I Hide My Chocolate

Midlife observations

Category: Yoga

Hot, Crowded, and Awesome


(I Almost Didn’t Go)

To celebrate the Summer Solstice and support the Mental Health Association, our community has an outdoor yoga extravaganza (which was indoors this year).  I wasn’t going to go.  It would be hot and crowded.  I’d have to leave work early.  I wouldn’t be home to fulfill my dinner-making duties with my family.  Besides, it promised to be awesome.  That is my cue to stay away.  I have honed my scorn for awesome, crowded events over many, many years.  Indeed, this scorn has been passed down from generation to generation.  I come from a family of introverts, where anything too popular or too crowded is to be avoided.  Join in with whole-hearted enthusiasm?  Nah ah!  Better to stay home and be safe and do one’s duty.

One of my yoga friends and teachers, who happens to embrace – joyfully – all things awesome with wholehearted enthusiasm, reminded me that Matthew Sanford would be the guest teacher at this event.  Oh!  Hmmm.  The author of the amazing memoir, Waking, that heightened my devotion to yoga?!  Oh well.  That’s okay.  I don’t need to take a hot, crowded, awesome class with a yoga teacher who happens to be a paraplegic and has written eloquently and with great insight about the mind-body connection…or lack thereof.  Besides, I am too busy.  Busy, busy, busy.  That mind of mine is going off in a million directions with Very Important Thoughts.

But this quiet voice in my gut said, “Sally.  What are you doing?  You have been profoundly and forever affected by yoga.  Matt Sanford’s book had a huge impact on you.  You know you want to meet him and take class with him.  Embrace this opportunity with whole-hearted enthusiasm!”  I decided to listen to the quiet, intuitive voice in my gut instead of the busy, analytical voice in my head.  I invited my friend Gina, the one who enthusiastically accepts my most spontaneous invitations with touching appreciation, kindness, enthusiasm, and support.  My friend Gina who thinks the best of me, who thinks I am better than I am.  Dear Gina said yes.  Off we went.

We arrived and there was an assortment of sponsors advertising their wares.  Marketing, I scoffed.  (Full disclosure, I make my living by marketing.)  Gina left me at the registration table in a hurry to get to the first table to chat up the sponsor and see what they were offering.  Within 10 minutes, she had gotten valuable tips from a nutritionist and found a photographer who did beautiful yoga stationery.  I, on the other hand, was wondering how quickly I could dump the goody bag and all the flyers.  Then, we entered the hot and crowded space where the class would be.  Music was playing.  I saw many, many yoga friends.  I smiled.  Aware that I was in this funny space where my mind kept me at a distance from the experience, from other people, from whole-heartedly and enthusiastically being All In, I decided to be there.  All In.  With my friend.  With my yoga community, those I knew and those I didn’t know.  We found a space in the middle of the hot crowd and became part of the hot crowd.

Matt Sanford was introduced.  He began.   Speaking, teaching, in his wheelchair, about the mind-body connection.  He was simply profound.   And he was an ordinary guy who was impatient with the uncooperative sound system and with the shortness of time.  Determined to convey the messages he felt were most urgent to deliver to this hot, crowded group of devotees who wanted to soak in every word he said in one short class.  He had us feel our breath behind our hearts, notice that we felt better when our bodies were energetically in alignment, and appreciate the touch and support of a partner.  Some of my paraphrasing of his words of wisdom include:

  • The body is driven to live.
  • The body is the best home for the mind (to rest).
  • Take up space with your body.
  • The distraction of the mind prevents us from feeling and being present.
  • The silence of his paralyzed body is like the silence we will all experience as we age.
  • Notice the humming of energy through your body.
  • Feel your body.  Feel connected.  Feel.
  • Life is a gift – enjoy it!

After the class, everyone in this hot, crowded space held hands and sang and chanted and felt connected.  It was truly awe-some.

And to think I almost didn’t go.  I would have missed so much.


Me with Matt.  He is inscribing my copy of Waking:  A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence.

Photos:  Gina took these photos.


I Don’t Like Bacon Anymore



Actually, I haven’t liked bacon for a long time.  I have fond memories of liking the smell of bacon and I feel like I should like bacon but I don’t.  We use to have bacon for special occasion breakfasts until I realized that I hated the grease cleanup and didn’t really enjoy the taste, so I stopped initiating them.  Sometimes my family acts a bit wistful for these breakfasts, but not convincingly.

When out to celebrate my daughter’s birthday at one of our special occasion restaurants, I decided to splurge and ordered the roast chicken with apple wood smoked bacon.  When it arrived, the chicken was overcooked and dry.  Highly unusual.  Just as unusual, I sent it back.  They brought me another and it was just a touch less dry.  The smokey smell of the bacon was overpowering.  I could not enjoy it.  Maybe, maybe it was time.

I’ve been very gradually eating less and less meat for several years now.  Not quite putting a stake in the ground.  Rather, I’ve been tip-toeing toward pragmatic vegetarianism.  Eating less meat as long as it didn’t disturb anyone else’s meal plan.  As is my cautious way, afraid to put myself whole heartedly out there with a strong point of view.  I can argue both sides, affiliating with everyone while offending no one, and not really honoring who I am.  After all, I love a juicy roast chicken or a grilled steak or my husband’s homemade meatballs.  And while trying to feed a family of four with completely different food likes and dislikes, why add another challenging component to getting dinner on the table?  Declaring myself a vegetarian seems both selfish and an act of self-sabotage.  It’s hard enough to deal with dinner for the family every night of the week.  Do I really need another food rule to live by?

When I took the step of getting more serious about yoga, I became aware of one of the first principles of yoga, Ahimsa, which translates to nonviolence.  Many yogi’s are vegetarian and base their decision on this precept, to be kind to all living creatures.  That year I reflected on the ways I inflict harm on myself with my cuticle picking and anxious thoughts.  I started looking people in the eye and smiling more.  I noticed that I felt better and slept better when I ate less meat and so my gradual tapering off of meat began.  I found meatless recipes that made it into the family dinner repertoire.  I brown-bagged my lunch and ate out less frequently or at restaurants that had more vegetarian options.  I lost 15 pounds.

But I didn’t really question the values behind the food chain.  Why shouldn’t we eat meat?  It’s what we humans do.

