My sister and I are doing Joyce Vedral’s “Cougar Workout” and it’s extremely, very, really hard

How do you write that sound big cats make? Rawr?

How do you write that sound big cats make? Rawr?

If it weren’t for super-scary 3-way fitting-room mirrors, I’m sure I’d probably lay around on my couch all day, eating bon-bons and flipping through fashion mags.

I’m sorry, but for une femme d’un certain age, there is nothing more frightening – or galvanizing – than a 3-way fitting-room mirror.

Humbling, my friend. Very humbling. Even if you’ve been playing so much tennis your fake-blonde head is about to crack open, as I have.

I’ve blogged about my fitting-room come-to-Jesus moment at J. Crew, and I recently had an eerily similar experience while hunting for a frock or two at the International Mall in Tampa.

I texted my sister, aka Jan, in panic mode:

“I’m shopping for clothes right now and just want to shoot myself. I’m officially in my 50s!”

She texted back:

“Isn’t it fabulous? NOT.”

I’ll spare you the rest of it, which involved much pinging back and forth about body parts heading south and crepe-y skin.

Tellingly, my iPhone kept wanting to auto-correct “crepe-y” to “creepy.” And after a certain point, I gave up correcting the auto-correction.

Because – let’s be frank – crepe-y skin is creepy.

Since my sister and I are not take-it-lying-down types (even when there are bon-bons and fashion mags involved) we resolved to tighten our shizzle right up.

“Gonna Google your old friend Vedral & see if I have a revelation,” Jan texted. “Ugh.”

I want to be clear that fitness guru (and prolific author, which I’ll circle back to in a sec) Joyce Vedral, aka JV, is not my actual friend.

Rather, she is my imaginary friend, the one I’d like to have living in my closet for crisis moments such as these.

Though I’ve long been a fan, and collector of her books and DVDs, I somehow missed my one and only opportunity to meet JV.

This was back in the 90s, and she was coming up to my office for a “deskside” (Beauty Editor-speak for a face-to-face chat) to promote a new fitness product.

But for some reason I wasn’t there, so my assistant hosted her.

Sidebar: Where the hell was I that couldn’t be at the office for a JV deskside? It better have been somewhere good, like the Yucatan Peninsula.

Anyway, back to the Cougar Workout. Obvi, as the title implies, it’s targeted to older broads.

But please, isn’t JV the best possible billboard? She’s in her 60s and her bod looks easily half that.

And speaking of easy: This routine isn’t. At all. I mean, it’s easy to follow. But it isn’t easy to do. JV believes in powering through weight workouts quickly and efficiently, so you are moving. And the floor exercises – for the tush, tummy and thighs – are a killah.

But her chatter and patter as she’s going along, coaxing you through the workout, is unspeakably charming.

And it’s super-inspiring, especially when she talks about her motivation to work out, and why she wants us to just go on auto-pilot with our fitness routines and “get it out of the way” so we can “go be creative and intelligent.”

I think JV has written close to 20 books, not all of them on fitness. If I remember correctly, she was an English professor before becoming a best-selling author, and her interests are wide-ranging.

In searching the scope of her work, I see that she even wrote A Literary Survey of the Bible (I may need to track that down), as well as a self-help tome – Look In, Look Up, Look Out! – that I use to own, and probably still do, hoarder that I am.

And before I met The Man Who Would Be Hubby, I also had a dog-eared copy of her Get Rid of Him! book, which was chock-full of tips for extricating yourself from less-than-awesome relationships.

Clearly, JV gets her fitness routine “out of the way” so she can “go be creative and intelligent.”

She’s a role model. With a banging, 60-something, Cougar bod.

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Happiness: The ShelfGenie guy is coming in the morning to measure the kitchen cabinets

Getting organized, slowly but surely.

Getting organized, slowly but surely.

Ever since I started paying attention to new moons, which are a très excellente time to put new plans in place, I feel like I get a fresh start every month.

Which is pretty awesome, non? Knowing you don’t have to wait around for the “biggies” – New Year’s and your birthday – to turn your little ol’ life on its ear?

