I Get By……

I had a little shard of glass in my foot yesterday,  Not even a shard, a grain of glass.  It is amazing how something so small could be so painful.  Hopping on my one good foot  I swabbed down a tweezer and a safety pin. I contorted my inflexible body so that I could sort of see the bottom of my foot, and set up my phone flashlight so I could take a peek.  I saw nothing- (this was one of those moments I hated progressive contacts- they neither help me close up or far away to any degree of accuracy)  So I did what any normal person in pain would do- I starting blindly picking at skin, while running my finger over the spot at what I then thought was a splinter, hoping I could will it out.  I exfoliated a bit of dead skin, but the foreign object was still there.

It was time to change my course of action.  I called my neighbor, asked if she was home, and if so, could she grant me a rather odd request?

This was very hard for me to do.  I am a person who takes her independence very seriously.  I always think I can figure it out, do whatever it takes, completely unassisted.  I have a husband, but I really keep him around because I enjoy his company and he takes the dog on the 10pm walk.  He’s perfectly happy watching me put together furniture and fix the internet connection.  I despise needy people- the kind that always need someone around, and can’t stand the pleasure of their own company- but that’s a whole other blog for another day.

As I’ve gotten older, I realize that sometimes you need help from others- sometimes it’s better to get a little assistance, like asking your neighbor to get something out of your foot (I’m happy my neighbor was home because I really didn’t want to ask my doorman)

After the shard debacle, I was having coffee with a friend, someone who is more fiercely independent than I am.  We discussed eventually moving to some sort of retirement community, because we realize, it would be nice to be surrounded by people in basically the same situation.  To be surrounded by people that we could assist, and if need be, assist us.  We realize that sometimes you need help, and it’s OK to ask for it.

I never felt comfortable asking my Mother for help.  My mother has things she is completely unwilling to even try to do, like reading instructions for a board game or art project.  She would tell me that instructions were written stupidly and she was not a “game person”.  She was also not an “outdoor” person.  Or a “sport” person. (She was, however a “shopping person”- but I digress again into a whole other blog)  So I learned to read instructions, and figure out my girl scout badges by myself.  But then, my Mother is also the queen of “I told you so”.  There are literally thousands of topics she is “expert” in, so if I were to admit I needed help, it would require a 3 hour lecture, and then this topic would be brought up constantly. (to this day, she still brings up thing from 40 years ago)  So I stopped asking for help and began to do things on my own.  I wanted to be strong and capable, not weak and needy.

It’s taken 50 years for me to realize that a strong person is one that has the ability to realize when they are in over their head.  It is a strong person that asks for help sometimes.  A strong person knows their limitations.  A weak person thinks they know it all.  A weak person thinks they can handle every situation completely by themselves.  I was right about wanting to be strong- I was wrong on how you become a strong person.

It’s OK to ask for help.  It’s OK not to know everything.  I’m glad I finally realized this.

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What’s a Widget

Officially, this past weekend was my one month blogiversary.  Technically, it’s been slightly less.  I always had a longing to write, and as my 53rd birthday approached, I thought- “Why not start a blog?  How hard could it be?”

To begin:  really hard.  It took me three days to figure out how to get “Site Map” off my one post.  Three days.

Then there was the title.  What am I trying to say?  Getting old sucks but it’s better than the alternative?  That’s a little depressing, and I’m a somewhat upbeat person.  I was thinking about the title while I was still in bed.  As it took me 10 minutes to stretch out the kinks and actually get out of bed- the title came to mind.  And the mission statement?  50 is half of 100- so I’m in the second half.  And isn’t the second half of a game always the best part?

I always thought I was a somewhat intelligent person.  I know how to read.  I know basic arithmetic.  I signed up with WordPress.  That was easy.  I entered my title.  And then I actually tried to form the blog.  Theme?  What’s is a theme? Is this like a party?  Choose A for Roaring Twenties B for Under the Sea?  I just wanted to write a little, maybe throw in a picture or two.  Why does there have to be a theme?  Is one theme better than another?  I knew I could sit stymied by this for days, so I chose what seemed to be the simplest.  And I wrote.