When we went away for vacation last month, I found myself ridiculously sad to leave our two parakeets behind.  We got our first parakeet, Cooper, for Christmas two years ago to satisfy my son’s desire for a dog.  We felt our lifestyle was not amenable to having a dog and settled on a parakeet instead.  Cooper is attentive, social, sweet and adapted quickly to the family, hanging out with us as much as we let him.  We were still away for much of the day, however, and we worried that he was alone and lonely.  So Ginger joined the family a year later.  She has not acclimated as well, presumably because she has Cooper in a way that he didn’t have another bird to fall back on.  She is more wary and less friendly, with a very distinct personality to whom I’ve also grown very attached, identifying with her wariness.

I grew up with pets.  As an only child, I would fantasize about how wonderful it would be to have a companion and wheedle until my parents would give in.  Fish, a turtle, gerbils.  Then there were the more significant and long-lived pets:  George the guinea-pig who would oink excitedly when he heard the refrigerator door open, hopeful that some lettuce was coming his way.  Buddy the parakeet for whom I played a recording of me saying “Hi Buddy!” for hours, hopeful that he would someday say “Hi Buddy!” back.  He never did.  And Pansy the poodle, who became my mother’s dog, not mine, because she was the one who fed her and spent time with her.  When George and Buddy died, I felt enormous guilt.  After the initial infatuation, the drudgery of having a pet set in and there was only so much bonding I was able to do with a guinea pig and a parakeet as a young girl. 

With Cooper, and Ginger, there was some sense of wanting to alleviate my guilt.  Could I take better care of them than I did of Buddy?  I watched them.  I looked them in the eye, trying to understand their moods, imagine what they might be feeling, trying to create a nice life for them, as much as a caged suburban life can be for a wild creature, even if bred for caged suburban life.

Why is it okay to eat chicken and not parakeet?  Why is it okay to eat pig and not dog?  Why is it okay to eat cow and not cat?  After looking in Cooper’s eyes and feeling his heartbeat and his complete trust, I don’t think I can eat animals any more.  Truly, he has a soul.  But what about squishing bugs and eating fish, delicious fish?  Where does one draw the line?

After reading Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, where the man and the boy are the good people in search of other good people while avoiding being killed and eaten by the marauding gangs of bad people, I wondered, if my life depended on it, what would I do?

I am increasingly uncomfortable with considering myself and other humans as better than other animals and entitled to eat them.  I am increasingly uncomfortable with keeping quiet about what I believe to be right for me.



I Am Not Playful!  (But, If It’s Not Too Late, Could I Be?)

On our morning rush to the train station, we drove by a neighbor whose 8-year-old daughter was waiting for her school bus and happened to do an amazingly perfect cartwheel just as we passed by.  “Ah,” I smiled.  “I remember when I was good at doing cartwheels!”  Pause.  “Who am I kidding?  I was never good at cartwheels!”  We laughed.  The daughter of unathletic scientists, I grew up as a bookworm – usually one of the last to be picked for a softball team.  After all, I throw like a girl.  Any athletic ability I have has been hard-won as an adult.

I remember wanting to be good at cartwheels.  Every year we would get to the gymnastics part of the P.E. curriculum and I would be in awe of (and jealous of) the girls who seemed to effortlessly fly through the air.  These girls were pretty and social with each other, banding together with seeming ease and confidence.  I was not one of the popular, pretty, confident girls.  (Though I pretended to be one when I was a older.)  When I was 8, practicing cartwheels in my front yard, I was a watchful and lonely only child who was afraid of going upside down in a cartwheel or a handstand.  Practicing over and over again for that fleeting blissful moment when I felt a hint of that thrill when I maybe kind of sort of did it.

I have experienced that thrill in yoga, practicing handstand over and over again, flying upside down – against the wall, of course!  Sometimes there are fleeting blissful moments when I feel perfectly balanced and hover away from the wall.  It’s enough to make me wonder if I could do a cartwheel.  At 51.  Maybe kind of sort of.  Maybe it’s not too late.

Like life, I show up at yoga, bringing every facet of my personality and all my emotions.  Good, bad, embarrassing.  All of it is on my mat.  There is my regular class, where I feel deeply connected to my teacher, am friends with the other students, and feel confident of my abilities as yogini.  I situate myself in the back row with the other regulars, checking in with my friends and even joking around – like high school seniors goofing off in the back of the bus (not that I was ever a back of the bus kind of girl).  Then there is an assortment of classes in Manhattan that I slip into irregularly.  I might know the teacher, but I don’t really know the other students.  I breathe, enjoy the sensation and familiarity of the poses, and the feeling of sneaking some peace in the middle of my work life.  Manhattan has the trendy, competitive thing going on.  Classes can be crowded, the average age is about 30, and everyone knows their way around Surya Namaskar A and B, jumping back to Chaturanga while nonchalantly tossing in a handstand.  I expect the crowded competitiveness in Manhattan and deal with it by ignoring it.  Aggressively.  Refusing.  To Participate.  I have found some quieter classes where there is a wider range of ages and abilities where I feel more comfortable.

So, it’s with some surprise that I have found myself struggling in my suburban local studio where I did my teacher training and feel at home.  Checking out some of the more advanced classes that don’t always fit into my schedule, I’ve found them crowded with people I don’t know.  Hey, this is my place!  What are you doing here?  I have found myself feeling on the periphery as the regulars take their place.  Sizing myself up against the group and feeling like I don’t measure up.  Younger, stronger, more confident.  It’s enough to make me want to not even try.  That’s how I deal with competition.  I shouldn’t have to prove myself.  Hang on though, why is competitiveness showing up on my mat anyway?  That’s not yogic!

The teacher – one of the younger, popular, pretty ones who I simultaneously adore and am jealous of because she seems to sail through life with a sense of humor and a keen sense of love and compassion for others, possessing a range of qualities that I regularly feel lacking in – urges us to be playful and to get in touch with our inner child as we attempt some challenging arm balances.  Sigh.  I hate being urged to be playful.  I Am Not Playful.  But I know what she’s aiming for and I love her so I try to go with the flow.  With each vinyasa though, I get angrier and increasingly frustrated.  I don’t want to work this hard and I can’t “do it.”  The regulars are doing it, why can’t I?  In the past I would have been in the front row proving that I can do it.  I don’t want to prove it any more.  Wait, that’s not true, I do want to prove it.  The conflict makes me feel angry and sad.  And kind of victim-y.  Am I going to have to phase out advanced classes from my repertoire?  Have I hit my peak and it’s downhill from here?

