When Family Comes to Visit But You’ve Run Out of Ideas.

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

This is a true story about a lie I told. I understand we’re not supposed to tell lies, but I was trying to get a reaction. Perhaps my subject was inappropriate. Maybe it was mean. But over the course of a few hours, during an evening at a bar, the lie took on a life of its own.

You can tell me in the comments how wrong I was.

The names of the characters have all been changed to protect me from those who are still angry at me…

Photo by Iana Andreeva on Unsplash

How About While on Vacation?

We planned a quick trip to Barbados. It was going to be short, only 4 days, so we selected a small resort on a nice quiet beach.

After arriving from NYC early in the afternoon, my girlfriend and I immediately headed out to the beach. Four days isn’t much time to get a decent tan.

The beach was pristine and quiet. Powdery white sand, turquoise water, and palm trees gently swaying in the Caribbean breeze. We were looking for a few days away from work and this was going to fit the bill perfectly.


My son’s simple solution to dealing with my depression.

Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

I suffer from depression. It’s a recent recognition, and I’ve begun to get help, but I realize that I’ve probably been depressed for most of my adult life.

Fortunately, it hasn’t taken ‘complete’ control over me. I mean, it’s always there, but its power ebbs and flows…like the tide.

The Tide

Sometimes my depression is intense, like the ocean rising during high-tide. My mind becomes flooded with negative thoughts. It feels like I’m about to drown and I can hardly breathe. It can be overwhelming.

Other times it’s not as strong. The negative…

Overcoming distractions to improve focus

Photo by Alice Achterhof on Unsplash

I want to become a better writer; to hone my craft and further develop my communication skills. I wish to improve my ability to create something from nothing.

It may seem a daunting task, but it’s not much different from anything else.

If you want to become better at cooking, you can read some cookbooks, maybe watch a few youtube videos, but you have to cook more often. If you want to be able to run a faster mile or increase your distance, you need to run more miles. You need to run every day.

If you want to become…

Tree Lighting on Roosevelt Island, photo credit: Bret Itskowitch

I used to love Christmas time. All of the decorations, the trees, and the lights…I just loved it. And I grew up in a dual-religion household, so we also had Chanukah candles. It really was a great time of year.

It was a happy time. It was all about tradition, and spending quality time with family. Of course, a lot of that happiness had to do with all of the parties, and time off from work, and gifts.

I really enjoyed giving more than receiving. I used to put a lot of time and effort into selecting just the right…

Observing my young son…and his interactions in the world.

Photo by Perry Grone on Unsplash

I have always believed that my 8-year-old son is an artist, a creative genius.

I don’t just say this because I’m his daddy, but to convey that he has a wonderful understanding of colors. He uses them succinctly in his drawings.

Recently, we were waiting for the elevator in the lobby of our building. A neighbor asked my son what his favorite color was. He didn’t answer her and he turned away in embarrassment. …

A personal essay about not fitting in.

Photo by Thomas Kinto on Unsplash

From a young age, I have always felt like I didn’t belong.

I was born in Queens, NY. Back then, in our neighborhood, it seemed that everyone was from someplace else. Maybe it was just something that I paid attention to. All of my neighbors looked similar to me, but everybody had a tag that they attached to themselves and their families. They identified themselves as Irish or Italian, some were Polish. One family was distinctly German.

There was nothing wrong with their self-identification. But I didn’t understand what mine was supposed to be.

I was told that I had…

Does this make me less of a man? Does the fact that I dislike baseball mean that I’m not a good dad?

Photo by Ben Hershey on Unsplash

My little person, my 7-year-old son is excited for Little League to begin. We recently purchased a baseball glove, and now he wants to know if he’ll get a uniform…with his own hat.

I told him that I think so, and I hope I’m right. All of the teams gave out uniforms when I played, but that was many, many years ago.

Although I was on a team, The Main Streeters, I didn’t actually “play.” I spent most of my time keeping the bench warm, unless they needed someone to fill a spot. I wasn’t good at it, and I…

Photo by Scott Warman on Unsplash

Are you cutting carbs for diet or disease?

Do you manage the number of carbs that you put into your body? Low carb diets seem to be all the rage again. Keto, Paleo, LCHF, the Mediterranean diet (I wonder if that includes a daily allotment of wine), Atkins, Eco-Atkins (the veggie version), the Zero-Carb diet.

Most people, myself included, want to lose a little weight. Many people are required to go low carb because of medical issues. I’m included in that one too. As a Type 1 Diabetic, I manage my carb intake. …

Do you remember how you felt when you fell in Love? Not the first time, but the last time.

Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

Do you still have those feelings? Or are you overwhelmed with questions like I am?

Did you know right away, or did it take some time? How did you know? Did you feel nervous? Were there butterflies in your stomach? And why were you so nervous? Were you afraid that she wouldn’t be interested? What if she didn’t like you? Was it more about managing your own self-confidence, or did you really think that she might not like you?

What was…

Bret Itskowitch

Sharing true stories about my journey…living, traveling and making mistakes.

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