Niki Glanz


By Niki Glanz, Ed.D.

“Love is a many-splendored thing.” Right? Romantic euphoria may play out differently for every couple, but few deny its potentiality. In celebration of Valentine’s Day, here are a few excerpts from Memories to Momentum stories attesting to love’s sweet exaltation. 

Doris, a retired visiting nurse and homemaker, now in her 80s reflects: 

My husband had just come home to see me for a couple of hours, though we weren’t married yet. He had been overseas: Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, all of them. Before he went into the service, we didn’t even go together, but when he came home, it was like, “Yep!” I always told him that God was saving him for me. I believe it! I believe it!

See, my husband’s mother died when he was two, and he never had a home. He wandered all over the country; he even hoboed with Johnny Cash. After we got married, I baked him a birthday cake. He cried because he’d never had a birthday cake. So, I not only loved him, I made a home for him. 

Of course, we had rough times like everybody else. But I dwell on the good things that happened. We had a very good marriage, just like my father and mother. Look – don’t get me wrong – my husband and I had disagreements, but if we had something to complain about, we talked to each other before we got angry. “Discussions,” I called it and never in front of the children.

Murray, a musician and building manager in his late 50s describes the impact of family members:

My grandmother on my mother’s side was a grand master at bridge. I never was very close to her husband, but he was a paragon in my mind about masculinity. He was bald and handsome: the strong, silent type. I loved the sweet way he treated my grandmother. Every so often she’d flip out – start screaming and saying very unpleasant things. He would calm her, “Oh, darlin’, OK, that’s fine.” 

When I say that he was sweet with her, I don’t mean that he acted sweet with her. How you act is one thing, but how you are – Oh my God, the difference! I don’t think my grandfather had a non-genuine bone in his body. Of course, this was the first 20th Century generation; that generation had moral standards. Honor had great meaning to everything they said and did. Oh my God, if somebody puts that above anything else, you can rely on them. Yeah!

I never heard my father’s parents fight, ever. She was like, “Your way’s my way,” and he would always say, “But your way is my way, so it’s all the same way.” It was like dreamland: complete absence of conflict, complete trust, complete warmth. 

It defined love for me: what love feels like, looks like, and acts like. It’s comforting and dependable. When my wife and I get heated with each other, we handle it right then. It’s not that we stifle ourselves, but we don’t get even with each other. They say, “You have to fight to have a good relationship.” Not necessarily.

Ambrae, beverage host at a natural-foods restaurant, in her early 30s, recalls a childhood episode:

Another memory between nine and ten is going into the garage of our house and seeing my parents get comfortable with each other. They had just gotten off work, and we [children] were already home. Being as I was the oldest child, I was looking for them. Our kitchen led into the garage, and I opened the door slowly. They didn’t hear me nor saw me.

My father is 5’10” and my mother’s short, just 4’11”. My father lifted her up a bit, so that he could kiss her. My father has an oval face, and hers is more round. He wore his ears low, and at that age, he did wear a beard. Both my parents have brown-toned complexions and a very slim build. I think they were trying to hide out, kissing and hugging each other. Obviously, they did not want me to see or they wouldn’t be in the garage. So as I opened the door, I closed it and walked away.

That was a beautiful experience. A lot of times parents don’t show affection, especially black families, because they think it’s something private. Of course, it doesn’t need to be over the top. But seeing my parents’ affection for each other showed me the love and the relationship between a husband and a wife. Just being in the household, alone, doesn’t express it. That memory sticks with me as an example for when I finally get married. 

Doris, Murray, and Ambrae demonstrate that having good role models helps us achieve a loving relationship. Beyond the couple’s two lovers, others also benefit should one of them exhibit moral acts. Flushed with heartfelt admiration and affection, mates of such lovers tend to strive to become better people, opening their hearts to others and acting prosocially. The greater community typically benefits, say researchers Haidt, Power, Lapsley and colleagues. So yes, it’s true: “love makes the world go ‘round!”   

You’ll discover more about the power of emotions in 59 incredibly diverse, true stories featured in Memories to Momentum by Niki Glanz. Available from Amazon in Paperback or eBook. Enjoy!