Is it too late?

I look inside for my inner child.  My inner child is anxious, watchful, and lonely.  She is not helping me find a playful approach to arm balances.  In fact, she’s just making me feel angrier and sadder and more sorry for myself.  I lie in Savasana weeping.  Sad that I am not playful.  Sad that I was such a forlorn little girl.  Angry at feeling out of place in my home-base studio.  Angry at not being “the best” at yoga.  Jealous of the teacher for being so popular and easeful.  Jealous of the other students for being so strong and self-assured.  And tired, so tired, of not being able to find the joy.  Ready to slip out of class unnoticed and invisible, my community of yoga teachers and friends notices me and my tears and embraces me with love and compassion.  Perhaps I do not need to be anxious, watchful, lonely, and unnoticed anymore.  Perhaps I can let my forlorn inner child go.  I may never be a very playful person but I can be joyful and grateful.  After all, my body is healthy and strong and I have loving friends and family.

I remember buying yoga pants once and the size that fit was “Large.”  All I could think was, “Gee, if I’m a large, what are the large people wearing?”  And so it goes.  If I am struggling in yoga class, what do the less experienced people do?  Well, I think they don’t even show up.  And that’s a shame.  Because the benefits of yoga come from breathing and meditation and the process of discovering.   A person of any age and any level of fitness can breathe and meditate and discover herself.   Perhaps that is my next step as a yoga student and a yoga teacher.  There will always be someone “better” than me.  The trick is in finding some peace in the process, some joy in the discovering, and sharing it with others.  Maybe I will never do exotic arm balances, but maybe, just maybe, I will kind of sort of do a cartwheel someday.  Or maybe, more importantly, I will help some inner girl to do a cartwheel.



Abiding Between Youth and Old Age

I am feeling all of my 51 years, no longer young but not yet old.  There is still so much I want to do.  To say.  To be.

I thought I would be GREAT by now.  Free of all my neuroses and at the height of a successful career.  I was never sure what that career was going to be, but I was going to be At The Top.  Brilliant writer.  Transcendent dancer.  Insightful teacher.  Inspiring leader.

It took my 40’s and several years of mid-life reflection to get to 50.  I find that each decade ends in the next one.  And now, at 51, I am fully ensconced in this one.  51 is simply 51.

51 is not the new 31.  I am angry at the marketers who insist we look and behave younger than we are.  I don’t want to be 31.  It was a good year, don’t get me wrong, filled with all the joyful beginnings of a new decade, with a new marriage and a new home and the promise of new life.  But at 51, I have gone through so much more living.  I’ve loved.  I’ve lost people I love.  I’ve had children (one of the experiences worthy of the word “awesome” in my mind).  I’ve lost a few jobs.  And survived.  And learned a lot about myself and other people along the way.

Why dismiss that experience?  Why do we elevate the giddy impulsiveness and anxiety of youth in favor of the patience and intelligence that comes with living life?

I still nervously pick my cuticles, compulsively measure my food, and procrastinate by getting lost in anxious thoughts.  But it is lessening.  I am aware that my tendency toward a sense of depression is a go-to habit – a vestigial way to elicit attention and make an excuse for my perceived failure to be great.  When I notice my tendency to complain, to feel sad or unworthy, or not ready, I now try to do or say something different, something honest.  It allows me to approach my day and the people in it with a more positive and open energy.  Call it happy?  Could it be?

Cyndi Lee discusses the concept of abiding in her book May I Be Happy.  Abiding is the stage between Arising and Dissolving.  Between Inhaling and Exhaling.  Between Birth and Death.  Between Youth and Age.  We work so hard at living.  What will I be when I grow up?  Who will I be with?  Who will my children be?  What will I achieve?  What will be my legacy?  Suddenly you realize that you are grown up and you are what you are.  Maybe it’s time to pause at the transition and just be.  Let go of the grasping ambition, the punishing hard work.  And just be.  Me.  Abiding.

For me, one of the pleasures of being 51 is enjoying pop culture (well, some of it) with my children and remembering parallel experiences from when I was the same age.  My daughter loves Taylor Swift.  I have happily chaperoned a few concerts and admire Swift’s song-writing talent and ability to capture the essence of her age.  Instead of writing an essay on mid-life filled with regret and dissatisfaction, I decided to turn Swift’s tribute to 22 into an anthem for 51.  I figure it will take me a year to perfect the lyrics and record it for YouTube.  At that point, I can call it 52, which rhymes much better with Ooh-Ooh.

51  (Sung – affectionately and enthusiastically – to the tune of 22, by Taylor Swift)

It feels like a perfect night to dress up like yogis

And stay home with the family, uh uh, uh uh.

It feels like a perfect night for reading The New Yorker

And wait up for my daughter, uh uh, uh uh.


We’re happy, sad, tired, stressed, and wise at the same time

It’s maddening and menopausal.

Oh, yeah

Tonight’s the night when I throw off the covers

In a sweat

Uh oh!

I don’t know about you

But I’m feeling 51

No longer want to be 22

But still have much to do

I finally know about me

And what I want to be

Not sure it will be all right

But let’s keep dancing like we’re

51, ooh-ooh

51, ooh-ooh

It seems like one of those days

Noticed jowls in the mirror

Can’t wear high heels, uh uh, uh uh.

It seems like one of those days

Woke up at 4 in the morning

To do list is growing, uh uh, uh uh.


We’re happy, sad, tired, stressed, and wise at the same time

It’s maddening and menopausal.

Oh, yeah

Tonight’s the night when I throw off the covers

In a sweat

Uh oh!

I don’t know about you

But I’m feeling 51

No longer want to be 22

But still have much to do

I finally know about me

And what I want to be

Not sure it will be all right

But let’s keep dancing like we’re

51, ooh-ooh

51, ooh-ooh

It feels like one of those years

Still living for each paycheck

Thought I’d be rich, uh uh, uh uh

It feels like one of those years

Still seeking the perfect life

Thought I’d be there, uh uh, uh uh


We’re happy, sad, tired, stressed, and wise at the same time

It’s maddening and menopausal.

Oh, yeah

Tonight’s the night when I throw off the covers

In a sweat

Uh oh!

