vent-fest and a celebration. It’s the thing that keeps me from losing my shit when I’m feeling like I’m losing my shit.

It’s my self-care spa-date, a walk on the beach and candles in my bath. It’s the aromatic tea, the Pinot Grigo, the rich, dark chocolate. Writing is the way I clear out the clutter and make space for myself among the to-dos, the shoulds, the oughttas, the challenges, the celebrations, the stresses and the stretching.

Writing is the sanity in my wackanetta … that sometimes (and lately, all the time …) looks like a kvetch-fest. 

*Wanna join a super-beta Write Yourself Awesome group to get on the road to improve your habits and health in 30 days? Shoot me an email at info (at) debcooperman (dot) com for deets of this super-small, super-affordable (like sliding scale affordable), test run of this new program. (ie: it could be messy … but it will be awesome.) Just four spots left; starting in July.