Serenity Now!

Bea Boomer’s Vital Aging Project – 6/26/15

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Bea’s Buzz for Friday

Last Thursday Bea and her hubby dragged themselves out of bed at 4 in the morning so Bea could catch the 5:20 a.m. bus to Chicago to visit her daughter.  Arrival time in Chicago was 10:15 a.m. Bea planned on spending the whole day exploring the local neighborhood until her daughter got home from work.

The train was chugging along so smoothly, Bea texted Mr. B., bragging that she’d sure to be reaching Union Station on time! A few minutes later, that fantasy came to a quick halt, along with the train.

Just outside of Kalamazoo, Michigan, Amtrak #351 slowed to a crawl (a bad sign) then stopped, in the middle of nowhere.  The conductor announced that there would be a delay, due to some kind of incident occurring on the tracks ahead.  Even worse, he didn’t know when we’d get back “on track” to our destination.

Now I’m going to share a little secret:  Bea is not a patient person.  And as the train sat there on the tracks, Bea recalled a train delay several years before, when on her way to Chicago with family, the six hour train ride turned into ten l-o-n-g hours. Bea, a type A personality, tends to get wound up and ticked off in these types of situations.   

This time, however, Bea just happened to be reading the most current edition of Oprah magazine, and it just happened to be open to an article titled Hang Loose, which wasn’t about going bra-less.  This article was about r-e-l-a-x-i-n-g, and Bea had just read the #3 tip:  “Relax into whatever’s happening.”  (Coincidence?  I think not).  The point of that tip is that what happens in any given moment is not necessarily in our control.  What is in our control is how we deal with it.  (You know, that whole attitude thing).  

Not only that, but a very kind lady across the aisle, travelling with her husband and daughter, offered Bea some cherries and little cracker sandwiches to make the delay more palatable!  This lady was obviously prepared for this kind of occurrence, and made the best of it by being nice to others.  

This was an “ah-ha” moment for Bea, sitting on this stopped train (the delay was a couple of hours).  Instead of reacting in her usual type-A way, she ate her snacks, finished the Oprah article, listened to music on her Ipod (and managed not to sing aloud to the songs, knowing that she would frighten her fellow train passengers with her voice) and started reading a book she’d brought along.  Ahhh, serenity now. (What? You don’t remember that Seinfeld episode?  https://youtu.be/auNAvO4NQnY)

By the way, Bea had a great time in Chicago. 

For further reading:

Attitude is Everything, by Keith Harrell – find this book at Amazon.com (aka Dr. Attitude, who passed away in 2010, read more about him here)

What To Do and See In Chi-Town

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Ladies, Girls’s Only Week-Ends are an essential part of our mental health and wellbeing.

No matter what age we are, we need female bonding experiences!

In October, my sisters, niece and I celebrated our 10th annual girls’ week-end in the Windy City, AKA Chicago; home of the best deep dish pizza, Garret’s amazing popcorn, the Magnificient Mile, Navy Pier, the Cubs, and so much more.  My daughter lives there, and spending time with her made our visit extra-special!

If you’re planning an upcoming week-end for you and your girlfriends, Chicago is a wonderful place to do it.

When you’re there, here are some must-sees and must-dos: 

  • The Hancock signature lounge, located on the 95th floor of the Hancock Building.  Be sure to visit the ladies’ restroom for one of the best views of the City (I kid you not – you gotta pee in this restroom).
  • Garrett’s popcorn – there are several locations:  Navy Pier, Randolph Street, Water Tower Place, Ontario and Michigan . . . yummy caramel and cheese popcorn worth every penny $$ you spend on it.
  • Lou Malneti’s  –  for Chicago-style awesome deep dish pizza.  My sis and I shared a salad with the most delicious vinaigrette dressing I’ve ever had.  A corona beer and a square of Chicago pizza?  I was in heaven.
  • Macy’s on State Street, for 3 acres of shopping bliss. Check out some cool photos here.
  • Willis Tower’s Sky Deck ledge, for a great photo opp! (Hope you’re not afraid of heights!)
  • Chicago History museum on N. Clark – Take a walk through Chicago’s past.
  • Chicago B.L.U.E.S.bar on N. Halsted – We didn’t have time to visit this bar on this recent visit, but I’ve been there in the past.  It’s an unassuming place, but it offers some of the best blues you’ll ever hear, and showcases local artists.
  • Maggiano’s Italian Restaurant – the Chef actually came out of his kitchen and helped my sister (who is lactose intolerant) choose a great menu item for her enjoyment.

Now if you and your girlfriends are tough cookies and can handle the brisk Chicago winter winds, you may want to visit around the upcoming holidays  –  shopping on the Magnificent Mile, ice skating at Millenium Park, free concerts, and Christkindlmarket – just to name some of the fun!

Check it out at the Midwest Weekends site for more info, or the  Santa in Chicago site.