Seattle is one of my favorite cities. I am here for the weekend, mainly to see Allen Stone and the band (which includes my son, the bass player) perform at the Paramount Theater. The show last night was sold out, and the group did not disappoint Allen’s home town crowd. Of course I was not disappointed, but hey, I’m the mom of the bass player – not exactly unbiased, I admit.
Don’t worry. I’m not going to just go on and on about my wonderful son. I know that may not be all that interesting to many of you. So . . . I promise to tie in some health and nutrition themes.
Let’s talk about age. My kids call me “old”, a “geezer”, etc. (all in fun, of course, because otherwise I would give them a good whack, even if they are 20-something). There is, in fact, no more of a reality check on chronological age than attending a show put on by a group of young musicians.
This is not so true when one attends a show by an older artist – say, Jackson Browne. When Peter and I recently did just that, we found ourselves in the midst of an amazingly homogeneous group of people with lots of gray hair (or no hair at all). We looked at each other, wondering if it could really be possible that we did not look out of place, considering how young we must look – hah! We may be a bit in denial about the aging process, but we are not completely delusional.
This is when I remind myself how much FUN I am having! I am truly happier than ever, and I am looking forward to many of the parts of what comes next: grandchildren, travel, time with friends, time for hobbies, in general more TIME.
So I am a little on the more “experienced” end of the groupie spectrum. I’m OK with that. A young spirit can be cultivated. Staying healthy really, REALLY helps. And please try to avoid magnifying makeup mirrors. Every time I stay in a hotel, I am reminded of how “distorting” they are. I prefer the look from a few feet away – which actually works just fine as my eyes get more “seasoned” with time.
The biggest health reminder this weekend has been the importance of sleep. Traveling to Seattle for the show from Milwaukee is a long way to go, far enough to mean that there is a two hour time difference . . .
The life of a rock star groupie is tough. This weekend has been a reminder that basic lifestyle factors make a big difference in the quality of my life. Although younger bodies seem to be more forgiving, I think everyone can get a little “out of whack” when sleeping and waking hours are not reasonably routine.
I reaffirmed how lack of sleep can affect the outlook for the day, like a thick cloud that settles in and makes everything seem a little more challenging. I also noticed that a cup of coffee and a good sweaty workout, even though I feel like laying around like a slug, can turn things around. This was truly a dramatic change yesterday. I was able to stay up late enough to see the entire show without falling asleep, even though it ended at midnight (2am in my usual time zone).
Of course a workout and a cup of coffee will probably not work for most people if they continue a crazy sleep schedule, but this works for me for a night or two.
Interestingly, my son was also struggling with a change of time zone, after returning from Europe on Thursday and playing the show last night (Friday). Before the show, he felt fine operating on a mere 5 hours of sleep and a long travel day without much sleep the day before. He was fine that is, until lots of barriers popped up while we were trying to get dinner before the show.
A table we thought we had but didn’t, an accident on the freeway, no restaurants with tables downtown before 9pm, etc. etc. Stuck in an endless traffic jam, he started melting down, a natural reaction to lack of sleep and general overwhelm. We ended up getting a pizza and inhaling it in the car.
Although we cannot always sleep as much or exactly when we would prefer, it is so important to keep as normal a sleep schedule as possible. Lack of sleep can cause more harm long term than simple frustration and fatigue. It can wreak havoc with appetite and contribute to overweight and obesity. During sleep, the body rebalances hormones, and life just goes better with balanced hormones.
I mentioned that I have been following the band when I can. It has been a fun way to see my son, and it has also provided some nice quick get-aways to very nice cities.
People who follow bands get the tag “groupie”. I see people who have earned the tag “diet groupie”. They follow each new popular diet, no matter how ill-suited it may be to their lifestyle and biology. I am not going to elaborate more in this post. Suffice it to say that an eating plan must suit your body and your lifestyle in order to make it worthy of your devoted following.
Note: I will be following the appearance of the band on Jay Leno this Tuesday night, 12/11. I will also be hoping that my son gets some sleep!
Milwaukee is the city of sausages. Seattle is the city of coffee. As I type this post, I am seated at the coffee mecca – Starbucks.
I came in yesterday morning – sleepy, as I said – and ordered a tall half decaf coffee. The barista asked if I wanted “clover” coffee, because they don’t make brewed decaf. “What?! No brewed decaf,” I thought. “These people really are over-caffeinated fanatics.”
As it turned out, there is a new method of custom brewing at Starbucks using a Clover, which is actually a machine and not a type of coffee as I had thought. It apparently makes better tasting coffee. People can order specialty blends – hoity toidy coffee for the coffee connaisseur.
I tried it and didn’t really notice a difference, but you can be the judge. In all fairness, I did not order any special kind of coffee – just a basic half decaf house blend.
In talking with the barista, I learned that the Clover is only available at a small number of Starbucks locations throughout the country. I’m quite sure we do not have this in Milwaukee, the city of beer not coffee, although I can order a simple half decaf coffee and not have to answer any additional questions. That’s just fine with me.