Even though – hello! – I’ve actually stuck like glue to my New Year’s resolution.

Yes, I’ve medivisualized™ every day of 2015 except one. 

I feel pretty stoked about that, as a bad actor in an equally bad surfing movie might say.

But back to the new moon, and what this might have to do with the ShelfGenie guy coming to Casa Moi in the a.m. to measure my lower kitchen cabinets.

In a nutshell, my April horoscope (I’m a Scorpio, hisssss….) tells me that this past weekend’s new moon was a stellar time to start putting the hyper-organizing wheels in motion.

To pare down, clean up, put some systems in place.

Soooo…I booked a consultation with ShelfGenie for kitchen help.

And next week, my Closet Whisperer, who tricked-out seven spaces for us last summer, is coming back to help me turn our garage into a thing of sheer beauty.

But back to the kitchen, and Project ShelfGenie…

Now that I’m cooking for the first time in my life, I want it to go as seamlessly as possible.

Translation: I don’t want to have to lift up this and that, rearrange my entire surroundings, and turn myself into a bloody contortionist just to get at the one pot, pan or gadget I need to make one of my epic masterpieces.

And right now, that’s what I’m doing.

I have lots of cabinets, but they’re deep and cavernous.

Which is why I want the rolling, slide-y tray configurations that ShelfGenie can help me with.

(Wait – I just ended that last sentence with a preposition. Someone call the writing police.)

Okay, it’s the end of a long Monday and I have to put the Wee Lass to bed.

Night-night, my lovelies.

To be continued…

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I did all the heavy Disney lifting so you won’t have to

Major Epcot topiary cuteness.

Epcot topiary cuteness. I don’t even know what those are.

NOTE: This post is about Disney World in Orlando, FLA, not Land in Anaheim, CA. 

Even cursory readers of this blog know I frigging love Disney.

Wait – is ‘frigging‘ considered cussing? If it is, I’d like to retract. Momover Lady gave up swearing for Lent, and now she’s pretty much a cuss-free zone.

Anyhoo, I’ve written about my love for Disney on many occasions. I went there several times before the Wee Lass was even a twinkle in my eye, including an 8-day(!) trip with my sister during which Chip – or was it Dale? – took advantage of his costumed status to get totally handsy with me over breakfast at the Land in Epcot.

My point is that I’m a very good Disney customer.

And so is Hubby; we’ve taken our tot-lette three times, including this most recent trip, and have stayed at their premier properties (Polynesian, Grand Floridian, Animal Kingdom Lodge) for lengthy stretches.

“Lengthy stretches” is code for serious coin, btw; we don’t zip in and out, and we don’t stay off-property.

But while the previous jaunts with our little missy were quite fun, this one….wasn’t.

Let be more specific: Our trip was eventually fun.

But we had to work so hard to make it fun that it didn’t feel like a vacation, and I returned home utterly knackered, as the Brits say.

And I’m sorry, but I don’t think a trip to Disney should feel like work. It should be fun right out of the starting gate – and stay that way until you head for home.

Partially, this was our fault, which I’ll get to in a moment.

But mostly, it was Disney’s fault, which I’ll also get to in a moment.

And I’ll bundle all that finger-pointing in the form of tips to make your trip to Disney easier, and – gasp – fun.

But before you read any further:

These tips are aimed at first-timers and visitors from outside the States. Seasoned park-goers, especially Floridians, might read this and think, “Duh.” Consider yourself warned, Floridians.

On y va. Allez-y. Let’s go!

6-Tip Newbie Guide to a Less-Stressy Trip to Disney

1. If you book on the telephone – with a live human being – make sure you ask that live human being to disclose ALL restrictions.

Hubby is one of those rare individuals who still picks up a landline to actually speak to people. And even though it took literally HOURS for him to book our most recent trip (one call got dropped, by Disney, about 60 minutes in, and he had to start all over again), we still got hit with major sticker shock at the gates of Magic Kingdom. There were “blackout” dates around Magic Kingdom that we weren’t warned about, and it cost $800 – on the spot – to upgrade to “Park Hopper” tickets that would enable us to bounce around everywhere, unrestricted. Hubby thought he’d already bought Park Hoppers, so that was a rude, costly awakening.

