Monday, July 23, 2007

the summer of 40-love.

It's true. I was born in the Summer of Love.

Which means I was conceived in the Autumn of Lust, but that's another story.

Ah, 1967.

A Texan was President.

Thurgood Marshall became the first black U.S. Supreme Court justice.

Congress created PBS.

Rolling Stone debuted. So did the Chick-Fil-A sandwich.

The Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl. (My folks are from Wisconsin.)

The St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series. (They're also known as The Cards.)

Miss Oklahoma, Jane Anne Jayroe, won Miss America. (My husband's from Oklahoma, though we don't mention it much.)

Cabaret won the Tony for Best Musical.

The Beatles came out with Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band. But Album of the Year was Sinatra: A Man and His Music.

A first-class stamp cost 5 cents. And a gallon of gas cost 33 cents.

And now, as a woman just days past my 40th birthday, I find myself filling my gas tank at just over $3 a gallon during the Summer of Floods, and thinking, 'Well, at least the average life expectancy has gone from 70.5 to 78 years.'

OK, I confess — I'm not really all that cynical about this big ol' birthday of mine. In fact, I'm feeling fairly groovy about it all. Maybe it's because it's the middle of summer, or maybe it's just because my life is good. I mean, my life is seriously good. Which means I don't feel the need to be too serious about a birthday, for goodness' sake. There's plenty around to be serious about — this is a celebration!

So, in the spirit of the season, I urge you to do what I have begun doing every summer to make sure I actually have a summer (something that can be difficult to do as a full-time working adult!): Make a list of fun stuff to do, activities you've been wanting to do but never seem to find time for, or just summertime things you'd like to get around to. Some suggestions:

  • spend a long lunch hour at the pool

  • take an afternoon off and go to a movie

  • go to a Round Rock Express baseball game

  • learn to rollerblade

  • watch the bats fly from under the Congress Avenue Bridge

  • visit an amusement or water park

Once you've got a good list going, schedule several of these activities on your calendar immediately. If you leave the fun stuff up to chance, then chances are, it'll get bumped by something scheduled. So make your summer fun a priority — life is just too darn short not to!

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Personal Renewal & Growth, anyone?

Well, I’ve been touting Austin-based life balance coach Reneé Trudeau’s amazing book, The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal: How to Reclaim, Rejuvenate and Re-Balance Your Life, to anyone and everyone I know for months, including each month in this space. Now, I’m happyhappyhappy to announce that I’m just about to launch my own Personal Renewal Group for Moms – essentially a once-monthly meeting group which follows a “curriculum” based upon the book.

I can actually still accept a few more women into the group if you or someone you know may be interested. Here are the details:

Personal Renewal Group for Moms — Southwest Austin
Begins Sunday, July 29th, 3 – 5:30 p.m.
and meets the last Sunday afternoon of every month
at the Oak Hill Jazzercise Center, 6130 Highway 290 West

It’s a six-month program (July – December), and has been created especially for moms to explore and learn 1) how to reconnect with who you are, 2) strategies for making self-care and nurturing a priority, so you can live, love and parent optimally, and 3) how to experience greater life balance.

To register or for further details, just contact me, Kristen Card, at or 512.394.1802.

This program has been an amazing experience for me, and I’m genuinely thrilled to have the opportunity to share the same sort of experience with other moms – join us!!

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Remembering you.

You already know this. I just need to remind you. Think back. Think back to first grade, when you could still hear the sound of your own voice in your head, when you were too young, too unformed, too fantastic to understand that you were supposed to take on the protective coloration of the expectations of those around you. Think of what the writer Catherine Drinker Bowen once wrote, more than half a century ago: “Many a man who has known himself at ten forgets himself utterly between ten and thirty.”

Many a woman, too.

You are not alone in this. We parents have forgotten our way sometimes, too. When you were first born, each of you, our great glory was in thinking you absolutely distinct from every baby who had ever been born before. You were a miracle of singularity, and we knew it in every fiber of our being. You shouted “Dog.” You lurched across the playground. You put a scrawl of red paint next to a squiggle of green and we put it on the fridge and said, Ohmigod, ohmigod, you are a painter a poet a prodigy a genius.