I don’t know about you

But I’m feeling 51

No longer want to be 22

But still have much to do

I finally know about me

And what I want to be

Not sure it will be all right

But let’s keep dancing like we’re

51, ooh-ooh

51, ooh-ooh

As for birthday celebrations, I whole-heartedly believe in them, for me and for you.  This is your day.  Like your name, it is uniquely all about you.  Celebrate you and share in the celebration with your friends and family.  Ask for what you want.  Be sure to have a cake with candles and a wish.  I am not a fan of cake.  And virtually refuse to eat it.  It is dry and tasteless and not worth the calories.  Unless, of course, it is my birthday and the cake is chocolate – dense and moist – and ideally homemade.  With icing smeared off from the plate.  And then I allow myself a sliver and I savor every bite.

Glazed Chocolate Cake with Sprinkles (from Gourmet)

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • Sprinkles!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter bottom and side of 9×2 inch round pan, then line bottom with parchment.

Sift together dry ingredients.  Beat together butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.  Add eggs 1 at a time, then beat in vanilla.  Reduce speed to medium-low and add dry ingredients, alternating with milk.

Transfer batter to cake pan.  Bake until cake begins to pull away from side of pan and a wooden toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes.  Invert onto a rack and cool completely, 1 hour.

For glaze, bring cream to a simmer in small heavy saucepan over medium heat, then pour over chocolate in a bowl and let stand 1 minutes.  Gently whisk until smooth, then stir in corn syrup.  Coll completely, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.  It will thicken.

Peel off parchment from cake.  Pour glaze onto center of cake and spread to edges with a spatula.  Decorate with sprinkles!

To Do: Be Here Now


 My List

  1. Yearbooks
  2. Old Navy
  3. Haircut
  4. Key
  5. College prep
  6. Black bean chili
  7. Aspirin

Scrounging for a scrap of paper to write down a few things we need at our vacation house this week, I found this list crumpled in the corner of the purse I brought.  Normally, in my frantic rush to get things done, I would have glossed over this list and just started my new one.  I reuse paper for list-writing with the absurd notion that my attempt to be frugal with bits of paper will help the planet.  But, right now, I am on vacation and I am trying to live in the present moment and to pay attention.  To hear the end of summer crickets, to feel the temperature in the air and the wind on my face, to smell the road-kill on my morning walk, to see – really see – what my eyes are looking at, as Rodney Yee instructed us in the serendipitous yoga class he taught on Tuesday.  It’s just about impossible for me to stay in the present moment.  This week, as my friends with children one year older than mine are dropping them off at college, I am already jumping to a year from now when we will be taking my daughter to college.  I look at the list.  It brings me to a moment in time in my recent past.  When did I write this list?  What was going on?

1.  Yearbooks.  That was a note to myself to order yearbooks for the kids before the deadline.  The year before, when my daughter was in 10th grade, I missed the deadline.  I push everything to the deadline and even then assume I can eek past the deadline and still get by.  Not this time.  There were no yearbooks left.  My daughter’s face crashed with disappointment.  I apologized with shame at my carelessness.  “It’s okay Mom,” she gently but sadly reassured me.  What kind of mom neglects to order yearbooks for their kid?  As usual, I was self-absorbed.  As usual, she pretended not to mind.  I was not going to make that mistake again.

2.  Old Navy.  I needed to order jeans for my son.  Old Navy has the only pair that fits him.  Regular Style Husky.  He is growing but is not tall yet.  He is at that awkward stage where he is stoking up for his big growth spurt.  Most brands are too long and too tight in the waist.  He will be big.  He’s grown a lot this summer, stretching out a bit.  Like a puppy, his feet are now enormous, but his body hasn’t caught up yet.  He’s already outgrown the jeans I ordered for him from that to-do reminder.

3.  Haircut.  The only item on the list that’s about me.  It must have been time for my every 7 weeks trim – my personal hygiene errand.  I can’t even remember to make a haircut appointment any more.  I have to write everything down.  Otherwise I get closed out of the Saturday timeslots at the salon.

4.  Key.  Key?  What was this?  Had we used the spare key and not put it back in its hiding place?  Was it when we replaced the front door and needed to get new keys made?  Were we taking care of my sister-in-law’s dog?  Why did I need a key?  Key to my heart?  Key to my soul?  What mystery was locked away?  Why can’t I remember anything anymore?

5.  College Prep.  Phew, this is a loaded item.  Like I could just check this off as another item on my to-do list.  Get her ready for college.  Check.  No problem!  Her friend’s mother found an SAT/ACT prep class and I jumped on it.  I was grateful that another mom had done the research and found the perfect thing:  5 Sunday afternoons that would focus her productively with test preparation skills, with a friend.  Done!  If only it were that easy.

6.  Black Bean Chili.  This pinpoints the time for me.  The weekend prior to Monday January 14th.  I had signed up on the neighborhood meal train to make dinner for my friend Agnes who lost her husband, suddenly, so sadly, on November 6th.  She was eating more vegetarian choices and so was I.  This was the perfect meal.  Easy, keeps well, and I could make enough for both her family and my family.  I was struggling with how to be a good friend to her.  This was the least I could do.

7.  Aspirin.  My husband does not like to talk about his health.  Whenever I come up with my latest and greatest thought about being healthy, he is quite interested if it is abstract, mildly interested if it is an initiative I am undertaking for my health (Yoga!  Meatless!), and aggressively disinterested if it is an initiative I demand he should undertake for his health.  I haven’t completely cracked this code.  If I can present the concept lightly as something he can opt in to, as opposed to a didactic “You need to do X” he is more amenable.  And so it has been with aspirin.  He has read the evidence that aspirin is an anti-inflammatory that may prevent heart attacks, stroke, and even cancer.  So, we started taking baby aspirin this year.

Funny how this arrangement of seven words sums up so much.  Update this list to now – the present moment – and my list becomes:

1a. Take care of business before the deadline is upon me.  Procrastination cultivates stress and is selfish when other people are affected.

1b. Pay attention to my daughter.  Just because she says it’s okay doesn’t mean it is.  Value what is important to her and try to make it happen when possible.  Don’t be careless.

2.   Buy clothes for my son that fit him properly.  Just because he doesn’t care what he wears doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t help him find clothes that make him feel good about his body and how he looks, especially as he enters high school with some anxiety and curiosity about girls.