© 2020

Your comments are welcome! Please email them to: [email protected]


Madeleine Li

Memories to Momentum is a heartwarming read of great insight – any reader will find parts of their own stories within the many individual journeys that Glanz so thoughtfully weaves throughout the book.

Madeleine LiProgram Officer, Global Non-Profit
Stanley Gardner

I like the concept of stories of our childhood memories influencing who we are. Through our imagination and understanding we gain growth, which brings us to who we are today. A must read!

Stanley GardnerBusinessman
Henry Stadler

Memories to Momentum provides insight into the power of memory and its effect on happiness. Myriad stories provide insight into the manner in which childhood memories can create an enduring mark for the rest of our lives. Through Niki’s accounts, readers learn how to achieve happiness in their own lives.

Henry StadlerUndergraduate Neuroscience Student at Skidmore College
Dolores DeGiacomo

I met Niki several years ago while she was working on this research. I’m so glad to see her final product. For practitioners, it’s incredibly important to work with our clients in the present with a better understanding of their past. This book will help professionals bridge the gap between goals and motivation in a way that helps clients succeed.

Dolores DeGiacomoCoach and Business
Judith Brown

This book made me ponder how people in our lives affect, so much, our end result.  Anyone would enjoy reading this book!

Judith BrownRetired Insurance Underwriter
Red Cross Disaster Volunteer & Rotarian
Jake Jacobs

This book gave me hope and reassurance that am not alone in the difficulties of life. Yes, I have seen where the struggles I go through have benefitted me. This book is a must read.

Jake JacobsEngineer
Ron and Dell Hadley

Memories to Momentum is elegant and thoughtful.  The diverse examples provided by the author through her numerous interviews provoke the reader’s own odyssey through their memories.  This medium also facilitates neat prose which allows the book to be enjoyable for all age groups.

Ron and Dell HadleyRetired Telecom Executive and Community Volunteer Mother of 5 daughters, now a grand- and great-grandmother
Marie L. Procter

Niki gathered a range of stories for Memories to Momentum that elegantly highlight the important experiences that shape our lives as we grow up. Readers will find themselves reviewing their own memories and being inspired to write their own stories, leading them to make meaning of life’s events. Memories to Momentum is a must read. It not only inspires but sheds light on how we are influenced by family values, cultural norms, environmental conditions, and economic security.

Marie L. ProcterReal Estate Manager and Book Club Devotee
Board Member of Community Organizations

“Great book!” Peg C, PA

“Received my copy yesterday and have read many pages already, starting with ‘Grandparents’ since I remember so well my dear Grandfather. Thank you for your accomplishment in publishing these important stories. Wonderful book!” Ron C, CA

“I very much enjoyed reading your book. The conclusion makes the reader appreciate the value of childhood memories.” Irma M, British Columbia

“Reading really well!” Patti M, United Kingdom

“Your book is both interesting and informing. Congratulations” Elfriede M, Georgia

[Re Homa’s Afghanistan story] “I realized how traumatic and damaging it is to millions of children that are impacted by conflict where they grow up.” Yuan K. L., Singapore

“I enjoyed your stories about mothers. Thank you!” Carol V, CA

“So positive to hear all those stories and how they grew from memories. Thank you so much for sharing this and creating this!!” Diane L, VT

“Congratulations – what a neat project.” Cindy, P, SC; Professor of Psychology, Clemson University

“Good work!” Rebecca M, Chair, NH Racial Healing Group

Memories to Momentum: Stories of Looking Back, Living Forward

Book Description

59 life stories from a wide variety of people as told by them!

Hear how they overcome adversity and enjoy good times, gaining a sense of pleasure and purpose in the process.

Who Will Benefit:

  • Family and Community Members
  • Public-Facing Employees (ed, medical, HR, gov’t, etc)
  • Entrepreneurs, College Students, and High School Seniors/Juniors
  • Seniors and their Families
  • Book Clubs

What You’ll Gain:

Both negative and positive memories contribute to lives with meaning and mirth. Discover strategies for meeting challenges and enjoying various forms of happiness. Benefits may include:

  • Increased self-knowledge
  • Both short-term and long-term happiness
  • Greater sense of strength and self-confidence
  • Personal growth
  • Increased resilience

Who Am I? Why Did I Write M2M?