I noticed the Community Pool page, how it was a good place to share your blog and get feedback.  So after twenty minutes and a lot of swearing, I figured out how to put my URL (is that what it’s called) in the comment box.   My one and only response?  Personalize the widgets.

What?

What’s a widget? (That’s not exactly what I exclaimed, but you get the gist)

And I still don’t know if widgets are important or why they’re important.  I don’t think I’ve ever looked at someone’s widgets.  Honestly, I don’t know if I want to look at someone’s widgets.  I want to read their stories, and look at their pictures.  There’s nothing wrong with an attractive face, but I like to see the heart.  To me, in the heart lies the beauty.

Next, I read the “how to” page.  The takeaway was tag your blogs.  I sort of , kind of, know what tagging is.  I live with a #15yearold.  I’ve tagged and been tagged on Facebook.  But how do I tag my work?  What best sums up what I’m writing about?  Wrinkles, age spots and arthritis?  No- that’s not who I am.  Who am I?  A mature woman who has had life experiences, some good and some bad, and I’ve lived to tell the tale.  Someone who is not ready to pack it in just because she can’t walk fast or see with 20/20 accuracy.  Too long for a tag.  And I struggle with the tag every day.  So now I just write in the first 15 words that come to mind, because 15 is the magic tag number.

Then I started reading blogs.  All sorts of blogs because I am interested in all sorts of things.  I love learning new things, and I love finding someone who enjoys the same things I do.  I have read things by people all over the world, and seen photos that I know were taken on my street (though it is a little weird seeing a picture of your local diner on someone else’s blog- I wanted to comment, “did you ever try the French Toast?  It’s delicious”, but feared a restraining order in my future)  And I learned that while everyone is unique, we are still all the same-a bunch of people trying to live the best life they can.

The writing- though.  What about the writing?  That’s why I wanted to blog- because I wanted to write.  And the writing is easy and hard at the same time.  I have opinions on literally every subject there is.  I could write 500 words on how I need to reorganize my desk for maximum efficiency (I’m looking at my not so tidy desk BTW).  So I’m rarely short of ideas.  But what’s the best way to convey meaning?  How should I explain my thoughts?

So my process (as of today, because this whole thing is a work in progress) is to jot down an idea when it comes to me.  I think about it.  And I think some more.  What is the point I’m trying to make?  How do I best convey my point?  What form should I use to write?  And I make a cup of tea, and I write.

So thanks to all of you who are accompanying me on my journey.  Hopefully my writing will improve.  Maybe I’ll make you laugh, or cry, or just feel.  Perhaps I’ll actually learn how to set up my blog properly.  I might even learn what the appropriate tags should be. But most of all, I’m just going to enjoy this new adventure.

A Different Perspective

Last weekend we went for dinner with some friends- a restaurant we’d never tried before, touted as Italian-ish.  Basically, it meant that pizza and pasta had unexpected flavors, such as cardamom with my tortellini (delicious by the way).   The rustic and chic place was located in a hotel which housed a rooftop bar.  It was a clear, warm-ish night, so in a fit of bonhomie, we headed up to the 31st floor.  In an outdoor space deprived city such as New York, we tend to  over occupy any area where we can see the sky above or the grass below.  But early-ish, the bar was not yet flooded with people- we even found a table.  Looking around, we saw the glittering skyline, the shining half moon- the world looked different from up there- the air was filled with possibilities.

Then we noticed the glass floor.  There was a section of the bar that had a glass floor, enabling one to see 31 floors down to the street.  The husband and friends practically danced over, begging me to come over.  I hesitated.  I am scared-ish of heights, and falling from heights. Curiosity overcame me- I slowly edged out onto the floor.  And it was incredible- to be standing directly above a city street, the see the tops of cabs and cars and people- it’s a whole new way of looking at something I see every single day.  The shapes, the colors, the proportions- everything was altered.

