Sylvia Anderson

Sylvia Anderson

Originally from Minnesota, Sylvia moved to California for the sun, sand and warm temperatures. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in English and Communications, both of which she has put to good use in her work with RadioMD as Senior Editor.
Life is Just a Party, and Parties Weren't Meant to Last

Life is Just a Party, and Parties Weren't Meant to Last

Thursday, 21 April 2016 23:50

"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today, to get through this thing called life." 

Music shapes our lives. 

Almost everyone has a favorite song, or a song that brings you back to a memorable time in your life. 

There might be a handful of songs you’ll never forget the lyrics to, no matter how long it’s been since you heard them. 

You may have a favorite soundtrack (I have many) or immediately think of a movie when you hear a certain tune. For me, the movie Pretty Woman always comes to mind when I hear Prince’s song, Kiss… you know, that scene where Julia Roberts is in the big bathtub, headphones on, oblivious to Richard Gere watching her rock out in the bubbles. 

There are also iconic artists. 

We lost David Bowie earlier this year, Merle Haggard, Phife Dawg, Joey Feek, Maurice White, Glenn Frey, just to name a few.

Yesterday, we lost another.
Well, Hello Anxiety... Long Time No See

Well, Hello Anxiety... Long Time No See

Thursday, 07 April 2016 00:00

I see that homeless woman walking the streets near my home. She’s forever clutching her purse close to her breast, like it is the last semblance of who she once was.

Her jeans, dirtied by months -- probably years -- of wear with no washing, hang from her skin-and-bones body. Her hair, gray, frizzy and snarled, is in stark contrast of the past I envision… someone who never missed that appointment for touch-ups. Someone who left the salon feeling beautiful and refreshed.

She talks to herself, too. Not that we all don’t do that from time to time. But hers is a concerted conversation with who knows who. Maybe her previous self?

I have wondered how she got to this place. How she was a woman who had a full life, perhaps a family, possibly a career, and now she is just… this.

I think I might now know. Not necessarily her story, but stories of countless others who suffer from debilitating anxiety.
Ok, Scale. Truce.

Ok, Scale. Truce.

Monday, 24 August 2015 12:02
That day was a good day.

In today’s world, a “good day” is often hard to come by. We have stress, pressures, obligations. Whatever you want to call that thing that makes us contemplate the struggle of either crawling back into bed and giving the world the middle finger or getting out there one more day and just freaking get it done.

My victory was, in some people’s eyes, a small victory. In my world, it was like winning a gold medal. Or, winning the emotional lottery. I finished first in the race of Sylvia. 

What I’m about to tell you is probably not going to make sense to the majority of you. In my rational brain, it doesn’t make sense to me. In my irrational brain, the brain that rules my hatred of self, of body image, of weight and everything that comes with the word “weight,” this victory had been seemingly insurmountable… until now.
My Man's Medical Mystery: Will the Mayo Clinic Save Him?

My Man's Medical Mystery: Will the Mayo Clinic Save Him?

Tuesday, 02 June 2015 00:00
I never thought I’d be excited to go to the Mayo Clinic.

It’s the place you go when there’s something really, really wrong. When you’re scared and your primary doctors are scared, too. When you’ve exhausted all your options, or are knocking at death’s door.

Who would actually want to go to a place like that… willingly?

I can’t wait to get there.
No Kids, Just Cats: The Stigma of Being 30-Something & Childless

No Kids, Just Cats: The Stigma of Being 30-Something & Childless

Friday, 30 January 2015 00:00

I recently read a blog about how childless women – particularly married childless women in their 30s – often take a lot of shit for not having kids.

I was like, “Whoa... this woman has something to say.”

And, I was right.

I get it all the time. People will ask me, “Do you have kids?” This question typically follows my reveal that I live in L.A. most of the time and my husband lives in Minnesota. My answer is always, “No kids; just cats.”

That’s me, trying to put light on the conversation that undoubtedly will turn to sympathy. Or judgment. Or confusion. Or all three of the above.

Or any number of thoughts.

I recently had a women, no joke, say to me: “That makes me so sad. That you won’t ever have children.”

WTF? When did my uterus become an issue of your concern?

What No One Ever, EVER Tells You About Grief

What No One Ever, EVER Tells You About Grief

Thursday, 04 December 2014 00:40

Grief is some tricky shit.

I apologize for the language... I tried to think of any other phrase that would set the stage for this blog; for what I’m feeling... somehow “grief is some tricky stuff” didn’t cut the mustard.

I’m fairly cerebral in my life processes; meaning that I tend to make sense of things by “thinking it out.” That is, I try to work everything out in my brain. If I can explain it away, with a reasonable argument and step-by-step analysis, I can process and move on.

I can’t make sense of what’s happening in my heart.

There are varying levels of grief. You can grieve the loss of a loved one (death). Grieve the loss of a loved one (divorce). Grieve the loss of your skinny jeans (just getting fat).

Obviously that last one is super-superficial.

It’s strange how I’ve processed grief in the past. When my grandparents and great aunts and uncles (who treated me like a grandchild) passed, I think I was still too young to realize what this meant. They were elderly; many in the stages of dementia and disease. What I didn’t realize is that while I lost a grandparent, my folks lost a parent.

And, while I haven’t lost a parent, I’ve lost a parent-in-law.

Veterans in Need: Not a Political Problem; a PEOPLE Problem

Veterans in Need: Not a Political Problem; a PEOPLE Problem

Monday, 10 November 2014 22:34

It's Veterans Day.

A day we honor the men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces.