3.  Take care of me.  No need to be a martyr.  It’s okay to develop a personal style that doesn’t require a fortune and a lot of professional help.  Enjoy my longer, softer, less edgy hair.

4.  Trust my children with their own key.  Be proud of their increasing independence as they take bigger steps away from me.  Welcome them home with a good night kiss when they come back safe and sound.

5.  Be there for my daughter as she dives into this exciting time, trying on who she might want to be when she grows up.  May she have fun with her friends, enjoy her senior year as a leader in the school, and explore her many options for college next year.

6.  Sustain my friendships.  When I am busy busy busy, I am not good at doing the everyday things that keep a friendship going.  Make time to care.

7.  Tell my husband that the reason I care about his health is because I love him.  I want him around to enjoy our life together as we launch our wonderful children further and further into their own lives.

As for the rest of the list, created at different times on this mini time capsule, the middle set of ingredients (with the exception of shrimp, which was for another dinner) is for my husband’s Veal Bolognese Sauce (adapted from a recipe of Mario Batali’s).  It is delicious.  My husband makes it regularly.  (On the weekends, I go grocery shopping and he cooks at least one sauce that provides leftovers.)  It just so happens that we have leftover Bolognese Sauce waiting for us for when we return from vacation.  But I am getting ahead of myself, as usual.  Right now, I need to buy some coffee for the vacation house and some udder cream (a wonderful moisturizer for sensitive skin) for my husband’s skin which is taking a beating away from home.  After I pause and appreciate the moment.


August photo at the beach


The shift happened.  Did you notice?

After the heat wave where it took energy just to go out and pick up the newspaper.

(Yes, I proudly read and relish my physical copy of the newspaper.  Saving longer articles to read later.  Bringing recipes home, so sure I will be inspired to try something new over the weekend.   Lugging entire sections around in my chaotic bag for days to share with anyone who is in synch with my sensibility:  You have to read this – it’s funny, fascinating, horrifying!  My energetic optimism for potential reading eventually ends up in recycling.  Besides, I can always find it online.)

After the days and days of drenching rain where I actually took the subway across town (something I never do, preferring to walk), multiple times, because I was fed up with soaking my sandaled feet in the puddles and fighting with the other umbrellas.

After the June first-burst of roses faded and the black-eyed susans took over, the shift happened.

The sound changed.  Did you notice?  Last week.  The cicadas are brurzing.  (One of my father’s invented words.)  The tree frogs are singing.  I heard geese honking the other day.  Flying south already?  Too soon!  I am not ready for September!  It can’t be!

You see, I love August and can’t stand the thought of it ending.  It hasn’t begun yet, but I am already preparing myself for August to be over.  For the Summer to be over.  Kind of like how I both love and dread Sundays.  Or life.  Instead of living it and loving it, I am anticipating my sadness at being at the end of it.

I love August.  The anxious transition to Summer is behind us.  The kids are settled into their Summer.  There is no homework.  Unless you count Summer Reading.

(Who thought Atlas Shrugged was a good choice for Summer Reading anyway?  I am encouraging my daughter to read the Cliffs Notes and don’t care if anyone accuses me of being a bad mother and a defiant English Lit major who should be ostracized for disrespecting the canon!)

The days are still blissfully long.  Minimal clothes.  No shoes.  (Well, I go barefoot year-round.  Thank you Yoga.)  Work slows, a touch.  And we have our vacation week on the horizon.  Resting, reading, writing, walking, cooking, connecting with my family and friends at the beach, free from routine.  I can’t wait.

Then it is over.  September.  The relentless pace will be back.  School, activities, deadlines, pressure to perform.  The kids are in the next grade.  I am another year older.

I get depressed in August.

Last year, I forbade myself to get depressed.  As if by sheer force of will, I could control my mood.  Deny my mood.  Instead, I launched full tilt into two enormously demanding, challenging, and creative projects.  I began teaching yoga consistently once a week.  I started my blog, writing consistently once a week.  (More or less.)  Determined to not quit, I persevered even when my confidence waned and my enthusiasm was shaky.  I find myself looking back on those early yoga classes, those early blog posts, with a blushing mixture of pride and embarrassment at their amateur quality.  Because, you know, I am so sophisticated now.  Beware the sophomore year.  Beware the pressure to perform at a higher level.  Hang on to beginner mind.  I teach because I love sharing yoga and how it makes me and my students feel happy.  I write because it is my way of understanding and revealing who I am in a way I have never had the guts to do before.  It is not about how many students I have, how many followers I have.  Process not results.

This year.  What?  What shall I do with this seasonal pause?  The sabbatical before September.  How can I stay in the present moment and enjoy every minute of this long wonderful month?  I do think one can make choices about ones’ mood, or at least how one reacts.  I can choose to be sad about Summer ending or I can choose to be grateful that my favorite month is here.  I choose to be grateful.  To live and love my life.  Every moment of it.  Every person in it.

It is tempting to set myself an assignment.  To get through August with GOALS.  I will begin to meditate!  That’s it!  I will meditate EVERY DAY in August.  I will post something I am grateful about EVERY DAY in August.  I will connect with one friend EVERY DAY in August.  I will look at the moon EVERY NIGHT in August.

All worthy ideas, but the pressure to perform them makes me feel depressed.  And anxious.  Well, to be honest, the ideas kind of jazz me up to a manic achievement-oriented state.  YES!  That’s how I am going to handle August!  I am going to do ALL of those things!  The depression comes later.  Either when I’ve done all those things and still feel sad or I haven’t done all those things and berate myself for failing.  And still feel sad.

To hell with good intentions and impossible-to-achieve resolutions.  Perhaps I should take a cue from the seasonal pause of nature.  And let myself pause.  Pause and breathe.

And maybe, just maybe, do something completely out of character, like watch Sharknado, with laughter instead of my customary derisive judgment.  Laughter with my family.

August with my family.  I can’t wait for it to begin.

Yogini Guru


Help!  Get Me Out of This Tight Spot!

I am angry.  At my yoga teacher, Yogini Guru.  Which is a little like being angry at your therapist, or your most honest and compassionate best friend, or even a generous stranger doing you a favor, when they hold you accountable and don’t cater to your neediness.  Because they love you and want you to be your true self.

