Friday, July 31, 2009

Pool Life Lessons - by Robin Gorman Newman

I'm so proud of Seth.

He passed the deep water swim test at camp this week, and it meant so much to him and all of us. We're going to go out for a celebratory dinner tonight. He didn't pass the first time, and I so admire his persistence and desire to make it happen. I don't think he ever doubted that eventually he would get there. He has the right attitude, and I hope he can ultimately apply it in all areas of his life.

We've been spending a lot of time at our local pool, in addition to him swimming at his day camp, and he's made huge progress. It's amazing to watch his development. From one day to the next, things he wouldn't do last week, he's now doing without fear, projecting total confidence. It's an inspiration.

I am learning to do laps myself this summer. Working on my breathing now, which has been a challenge. But, I know I'll get there.

Yesterday in the pool, I was speaking with a veteran swimmer who comes religiously the same time each day to swim for at least half an hour. I watch him with awe and aspire to follow in his swim strokes one day. We don't usually talk because he swims as if on a mission. But this time, we chatted a bit as he came up for air, and we got on the subject of kids and how it's ideal to learn to do certain things when you're young. Granted, not that I'm old at 48, but as he pointed out, the older you are, the more you might be riddled with fear. And, he's right. I don't have a comfort level in the deep water, though I'm working on it. And, I don't envision ever jumping off a diving board....though I never say never.

But, it's not just about swimming.

It's amazing how kids fully embrace most new experiences, and as adults, we might sometimes hem 'n haw over them, wondering how they fit into our expectations of what we think the experience will be like. And, if you're like me, it's so easy to over think a situation. And, nothing will instill more fear in you than what you conjure up before even embarking on the experience. You could love it and be totally surprised. If you had asked me a few years ago if I'd ever put my face in the water, I would have answered with a resounding "no."

I don't expect to learn to ski at this point in my life. Nor, do I have the desire.

I don't plan to jump out of a plane.

But, I do still yearn for new experiences. It's never too late to learn.

Perhaps snorkeling?

Taking an acting class?

Hmmm...what else?

What do you think about learning or trying something new at this point in your life?

One of my single love coaching clients told me this week that she might sign up for a tarot card reading class in the fall.

That sounds intriguing.

The possibilities for learning are endless.

Another mom I know is studying the Torah.

New experiences help keep life fresh.

I'm wondering what's next on my learning agenda.

How about you?

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Monday, July 27, 2009


When “No” Means “Green Eggs and Ham” - by Cara Meyers

What is it about certain six year old boys needing to “test” their mothers in every possible way imaginable? Lately, my six year old son has his own views about what the word “no” actually means.

Take, for instance, this senerio: My son’s friend had a death in the family this past week, making their usual Thursday afternoon playdate impossible to have.

Me: “Honey, Benjamin’s family is very busy today so we can’t see him this afternoon.”

My Son: “Well, how about later?”

Me: “No, Honey. Benjamin’s family needs to be alone today, so we are not having the playdate.”

My Son: “But Benjamin’s not busy.”

Me: (Getting irritated) “We are still not having the playdate. End of story.”

My Son: “What if you call Benjamin’s Mom?”

Me: “I said, “no!” “I am not calling Benjamin’s Mom”...(“Sam I Am!”), “We’re not having a playdate!”...(“Green Eggs and Ham!)

My Son: “Well, what about 5 o’clock? You can call Benjamin’s Mom then.”

Me: (Now irritated AND getting sarcastic), “What part of the word “no” don’t you understand?”...(“I will not call at 5 o’clock! I will not do it! I just will not!")

My son: “Maybe we can walk over to Benjamin’s house and see if he can play?"

Me: (Steam now emitting from my ears), “PLEASE tell me what you don’t understand about “no!!” I really want to know what there is about “no” that doesn’t make sense to you!!...(“I WILL NOT KNOCK, Sam I Am, I WILL NOT KNOCK, Green Eggs and Ham! I do not want to call or write! There is no playdate, THAT IS RIGHT!!)

My son: “Well, maybe we could meet him in the park?"

Me: (Glaring and taking deep breaths while thinking...”I will not meet him in the park, I will not meet him in the dark...I will not call his Mom, oh no, I will not knock on doors and oh...WE WILL NOT MEET HIM, LITTLE MAN, NOW GET YOUR BOOK , ‘GREEN EGGS AND HAM’!!!”)

My son: “Could you pick Benjamin up and bring him to our house?”

Me: (Almost ready to blow, “I will not, WILL NOT, let you play! Why must you ask me every way? I will not pick up Ben to play, I will not go to the park today! I will not call his Mom or knock! I will not do it at 5 o’clock! We will not have a playdate today! NOW WHY CAN’T YOU LISTEN TO WHAT I SAY??!!)

Me: “I’m done with this conversation. Now go read your book”.

Written by Cara Meyers, currently a stay-at-home Mom who lives with her husband, six year old son and two dogs on Long Island, NY. Cara had her son shortly before she turned 40 years old and was a practicing Registered Dietitian before she became a Mom. Blogging has now become her new “profession!”