The husband couldn’t believe I actually ventured onto the glass- and he told that to the ridiculously attractive couple who had chosen the seat right on the edge of the glass.  He explained to them about my fears.  He also explained to them that our teenage daughter thought we were lame and old, and she was never going to believe that we were at this bar, let alone that I was standing on a glass floor.  The couple just smiled- they were the exact opposite of old and lame- chic, stylish- the kind of couple where you develop crushes  because they just epitomized “cool”.

We went back to our table and talked about how life is good, not good- ish.  Then, we heard the opening beat to “White Lines”.  For 4 people who came of age in the eighties, this was like an anthem.  We all knew the words, something most of the people in the bar didn’t, as they were probably all born post 1983.  And as we knew the words, we sang.  Not loudly, and without breakdancing, but we sang.  And we smiled and laughed, thinking about happy memories from the past.

And the ridiculously attractive woman came to our table and said:

“Tell your daughter you are neither old or lame.  You are sitting at the top of the world and singing Grandmaster Flash.  Every word.  You were cool in the eighties and you’re cool now.”

That’s when I realized- your life is how you view it.  And sometimes you have to view it through someone else’s eyes for just a moment.  Look right instead of left- up instead of down.  It’s easy to lose perspective, because we often do things by rote.  We wake up at the same time, travel the same route to places, eat at the same restaurants- look at things the same way.

So when bad thoughts creep in, or you’re just feeling out of it- look at something from a different angle.  You might like what you see.

Remember: Have Fun!

My daughter attended a music festival this past weekend.  I had a few things I needed to tell her, so I tattooed the following to her arm:

  1. Don’t eat anything you don’t see being prepared
  2. Don’t drink anything anyone hands you
  3. If you put your drink down, don’t drink it again
  4. Stay with your friends- even if someone meets a cute guy, follow them
  5. If you’re crowd surfing, don’t let anyone drop you
  6. Unless Chance the Rapper actually invites you, don’t jump onto the stage
  7. Make sure your friend with the peanut allergy doesn’t eat nuts- and know where her epipen is
  8. If something doesn’t seem right, trust your instincts
  9. Don’t get arrested
  10. Text me when you get there
  11. Text me when you’re leaving
  12. Text me how you’re getting home
  13. If you’re taking a cab, text me car and driver info
  14. Make sure the drivers picture matches the driver

As her flower clad head walked away from me, I yelled, “Have FUN!!!”

She looked at me- as if to say, “Really?”

What she didn’t realize is that what I wanted to say was:

  1. I think you’re growing up to be an amazing young woman
  2. My instinct is always going to be to protect you- even though I know I can’t
  3. You are a good friend, and you’ve chosen your friends wisely.  They have your back, and you have theirs. I sleep better at night knowing your friends are somewhat mature and responsible
  4. I want you to be safe, but I know that’s mostly out of my control, so I want you to take calculated risks
  5. I don’t want you to be heart broken but I know you need to have your heart broken because it means you put your heart on the line- and that’s part of living a full life
  6. I love when you go to concerts and amusement parks and shopping and whatever else you do with your friends.  You work so hard at school and extracurriculars, and you need to be social and have fun and blow off steam
  7. I will always worry about you, no matter how old you are
  8. I love you so much, and I just want you to live a full life, in whatever guise that is for you
  9. You will only live here full time for two more years.  I will miss having a cup of tea with you before you go to bed, and recounting our days.

When she walked in the door last night, glitter on her smiling face, I asked how it was:

“We all agreed- the best three days of our lives.”

And I exhaled.  She was home, exhausted but exhilarated.  And I made a pot of tea.

 

UM- You mean me?

It’s about 11 pm on a temperate evening in NYC.  A family exits a Broadway show and the daughter goes to the stage door to try to get autographs of the amazing cast.  A weary mother walks across the street and stands in front of the Scientology Center.  As she scrolls through her emails, a young man approaches.  He is not there to harm her- he is there to chat her up……

Yes.  I got hit on last night.  By a man probably 25 years my junior.

Of course my first thought was “Whaaaat?”