2. Don’t even think of entering Magic Kingdom without Fast Passes for rides your tots most want to go on.

Because we like to be “spontaneous” and hop on rides as whimsy strikes, we aren’t Fast Pass People. But let me be clear: There is nothing even remotely spontaneous about standing in line for north of an hour. On our second night, the Wee Lass and I stood in line for Space Mountain for 90 minutes, only to get to the top and have the Disney operatives say the ride was shut down – temporarily but indefinitely. The indefinitely bit really threw me. It was hot and stuffy up there and packed with wild, hooting Space cases. Suddenly, I got claustrophobic, and panicky, and pulled the Wee Lass out to exit.

She was heart-broken, especially when, as we were exiting down a long, dark tunnel, we heard the ride crank back up again. She started crying, I started yelling, and it was all really, really sad.

The happy ending to this Tragic Kingdom Tale? When we got back to our room at Animal Kingdom Lodge, Hubby got right on his iPad to suss-out the Fast Pass sitch. And the Wee Lass and I went on Space Mountain, stress-free, at 8 am the next morning.

We are now Fast Pass People.

3. Dial your dining expectations way back.

Food is the (very) weak link in the Disney chain. Even if you pay handsomely for it, as we did at Chefs de France at Epcot.

On our two previous trips as parents, Hubby and I dropped the Wee Lass off at the Neverland Club for the evening and headed to “Paris” for romantic dinners at Monsieur Paul. The ambiance was lovely, I used my bad French to order, and Champs was part of the equation.

I realize Chefs de France isn’t Monsieur Paul.

But for $170 for three people (one of whom is 9 years old), I don’t want paper placemats and napkins. And I very much don’t want chicken nuggets for my daughter. The last time I checked, chicken nuggets weren’t French. Step it up, Disney! Get pretentious on us! I want that in “Paris”!

And, bonjour, I want to be able to order Champs. A frosty, sparkling glass of Champs can go a long way in mitigating the sadness generated by a mediocre meal.

Even the (not cheap) simple stuff can be pretty bad in Disney.

I seem to recall the following exchange with my betrothed in Frontierland:

Moi to Hubby: How can you screw up a corn dog?

Hubby to Moi: I don’t know, but somehow they did.

Okay, I’m getting mean now, and I don’t want to. Moving on to other helpful tips…

4. Know that the newer roller coaster rides are far, far scarier than the older roller coaster rides.

Because Hubby’s back is prone to flaring, and he gets extremely “hurl-y” after bumpy rides, I got stuck going on all the coasters with the newly emboldened, thrill-seeking Wee Lass.

Thus I now have an informed opinion that I’d like to share with you to help you figure-out which, if any, of your kids should partake:

Space Mountain @ Magic Kingdom = Not Scary (Though it was renovated in 2009, it was originally built in 1975. Coasters just weren’t as death-defying back then.)

Expedition Everest @ Animal Kingdom = Pretty Scary (But so scenic and experiential, it’s worth it.)

Aerosmith Rock ‘n Roller Coaster @ Disney Hollywood Studios = Incredibly Scary (And utterly pitch-black inside, which ratchets up the terror.)

5. Give the less-famous parks a chance.

I understand completely that Magic Kingdom is the focal point for many families. And for good reason; it’s incredible. And so storied. It’s a Small World just might be the best ride of all time.

Still, there’s so much to see and do outside the Castle walls. The water parks – Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach – are adorbs, not that crowded, fun for all ages, and boast some of the best food (and beer) in the parks.

In addition to an excellent safari, and Expedition Everest, there are other really good rides in Animal Kingdom. We loved DINOSAUR, for example.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios was another low-key, pleasant surprise.

6. Do everything in your power to plan your trip for the off-seasons (i.e., not “spring break” in the U.S.)

I actually almost never yank the Wee Lass out of school for any type of vacation or otherwise festive activity.

