Mother Daughter bonding has taken odd turns.

This post is going to be more of an open forum.  Please feel free to comment.  Yes the comments are public.  And yes feel free to disagree with me. Makes life more interesting.

I know I promised you a blog about my trip to Sedona but that will have to wait until next week.  I’m in Arizona now and realized for time purposes, this made more sense.   

Here are two of my recent experiences:

1– My girlfriend and I walk into a salon to get a pedicure.  A mother was there getting a pedicure along with her 3 year old daughter!  Let me repeat that, her 3 year old daughter was getting a mani-pedi!!  Gee, can you tell how my opinion is going on this one?  This wasn’t a cute little mother daughter bonding moment.  This wasn’t momma smiling at little girl saying, “are you having fun?”  “The polish looks so pretty on you”. Nope!  Mama reading her smart phone the entire time.  And the little girl wasn’t just getting a coat of polish.  She was getting a full leg massage!  My mouth is dropping just typing this.  The poor woman who had to massage the little girl’s legs.  I was embarrassed just being in the room watching this spectacle. And a manicure.  And still mom barely said anything to her.  Then they walked over to the drying station.  Shockingly guess what happened?  The little girl messed up her manicure.  What a surprise.  The manicurist went over and fixed it!  

I have so much to say on this particular subject but I’d really rather hear what you guys have to say.  On the plus side, she’s with her daughter, didn’t leave her at home ( I guess, I don’t even know if that’s a plus, I’m pulling at straws).  You never know what’s going on in other peoples lives, do you?  I’m sure the mother thought this was a wonderful treat for her daughter.  

2– The other night I go to a Chinese restaurant to order take-out.  While I’m waiting for the food I consider sitting at the bar that’s connected to the restaurant and ordering a drink.  Now as soon as I walk into this bar I hesitate.  It’s….shall we say, a bit sketchy?  Still has the smell of cigarette smoke from years past, 2 1/2 men playing on the tv, and 3 patrons sitting at the bar where the first thought that popped into my head? Barflies!  Not wanting to sound like a snob ( I know, too late) I sit down because I’m a big girl- I can do these this!  

Of course as soon as my drink comes so does the take-out food I ordered for my family.  But hey, I paid for my vodka and soda, can’t waste it.  The female customer next to me (one of the so-called barflies) starts talking to me. She’s cracking up at the show 2 1/2 men asking me if I like the show etc.  She has been at the bar for quite some time it seems.  But she really was so nice.  So friendly.  Turns out we both have kids who went to the same school, we’re around the same age etc.  She teaches me how to play Keno, the bar game, kind of like a combination of bingo and lotto.   She tells me how there’s a much nicer bar on the other side of the restaurant but the drinks are at least $2 more.  I’m surprised. I’ve been coming to the Chinese restaurant for food for years…….what bar?  She says follow me.  Sure enough.  I never noticed.  So you get my point—very nice.  

Now you’re probably thinking to yourself, Laura this is all very fascinating and thank you for sharing but is this story leading somewhere?  Patience—yes it is 🙂

Here’s where it gets interesting. Then she asks me if I have any tattoos.  I don’t.  She tells me her daughters have a bunch. She says when her daughter was 15 she wanted permission to get her tongue pierced.  She did not give it but apparently her husband or ex-husband did give permission.  I’m like—ok.  Now her daughters are older, in their 20’s and want a nice mother/daughter bonding moment.  See, I told you this would all tie in.  In her words, she said, “ hey mom, why don’t the 3 of us all get our “va-gi-gis pierced”!  I kid you not.  These mother/daughter bonding moments just bring tears to your eyes don’t they?  

I’m just looking at her…….I said something like “ I think that’s so sweet that they asked you. If my daughter wanted a mother/daughter tattoo I would do it”.  I mean, what could I say?  Can I see it? What piece of jewelry did you choose?  Hope it’s hypoallergenic.  It turns out she didn’t do it but her daughters did.  

Like I always say, you meet such interesting people when you just put the phone down and talk to people.  She was really so nice.  Different from me—but all the better!

 I hope you all have a wonderful week. And remember to try and bond with SOMEONE this week.  


Itlbok, Really


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A vacation for the Mind

I did it!  I did my silent retreat!  No talking, no eye contact, no social gestures for 7 hours. 