I was dressed rather plainly- simple black dress (think Breakfast at Target, not Tiffany), black flats, grey beaded necklace.  I was not overly made up, and this was not Times Square of the 70’s, so I’m assuming he knew I wasn’t for hire.  I’m attractive, but I look my age-   So whaaat?

I’ve had men approach me with more amorous intentions, but they are men of my age.  OK- not my age, but older.  Much older.  To a 70 year old guy at the gym, or Barnes and Noble, I am a vixen.  But younger guys….whaaat?

Part of getting older has a lot of challenges.  The hardest one for most people is the physical signs of aging- the loss of youthful beauty.  Skin is not as bright, hair is a little greyer, lines creep up around your face.  Gravity takes its toll on your body.  I take care of myself- drink water, exercise, eat reasonably healthy, moisturize every part of my body- but I don’t do these things to look younger- I do them simply to maintain what I have.  And I don’t look 25 anymore.  I don’t look 45.  I look like I’m 53.

So why was this guy asking me out for tea?  What made him stop and talk to a woman standing on the sidewalk scrolling through her smartphone?

He was nice looking, dressed neatly.  He was able to hold a conversation and seemed semi literate.  He was not crass or vulgar.  So what was wrong with him?  Why was he talking to me?

Notice how I think something is wrong with him, not how something was right with me?   That’s what age has done to my mind set.  When I was younger I didn’t question why a man was asking me out.  I assumed he was attracted to the exterior, and then after conversing, was intrigued by my intelligence and wit.  But I always assumed the physical attraction came first.  My mind can not conceive a man in his twenties being physically attracted to me.

I’ve come to this conclusion:  my inner beauty shines brightly.  The confidence that only comes from life experience radiates through every pore and wrinkle on my face.  I am a force to be reckoned with.  It’s a good thing I’m married or watch out……Maybe maturity tops youth.

Or maybe he wasn’t wearing his glasses.

 

 

 

 

Nothing Stays the Same

wakinguponthewrongsideoffifty

I recently spent the day with a close friend.  In the past year CF has watched her oldest head off to college, her husband retire, the sale of her present house, the purchase of a new one, and in a few short months her youngest will head off to college.  Come September, her entire landscape is going to be different.  I worry that she is about to unravel.

She currently lives in a large, rambling old house.  She loves the location as she can walk into town and doesn’t have to rely on a car.  Her home is filled with family heirlooms and things she has collected over the years.  Her new home does not have the room to house the furniture that her parents left her.  It does not have the room for the shoe collection that she has never been able to part with (and rarely wear).  She is having trouble coping with this change.  Rationally, she knows that keeping this house is not a wise financial decision- her property taxes are tremendous, a large house is expensive to heat and cool, an old house requires constant maintenance.  She knows that 6 bedrooms is too many for a house with no children.

She is not thrilled with her new house though.  I think the only reason they are buying it is because it has a living room large enough to house a large piano, the one family heirloom she refuses to part with.  She complained about its distance from civilization (which is hard to fathom because it’s in a suburb of NYC that is rather densely populated and you can clearly read the newspaper that your next door neighbor is reading)  It’s a thirty minute (dreaded) car ride to her old neighborhood.  As she relayed this information I could see the color draining from her face.

But her biggest worry- the one consuming her- is what will her children do in this new neighborhood?  Of course I reminded her that her kids would both be away at college.  The conversation went something like this:

CF: But they’ll be home in December and the summer.  That’s a long time.

Me: Just because your son is home this summer doesn’t mean he’ll be home next summer.  You don’t know what they’re going to do during their breaks.

CF: The new house is across the street from a pool club.  I asked about summer jobs for them next year.

Insert a quizzical look from me as to why SHE’S asking about summer employment for her 18 and 20 year old children

CF: I went on the message board of my new town and asked where the teenagers hang out

Insert picture of me as my mouth opens wide and I have to refrain from saying WTF

Unraveling.  I started to think that it’s called empty nest syndrome because one of the parents becomes a looney bird- but that would be a disservice to birds.  She clearly did not listen to my advice about preparing for children to fly the coop.