I have decided that identifying that I feel anger is a positive sign of personal growth.  Instead of numbing low-grade depression or frenetic ruminating anxiety, I now feel anger!  At everyone!  Constantly!  Is there a diagnosis of Generalized Anger Disorder in the new DSM-5 just released?  Because I am angry at the ubiquity of Generalized Anxiety Disorder and ready to free myself of that label – the one that has been with me for 30+ years – ready to free myself of being a good girl seeking the approval of others.

Yogini Guru doesn’t know I am angry.  I haven’t told her.  She probably would not be surprised.  She knows me pretty well.  I imagine her laughing knowingly or hugging me with acceptance and compassion or simply wondering why I wouldn’t just talk to her directly.  My reasons are based on old habits and are constructs in my mind.  I have twisted what she has said and fabricated what she is thinking in my mind and haven’t given her the opportunity to be her self.  For what it’s worth, Yogini Guru is petite, funny, self-deprecating, inclusive, loving, supportive and not at all austere.  I want her to tell me I’m good, a good yoga teacher, but she knows I need to feel my worth without her validation.

After graduating from the 200-hour yoga teacher training program that she directs – essentially a masters degree without the bells and whistles of academia – and apprenticing with a more experienced teacher, I auditioned to teach for Yogini Guru.  I was nervous, serious and stiff.  She stopped me after just a few minutes and we discussed what I needed to work on.  Chagrined (and angry), I wondered if I would ever be a teacher worthy of teaching at her studio.  This is the type of obstacle – feedback that suggests I am less than perfect – where I feel overwhelmed and give up.  Rejected! Fuck You!  I quit!  But I love yoga.  I love Yogini Guru.  I knew this was another crucial crossroads where I have given up in the past.  I had to fight through it.  It was time to move past depending on others’ evaluation of me to feel good about my self.  It was time to feel good about my self.

What I imagined I heard from Yogini Guru:  You are a terrible teacher.  Worse than I realized.  You are a failure.

What she actually said:  I like your theme.  Your assists are good.  Your students trust you.  Eliminate the repetitive language so that you are more succinct.  Keep practicing.  You’re not ready yet.  Have fun and be joyful.

Another year later.  (Personal growth takes a long time.)  I am teaching once a week at a near-by gym refining my teaching skills and my teaching style and nurturing my growing group of beloved students.  I have signed on to take a 30-hour continuing education module of teacher training.  With Yogini Guru of course.  One of the requirements is that I video myself teaching a class and critique it.  Then she critiques it.  Good God.  This is torture.  What if I am still not good enough?  I schedule time in her studio to video myself, inviting some of my regulars to be my students for this videoed class.  I succumb to my anxiety and tense up.  The class is well-designed, but flat.  I am too mechanical.

I reach out to Yogini Guru:  What is the goal of this video?  Can we work with my stiff anxiety or should I keep trying?

I wanted reassurance:  Oh Sally.  I can’t wait to see your video!  I am sure it will be fine.  Don’t worry if it’s not perfect.  We’ll talk about it.

Instead, she is holding me accountable for the decision and not catering to my neediness.  She said it was my decision.  After spending three days alternately fuming, panicking, and on the precipice of giving up – which would sabotage my potential for success – I videoed a second class – my regular class at the gym.  It’s not perfect and it is a less well-designed class than the first video, but I was my self.  And that is all I can be.  My anger (at least at Yogini Guru) is resolved.  After all, she has done nothing except be true to her self and compassionate to me.  She deserves the same from me.  Besides, if and when I teach at her studio, there will always be another challenge, another obstacle, another achievement, another rejection.  I need to do this for my self.  Not for her or anyone else.  Which changes my perspective on the process.  If I am not attached to her evaluation of me as a teacher, what is my goal for teaching?  Can I enjoy teaching for the sake of sharing my yoga with others and feel confident, in my grounded self, that yes indeed I am a good teacher?

Thanks on the road to personal growth goes not only to the teachers, therapists and coaches, family, friends and enemies (they always have lessons), but also to the random strangers who help you along the way.  The other day, as I was leaving an early morning session with my therapist – who was encouraging me to voice my anger in a safe and constructive way – I discovered that my car was blocked in.

I had the new car and had carefully parked it in a corner spot where it had less of a chance to get a ding (and less of a chance to incur the anger and dismay of my husband who adores this car).  I fumed and panicked.  My instinct was to call my husband.  Help!  Get me out of this tight spot!  My instinct was to run in and implore my therapist to find the offending parker.  Help!  Get me out of this tight spot!

I took a breath.  I spied a woman in the car parked next to mine and asked her for help.  She willingly jumped out of her car to direct me out of the spot (such a good woman).  I maneuvered carefully back and forth.  She assured me that I could do it.  I fumed, panicked and was on the precipice of giving up.  She went into the building to fight my battle for me (such a good woman) – to find the offending parker.  No luck.  Back to the maneuvering, she assured me that I could do it.  I fumed, panicked and was on the precipice of giving up.  Then it was my turn: I went into the building to find the offending parker.  No luck.  When I reemerged, she had left.  My alter ego was gone.  I fumed, panicked and was on the precipice of giving up.

On the verge of a panic attack (does this nascent feeling of anger lead to increased anxiety?), I took a breath.  I decided to trust her confidence that I could do it.  I decided to trust my self.  I got in the car.  Maneuvered back and forth.  Got out of the car to see how much room I had.  6 inches.  I got in the car, maneuvered back and forth, got out of the car to see how much room I had.  5 inches.  I did this a seemingly endless number of times, not quite sure I was going to succeed – kind of like personal growth.  And then I was free.  I inched past the obnoxious, self-absorbed car who had parked in the non-spot blocking me.  The relief flooded over me.

Who was that woman who helped me?  I didn’t get her name.  Generous woman in a black dress – I thank you.

Image is Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions

Believing in OM


OM is God?

If you knew that the goal of yoga was to quiet the body and quiet the mind so that your soul could experience “God,” would you still do yoga?  Would I?

Brought up with an attitude of condescension towards religion (scientists know better), I pursued an intellect’s path.  Regretfully.  As a child, I was awed by beautiful churches and temples, intrigued by the mysterious rituals, moved by the harmonic vibrations of the chants and hymns, and jealous of the social community that my friends belonged to.  Not belonging to church heightened my sense of being an outsider, alone, different.  My parents allowed me to explore Christianity while making it clear that they would have none of it.  At the age of 12, 13, 14, I threw myself into it (pretty much how I do everything in the new throes of a passionate interest), preparing myself to be confirmed as a member of the church.    I read the Bible, joined the youth group and the choir, went on retreats, attended church school, but ultimately decided I did not believe in God.  Wistfully but decisively, I chose not to be confirmed.  I went forward with my intellect’s life.