However, I think that – especially if you’re coming from outside the U.S., and traveling a very far distance, and this may be your one and only trip to Disney  – you should try reallllly hard to avoid going in March and April. In particular, Magic Kingdom is uncomfortably packed during that time-frame.

In the three years that elapsed between our last visit and this one, the crowds have grown exponentially. And Hubby and I very much feel that Disney doesn’t have your back on this.

As great as it is – and I still, despite this last trip, want to go back some time – Disney is in the business of making money.

Make sure you get all the bang you can get for your bucks. Or your euros.

 

 

 

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Beauty Armoire Monday: For me at least, the no-makeup look requires tons of makeup

Complexion-perfection in several easy steps...

Complexion-perfection in several easy steps…

Back from a gruuuuuueling trip to Disney. Oh my lordy. I’ll be writing about that in a separate blog post because I feel it’s my civic duty. Much has changed since Momover Lady + Co were last there…

So yesterday, at the Spring Bonnet Luncheon at the St. Petersburg Woman’s Club (that isn’t a typo, btw; it’s “Woman,” not “Women”), I received a super-nice compliment:

“You have great skin,” said my table-mate (and new fave person). “I thought you were in your 30s.”

I thanked her, of course. Who wouldn’t? But then my table-mate (and new fave person) pressed, oh so politely, for more intel.

“I actually write about beauty,” I said. “And I’m pretty obsessed with really high-quality skincare, so I use a lot of excellent products.”

While all that’s true, I didn’t disclose Part B of my great-skin game-plan: Buckets of complexion products layered under bronzing powder and blush.

I actually didn’t realize exactly how very many complexion-perfectors I relied on until recently, after I’d misplaced my heavy-rotation makeup bag for 10 days and was positively adrift.

In a typical stoner move, it seems I’d tucked my macquillage inside the Wee Lass’s backpack before chaperoning a trip to Lowry Park Zoo. Then she was on spring break, and said backpack was flung in a corner of her bedroom for a week and change.

After clapping with joy when I stumbled upon my beloved navy blue Completely Organized Sonia Kashuk bag this morning, I decided to dump it out and see exactly what I was freaking-out about. What was in that bag that I needed so desperately to feel polished and pulled-together?

Yes, there were a few items for eyes and cheeks that I’d sorely missed: In particular, my precious MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Stormy Pink and my Milani Baked Blush in Berry Amore.

But mostly, it was stuff that evens-out my skintone.

On any given day, I rotate among:

1. Pond’s Luminous Finish BB+ Cream

2. Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream Compact

3. Shiseido Sheer Eye Zone Corrector

4. Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream 

5. Covergirl + Olay Concealer Balm (Not shown here because it was too abused and grubby-looking, and would destroy the artsy beauty of my still-life pic.)

Although I used to wear proper, grown-up girl foundation to my office gigs in New York, ever since I hightailed it to Florida, I’ve mainly been relying on CC creams and tinted moisturizers. They’re lighter, a little breezier, and usually loaded with SPF – a mega-must down here.

I don’t know that I agree with my Spring Bonnet Luncheon table-mate (and new fave person) that I look like I’m in my 30s. Most days, I definitely don’t.

But it’s nice to try to turn back the clock just a smidge. And if you can do it with the contents of a well-stocked makeup bag, all the better.

 

 

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How can one Momover Lady be this bad at packing?

Yay! New vegan Birks for Disney!

New vegan Birks for Disney! But why silver AND gunmetal?

Yesterday morning circa 0800 (yes, yes I know: there’s nothing remotely “circa” about 0800), right before tennis, I thought to myself:

“Maybe I’ll blog about what a terrible packer I am. And maybe in blogging about it, I can figure out why I loathe it so much.”

And when I got back home, I plunked my brandy new Birks on the pavers and snapped the artful pic you see here.

Then I started checking emails, and my world blew up a little.

I realize that not everyone is a binge-reader of Momover.net, and that many peeps land here via Google searches for all manner of stuff.

So for me to reference yesterday’s blog post about the suicide of Dr. Fred Brandt – a man I loved and admired very much – in today’s blog post, which was meant to be a happy little riff about packing (badly) for Disney, is probably ill-advised.

