Balancing life


| vschneps@queenscourier.com |

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The family gathered for Blake's 7th birthday.

As I sit at St. Francis Hospital with my beloved husband, I think how important the balance of life is. My work and “staycations” have helped me get through the tough struggle of his illness.

Recently I took a “staycation” at Pouran Salon and Spa in the North Shore Towers. These grand buildings sit gracefully along the Grand Central Parkway at the Little Neck Parkway exit.  They are surrounded by their golf course, tennis courts and spacious land that includes a well-used vegetable garden for residents. Yes, all of this in Queens. Some may be intimidated by the gatehouse, but the friendly welcoming guard will gladly direct you to the salon or spa or movie theater or bank or catering hall (we have held several health expos there) or restaurant or … you get the idea. It is a unique co-op that I’ve come to visit often since we produce a monthly newspaper just for them, the North Shore Towers Courier.

Of course my favorite visit is the salon and spa. I go with my girlfriends for camaraderie and renewal. My break from reality and a chance to unwind is so precious. The last time I was there I tried a new service: ear candling. This is an ancient way to remove excess wax and has been shown to also be helpful to people suffering from headaches and migraines. It took only 10 minutes under the professional hands of Larissa, who also is an excellent provider of facials. Try it, you will love it too!

Then there’s the power of work in keeping my balance. I smiled broadly at a column in this Sunday’s New York Times about a 93-year-old “delivery boy” of his local weekly newspaper. He’s a contender for the Guinness World Record as the oldest delivery person. He said “I don’t play golf, I deliver newspapers. I like it. I get to see the people I know.” Although he has thought of retiring, his son, the present publisher Charley Wallace said, “He’s tried to quit. But I tell him, show me three friends who are your age, retired and still alive? And my dad thinks about it and goes back to his desk.”

Repeatedly I’ve seen loved ones and friends retire or stop working and their health goes downhill. They have lost their balance in life. So I’ve told my partner and son Josh that I will never retire, but I will take breaks.

One of the best times I’ve spent is with my beloved Blake. He turned seven on March 5, and as always, his mom outdid herself by partnering with her friend whose son was also celebrating his birthday. On Sunday, 50 seven year olds played and played at a place called Ultimate Gaga in Syosset. It’s a massive, football field-size space set up for games and adaptable to host big parties. The boys just filled a third of the space. After playing their hearts out, they ran to the party room for pizza and rich delicious birthday cake — another successful event with parents and grandparents watching in awe of the energy of the children.

My dear daughter-in-law Tracey, wife of Josh, has her birthday March 5. Mine is March 10. My former partner John Toscano has a birthday same date, as do friends Trudy La Forgia and Marion Calix.

Then Valarie Hennessy, Josh’s assistant in Brooklyn, is celebrating her birthday March 13, and of course, power house Claire Shulman, another Pisces, had her birthday recently too.

Send me your celebrations with a photo. I’m a big believer in celebrations and always balancing life.