Fifty minutes. Let’s see, if I’m really efficient, I can stop at the bank, drop off the mortgage payment, pick up the cleaning, grab vegetables for dinner, pay my parking ticket and hit the drivethrough on the way back to work.

Yes, that’s exactly what lunch hours have become for many women.

And if those women have kids, the list of lunch hour chores lengthens to include picking up a pair of sneakers and a birthday gift, as well as everything else.

And again, woman arrives back at work, refreshed and effective for the afternoon!

Not!

Or, if woman is not out running a day’s worth of errands, she’s hunched over her desk, eyes on the monitor, phone cricked between ear and shoulder, making appointments and completing an overdue report, gulping another coffee and another muffin.

The non lunch hour ensures a less productive afternoon.

Now, imagine this... a noon hour vacation, where for one day in a week, you park your concerns and errands at the door. You enter into tranquil space, with low lights, soft music, a view of water, in the company of like-minded souls. In a small group atmosphere, for 45 minutes you’ll be kind to yourself.

Gently, you’ll examine great ideas, relive memorable moments, pamper yourself and simplify your life.

And while you’re enjoying the simplicity of meditation and light refreshments, the hands of an expert masseuse will knead your neck, shoulders and back, untying the knots of the week.

Candles lit. Flowers fresh. Gentle company. Quiet. Light refreshments. Massage.

I recently participated in this Noon Hour Vacation for Business Women, a four-Tuesday hour-long retreat from the realities of ringing phones, call waiting, call answer, email, photocopiers, and schedules that never have enough time. And what a retreat! I added to the retreat by taking 15 minutes to walk there and another 15 to walk back, avoiding the temptation to jump in the car and race to and from the quiet.

Pat Robinson, a journalling coach and Betty Ann Coghlan, a massage therapist, have joined their skills to offer these Noon Hour retreats. They believe there is enough need and interest to bring five or six women together for this kind of experience on a regular basis.

And certainly as we head into the Christmas season, the need to calm will far outweigh the need to tick the last item off the shopping list.

Pat and Betty Ann are offering a free “sample” experience on Tuesday, November 26, from 12:15 to 1 pm. They serve refreshments, offering a relaxing program as well as massage. And then in January, they resume their four-week retreat sessions, January 7, 14, 21, and 28 of 2003!

A terrific idea, from women to women for women.

It was the best gift I could have given myself!

To register for your free sample session, call Pat at 721-1984 or Betty Ann at 792-9992.

Thanks, Pat. Thanks, Betty Ann.

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