Because now, for all of eternity, anyone who just Googles “packing” might come to this page expecting to read about packing, and here I am not only writing about Dr. Brandt, but crying, too, one hour before we hop in the SUV to head for The Happiest Place On Earth.

But here’s what I really hate about the world now: everything big and horrible that happens gets exactly 24 to 48 hours to live in the news cycle, and then we all move on to the next big and horrible thing.

So I’m sorry that I didn’t write about packing (badly) for Disney - I had really good intentions! I bought lots of new shoes and bathing suits and scarfy-shawly things I wanted to tell you about! – but I’m just not feeling it.

Please poke around the archives until I get back on Friday. There’s so much to read – ALMOST 600 BLOG POSTS, miraculously.

Peace out mamas. Be extra-kind to someone today.

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It’s official: The world is too horrible a place for a person as nice as Fred Brandt

I genuinely loved him.

I genuinely loved him. Me, and 3 billion other Friends of Fred.

I was happily off the grid yesterday, and woke up to the horrifying news that one of my very, very favorite people in beauty is no longer with us.

Even worse – so much worse, so unspeakably worse – is the conjecture (although it certainly doesn’t feel like conjecture) that Fred Brandt may have committed suicide because he was so devastated by a new TV character possibly (again, it doesn’t feel like “possibly”) based on him.

I’ll let you draw your own conclusions on that front.

I know I’m just one of many, many people who really loved that guy.

And in the coming weeks, and months, I’m sure there will be oceans of ink spilled on the circumstances surrounding his death.

An early piece – a goodie – is this one, written by Joan Kron for Allure.

In my opinion, Joan, with input from Allure EIC Linda Wells, really toplines Fred’s sweetness, his impact on the industry, the seriousness with which he took both his work and the field of dermatology.

Hopefully Joan, who really knew Fred, will write a longer story down the road.

I’m super-sad right now.

And for once, I’m speechless.

 

 

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There’s a dermatologist named Dendy Engelman, and she wants you to wear your magnesium.

headshot

Dendy: A derm with drop-dead gorge skin (and hair!) 

TGIF, my lovelies!

May we all find oodles of eggs (not Cadbury though, soooo bad for your thighs) on our hunts this Sunday.

Since my day is jammed, I’ll get right to the point of this post:

Magnesium, a mineral, is über-good for you.

In a nutshell, a deficiency in magnesium (extremely common, btw) can trigger our stress responses.

And because I’m not always the best sleeper in the world, I try to remember to sip a tumbler of magnesium-laced Natural Calm Anti-Stress Drink before bed. Especially if I’m feeling tense and wired, which thankfully doesn’t happen as much down here on Planet Palm Tree as it did in New York.

Still, I often forget about drinking my Natural Calm, and then get depleted.

Please don’t follow my haphazard lead; to gain the most benefits from magnesium, it really should be incorporated into your life on a steady basis.

Manhattan-based Dr. Dendy Engelman‘s preferred method for incorporating magnesium into her life is to spritz it on her skin – in oil form.

“As a board-certified dermatologist, the promise that transdermal magnesium oil holds for safely and effectively aiding in cutaneous ailments is exciting and is a world that has yet to be fully discovered,” she says. “In addition to calming sore muscles, improving sleep quality and replenishing low magnesium levels, magnesium oil has been shown to improve numerous skin conditions like acne, eczema and psoriasis. Magnesium is absorbed transdermally (through the skin) much more readily than when taken orally, so start spraying!”

I’ve chatted with Dr. Engelman on many occasions, and in addition to having such an adorbs name, she kinda has a killer head of hair, non? And she’s a surgeon, which requires all manner of magnesium-fueled nerves of steel.

Also smart and beautiful: My pal Jenny Ruff, Dr. Engelman’s publicist. I’ve blogged about Jenny before, because I soooo admire her flawless grooming:

RELATED POST: In praise of my friend Jenny’s tasteful spray tan

RELATED POST: My friend Jenny is concerned about my MIA eyelashes 

Back to Dr. E…

Though her fave brand of magnesium oil spray – BetterYou - is based in the U.K. and not readily available in the States, she also likes LifeFlo, which is nabbable on Amazon.