So what, as a friend, do I do when I start to see my friend go a little off kilter?  We’ve been friends for over twenty years- we met and bonded during a tenure at a high stress job.  I’ve walked her through her infertility issues- she helped me through a divorce from my first husband.  The boundaries are blurry because we have shared so many life moments.  But how do I tell her to get over her kids?  Because there is nothing wrong with loving your children and wanting the best for them- but…….

I know change is difficult.  I know we often have trouble adapting to new situations.  But I’m not quite sure how to help her navigate this new terrain.  I still have two more years till my daughter heads off to college- I have no actual experience at complete empty nesthood.  For all I know, I may be worse than her.  I might move to whatever college town my daughter decides to call her temporary home.

For now, I’ll listen to her complain.  I’ll make sympathetic noises when need be.  I’ll give her little nuggets of advice when I can.  I’ll yell at her if she keeps doing things that her very capable children can handle by themselves.  I’ll suggest a new hobby.  I’ll just be her friend.

 

 

Letting Go

I decided it’s time for a mid-year resolution.  I tend to get a little crazy about the small stuff- like irrationally crazy. Like,  I have a hard time letting go and it ruins the rest of my day crazy.  So last Friday, I decided when something irks me, I would take a deep breath, say “Pins and needles, needles and pins…”(extra points to anyone who gets that reference) and let it go.

Here is a list of all the times I took deep breaths in the past three days:

  1. My husband left wet towels on the bed.  Wet towels only belong on drying rack or in the washing machine
  2. My husband put the peaches purchased at the supermarket in the fridge.  I realize the fresh fruit situation is tough in our house because I have rules for every type of fruit and vegetable, and peaches have two.  If peaches are bought at farmers market they are ripe and can be refrigerated.  But he was putting away groceries…
  3. Husband put vegetables in fruit bin and fruit in vegetable bin (I know- I’m a joy to live with)
  4. Daughter used my credit card to buy three small items.  I got three separate emails stating that the items were not in stock and now I have to look for three credits to charge card- (really- how could she purchase something if it was out of stock)
  5. Went to store to pick up light bulbs and hand soap and left store with everything except light bulbs and hand soap
  6. I put in a load of dark laundry and forgot a to put in two items
  7. I forgot to plug in my laptop yesterday, and I didn’t want to write at my desk, but here I am at my desk….

OK- obviously these things are still annoying me.  I rationally know that they are small, insignificant parts of my day.  But the older I get, the more annoyed I get at trivialities.  I have less tolerance and I know  that this is not healthy for my heart or my mind or relationship with family.  I know that life really is too short to obsess about things not being perfect.  Or done exactly my way.

That’s the problem.  It’s becoming set in my ways.  It goes against my own first rule of aging (flexibility).  I am that stereotypical grouchy old person.

But not for long.

From now on, I’m going to be footloose and fancy free.  If someone puts and unused bag in the garbage can I’m not going to ask who did it and give a lecture.  If someone doesn’t throw out garbage when the bag is obviously so full you can’t fit anything in it, I am not going to stomp my feet in disgust.  (technically, these things should have been on the list, but I’m letting it go…..)

I’ll keep you informed as to my progress….

Baby Steps

As my daughter successfully navigated her way through her sophomore year of high school, my husband and I navigated our way through what I can only think of as Pre-K.  Remember pre-k?  Your child spends more time away from you.  They make new friends, learn new things-  it’s the beginning of independence.  This is basically what my husband and I experienced this past year.

For the better part of 15 years, I’ve cringed at the sound of “MOM”.  OK- not really cringed, but how many times can you hear a word before you start to dread it?  It was a Pavlovian response- I hear Mom and I stop what I’m doing and follow the sound.  But that changed this year.  I began to hear the word less and less.  I was no longer asked to help with homework-( To be fair, I no longer understand the questions she’s being asked.  When she showed me a question she had on Dante, I just laughed)  Armed with a metrocard and an Uber app, she no longer asked me to pick her up or meet her when she was returning home.  A part time tutoring job gave her a little financial independence.  Things that I had previously done for her she began doing herself.  I was proud of her confidence and her ability to get things done, yet….it was a little weird.  I now had more time to spend with the husband.