I married a man who has an even stronger history of disbelief in religion (though perhaps a more open relationship with God).  His father was damaged (exactly how is unspoken and unknown – I can only imagine the worst) by his Catholic upbringing.  While introducing his children, intellectually, to all the religions of the world, he made it clear that he was vehemently opposed to religion, characterizing it as inhumane, self-serving, even evil – definitely not spiritual.  When we had children, I found myself wondering again.  Is there a way to belong to a church community and provide a spiritual foundation for my children that is beautiful and meaningful and supportive?  I explored the most open and liberal church in our neighborhood, but came to the same conclusion.  If I don’t believe in God, how can I whole-heartedly join this community?

At mid-life, questioning the meaning of my life and frantic that it was going by too fast, I discovered yoga.  It was a delicious form of exercise!  My body loved the poses: the stretching, the challenge, the exhilaration.  I was awed by the beautiful space, intrigued by the mysterious rituals, moved by the harmonic vibrations of the chants.  I belonged.  It was secular spirituality!  And my body got a workout!  I was in Heaven!  I kept the “crazy hokum” at a distance.  Chakras?  Energy?  Devotion?  Samadhi?  I just knew that I loved the feel of going inside, feeling my breath, feeling my body, listening to my gut, listening and communicating with my loved ones with more honesty.  OM Shanti Shanti Shanti?   Peace Peace Peace.  Who could argue with that?

I went deeper and got my 200 hour teacher certification.  Yeah, okay, I read the Bhagavad Gita.  Lovely mythology.  Life is a journey, don’t be attached to the outcome.  I read the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.  Yoga is the stilling of the mind.  Thank God, because my mind is in overdrive and yoga was the only place it quieted down.  My family tolerated my chanting, Yogas Citta Vrtti Nirodhah over and over as I prepared for my certification exam.  Yoga had become profoundly important to me, a sanctuary.  I began to think maybe I was a spiritual being after all.

I started teaching.  Beginners.  Primarily women looking for a form of exercise that didn’t hurt.  When I started teaching, I realized how little I knew.  Two years later, I am now embarking on “continuing education.”  We began with philosophy.  I reread Book 1 of Patanjali’s Sutras.  Hmm, it’s making more sense this time, or perhaps it is simply becoming more familiar.  I warned my beginners that I might be introducing OM next week.  They appeared curious and interested.  As fate would have it, I and a classmate were assigned the task of reading, explaining, and teaching Sutra 1.27.  You know, the one about OM.  The one that says OM is God.  What?  I don’t think I realized that the first time I read it.

Here is what we said:

OM is a deeply expressive, full, and mystical sound.  Like breath, like life, it has a beginning, “AHH,” a middle, “OOO” and an end, “MMM,” the vibration of which resonates through your body.  OM is the yogic word for God.  It is the manifestation of God.  It IS God.  Chanting OM quiets the body and quiets the mind so that your soul may experience God – the goal of yoga.

Do I believe this?  I don’t know.

My son, now 13, is the same age I was when I explored Christianity.  His close friend is a devout Catholic.  My son is curious, searching for what he believes, and trying to reconcile his friend’s faith with our skepticism.  “Mary was definitely not a virgin!”  he exclaims with certainty.  We marked Easter in our quiet and secular way.  Easter baskets filled with chocolate, an Easter Egg hunt demanded by my son, and a dinner worthy of Spring are our traditions.  But at our festive Spring dinner, we found ourselves musing on Jesus and the events of Holy Week and the inexplicable mystery of Jesus’ disappearance and resurrection.  I do not believe that Jesus is any more divine than you or me, but I do believe that Jesus was a wise and compassionate man who preached beautiful teachings of love, the power of love.  I believe in love.  I will do what I can to help my son feel free to appreciate the mystery of life and to guide him toward the healthy ways that religions attempt to deal with the mystery.  I will try to guide him without being too academic and intellectual.  (Truth be told, I bought him a book yesterday.  That is my way.  Sigh.)

Will I introduce OM to my students this week?  Yes.  I have decided to start with just feeling the MMM vibration.  It’s a mysteriously powerful sensation!  Is it God?  I don’t know.  I do know that I will keep practicing yoga.  Yoga is where I feel still and sacred, able to be me, able to love and be loved.  I feel holy in those rare moments when I float in Svasana.  I feel holy when I chant OM with my yoga community and the vibrations make me feel like I am expanding and taking off.  I feel holy when I look in my husband’s eyes, my children’s eyes, and know love.

Surya Namaskar Ski


A Fervent Salute to the Sun

It was a cold and windy week at Stowe Mountain.  My smug celebration of triumph over my anxiety demons vanished with the lack of sun, the bitter cold, and the icy trails.  The smart decision, for me, would have been to accept that conditions were not good, for me, and to settle down with my book: Cyndi Lee’s May I Be Happy.  But it was too early in the vacation week to “give in” to a day off.  And so I fought the conditions, determined to have a magical week.  Our skiing abilities have converged at that happy and temporary moment where we all can ski together.  I wanted to enjoy this week together.  And so I did.

I ski because my husband skis.

We met on a group cross-country long weekend, 20 years ago this February.  I tease him that it was false advertising, because he is a downhill skier not a cross-country skier.  I had my one and only certifiable full-blown classic panic attack when attempting downhill skiing earlier with a former boyfriend.  Of course, I had much to be anxious about as we navigated the fork in the road in our relationship about whether or not to marry.  After sweating, hyperventilating, and resisting the urge to throw up, I decided that downhill skiing was not for me – and I decided not to marry that boyfriend.

I came to more adventurous sports, like cycling and hiking in my 20’s.  I was not brought up with much exposure to athletics and team sports.  I was one of the last girls picked for the softball team.  I discovered physical activity through ballet and loved having a strong and active body.  But skiing was forbidden to ballet dancers, deemed to be too risky.  These adventurous activities were so foreign to how I was raised, that I really got a charge out of the challenge of pushing myself physically.  Skiing, however, added a whole new layer of anxiety and discomfort.