On my next trip to Rollin’ Oats Market & Café, my local indie health food store, I’m gonna check out their magnesium oil stash.

Until then…

HAPPY EASTER! HAPPY PASSOVER! HAPPY EVERYTHING!

 

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Beauty Armoire Monday: Tria Age-Defying Laser – a little ouch, a lot o’ awesome

Trying to get artsy w/ my still-life photog...

Trying to get artsy w/ my still-life photos. Tres belle, oui?

You know when you’re officially une femme d’un certain age when you have long, drawn-out text exchanges with your [also borderline-ancient] buddy about exactly what can – and cannot – be done about naso-labial folds.

And you know you’re officially a hoarder when, post-text exchange re: naso-labial folds, you go rousting around the inner recesses of your Beauty Armoire (the big one, not Baby Beauty Armoire) for a little something to help with the problem. And mid-roust, you stumble upon a spendy gadget-gizmo you received roughly two years ago and have yet to crack open.

That spendy gadget-gizmo is a Tria Beauty Age-Defying Laser. And mine is so circa-2013 that I don’t think they even make this model anymore.

Meaning they’ve moved on from this rather sedate white version to the much peppier lavender number splashed all over the company website.

Still, old is good, right? For both people and beauty gadget-gizmos you’re only just now cracking open and using for the first time?

Although my web sleuthing informs me the lovely lavender Tria Age-Defying is way better than my first-generation white guy, I kinda don’t care. I’m on a mission, and that mission is: To use what I have. There will be no buying (well, extremely limited buying) until I work through everything I already own.

Okay, on to the (vegan) meat of this post: What this baby actually does for a living.

Although I was gifted my Tria Age-Defying by a publicist, I can’t, at this moment, manage to put my mitts on all the press info that came along with it.

Thus, I was forced to watch a how-to video on the Tria website, and pore over a rawther lengthy PDF.

I’m only a week into using it – and yes, mine was free, so I may not scrutinize its performance to the same degree as a mama who plunked down 500 smackers for it – but here are my initial conclusions:

1. It’s very sleek and streamlined, and doesn’t take up a lot of bathroom-counter real estate.

2. It charges really easily and really quickly.

3. It doesn’t require the use of any type of conductivity gel, as with the NuFace. I’m sure the NuFace kicks –s (my Girl Beauty Genius™ pal Tina Hedges swears by it), but I really don’t like using that special gel. Any time I’ve ever slathered it on, I’ve just felt sooooooooo sticky and blech).

4. It hurts pretty bad – so bad! – even on Level 1, so you feel like it’s actually working. (I know I described it as “a little ouch” in the headline of this blog post. I lied.)

5. My skin looks a little tighter and glowier the morning after.

If you’re thinking of buying a Tria Age-Defying, I urge you to read both the good and bad reviews on Amazon and Sephora.com. There are plenty of both, which might make your head crack open from all the decision-making stress, but at least you’ll have done your due diligence, non?

On my end, I hope I can be as diligent with my Tria-ing as I’ve been with my medivisualizing.™

Although, pleeeeeze, what’s actually more “age-defying” – some lasery gadget-gizmo or medivisualizing™?

Medivisualizing.™

No contest.

 

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Round of applause, pls. Since New Year’s, I’ve meditated* every day except one. Holla.

Wait - can Buddha be an Xmas ornament???

Wait – can Buddha be an Xmas ornament??? I don’t think so.

Calm down, people. I knooow it’s not hip to say “holla” anymore. I just like to fake you out and have you worry and fret about whether Momover Lady has lost her Cool Factor. And – holla – Momover Lady has so not lost her Cool Factor.

Okay, I have Beginners Tennis at exactly 0900 hours, and I have to get the Wee Lass breakfasted and off to school by 0800 hours, so I better chop chop right through this here blog post.

On y va. Allez-y. Let’s go!

Faithful Momoverettes might recall that I don’t meditate in the classic sense, but instead rely upon my own special mashup brand of meditation-slash-visualization.

Oooh…let’s coin a new term, shall we?