The husband?  Oh yeah- that guy I share the house with.  We had more time together.  What now?

I have friends who have already experienced empty nest, but now my husband and I got to preview it for free.  The daughter is obviously still around- we feed her and all, but she’s got her own life.  Now we had to recreate our own life.

But how to start dating your husband after fifteen year?

I tried to think back to what we did when we were dating.  Remembering anything can be a challenge, and I really wished my old palm pilot still worked so I could look back at my social calendar.   But this shouldn’t be too hard.  I mean- I talked to this guy every day….So I came up with a plan and made a list.

We’re both foodies, so I started researching restaurants.  My goal wasn’t to try the top 50 dining establishments in my city- I wanted it to be fun.  We love ethnic street food, so I picked a staple (hand cut and knife pulled noodles) and began visiting establishments that served them.  We compared our favorites, discussed why we didn’t like certain dishes.  We tried new places and explored neighborhoods we didn’t know much about.  We created new memories of just the two of us.

I read up on things to do in the city (OK- I live in NYC- there is literally something happening all the time) Pinball, shuffleboard, indoor driving ranges.  Galleries, lectures, outdoor concerts.  Instead of planning activities that we thought the daughter might like, we concentrated on things we might like.   When we were home during the week we played backgammon or darts. I’m guessing we’ll eventually take up bridge.  (My friends Mother in law said that you can’t survive empty nesthood without learning how to play cards)  It really didn’t matter the activity- it was being able to connect with one another.

We also upped our double dating game.  I made a conscious effort to plan outings with our friends.  When the kids were younger, I didn’t like socializing with friends because the outings often included children. ( I know.  I’m horrible.  But I don’t love hanging out with other peoples children.  Everyone is allowed to parent their child any way they see fit.  I just don’t need to see it)  But an “R” rated evening- maybe PG13- is always welcome.  And the husband got to see how great a wife I am.  Sometimes side by side comparison is your friend.

There is also some compromising involved.  I watch Ranger games with the husband.  (This is especially hard as I grew up in the shadow of Nassau Coliseum as an Islander fan)  He goes to video installation art with me (I’m obsessed with any sort of edited footage of different events to create a story- him- not even close).

The biggest challenge is learning to communicate without your child as buffer.  Conversing for an hour or so without mentioning the kids is often difficult.  You know how acquaintances will start discussing the weather?  Parents just automatically talk about the kids- and it’s a hard habit to break.  Each partner needs to make a conscious effort to talk about other things.  Remember when you were dating?  Remember the conversations?  You didn’t talk about kids back then- don’t do it now.

Preparing for the nest to be empty is a work in progress.  There will be bumps in the road, but we just have to figure out how to handle them.  Baby steps- a little more each day.

 

You Can’t Remake Your Youth

Apparently, a remake of “Dirty Dancing” was made.  I saw a commercial.  I saw some of the stars being interviewed.  What I did not see was the actual remake.  I refused on the grounds of….I just don’t want to.

I remember when the original came out.  I loved that movie.  I thought it was an amazing coming of age story.  You watched Baby learn how to navigate an adult world, toeing the line between being a teen age daughter and becoming an independent adult.  It also gave the viewer a glimpse into the historic cultural changes that were about to hit in the 1960s.

Debra Messing portrays the Mother in the remake.  I saw her interviewed.  I love Debra Messing as an actress.  She is funny and warm and intelligent, and she starred in on of my favorite all time sitcoms.  But when she talked about how you were going to see much more of the mothers story…….stop.  Stop right there.  This isn’t about the mother.  It’s about Baby becoming Francis.  That was the beauty of it.

So watching the remake was never going to happen.

I couldn’t help but wonder: why remake this movie?  This movie that people adore?

Can something become more iconic?

Or are we just trying to recreate a perfect experience?