I fell head over heels in love with my husband at first sight.  In my attempt to impress him, I agreed to go downhill skiing instead of cross-country skiing that weekend and fell and hurt my knee.  When we returned from the weekend, he checked on how I was doing post-ski-injury and we began dating.  We had a joyful and passionate courtship and married a year later.

Part of a loving relationship is sharing interests with the other person and doing things that make the other person happy.  I had spent years learning what I was interested in and was very insecure and suspicious about giving up my Self to take on another person’s interests.  This time it felt different.  Somehow it was okay to do things because he wanted to do them.  I learned to ski.

Learning to ski is an enormous challenge, especially as an adult.  It is a scary and uncomfortable activity that requires travelling, carrying equipment, and enduring a variety of less-than-ideal conditions.  For the first few years of our life together, it was difficult to actually ski together because our levels of ability were so different.  I took a lot of classes with other adults at my level.  I was very good in these classes, eager to please the teacher and work towards progressing to the next level.  Then I would ski with my husband and all my eager enthusiasm would dissipate.  I became passive aggressive, going extra slow on trails that should have been easy but I wanted to make sure he knew they were HARD for me.  I would stand at the top of a steep section and my heart would race and my stomach would lurch and I would exclaim that I couldn’t do it!  Somehow, for the most part, he patiently coached me or ignored my save-me-I’m-a-victim theatrics and we built a skiing life together.  It helped that there would be magical days when I wasn’t too cold and nothing hurt and I felt confident and skiing was actually exhilarating. I never gave up on skiing – feeling compelled to prove I could do it; feeling compelled to make him proud of me; and feeling compelled to achieve it because it was such a crazy different achievement from all the intellectual pursuits I had been directed towards by my parents.

We introduced our children to skiing at as young an age as possible and have been skiing as a family for 10 years.  My skiing, our skiing, has changed over the years.  In the early years, it was a lot of work to manage their equipment and our equipment and get them to ski school on time.  My daughter, an obedient first-born girl, unquestioningly and energetically went off to ski school every year and has become a beautiful and technically proficient expert skier.  My son, never one to separate easily, resisted spending the day away from us in ski school.  We insisted and he has also become an excellent skier, though I see elements of my anxiety and passive-aggressiveness in him.  I also see how he enjoys the thrill and the challenge when he skis in the woods and the terrain park.  My husband has become a more patient skier, willing to take breaks and ski less advanced terrain.  And I have lost my anxiety – most of the time.  It still lurches up when I am cold or the wind is blowing and I can’t see well.  But when the sun is shining, I love skiing.  I never thought I would say that or feel that.  It took 20 years – and I really only feel the joy when the sun is shining.

I use all my yoga on our ski trips.  I remind myself that nothing is permanent and that the bitter cold chairlift ride will not last.  I remind myself that my anxiety is a bad habit that I can change, have changed.  I remind myself to breathe and to change the tape in my head to something more positive.  I remind myself that I have nothing to prove and that my reason to ski is to have fun with my family.  I remind myself to be grateful for the happy moments, patient with the uncomfortable moments and compassionate with the different moods that swirl in close quarters.

I have such sympathy for the children and the parents snapping at each other as they struggle off to ski school, such sympathy for the woman at the top of a steep section yelling at her partner that she can’t do it or frozen with panic, such sympathy for the woman who says I am going to go to the spa.

With only one or two exceptions, we’ve spent every annual family ski week at Stowe.  Just as our family skiing experience has evolved over the last 10 years, so has Stowe.  Stowe has always had an active town with many shops and restaurants and plenty to do for non-skiers year round.  Like all ski towns, though, it welcomed a rugged attitude:  “I’m just here for the skiing!  I’ll ski anytime, anywhere, with any conditions!”  Toughness was embraced.  It took several years but the new resort at Spruce Mountain, the Stowe Mountain Lodge, has changed the tenor of the town and the skiing experience.  I wonder what locals think?  The new resort is beautiful, very expensive, and adds a level of luxury and comfort that didn’t use to be at Stowe.  The older resorts seem faded, as if they can’t grasp how to compete or to respond to the new type of person visiting Stowe. Most of our vacations have been spent at the Golden Eagle Resort, a mid-priced resort with not a lot of luxury.  It is familiar, but very dated and awkwardly large and spread out.  Tired aura.  At The Firefox Inn for a basic Italian dinner, we were shocked at the drab décor and the ungracious service.  Bad aura.  Frida’s Taqueria is crowded and doing a good business.  The food is authentic and the service is friendly.  Good aura.  West Branch Yoga exuded yoga.  When we walked in, we looked at each other and smiled.  It smelled like yoga.  We were welcomed generously.  Warm aura.  As for the luxury resort at Spruce, it is not my favorite place.  It is well-designed and convenient, but very expensive and haughty, with closed off sections “for members only.”  The guests there seem self-absorbed and in their ivory tower.  Narcissistic aura.  (Full disclosure – if I could afford it – I would probably stay there.)  I feel for the town and the older establishments as they face this junction in their business.  The more frugal die-hard skier still exists but the money to support the businesses will come from the affluent visitors.  I’m looking forward to heated seats on the chairlifts.  Surely that will be the next upgrade.

Friday, our last day, was the warmest day – though still no sun – and we were all eager for a good day after all the cold days before.  Rested from a day at the spa, I was ready to feel the exhilaration and to conquer the mountain.  We tackled Lift Line, a double black diamond trail, a rare event in my skiing repertoire.  My son wanted to say he did a double black run and my husband wanted to get it in before his knees failed him and I didn’t want to be left behind.  As we headed for the run, the anticipation of anxiety got the better of me.  Just making the commitment to do the run made my heart race.  It’s a nerve-wracking chute down to the top of the first drop off.  I got there and giddily sang:  “Hello Terror, My Old Friend” and made the mistake of stopping instead of just jumping in.  Frozen, I had to talk myself out of panic.  Once I jumped in, the run was fine.  My son was so excited to have done it.  He too conquered his anxiety.

We enjoyed every moment of the day.  Perhaps it was our last in Stowe.  What will our skiing life together be like when my daughter goes to college?  Is it time to give Stowe a break?   Finally, on the last run of the day, the sun tried to break through and we found a faint rainbow in the sky.  Magical.  Good-bye for now Stowe.  Thank you for some wonderful family moments and memories.

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