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Home Work

Felt like a prisoner in my own home yesterday.

The alarm company came, and we're now back in full working order, but what was supposed to take a few hours, went into the early evening. That, combined with the gloom and rain, made it quite a tedious day. Not that I wanted for things to do...I was busy networking on the phone....had some very interesting chats re: motherhoodlater and my love coaching work....but by the time my son came home from camp, my husband came home from work and dinner time rolled around, I was itching to get out with no place special to go.

No good movies were husband offered to put my son to bed so I could go out if I wanted.

I didn't feel like going shopping.

Then what?

Could have hit the gym, but wasn't feeling it.

I was at a loss. And, I kinda wanted to hang with Seth and play a bit. He's become very playful these days before bedtime, and it's been fun.

So, I stayed home, but it was such an isolating day. I guess some days are just like that and we have to be accepting. The daily routine of life isn't always exciting.... but as long as it's relatively calm, one can be grateful.

Today is a different day. The plumbers are done for the moment (until tomorrow), and no more workers are expected until the I'm a free bird.

Gonna try to wrap up some work on my computer and hit the pool by myself this afternoon and then again take Seth if he wants to go after camp. There is the possibility of showers later, so I don't want to wait until then.

Working from home is a blessing and challenge at the same time.

I was chatting with a gal yesterday who at present is working from home and was sharing how isolating it felt. I can relate. Yet, another mom I know who works fulltime now, yearns to be home with her young son.

Is it that we're never totally happy with what we have? Or do things look greener on the other side of the fence? (Is that the expression?)

Hmmmm...something to think about. I'd sure like to be fully content in the present moment, and I envy people with that capacity. Something to aspire to.

PS -- On another note -- Are you a fan of Todd Parr, the super cool and clever best-selling children's author/artist?? I am.... and I just learned he's coming out with a new line of kids clothes to be sold at select Nordstrom stores starting 8/15. Check it out at It's for ages 18 months - 6 years.....boys and girls. Fun, colorful, quirky art and positive messages are his trademarks.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Another's Shoes

I feel like I have a new lease on domesticity at the moment.

We are construction free today....and looks like tomorrow as well.

As much as we want our long-awaited basement construction project to continue moving along, I am thrilled. Elated, be getting a temporary respite.

I had no idea what this experience would entail before we broke ground. Kinda reminds me of parenting and having surgery. I found myself likening it to both the other day when venting to a friend.

It's funny how almost everyone will say things like: It's just your basement. It's gonna be so great. At least it's not an upper floor. Better in summer than winter. Etc.

Their goal is to comfort you, but it doesn't necessarily work unless they've lived it. No matter what they say, until you have the same or at least a very similar experience, you truly don't know what it's like to walk in that person's shoes.

We can anticipate an experience all we like and conjure up images of what we think it will be...or what we hope it will be...but until it's here, you really don't know.

I'm not saying that becoming a mom is like taking a jackhammer to the floor or putting up sheetrock, but it is a huge unknown until you're in it. And, no doubt has possibly conjured up feelings and emotions you didn't see coming.

And, think about it. If you've ever had a surgery (which I have), there can be unforeseen matters in the recovery and beyond that doctors don't always advise you of.

My house is having surgery at present. We've already had days without phone service, cable problems, plumbing challenges, extra expenses, and we're not that far along yet. No one said to expect this, though knowing what I know now, it does seem somewhat inevitable.

I know I'll get through it. My son is loving I wrote previously...he's a Bob the Builder in the making.

My husband is fairly tolerant of it. But, he's in his office all day outside of the home. Me, I feel like the ringleader for all of the various workers whose personal lives I'm gradually getting to know. While I have no desire to walk in the work boots of these men, I do give them credit for putting in hard days of manual labor, often in a quest to provide for their families, I have learned. And, given the state of the economy, most are grateful to be employed at this time, even if on a project basis.

I'm looking out my kitchen window as I write this. They predict on 'n off thunderstorms today. I've been debating if I might take a quick run over to the local pool and get in a quick swim before I head to the gym. But, it's somewhat overcast here in NY. I do yearn, though, to walk in my beach sandals at the moment. These are the only shoes I care to wear for now. So, we'll see if the clouds drift away.

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Show I Recommend -- Menopause the Musical

Inspired by a hot flash and a bottle of wine, Menopause The Musical® is playing on Long Island (NY) at Port Washington’s Landmark on Main Street Theatre for a limited engagement now through August 30th. I had the opportunity to take a friend to see it last evening for her birthday, and it was a fun girls night out. In particular, given that she is my long time friend from grade school, it made us all the more aware of the different phases of life we have been through together. Though either of us has yet to hit menopause (I'm in peri), we could relate to the trials 'n tribulations of the gals in the show.

Written by Jeanie Linders, Menopause The Musical® has become an international phenomenon having been seen by nearly 11 million people all over the world (13 countries and 250 cities!) since it debuted in a 76-seat perfume-shop-turned-theatre in Orlando, Florida in 2001.