Sometimes things need to remain a memory.  Sometimes things need to remain in the past.  There are no do overs.

When life gets tough, we often think back to “the good old days”.  We look at old pictures, watch video, reread journals…..anything to bring us to a better place.  We want to recreate the good feelings that we had.  But you can’t recreate an exact moment, an exact feeling.  A unique set of circumstances happened in a unique order to create a singular experience.  A guy walks into a room exactly when you turn your head…..Love at first sight.  You can never remake that specific moment.  That specific feeling.

You can’t remake your innocence.

The reason past experiences seem so much better is because we viewed them with less mature eyes.  Getting older is simply adding more life experience to our bodies, to our minds, to our hearts.  As each day passes we may suddenly understand something better, form a new hypothesis.  Conversely, things could get a little more confusing, add new questions to our already overloaded circuits.

We can’t remake our memories because we are no longer the people we were.

So:

Remember the past

Plan for the future

Live in the present

 

 

 

 

 

Lessons I Learned at a Day Spa

For my most recent birthday, my family gifted me with a spa certificate.  The aesthetic of this particular spa is soothing water based relaxation, featuring steam, sauna, plunge pool and jetted pool. The goal of an experience such as this is pure relaxation.  Pure relaxation can lead to thinking about varying things, both deep and shallow…..So, in no particular order, are the things that pure relaxation brought to mind.

1) There is no reason to post a “Maximum Occupancy 2” sign above an ice cold plunge pool.  I didn’t see one person go in past their ankles.

2) The locker room made me self conscious.  I am not thin, nor am I heavy.  But my body has changed with age.  Since Voldemort (I’m using this word because I don’t want to use the dreaded “M” word) I have gone up a few sizes.  My body has shifted uncomfortably south.  Changing into my bathing suit in a locker room of extremely fit 20 somethings was a little intimidating.  I felt judged (and honestly, I probably was) and I wanted to scream ” talk to me in 30 years…after you’ve had a kid”) For the first time in my life I changed out of my bathing suit in the stall( to be fair, the location was practical).

3) Two cups of chamomile tea, three glasses of lemon water and the sounds of a waterfall  are not great on a post childbirth bladder.

4) The smell of eucalyptus in a a steamroom is intoxicating.  I am going to buy a dram of eucalyptus oil to sniff whenever I want to get to my Happy place.

5) Mothers and daughters visit the spa together.  I could never do that with my Mom.  First off, she would hate the spa experience.  She would not find water therapy relaxing.  She would not enjoy a massage.   But more importantly, my Mom is not my friend yet- she is still clearly trying to control any situation we are both involved in.  This wasn’t a new thing I learned at the spa- it just highlighted my relationship issue with her.  After 53 years the relationship between my mother and I is still in the rough stages.  My goal is for my relationship with my daughter will be better.  I don’t know how to fix my relationship with my Mother.

6) I don’t understand why people want you to be quiet in a loud coffee shop, but have no problem being loud in a whirlpool tub with only classical music and rushing water sounds as backdrop.

7) I found the steam room to be a little claustrophobic at first.  I almost didn’t want to shut the door because I had this insane fear that I wouldn’t be able to open the door again.  (I think I saw that scene in a horror movie) But it was also about how steamy the room was (duh)- I couldn’t see in front of me.

8) I found myself in the sauna with two men.  No, I didn’t feel self-conscious about my body (that special privilege is reserved to when I’m around women).  But I had to laugh, because I think men just always talk about sports.  I learned way more than I ever wanted to about the basketball playoffs.

9) Warm towels are spectacular.  I can think of no other word to describe drying off with a big, fluffy warm towel.

10) When the masseuse asks if there is any part of your body that is particularly tense, it’s easier to list the parts that aren’t tense.

Alas, my spa day ended way too soon.  When I returned home I found to my dismay that I was not exempt from:

1) walking the dog

2) baking brownies for a bake sale

3) laundry

4) buying peaches and eggs

5) accompanying my daughter to her annual check up

and so on……

But while it lasted, my day was perfect, for body and soul.