And you know what? I actually enjoyed it.  Ok-maybe not all of it.  I could have lived without the 45 minutes of silent eating.  I mean really, how long can you be mindful of a small mouthful of food?  It turns to mush pretty quickly in your mouth. But the whole experience?  I would do it again.  My husband was taking bets I couldn’t do it.  My friends were calculating the amount of talking I would have to do to make up for what I missed.  Even some of the people in class had odds I wouldn’t be able to do it.  But I’m proud to say I did. 

Now is this as great an accomplishment as, let’s say,  running a marathon-no.  And I’m sure some of you out there are thinking, “wow, I’d love to not speak to anyone for half a day”.  But it was a definite challenge for me.  Something I feared but decided I wanted to do anyway.  My favorite part was walking in the woods by myself for close to an hour.  For the first time that I can remember, I walked with no music, no audible book, no chit-chatting with a friend.  Just me, myself and I.  Nature being my only company;  the trees, leaves, squirrels etc.  Just lovely.  

Another cool insight?  The no eye contact?  Wow–at first it is awkward.  A few quick glances and then you’re a punished school child casting your eyes down.  Picture yourself as a monk making eye contact with Johnny Depp and then remembering that in his contract, no peons are allowed to make eye contact with him  That’s how it was.  But once you got used to it, it was so cool.  No eye contact means no judgement-real or imagined!  Think about it.   Many times our uncomfortableness or anxiety comes from how you think others see you.  BUT without eye contact, you don’t know how they see you.  It’s incredibly freeing. 

We were kept busy by our instructor.  And yes she was allowed to talk.  We did very gentle yoga and different meditations throughout the day.  I’m pretty sure I fell asleep during the 45 minute body scan.  But I bet almost everybody did.  A 15 minute body scan I can do, 45 minutes?  How long can you spend thinking about your toes and the marvel that they are?  

At the 6 1/2 hour point, we did something we never did-a back to back meditation with the person next to you.  With no talking or eye contact you just move close to each other.  This was new and challenging!  And the person next to me was a 29 year old man.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  But let me tell you…it’s been awhile since this body has been that close to a 29 year old man.  And I’m sure he felt a little awkward himself.  Unless he’s a fan of The Graduate (which, by the way, do you know how old the “older woman” is in The Graduate? 36!!! 36?  My g-d, you’re still wearing hip high jeans!  Your bras are still sexy!  Your heels are still pointy!  36!  OK Laura, breathe, breathe, focus on my breath—OK, I’m better now ).  Anyway, once we got our breathing in rhythm it was fine.  Afterwards we sat shoulder to shoulder-still not facing each other – and had to tell each other how we felt about the day etc.  After about 15 seconds of silence on both our parts, I just said “I have no idea what to say”.  That broke the ice and we just started talking and sharing the fact that we both fell asleep during the body scan etc.  That made other people around us start smiling and chuckling.  FYI– meditation and mindfulness do not mean you have to be reverent and solemn!  It’s whatever bubbles up inside you at that moment on that particular day.  Again no judgement of yourself.  

We all met up in class the next day.  So many people were moved in different ways.  The silence brought up some hard emotions for some people.  But once those emotions are up they are easier to deal with.  And the students felt “freer” and “lighter” afterwards.  And they themselves feel stronger.

Obviously I’m just a babe in the woods when it comes to meditating.  But I’m finally comfortable with it.  I do believe it’s something we all need to do–like eating healthy and exercising.  But it has to come to you when you’re ready–otherwise you’ll fight it every step of the way.  And that’s certainly pointless!

Life can be tough out there at times.  I consider meditation a Vacation for the Mind.  Now those who know me would say “does your mind really need a vacation?”.  I’m not exactly Einstein….I do have deep thoughts but many might think they belong more in the “kiddie pool” than the deep end of the adult pool.  Trying to workout a carpool situation is way too confusing for me.  I need paper, pencil and a diagram!  Seriously, my family is like—“Mom walk away from this conversation.  If you manage it you’ll be at one location without a car and I’ll be at another with two.  We will handle it!”.  Thinking too much can give me a headache! And don’t even get me started with watching the news!  My feeling is the media has you so scared watching the news, you have to balance it out with a “vacation for the mind” or you’re going to end up sad, depressed or with a bout of ennui.

