The Holiday effect – New Year’s resolutions… are you ready?

The holidays are about giving.  Giving of oneself in all sorts of ways.  Tonight is the 14th Annual Friends Of Friends Photography Auction – the proceeds benefit the Angkor Hospital for Children.  Jene and I give by participating.  But as I’ve said before giving and receiving are linked on the same path.  We receive the feeling of pride in knowing that our art and the generous bids that the collectors and patrons make will save lives.   So jump start your holiday gift giving and join us at the auction tonight at:

The Metropolitan Pavilion – (The Level is the scene) –

123 W 18th St # 804
New York, NY 10011-4133
(212) 463-0200
Subway: 18th Street – 7 Av

Sometimes you give to yourself,  by enjoying all that life and New York has to offer.  Years ago, I used to go to hear the glorious voices of the Oratorio Soicety of NY resound through Carnegie Hall as they sang Handel’s Messiah.  What a treat!  We often forget to take time out of a grueling work schedule –  a stop and smell the roses moment.

The gift of being in New York is sometimes enough.  I love strolling the city streets, popping in and out of department stores, being jostled by the crowds looking at the window displays.  Seeing the tree at Rockefeller Center, watching the ice skaters, watching the children laughing, the little things in life that don’t cost any money but make you feel like a kid again – full of wonderment.  I wish I could share that feeling with people everywhere, a feeling of serenity as I walk around, my arm linked to Jene’s, watching the air catch the vapors of our breath as we say I love you. New York comes alive (more so) during the holidays. it’s magical and I can’t wait until the first snow flakes turn the streets white and lay a hush over the city.

Another thing Jene and I love to do is to get out of the blustering cold and warm ourselves in the galleries at Christie’s .  Some of the works of art have been secluded in private collections, rarely seen in public. The previews are open to the public and are free.   It is less crowded then the museums on weekends…  Friday night at MoMA is still free (sponsered by Target) with the exception of special exhibits.  The lines are long but you can strike up a conversation with a fellow art lover while you wait.

So indulge yourself, become fully submerged in New York and it’s boroughs – and if you over indulge there’s always the upcoming New Year’s resolutions to get you back on track.

Most years I’ve not made any New Year’s resolutions for the same reason I haven’t given up anything for lent.  I feel life is difficult enough – why would I want to add one more restriction or reason to be disappointed by one of my short comings.  Commitment and sacrifice…  Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with commit or scarafice for others, just issues when it comes to putting myself first.

Me, I want to make a difference – even if it is only a small one is someone’s life. Maybe that’s why I am using my art to give back.  It isn’t a lot, I’m no Bill Gates, I don’t have foundations in my name but what I do is making a difference – perhaps even saving a child’s life.  Gosh that’s a good feeling.  It’s almost addictive, you want to keep giving and Jene and I will, it doesn’t take much – just a little time, effort and the outlay of a few dollars for ink, paper, matting and a frame but it can mean a child will receive decent health care when it matters the most.

I am also moving forward slowly with my personal art project – Beauty Beyond Breast Cancer.  an photographic journal of women.  Portraying the beauty that comes from within and reminding them and others that a scar is just a line drawn across the body.  If you or know of someone who might be interested in being a art of this project and are located in the Metro NY/NJ area, feel free to contact me.  My website:

I was raised to be aware of the suffering of others and to help in small ways.  I recall a story my mother told me.  She grew up during the depression but lived in the estate section of town, she was shopping in NY with her mother and insisted she needed a new pair of shoes.  The shoes were bought and on the way to the subway was a homeless young women – my grandmother took the new shoes and gave them to her stating “Need – she NEEDS shoes, you merely wanted a new pair”   Whoa…. how’s that for a life lesson.    That story was etched in my brain and I think of the difference between need and want and the chasm is vast.  Don’t get me wrong – I want a lot of things and I think I even deserve them, but who doesn’t deserve good medical care and yes, the need exists in our country too and I am writing to  our government leaders letting them know how I feel about what we lack.  The social economic imbalance.  That is another cause that I champion.  And I ask my friends who just complain about it to write to their representatives letting them know how strongly they feel.  Okay I will climb down from the soapbox….

I love hearing what others are going to do to change their lives for the better, I am inspired by some.  I’m pretty vague about mine, I just want to appreciate all that I have, what I do, who I love and to have good health.  Good health involves eating right and exercising –  I started walking in the summer, going out some days twice and I was loving it.  Yes I dropped a few needed pounds and fit into the 1 size too small wedding dress.  Of course falling off a chair, twisting my ankle, being on crutches, still have some swelling put the kabash on things for a little so when we got back from our pre-wedding trip cross country I renewed my exercise program and headed out 2 weeks ago.  That Saturday was cold and so I thought about cutting it short, turned off my course, tripped, slamming my shoulder, upper chest into a stop sign pole and crashing my knees into the concrete below me.  ouch!  I hobbled back home to a surprised husband when I explained that I fell and hurt myself again.  He was about to chuckle at my clumsiness then he saw the torn up condition of my knees.

Maybe my 2011  NY resolution should be to stay upright when walking or climbing onto chairs or ladders – being mindful of what I am doing and not letting my mind or eyes wander off my path (literally). In the blink of an eye…. things can change and rarely do you hear that it is a change for the better – that normally takes more time and effort but in a flash – shit happens and it comes as a complete surprise – just when you thought eveything was going so smoothly….  there are so many hiccups in one’s life and that’s is how most of my ups and downs have been.  That is something to be thankful for.  And so with the ending of another 365 and the start of the new, I reflect on my life – a damn good one considering and I am thankful for all those around me and for what they have added to if not my life or to someone’s.  What more can you ask for in life – being someone who can make a difference in another’s life is F-ing wonderful.  My daughter, granddaughters, son-in-law, new husband, my many friends all have a positive effect on me – so cheers and wishing you all a joyous, peaceful, and serene holiday season and a happy healthy new year.

Enjoy, live, laugh, love like there is no tomorrow.

Mary Durante Wehrhahn Youtt


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Filed under art, art objects, breast cancer, fine art collectables, gifts, Jene Youtt, lights, music, NY Metro art galleries, photography

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