Saturday, April 19, 2014

Where Our Kids Take Us: Sarah's in India

What our grown kids do, we do, too, from a distance. This is Week 2 of our daughter Sarah's first business trip to India. She was nervous about going at first, but, like every other brave thing Sarah's done (acting, college in NYC, semester abroad, traipsing around Europe, settling in NYC), she embraced the challenge. Her emails home have become a kind of "journal": day-by-day madcap recaps of eating "thali," buying lip gloss, surviving a holiday (sightseeing), being a woman and visiting a liquor store, the joys (and necessity) of having a driver, training people who don't speak your language (or share your culture). And, we've been hanging on her every word. She "Oovoo'd" me once after a long, exhausting day. (When the Delhi workday is over, it's 9:00 a.m. at the NYC office, so she troubleshoots for them in the evening.) Evidently, talking to Mom made things better. And, hearing from Sarah made my day. When she was 12, Sarah's choir traveled to England, and we opted to go along. At 28, she's going it alone. But we're with her in spirit. (Photo of Taj Mahal by Sarah Bonner)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Silver Linings: Kids Live Far Away? Go Visit Them

I just spent the weekend with my daughter Amie, who lives near Santa Barbara, California. It's our annual mother-daughter get together at her place. Yeah, during the rest of the year, we email and text all the time, and I probably talk to her twice a week. But nothing beats hugs in person. When she got her dream job 10 years ago (since she was a kid, I knew it was coming), I made up my mind I'd make the best of it. Since then, I've seen a lot of Southern California, and also Yosemite, Monterey, the Sierra Nevada, and more. This weekend we picnicked at our favorite winery (Sunstone) in Santa Ynez, lunched in San Luis Obispo, hiked along the coast near Morro Bay, and visited the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens. We ate in, ate out, watched movies, popped popcorn, got some exercise, and went wine tasting. I had more time to myself than I had had in a while and she got a break from work. My son-in-law, Todd, joined us on many outings; it was such fun to have him along. Yes, my kid lives far away, but the silver linings are terrific...

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Afraid to Try New Things? It May Be Your Mindset

You want to make the most of your empty-nesting years. Yet, your willingness to engage in new activities may be affected by how you think about your innate capabilities and your capacity to learn. Are you afraid to fail? Do you work hard, or do you think success should come to the talented without much effort? Columbia University psychiatrist Carol Dweck, in her book Mindset, says you can play the viola, you can learn French, and you can take up tennis. But, first you may need to change your "mindset." Read her book to learn more: What you find out about yourself may surprise you.