Long, long, long but fun day. Four hours of sleep as I travel from east to west meeting moms across America. Like spirited “Mother Dear” who yearns to make another golf trip to Jamaica. She’s not my mother, but Mother Dear is the endearment everyone knows her by. Oh, she is 96. And Maria who came over from the Naples area of Italy loved being crooned by a Dean Martin impersonator. And how giddy and girly she was to see herself on TV at 100 years old. That truly is ‘Amore’. Today the entire live audience on ABC Windy City Live were moms. Women inspire each other just being together.
In a business meeting on Wednesday, which happened to be between all women (clients and vendors, buyers and sellers; but all women), I held up the meeting to note a “women only” phenomenon. In between our business discussions was girl talk about kids, parties, shopping, and a whole series of important stuff. Then we fell right back into the world of prices, timing and profit structure. Love that about women at work. And in another meeting where five women feeling passionate about the success of a project were called “emotional” by the one male in the room. How about dedicated, or effective? Highs and lows and laughs of the last 10 days which took me from San Francisco, to New York, San Antonio, Orlando, back to New York and on to Chicago. Leaving for Phoenix and Minneapolis as I take time to jot this down before heading home for Mother’s Day and I think a nice Sunday nap over looking the olive grove. Both my daughters are close to home for Mom’s Day. But life being what it is, my first daughter (don’t dare call her my oldest), is busy tracking down her children and daughter number two (is that going to get me in trouble?) just starting her career has pulled Sunday work. I honestly don’t feel slighted. I get to see them both often now and that quiet Sunday at home in Sonoma is just what my heart desires this Mother’s Day. I know I’m important to them. Happy Mother’s Day.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what women want. First it depends on the woman. We are not a collective category, like bees or butterflies. It also greatly evolves with our “status.” Age, family, health, and how many shoes we own (aka our finances). Our choices for personal time also change.
In my terribly unscientific poll, I have found some areas that many women agree. We can answer most of the Nuclear Proliferations questions, as well as release a lot of our stress simply by spending time with our girlfriends. I’ve noticed when I try to clear my head by exploring a situation with my husband, he feels he must fix it. Often the fix includes a lot of “shoulda and coulda” and I’m feeling more turmoil and burden than before. Our girlfriends need to be great listeners and even better with the “uh huh’s” as they refill our wine glass. Here are some of my recommendations:
Take a walk with friends.
Start or join a book club (even if the book is People Magazine). It’s a good reason to get together.
Women have gathered for lunch since they beat their designer togas on river rocks.
One of my favorite “me time” activities is hiking to food. Food and friends being the motivators.
Another is bringing a pair of KN comfy socks to the movies and taking off my shoes.
Let me hear what some of your favorite “me time” ideas are. (another unscientific poll) but grass roots and authentic. Let’s get past pajamas. That’s a given.
As I hear, Northern California is one of the few places where spring has arrived. No more freezes or frost, no more driving home from the studio in darkness, and feeling like crawling in bed around 8pm. I really really love daylight savings time, robins, cherry blooms and first buds in the vineyards. I hate the snails eating my daffodils and delphiniums, mist that frizzes my hair and my itchy red eyes.
Spring however reminds me that back in January I made a resolution to move more and sit less. The news on prolonged sitting is as bad as smoking. My goal was to make moving just a more natural and bigger part of my day.
I almost always do an hour hike up 4 hills at 7 am in the morning. Often with a cell phone to catch New York meetings. (No one can say I’m not Leaning In at 7 AM). Early morning exercise revs up your metabolism for the whole day. For me it’s a sign that the day has started and I hate the days I don’t get to begin with the neighborhood chickens, a few meandering deer, a fox or rabbit caught out in the open.
I’ve taken to sitting on a Pilates Ball at work in place of a chair. It keeps me balancing with my legs and my butt while moving and occasionally bouncing. Probably not as good as standing up all day but an improvement over sitting.
There’s always “taking the stairs in place of the elevator” vow. Our studio has no elevator so that works fine. I have tried to park at the far end of the parking lot unless its raining or if I plan to buy anything at all. So normally I’m looking for a spot right at the front door. However, I do walk from store to store rather then drive That counts.