I’m Passionate about Learning, Life, and Community!

dsc03833v1Learning. I graduated from Northwestern University and the University of Pittsburgh, then had the great fortune of teaching social studies courses, including several I created, at two top-tier high schools. One, in Evanston (IL), included students from more than fifty countries plus a diverse, local community; the other, located in LaPaz, Bolivia, attracted native Bolivians, Asian immigrants, and a smattering of North Americans. Sandwiched between these two positions, I taught ESL to adult Laotian refugees.

These experiences whetted my appetite for a doctorate that would incorporate cross-cultural education issues and strategies. I found exactly that at University of Massachusetts-Amherst. I also was able to study with renowned qualitative researcher Gretchen B. Rossman. Although I had majored in statistical research for my MEd, I delighted in the novel, unexpected findings that qualitative methods, such as interviews and observations, offered.

I then became an education professor at Augusta (GA) College (now University). There I had the thrilling opportunity of teaching grad and undergrad courses to students who would play a part in Augusta’s transformation from a leader of the Old South to regional, New South leadership. I also conducted staff development, special programs, and research with local, public school teachers and administrators.

Life. Meanwhile at each locale, my children and I were making significant life discoveries. As our physical settings changed, so did our pastimes. Celebrations ran the gamut from small-town strawberry festivals to Bolivia’s sensational Carnival to sledding down Amherst’s Memorial Hill to golf’s prestigious Masters tournament. Food, music, and speech varied, too, while warm-hearted people proved a key constant.

Following nearly 20 years in education, I launched a career in finance, managing a stock/bond portfolio for ten years. Fortunately, it handily beat S&P 500 metrics. Engaging with the business world was enjoyable, too – yet another slice of life!

Community. You could summarize all the above as a celebration of our greater community’s diversity, while seeking strands that unite. My family and I gained a lively amalgam of contrasting approaches to life that has enriched us in ways small and large.

I think you, too, will enjoy meeting a variety of people. Psychology, my major content area professionally and personally, provides us with a way to do that via “life stories.*” Enjoy M2M’s 59 takes on life: they come to you with both groans and grins from people who care enough to reach out and get personal. Voilà!

*See nearby link for more info re “Life Stories.”

More Info re Book: Memories to Momentum

By Niki Glanz

M2M highlights fifty-nine edited interviews that describe the intricate weaving of participants’ sad/happy, tragic/ecstatic memories. The book features millionaires to the homeless and includes participants of all ages, races, major religions, and an enormous range of locales. They portray horrors, such as war, abuse, and disability, along with uplifting scenarios of happiness, tenderness, and success. Feel free to befriend participants. Many share powerful, though subtle approaches for overcoming adversity and enjoying good times.

I have seen these ideas strike a responsive chord with the public. In the last several years, attendees at four international conferences have heard various findings from interviewees’ stories. For example, at the July, 2016, International Network of Personal Meaning conference in Toronto, I presented three, general ways participants turned challenges into triumph. Members of the audience warmly thanked me afterwards. Hopefully you, too, will find nuggets of wisdom and inspiration, as well as enjoyment, in M2M’s stories and Conclusion.

As a finale, M2M encourages readers like you to craft your own life story. The coping skills and optimism inherent in your story may help chart a way forward as you navigate that often tempestuous, yet gleaming river of life. An Introduction, Conclusion, Appendix and References supplement the 59 stories to complete the book.


Memories to Momentum: Stories of Looking Back, Living Forward

Do happy childhood memories matter? Seeing a slender boy perform killer cannonballs on a gorgeous summer day during a cross-country move impelled me to find out. Beyond his mighty splashes, the boy was a titan of joy. As he drew onlookers into his celebration of life, his exultation activated my research instincts: would later life reflect this exuberance?

Seventy in-depth interviews later, after touring North America five times for a diverse sample, I found the answer. Yes, upbeat episodes and retrospection of them promote a long-term imprint. The reality of joy appears complex, however. Although unasked, all interviewees also cited negative memories – at times devastating and tragic. Surprisingly, both negative and positive memories sparked life-affirming commitments. [If you’re wondering how negative memories could lead to anything good, here’s my response: Kindly buy the book!]

eBook and Paperback of Memories to Momentum NOW AVAILABLE from



Price: $14.99

To contact Niki Glanz: [email protected]