I just want to end this blog with the hope that you will consider to meditate sometime in your lifetime. Maybe not today, not tomorrow, but whenever you’re ready for it.  Remember, there are no negative side effects, no weight gain, no financial loss.  How many things in life can promise you that?

Until next time—


Itlbok, Really

P.S.—I’m going to Sedona, AZ this coming week to continue on my spiritual journey.  Let’s see what happens.  Maybe I’ll have spiritual enlightenment on a Vortex or maybe nothing, maybe I’ll just have a wonderful vacation under the beautiful Red Rocks!

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Keeping the lines of communication open by keeping your mouth shut.

beach stock photoAhhhhh, the joys of having young adult kids in your life.  No more worries, no more being concerned about their actions or decisions.  Just basking in the awareness that they’ve absorbed all the knowledge that you’ve given forth.  You can now enjoy conversations with them about philosophies of life, PBS and the wonderful upbringing they had. 

All your worries and fears are over.  My theory is once your kids are 21, nothing bad can happen to them.  I’ve written it down, it’s now on the World Wide Web so it’s fact!  I also live on this beautiful little isle.  It’s the isle of De……Denial.  Lovely little place…..come grab a tropical drink and join me……beach stock photo



I have a son and daughter, 23 and 21 respectively.  Both really good kids, went to college, don’t do drugs (at least not in front of me-just kidding), minimally curse (at least not in front of me), no jail time and not pregnant (not that there’s anything wrong with that if you have kids that are pregnant.  I’m just glad mine have decided to wait before bringing kids into this world).   So again, I repeat, really good kids.  If only I knew how to talk to them!!!   I finally learned how to deal with teenagers.  Sort of—Basically count to ten, breathe, take nothing personally and wait for them to go to college.  But I didn’t really get that until about two years ago when they were already out of the teenage years!  Now I’ve got a new age group to learn about!  

You’re supposed to talk to them like adult but can’t really talk to them like they’re adults.  I’ve tried that.  I’ve tried talking to them, asking about their friends, their social lives, their futures……whoooooooo boooooyyyyyyy.    They did not respond like any adult friends I know!!  My adult friends LIKE my advice and/or suggestions.   Let’s just say my children don’t seem to see things the same way I do. Yeah, that’s a good way to put it.  But I have SUCH GOOD ADVICE TO GIVE!!!! Or so I think 🙂  Apparently not!  I am learning advice is not something any child of mine wants.  

I have to say though, the other day my daughter and I spent the whole day together in Boston and had the best time  we’ve had in months.  Rules were set though (here’s a switch, the rules were set by her, not me).  No bringing up her boyfriend nor her future.  It worked!  We had a great time.  We discussed how it’s a balancing act for me.  How parenting a child in their 20’s is a learning curve, (as is being a person in your 20’s) and by the time I get it right, they will be married with kids of their own.  And then the balancing act will be ….mom, I need your help raising my kids because you did a really good job raising us, BUT I don’t want to make the same mistakes you did…. AND things are totally different now, I can’t believe I survived the mistakes YOUR generation made….help me but don’t get too involved….etc.

Besides, we decided there will be an app for parenting by the time the next generation populates the world.  Iparenting it will be called.  Steve Jobs didn’t want to be around when it came out.  It will be available on Iphone 36.  Depending on your insurance plan, your in hospital delivery may even come with the Iparenting app included.   My daughter’s looking forward to the Iepidural.  You will have to pay extra for the upgrade but it will be worth it.  Just think– Baby’s crying? Just push the mute button,— youngster has no friends? Tiny Toons Tinder,–Child soiled their clothes?  Drone delivery service to drop fresh clean clothes in your lap!  

Yes, kids are fun, the roller-coaster of life. 

Oh, and they’re also good for making you feel old.  My daughter and I both have long curly hair.  Mine is auburn with streaks of golden brown  (totally natural from the sun :-))  and hers is dark goth black (as natural as mine!)  Walking down the streets of Boston, a guy on a skateboard  skates by and says, “love your hair, miss”.  And the torch has been passed! 


Itlbok, Really

PS- Per my MBSR-mindfulness meditation class that I’m taking, I will be on an all day silent retreat this Sunday, 9:00-4:30.  No talking, no eye contact, no hand gestures.  Guess what next weeks blog will be about!!  Heck it might have to be audio!!!

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