What I’m wondering is if its so bad to be sitting for any extended period, when is it ok to just Lean Back, relax, and take some time for yourself? Recharge our bodies and distress our minds? I think for me it just means doing something I really want to do. Gardening, biking, hiking or walking the plaza with a friend puts these two healthy ideas together. Moving and Me Time. What a concept. I just made window shopping healthy. You’re Welcome.
“Do as I say, not as I do”….. never worked for me as a child. Did it work for you? I’m wondering where the grown-ups are in our country. Our most applauded sports heroes say they have to cheat to stay on top. Front page news is full of immoral behavior from our elected officials to our business leaders. While we complain about violence we see it as someone else’s problem; not our video games, not our movies, not our gun collection. It’s time to remember the daily examples we set in front of the next generation. But this is a new year and just as the sun rises each morning, it’s a chance to re-evaluate and get things right.
On a lighter note, my New Year fresh start includes the usual easy goals and a couple of long lead-time, more challenging goals.
Taking off a few pounds, although not a snap, is pretty simple. EAT LESS.
Working on my arms so I can wear a sleeveless dress this summer will take me longer, and requires more discipline and incentive (like buying a pretty strappy dress to hang in my face each day).
Make a commitment to help someone who needs a hand. As most of us do, over the holidays I found a way to donate to the Food Bank, a Wishing Tree, and a Coat Drive. Yes, it made me feel good in the spirit of the season. The intimacy of helping a family try on coats and shoes helped me admit to myself that others need a helping hand year around.
If your are following me around the country, I’m just leaving Chicago – shop Carson’s and Von Maur – and heading for Des Moines – shop Younkers and Von Maur.
So fun to meet The Lennon Sisters at WGN in Chicago. And my camera man was Dean (Oprah’s own camera guy- exceptional, who I first met in 1996 on the very 1st Favorite Things Show).
If you followed me in Minneapolis you can shop Herbergers and Von Maur. In Milwaukee it’s The Boston Store and in San Antionio, Dillard’s.
if I miss the new snow storm heading for the Midwest I’ll be home to bake some sugar cookies, wrap presents and attend a couple of parties before Christmas Eve. Yes, we all do wear pjs at my house on Christmas Eve.
When I arrived in Minneapolis yesterday I was so thrilled to see pretty snowflakes floating down. Walking thru the new snow in my California boots (not good for much look style), I ran right into the Christmas Parade. Holly Dazzle (I think I heard that right). Already a crowd lining the Nicolette Mall and 5 deep along the route. So I jumped up on the closest giant potted tree for a picture op. I was not the one who pushed the little girl off.
Going on the road in my PJ’s next week. San Antonio, Minneapolis, and Chicago! Monday morning on Fox and afternoon NBC from Alamo Plaza. What kind of pjs do you wear to Alamo Plaza? (Seriously, any ideas?) Then my home state to Minneapolis for KARE on December 8th. More to come about exciting Chicago.
My expectations for this journal is to really not have any. I’m hoping this will be a place you can visit when you just want to catch up or discover the new normal. Like an old friend you bump into in the produce aisle, or standing in line at the coffee bar, my journal will be snippets of my life. Just a few words about my family, or maybe work, a good scoop or just a question. Maybe we’ll just dish on the current hot topic, movie, breakup or scandal. Sometimes I’ll simply post a picture.
Living in small town America is just as terrific for what it doesn’t have, as for what it does. Here in northern Sonoma County we ship more wine than any other US zip code. We still have 4H parades, a charming town plaza, two farmers markets, and an award-winning local bakery. We don’t have parking meters, traffic, smog or lines (for anything). Christmas lights don’t lite up until the day after Thanksgiving.
The down side is my hour (plus) commute to the Design Studio to which I drive a few days a week. The rest of the week I get to create from my kitchen counter with the best view of western hills, vineyards and my olive trees. It’s way too easy to get distracted by my garden, a V formation of geese flying south, or a Crayola colored hot air balloon drifting overhead. My life is as close to being balanced as I could ever dream of.