Moonflowers found herself trapped in the suspended animation that passes for a waiting room. Analyzing the interior design and experiencing its effect is part of the torture of waiting rooms. The prevalence of brown walnut finish and orange upholstery is annoying at least, and was never envisioned in florescent lighting. Muzak and receptionist conversations (probably pre-taped, as well) emitting from behind high counters accompany her perusal of large type magazines.
Q: Why is she here?
A. She has reached the point in life where the generations before and after squeeze her into a strange lifestyle sandwich. She is the meat in the middle, slowly going bad on the shelf.
Moonflower’s Mom is going on her third laser surgery for glaucoma, the asymmetry of mom’s pupils in those ice blue irises is disturbing. It’s not the exciting variety of glaucoma, there you think, “Wow, Mom is finally going to get high. And on that good government pot, too.” No, it’s just a pressure cooker in there and her right eye has been drilled like a bowling ball, the same number of holes, same configuration , and depth, too, relatively speaking.
On the other side of the generation gap, her young son has reached puberty, complete with mood swings and miniature Krakatoas erupting on his ever expanding forehead. She has been spending a lot of time in the waiting room of his dermatologist, too.
In the future, waiting rooms should be overhauled. Headphones and ultimately, eyephones should be provided by everyone. The scheduling system should change, so you only have to go once a year, for a day. You would call via a picture phone for quick fixes; tell the doc where it hurts or show him your rash. A large central room that connects to your dermatologist, dentist, shrink and gynecologist would be the innovation of the century. Wonder drugs should be dispensed via a vending machine, with refills available 24 hours-a-day, ad infinitum.
Reality check! Sharing limited space with a cross-section of the general populace, the covert unfairness of the order of proceeding into the next waiting room can put a crimp in Moonflower’s day. But these ordinary slices of timespace are perfect opportunities for self-improvement schemes.
You know these are tricks, but are you brave enough to give yourself a gift everyday?
– Hip Swings on Hold: You are trying to get that appointment in the first place and find yourself tethered to a phone. Stand with your feet apart, knees slightly bent. Keeping your abdominal muscles firm, shift hips first to one side, then to the other without swaying forward or backward, This slims and firms hips and waist. By improving hip flexibility, Hip Swings can also improve your walk, golf swing, skiing skill, bowling game and lovemaking.
– Kegel Exercise: This exercise consists of rhythmically contracting the muscles of the pelvic floor, as if to stop urinating. Hold this position tightly for a moment, then relax. Many gynecologists and sex therapists recommend at least 100 repetitions a day. It has been an important part of Taoist health practices for 6000 years. The Kegel Exercise (G. kegel,, bowling pin) maintains and restores elasticity and tome of the vagina muscles and is reputed to contribute significantly to a woman’s pleasure and skill in lovemaking.
– Yawning to the Rescue: With your mouth closed, sniff lightly through your nose several times. Then, with you mouth open, sniff again several more times. Very soon after this you will feel the urge to yawn. Cooperate with it and relax into it. Hold your head high (but not tilted back) and let your mouth open wide. Let the yawn complete itself naturally. This is an excellent way for the body to replenish its store of oxygen. It is also a valuable tension and stress release. The ability to yawn efficiently and at will is a useful tool for waiting moments.
– Changing Someone: Visualize the person vividly in your mind. Think of something good about the person. Try to evoke within yourself as much love for that person as you can. Breathe deeply into your solar plexus, and imagine it is opening, expanding like a camera shutter. Practice getting in touch with this center when you see a tiny baby or someone you love. Try to feel the contrast between this expanding feeling and the sensation of closing when you meet someone nasty, who means you harm. Whereas criticism can cause others to cling to and defend their undesirable qualities and behavior, loving acceptance gives them the freedom and confidence to change. As you practice the above techniques, your positive feelings and thoughts will seep into your encounters with the person that you are thinking of improving.
– Playing Well: An exceptional kegeler visualizes each bowl from start to finish while waiting. Mentally she pushes out, swings down with the first step, back on the second and third step, swooping into the release position and setting her hand in exactly the same perfect spot. All this action is balanced because she moves while continually watching those marks. The ball rolls through that curved path into that sweet spot and dispatches the pins to the void. A secret from ancient Egypt immortalized in “Take the Skinheads Bowling”.
Consider how isometrics, facial exercises behind menus, bad habit modification and self confidence building will change your appearance, posture and self-image; how it will give you peace of mind. Mastery over your life is the key to survival in this mad world.