Medivisualization

Trademarking that right now, and you are my witnesses:

Medivisualization™

For all I know, medivisualizing might already be a thing, and I can’t in fact trademark it. After I get back from Beginners Tennis, I will scour the World Wide Interweb to follow-up and determine the exact status of medivisualization…

Anyhow, I have this whole process involving crashing surf + lighthouses (yes, lighthouses), which I’ve blogged about before:

RELATED POST: Am I meditating or visualizing? And does that matter? 

So, after many, many stops and starts, it is with great pride that I tell you that I’ve medivisualized every. single. day. of 2015 except one.

The one day I didn’t medivisualize happened just last weekend, when Team Momover Lady headed to Innisbrook, the severely awesome golf + tennis resort in Palm Harbor. Loved it. Highly recommend, if you live nearby. Or even if you don’t live nearby and happen to be super into either golf or tennis. Tbere’s so much to do, and seven pools, and if you’ve got little fishies like my little fishy, those seven pools are a godsend…

Back to my, ahem, spiritual practice.

While I’m not making excuses (okay, maybe I am making excuses), the reason I didn’t medivisualize the first night we were at Innisbrook is because my CD player kinked-out. I listen to an ocean-surf CD to help me slip immediately into my happy lighthouse place, and I think I’m little too over-reliant on it.

By the second night, I just sucked it up and medivisualized without the CD player. And guess what? It kinda worked. It didn’t work as well as it does with the CD player, but it kept me in the habit.

Although I dropped-out of Leo Babauta’s fabulous Sea Change habits-building program (because I’m perhaps the laziest, most hedonistic people-person on the planet and not keeping up was giving me a raging case of the guilts), I did learn some of the core basics.

These are my takes on the core basics of habit-building; Leo would be much more eloquent and powerful in how he distilled them for you:

1. Do a little every day. Every single day, no exceptions, even if it’s only for a few minutes.

2. If you miss a day – even though I just told you not to miss a day – just get right back to biz immediately. Don’t smack-talk yourself. Just get back up on that pony and ride, mama.

3. Once you’re in the groove, and tackling whatever it is you’re tackling (like, say, exercising or medivisualizing™) on a regular basis, up the ante. Add a few minutes. Try harder.

My mission now is to embrace Step 3, upping the ante. Trying harder. Project!

 

 

 

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So Team Angie. (And so Team Every-Other-Mom-Dealing-With-Health-Issues, too.)

The babe and one of her babes.

The babe and one of her many babes.

I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like to have six children and feel like a deadly disease is gunning for you. And when I read Angelina Jolie Pitt’s op-ed in the New York Times this morning – about her decision to, once again, opt for a pre-emptive strike against cancer by having her ovaries removed, I just felt very, very sad for her.

I’m guessing pity isn’t quite the response Jolie Pitt was after. As with her first NYT op-ed, released in 2013 after her decision to have a double mastectomy as a block against the BRCA1 gene mutation, she’s all business here; walking us through her decision-making process, disclosing that she will now be entering menopause at the decidedly young age of 39.

She opted to have her ovaries removed, but not her uterus, because uterine cancer is one of the few female-specific biggies she has no history of in her family.

But Jolie Pitt’s new disclosure isn’t really about her, per se. She has a massive platform, and she’s using it to show other women that they have options, and choices, in how they deal with a perhaps unfair genetic hand they may have been dealt. She also acknowledges that her decision was made easier by the fact that she’s already had children.

And she is in no way pushing her particular path:

“A positive BRCA test does not mean a leap to surgery,” Jolie Pitt writes. “I have spoken to many doctors, surgeons and naturopaths. There are other options. Some women take birth control pills or rely on alternative medicines combined with frequent checks. There is more than one way to deal with any health issue. The most important thing is to learn about the options and choose what is right for you personally.”

Jolie Pitt rattles off statistics, and medical terminology, in a matter-of-fact manner that almost – almost – belies the fear she must feel. And for every moment she – and every other mother on the planet – has lived with the anxiety that they may not be around for their children, my heart goes out.

Peace, mamas.

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