Billed as “The Hilarious Celebration of Women and The Change®,” the original, off-Broadway musical begins with four women, “Professional Woman,” “Soap Star,” “Iowa Housewife” and “Earth Mother,” at a Bloomingdale’s lingerie sale with nothing in common but a black lace bra - and hot flashes, night sweats, memory loss, chocolate binges, not enough sex, too much sex and day-to-day challenges with aging parents, aging children and aging partners.

They share their ups and downs through a collection of 25 re-lyricized baby boomer songs from the 60's, 70's and 80s. Disco hit “Stayin’ Alive” becomes “Stayin’ Awake,” Motown favorite “My Guy” is transformed into “My Thighs,” "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" switches to "In the Guest Room or on the Sofa, My Husband Sleeps at night,” and “Puff The Magic Dragon” becomes the anthem to exercise, Puff, My God I’m Draggin’”.

“It may not be Shakespeare, but our focus is different. We want to bring women together and empower them. This is an event – a happening,” says Kathi Glist, one of the show’s producers. “It resonates with just about any woman over 40, but it is enjoyed by all. And the younger women laugh just as hard,” she adds. “It’s a party every night!”

“The show has become a point of relating, a celebration of a life passage that launches women into a new exciting phase of their lives,” says Linders. “Most women know intuitively what every other woman is facing with the onset of the menopause. They talk about it with their friends and, on occasion with their spouses. But, when they are in a theatre with hundreds of women, and they’re all shouting ‘That’s Me!’ then they know what they are experiencing is normal. They call it a sisterhood!”

Show times for Menopause The Musical® are Wednesday through Saturdays at 8PM with matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2PM. Running time is 90 minutes without intermission. All tickets are $45. Purchase tickets online at: or by calling: 516-717-3990. Girls Night Out/Groups 10+ Call Group Sales Box Office 1-800-223-7565 or 212-398-8383.

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Thursday, July 02, 2009

My Former Self

This has been an interesting week.

Seth started camp. Both he and I are adjusting to this new schedule, since the bus comes a bit earlier than it did for school, and returns later. He's been totally loving it and coming home completely ravenous. He walks in the door and announces that he's hungry. Now that I expect it from him, I make sure to have dinner started so he can eat pronto.

We've almost made it through another week with the contractors. The basement is moving along. I've come to realize what a truly blind item it is when you hire workers and you have no knowledge of construction. You come to rely on them completely to do what is needed and best. And, that's as it should be. But, I find it funny when the head contractor calls me downstairs to look at their handywork and attempts to explain why certain pipes have been moved, etc. I listen politely, but don't completely grasp all that he is saying. Fortunately, I know in my gut that he's on top of things, and that's what counts in the long run.

My datebook has been chockful of things to do this week....much minutia, I must say. And, it can get overwhelming at times. I was speaking with my dad today, and he started rattling off all that is on his list. It made me realize that we all seem to be grappling with a laundry list of things that require time and attention. When did life get so perpetually full?! And, he said to me that he's only one person (my mom passed away), and I really felt for him. Life can be busy enough if you have a partner to share it with. And, add to that children, and there's much to juggle and attend to.

I received an email via Facebook this week from a gal I used to work with when I was a Vice President at a NYC public relations firm. It was a true blast from the past and a welcome one. It brought me back there right away to the days of my having an office, wearing panty hose (not that I liked them), ordering in a tuna salad lunch from this delivery place I loved, hanging with office mates, and challenging my creativity on a daily basis, which, though pressured, suited me well. I was in my element. I didn't adore all the powers that be at the firm, but ultimately it proved a great learning ground to build my confidence and have my own practice for a period of time.

I was single most of the time I worked there, and hearing from her reminded me of my dating days, socializing with friends in the city, etc. I didn't love the daily routine of commuting into Manhattan (I lived in Queens and then Long Island), but I did relish the energy when I was there.

Last night, Marc and I got a sitter for Seth, which we rarely do on a weeknight. We had gotten tickets to see the Broadway musical Rock of Ages, since had a special running on a number of shows prior to 4th of July.

The show featured music from the 80s. It's been a long time since I've listened to groups like Quarterflash and Journey. (I still have my record album collection in the basement at my parent's house.) It was a lot of fun, and once again, reminded me of another chapter in my life. Though I wouldn't trade where I'm at presently, there are times I must admit that I miss the days when, despite the fact that I worked fulltime, somehow life didn't feel quite as incessantly busy.

Perhaps part of it is the advent of technology. As much as it has the power to connect, inform and enhance people's lives, it's yet one more thing to do. And, really not "one" thing...but many....since the internet never sleeps.

Speaking of sleep....I'm not getting as much as I'd like/need with all that is on my mind and To Do list. But, I'm so glad it's a holiday weekend. I cross my fingers that the weather holds up and we get to hang at the pool.

There, I am somehow better able to focus on the immediate experience, especially when I'm practicing the crawl stroke. I've ever been one who loved swimming with their head in the water, so this is a whole new arena for me, and I'm enjoying the challenge. When my face is submerged, the world takes on an entirely new perspective, and there's something very freeing about that.

Wishing you and your family a wonderful 4th!

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