"Take a nice hot shower, you will feel better"

Every family has them- some type of prescription for well-being. Growing up in our two and half bathroom, four bedroom ranch house in Springfield, New Jersey, it was always, “Take a hot shower-you will feel better.”

I never gave much thought to this when I was a young boy. Whenever I was not feeling well or sad from a bad ballgame or any of life’s dramas, my mother would tell me that if I took a hot shower I would feel better. She didn’t tell me to talk about it, or go take a walk or cook some spaghetti… it was a hot shower. It was as if the shower had some magic in it to calm the nerves and soothe the sadness away. In my mother's world, all you had to add was water. 

Wet Wisdom
Like many things from childhood, they take on a new meaning when as a parent you find yourself repeating the same wisdom to your kids. When our girls were little and something went wrong at school or with the latest boyfriend- I would tell them the same wet wisdom.

There is a lot of truth and value to moving your energy around when you are in a funk. You do need to move around, circulate the blood and to change your perspective. So taking a hot shower makes sense since the water and the warmth is comforting and you do shift to a new space.

Leave Your Baggage Behind 
On one of the last days on vacation, we had a little situation come up. Fanny was scheduled to leave for L.A. a day before we flew back to Oahu. The airport was an hour away and in true Slater fashion, left with plenty of time to spare. About 10 minutes before getting to the airport, I looked in the back of the car and asked, “Where is Fanny’s black bag?” It seems that as Fanny was walking out of the apartment, she left the bag sitting right by the front door and forgot to grab it. Since it was only her stuff and not everyone else’s, I guess we didn’t double check.
Left behind- the sad bag home alone.

We named the bag Ricky since the brand on the bag was Ricardo. 

Ricky goes to Fed Ex  (carried by Sarah)

Thank you helpful Fed Ex lady

What's another $117? 

Many four letter words emerged over the next hour. 
Since we were so far away from the condo where the bag was chilling, we knew we had a big problem. Sarah and Ra El tried to switch her flight until a later time but nothing was available. I tried to switch my connecting city to L.A. the next day but they wanted $650 for this privilege. So, in a word, we were screwed.

For all of my calm demeanor and attempt to stay present, I just lost it. I was really upset and frustrated. Fanny’s keys were in that bag and for those of you who follow this blog know that she recently had her purse stolen from a nightclub in LA. Talk about Déjà vu all over again. We got Fanny on her plane home and told her we’d text her with some solution but we weren’t sure what it would be. I was fatootsed which according to the Urban Dictionary means driven to distraction; colossally frustrated; a combination of being worn out from—and pissed off by- the offending person or circumstance. This word has a Yiddish root.

Fortunately, Ra El was in a much calmer place than me…and helped me breathe through my frustration. She realized that in the scheme of things this was really small potatoes and I didn’t need to worry about this as we would find a solution. As we sat at Whole Foods eating some lunch, she started to channel my father, my grandfathers and others in my family telling me that this too will pass and that this is not worth sweating about. I think she said, “don’t sweat the small things- and this is one of them.” Her remarkable calm and presence was exactly what I needed at that moment. She helped bring me back from this hyper-stressed situation. Her love, and the love that she channeled from my family made all the difference in the world. 

Sarah was also wearing her “take charge-in control” superhero/camp Seafarer counselor costume and said Dad, we can just find a FedEx store to ship it to her. So we drove an hour back to Napili and then an hour back to near the airport to get to a FedEx/Kinko’s store on a late Sunday night. Three “fricken” hours later we had shipped her bag to L.A., gotten back to our rented townhouse and I was completely exhausted.

After we ate dinner, I sat down on the sofa and tried to just breathe quietly and to meditate. I used some of the techniques that I have learned from reading books by Zen masters and Tibetian monks. I tried to visualize a calm and relaxing space and just practiced my deep breathing. I attempted to center my self. 

Then, out of nowhere, I heard a voice in my head. It was my mom. You guessed it, she told me to take a nice hot shower and I would feel better.

Shower the people you love with love - - - Mom (Bea) with Jeff 
Damn if she wasn't right.

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