Looking at Labor Day from the rearview mirror. Just like that. I spent the long weekend in New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. I spent Tuesday at the beach.
A word or several about the beach and me: As I spend more time trying to unravel the mystery that is me, I find that the beach is (and I hate this expression), “my happy place.” I used to think I was such an urbanite, that my preference was for granite and glass, limestone, pavement wooden elevator carriages, but I no longer see it thus. On Tuesday, my extra day in the sun (and my only real swim in the sea), I thought hard about what was making my Oxytocin soar: the sound of the water, the waves, the gentle white noise sweep that is so restful and lulling, the multiple shades of blue if you looked hard enough: blue greys, blue greens, light blues, dark blues, grey blues, slate blues,, the soft sand that is kind of a marvel in itself, the clouds that provided cover, but not too much, and the boats moving through the water, regal sails marking the horizontal…
What can I say? I couldn’t stop smiling. I was delighted by every piece and particle.
Not only did I swim in the ocean (well, the sound if you must know,) but, I found listeners on Martha’s Vineyard who had Game Changers of their own. So many products, so little time …. (and/or money).
1) Thank you, my friends and strangers, for reading and listening to these little crumbs of opinion. I did hear from some of you who had good recommendations for Game Changers, and I want to mention the first batch of game changers here: contact me if you have others of your own that need a shout-out next week.
- Kirkland's Sleep-Aids. According to Robin, they take a while to work, but once absorbed, be prepared for a good night's sleep -- 8 hours, according to her!
- Hydroflask water (and wine) bottles were recommended by Kim who likes their stainless steel better for keeping cold liquids cold and hot ones hot.
- Penny not only suggested a life-changing butter; she brought over a brick of it!!! And I have to agree with her. I adore butter. Allow me to quote Exhibit B: "Butter is my boyfriend." I thought I loved bread and butter, but then I understood that bread was merely a conveyance for butter. And this butter is a conveyance for salt. It is divine. Thank you Penny!
- The Clarisonic "cleaning thingy," is one of Lisa S's go-tos. She loves how clean it makes her skin feel, and misses it when she's away. And look at all the colors it comes in! Who knew? I appreciate a game-changer that's not new to the market, but new to me.
2. Tennis, all about it
I come from a tennis-y family. (Not from Tennessee.) My father was a wonderful tennis player, and his love for the sport trickled down to us kids. He played once or twice a week while we were kids, and even after his stroke at 65. As a young man he played competitively and as an older man he played enthusiastically, even when he could no longer run. Our parents took us to Forest Hills to watch the U.S. Open in the olden days. How he loved watching Pancho Gonzalez! We watched grand slam matches obsessively on tv. My dad had an incredible story about watching a match at Wimbledon in the 1950s, when he was dating a British girl. My brothers and I got to meet the great players of the 1970s -- Tony Roche, John Newcombe, Rod Laver, Margaret Smith Court, Rosie Casals, Stan Smith, and Virginia Wade. When my back problems interfered with my career as a mediocre tennis player, I continued to watch tennis and have grown mighty fond of Roger Federer. And Rafael Nadal. But mostly Roger.
When my dad was alive we watched tennis together in Connecticut, G&Ts in hand, swooning over shots that seemed physically impossible.
Last week on a day that seemed bearably hot, I StubHubbed for the first time, and bought myself a single ticket for the matches. I didn't arrive till after 2 and figured I'd see what I could see for a few hours. It was Day 3 I believe, so all the courts at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center were busy. There was a lot going on. Looking up I saw that Roger Federer was playing in Ashe Stadium; turns out I had bought myself a fabulous seat. (I took those shots myself, so you get the drift.) Thanks to posting on Twitter, I found some friends at the tournament, and soon found good company with whom to watch. What a day! What luck! After Federer's match, my friend Peter and I walked over to a small court to watch Francis Tiafoe (USA) play Alex de Minaur, an Australian whiz kid, on the recommendation of my friend Andrew, who was there. A sensational match. A fantastic day. And one that if I had planned it properly, would probably not have come to pass.
3) My system. I keep my calendar in a leather book that shows an entire week in two pages. I have used this format for years and years and years. I think I fell in love with and invested in a Filofax in the 1980s, as soon as I saw one. I'm guessing that some of you might not know what a Filofax is. Or rather, was. (Sad face emoji could go here.) This was a handsome leather looseleaf book, approximately the size of a trade paperback book, for which many kinds of inserts were designed. You could use it as a calendar -- a week per page, a half a week per page, a day per page, and so on -- a phone book, a sketch book, a diary, or all of the same. I cannot even articulate how much I loved my book. I collected accessories for it. When it eventually died, I bought another. I was so dependent on this book that I used to panic any time I thought I might have misplaced it. In the era before cell phones, this is where all my information lived; phone numbers, schedules, appointments, credit card numbers, social security number, et cetera.
Now I use a slimmer, smaller book. I can see every week on two pages. I keep all the previous years' inserts in a little basket. My green book was a gift from my friend Jamie. It is at least ten years old and still handles my life pretty well, without scrolling.
4) My Friends' Children.
Not all of them, but many of them. They know who they are, I hope. I see them and their peers not only as my friends, but as my future doctors, lawyers, investment gurus, style leaders, barristas, thought leaders, teachers, and who knows what else?
5) My admiration for Robert Mueller is not about politics. I know some of you need a respite from all the political noise that has become a constant. I know I do.
But he impresses me with his quiet industry. With all the millions of distractions, he keeps his head down and leads his team through a roiling quagmire of data.
Have a great week/end everyone!
Stay cool and Act Natural.