Monday, March 29, 2010


Newborn babies can do it with their eyes closed. So what's the big deal, right? Well, there's breathing, and then there's breathing! Just ask the midwife, the athlete, the asthmatic. Ask the opera singer or the auctioneer. Ask anyone who does yoga or meditates. There are lots of ways to breathe.

You may think of it as just a nose-mouth-and-lungs thing, but in fact the oxygen exchange of respiration takes place within every cell of the body. Breathing is one of your autonomic functions, doing its thing whether you're thinking about it or not. But unlike the body's other autonomic functions -- the beating of the heart, digestion and such -- breathing is within your conscious control. And that, my friend, is the key to the kingdom!

Through breath, you can use your body to relax your mind. Through breath, you can use your mind to relax your body. Want to try it? Here are three breathing exercises from integrative-medicine specialist Andrew Weil, M.D.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Preparing to Exit

Now it comes to the Last Day of my Forties, and I'm gonna make it a good one: first, a long, hot bath, and then some serious shopping! Just happen to have a few Benjamins in my pocket, compliments of my mama. (Thanks, Mom!)

By the way, as long as I'm blogging, LET ME INVITE YOU TO MY BIG FIVE-OH, DARLING! It's at the home of my dear friend and esteemed coauthor, Peggy Spencer, on Saturday, Feb. 13, from 2 to 5 in the afternoon. We're asking people to BYOB and/or bring a little snackie-something-wonderful to share. Email me for the address, will you, love? ( Because the soiree simply won't be as much fun without you!

Tah-tah for now. See you on the other side!

Friday, January 15, 2010

New Moon = Clean Slate

Two weeks into the new year, and if you're like me -- like most people, I'd wager -- your shiny new resolutions of a fortnight ago are already showing a bit of tarnish. Slipped up on the diet? Fell out of the daily exercise routine? Still sneaking the occasional smoke?

Well, before you consign your resolutions to the trash heap of history, mark this year's try a failure, and set your sites warily -- or, perhaps, wearily -- on next January 1st, let me point out that the calendar offers up at least a dozen fresh starts before 2011 dawns. New Moons, they're called, and whether or not you happen to be up at this wee hour, you've got one hanging outside your window right now!

That good ol' "dark o' the moon" ushers in a new lunar cycle every month, and with it, a whole new chance to start fresh. So here's to your Renewed Resolutions. May they shine as brightly as the Full Moon, two weeks hence.

And if they don't? Fuhgeddaboudit! There'll be another New Moon coming along on Feb. 13th. And another on the infamous Ides of March. And another the night before Tax Day. And another and another -- May 13th, June 12th, July 11th, and so on and so forth, at more or less 4-week intervals, ad infinitum.

So... Finnegan, begin again! Why don't'cha?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dr. Peg publishes online

Here's an article I wrote for My Family Doctor on tips to take home after your doctor visit. Enjoy!

Word of Web

Well, lookee HERE! 50 Ways to Leave Your 40s got listed as the "Deal of the Day"! Thanks,!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Remembering Lesli

Longest night of the year, and I'm tossing and turning, dipping in and out of sleep. It's not visions of sugar plums but rather snippets of to-do lists that dance in my head. And not really dance, either. More like lords a'leaping, these last-minute lists are.

But what's really gotten me up out of my warm bed this longest night to shiver in the glow of my computer screen is the thought of Lesli. Today (actually, 12/21/09) would have been her 50th birthday, and I forgot all about it until today had become tomorrow.

When the story of a friendship begins with two babies' being plunked into the same playpen while their moms visited, you know the reminiscences must be many and varied. But since this blog's overarching theme is a celebration (alright, and a commiseration) of aging, let me focus -- as Lesli did -- on the wrinkles across her brow.

Of course, she didn't have any! Being a tender young teen, she glowed with a porcelain perfection inherited from her mother. But with a bluster more like her father's, she'd point at her forehead and implore me, "Key! If you ever see me doing this," {eyebrow raise} "tell me to stop, okay?" What's that? "Seriously," she went on, her eyes like saucers and one hand now tracing the furrows created by her sharply elevated eyebrows. "Don't let me do this. I don't want to get wrinkles."

"Pippin," I said (we always called each other by our last names), "you're 16. I don't think you really need to worry about wrinkles just yet."

As it turned out, she didn't really need to worry about wrinkles ever. Cancer took her at age 44, and if by then her furrowed brow had begun to stick, well, I just don't remember. To me, her face will always glow with porcelain perfection -- rather like the sky outside my window this very moment.

How long have I dwelt in reverie?! The longest night is at an end.

Happy birthday, Lesli!

Monday, December 21, 2009

We're On Facebook!

We have joined the swelling ranks of midlifers doing social media networking on Facebook. Come visit our page and become a fan!

Our page title is the same as the book title.

See you there!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Late 80s and Still Limber

In the category of Way #5: S-t-r-e-t-c-h---I-t---O-u-t, comes this Facebook message from an old classmate of mine:

"A friend of my Mom's who is in her late 80's dropped a container of sugar packs. She was helping set up the dining room for after Mom's funeral. I go over to help her but she gets down on her knees like she is still in her 40's and we pick them up. So knowing how slow my mom was, I asked, 'How do you stay so limber?' She said, 'Yoga!' Maybe I should start walking and doing calisthenics again so I can stay in my 40's and not age so fast."

Tell it, Dean! Dean and I, together with all our classmates from Williston (N.D.) High School's Class of '78, are now "leaving our 40s," right on schedule. Nothing we really can do about that. Oh, but we CAN do daily stretching and strengthening exercises, as he suggests. Thus we may enjoy many more years -- indeed, decades! -- as limber lads and lasses, effectively s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g---o-u-t our quality of life.

If you're like me, one of the first things squeezed out by an over-full schedule is exercise. I hope, during this busy holiday season, that you'll find the time each day to walk for 15 minutes or more, and to s-t-r-e-t-c-h through all your hard-working muscle groups. As Tony the Tiger likes to say, "It's grrrrrrrrrreat!"

Authors Interview with Pat McMahon

PAT'S LAST WORDS... Sadly (er, cheaply), when Peg and I ordered a copy of our appearance on the show, we opted for merely our "segment" -- as opposed to the whole show, or even the first half-hour. While this saved us all of ten bucks or something, it also, tragically, left off "the money quote" --- that is, what Mr. McMahon had to say when they got back from commercial. "Don't worry," he said. "The Loofah Lady is gone!" And indeed I was, along with my trustee sidekick and coauthor, Dr. Peg ---- off to tape another interview across town. (This was in Phoenix.) Let me see if we've got that one linked here -- it's called "Your Life: A to Z" ...

Authors Interview on KCHF TV