Unfortunately, this day has gotten a bit lost in our ever-growing self-serving society, where it simply means a vacation day from work or an extra 20 percent off at Macy's.

If you ask me, that's a tragedy.

Course, I'm a bit biased in this department. My mom was a nurse in the Air Force. My older sister served in the Air Force as well, and now is climbing the ranks in the Air National Guard. Her husband is retired Air Force. My younger sister served in the Army. My best friend lost her brother, a Marine, in Afghanistan.

So, yeah, I can appreciate what these individuals do... and it's why I have such a hard time understanding why our veterans aren't being taken care of in the way they should. I fail to comprehend how we bring them home from war and then -- more often than not, it seems -- leave them to their own devices to deal with what they've seen and what they've done.

The result is not acceptable.

Unplug & Unwind: My Self-Imposed Device Detox

Unplug & Unwind: My Self-Imposed Device Detox

Friday, 25 April 2014 18:24

A few weeks ago, social media and other sites blew up with the news that France had banned working after 6:00 p.m. Well, at least sending work emails after that time.

Here in the U.S., we rejoiced for the French and silently hoped that our very own country would follow suit.

It turned out that, in fact, the French did not make it illegal to send work emails after 6:00. Apparently, according to the Washington Post, the buzz stemmed from “an agreement made between labor unions and a federation of engineering and consulting companies, affecting 250,000 people and involving no official laws.”

It was like a bad game of Telephone via the World Wide Web. By the time it made its rounds, the real story had turned into something completely, well, wrong.

tel-e-phone [tel-uh-fohn]: the party game where a phrase is whispered down a line of players, with the goal of that phrase coming out the same by the end. Which, of course, never happens. “John and Amy are having a baby!” turns into “Don and Amy are going to Vegas!” Amy, I don't know who the heck Don is, but if he knocks you up, for the love of all that is sacred, please don't bring your screaming, crying child to Vegas.

So, no. The City of Lights did NOT decide to turn its lights off at 6:00 p.m. so that all French people could go home and watch Game of Thrones.

Besides, if it had been true, what about all the service industry folks? Why shouldn’t they be considered just as hard working as those business professionals and be able to shut down at 6:00? They might even be more physically, emotionally and mentally taxed than those in suits... I mean, have you ever had to deal with a rude American tourist?

It was a good thought, though, and for one fleeting moment, many of us were excited about the possibility of change. What if we didn’t have to be connected to our phones, email, laptops, tablets ALL THE TIME?

Don't Mess with Runners

Don't Mess with Runners

Friday, 18 April 2014 23:36
Monday is the Boston Marathon. Many folks might not have paid much attention to this day, in the past. But that all changed with the events that transpired just over a year ago. Now, this iconic marathon becomes even more so; dedicating the run and race to all those who were killed and injured.

My sister, Rachel, is going to be one among the pack. Last year after the bombings, she made it her mission to qualify and run Boston this year in memory and honor. And she did just that. See, unless you get a special "pass" or run with some sort of fundraising group, you have to qualify to run the Boston Marathon. It's the only marathon in the U.S. that requires you to do so. To make the cut, you must run the entire 26.2 miles under a specific time for your age group. Unfortunately, in my seven full marathons, I have never hit the mark. It's OK, she's faster than me. A little sibling rivalry can be healthy. In all honesty, I'm really proud of her. That's us in the picture, at the start line of the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C. in 2011. If you can't tell by our body language, it was COLD. We actually did two marathons together that year, both within 30 days.

The Boston bombings rocked us as a nation, as it should. Terrorism is some tricky, nasty stuff. But as a runner myself, it hit especially hard. Runners run for different reasons. They run races for different reasons, too. Some of us do it for health (mental and physical) or to raise money for a cause. Some do it as a healthy competition, with others or with themselves. I've mentioned before that I run for a variety of purposes, but mainly to keep my sanity. I ran the Marine Corps Marathon in memory of my best friend's brother, Mike, who was killed in Afghanistan.

Runners, in my opinion, are a special kind of people. Call us "joggers" and you might get a dirty look or a swift kick to the groin. So, when someone intentionally hurts us – and our supporters – we don't take it lightly. We take it in stride. We rise above. We stay strong. Boston Strong? Hell yeah.

In addition to being a runner, I am, as you know, a writer. So, last year when the bombings occurred, I got out my pen and I wrote a poem. And then I went for a run.
Marriage, Divorce and the New Monogamy

Marriage, Divorce and the New Monogamy

Sunday, 13 April 2014 17:00
I'm nearing the 21st anniversary of my first date with my husband. Twenty-one years! That seems like a very, very long time to be with the same person.

But, that's a generational observation. To my grandparents, who were married 50+ years before they passed on, 21 years was just a warm-up.

Obviously, things have changed.

Divorce is just as common as long-lasting marriages, with an estimated 2.4 million couples divorcing in 2012 (the latest reliable statistics available). In an environment where celebrities often set the standard of what life should look like, divorce is commonplace... even after a measly 72 days if you happen to be a Kardashian.

There's a ton of reasons why more couples separate these days. A hundred years ago, it was unheard of. Couples had to stay together for family strength, financial stability, a pending inheritance. Now, people divorce because they're not happy, they constantly fight, one individual wants financial independence, infidelity, etc., etc.

Which leads me to the question of monogamy: are people truly supposed to stay with one person for an entire lifetime? Or might there be something more to this concept of "the new monogamy"? Would you be OK if your partner suggested that you have multiple partners if it meant it might save your marriage?
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