But we are only human, and being a parent is a very difficult job, more difficult than any other, because it is twenty-four/seven, because it is unpaid and unrewarded much of the time, because it requires the shaping of other people, which is an act of extraordinary hubris. And over the years, we learned to want for you things that you did not necessarily want for yourself. We learned to want the lead in the play, the acceptance into our own college, the straight and narrow path that sometimes leads absolutely nowhere. We learned to suspect, even fear your differences, not to celebrate them. Sometimes, we were convinced conformity would make life better, or at least easier for you. Sometimes, we had a hard time figuring out where you ended and we began.

Guide us back to where we started. Help us not to make mistakes out of fear or out of love. Teach us as gently as we once taught you about who you really are and who you intend to become. Learn not to listen to us when we are wrong. Whether you are twenty-four or fifty-four, begin today to say NO to the Greek chorus that think it knows the parameters of a happy life when all it knows is the homogenization of human experience.

— excerpted from Anna Quindlen’s commencement speech,
“Oh, Godot,” published in Loud and Clear

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Older than Title IX?

Yes, apparently I am. Title IX, the 37-word statute that banned sex discrimination in federally funded education programs, just turned – ahem – 35. But I’m not bitter. How can I be? Title IX revolutionized high-school and college sports for girls and young women, and the result has bled into the professional sports arena (see? Nixon did something good . . . ).

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, prior to Title IX, 290,000 girls participated in high-school athletics; today, more than 2.9 million girls get their game on. And the number of women participating in intercollegiate sports has risen from fewer than 32,000 to 180,000. If the numbers don’t bring it home for you, then consider this: when tennis legend Billie Jean King was ranked 4th in the nation, she couldn’t get a college athletic scholarship because such a thing didn’t exist.

But the real beauty of Title IX and all it has achieved in its three-and-a-half decades comes across in John Diaz’s papa's perspective editorial, as he warns his teenage daughter he’ll be mentioning her in his piece about Title IX and her response is, “What’s Title IX?” As Diaz concludes, “Perhaps that’s the ultimate measure of Title IX’s progress, 35 years later. It's no longer a huge controversy. Young women assume they have a right to athletic opportunities.”

As they should. Here’s to you, Title IX. And many more.

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No (horn)dogs allowed.

Here’s another spot to add to your Italian itinerary: at the resort at Riccione, along the Adriatic coast, Italy has opened up its first women-only beach. Beach 134, also known as the “Pink Beach,” is closed to children and to those notoriously space-invading Italian men. Dogs are allowed, but only the four-legged, tail-wagging variety (and no leg-humping is tolerated, I feel sure).

The businessman who came up with the idea, Fausto Ravaglia, says it’s not a lesbian beach, but simply “for women to be themselves.”

According to Cinzia Donati, a 43-year-old housewife from Milan (quoted in a story in The [London] Times), it was “wonderful to relax, read or doze without hearing some child shouting, ‘Mama, Mama’ six-hundred times, and without men ogling you all the time. Men think they are indispensable, but they are not.” (Vada, Cinzia!)

In addition to the lack of testosterone and whining (redundant?), the beach offers beauty tips, fitness classes, cooking lessons, manicures and pedicures, “ladies lunches” at the beach café and a DJ. Okay, maybe not the most progressive offerings, but still fun . . . do you think there are any shoes for sale?

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The environment is where we all meet, where all have a mutual interest. It is the one thing all of us share. It is not only a mirror of ourselves, but a focusing lens on what we can become.

— Claudia Alta "Lady Bird" Johnson
American environmentalist, former First Lady
12.22.1912 - 7.11.2007

If we all share what we've been blessed with,
then we bless others with our sharing,
& so it goes.

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Celebrate the everyday.

  • July 25th — One Voice Day
  • August 1st — Girlfriends' Day
  • August 5thSisters' Day
  • August 8thDay to Create

  • Remember, where there is connection, there is power.
    Where there is power, there is hope for change.
    For ourselves, and for our world.

    We are all connected. We are all powerful.
    Until my next post, be well, be happy & be hopeful.

    Please feel free to send along comments, questions, ideas, suggestions, or requests to be unsubscribed. I honor them all, just as I honor you.

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