I took the week off. I did it. I actually stayed at home all week. Okay, I did do some work at home, but staying home all week was a major accomplishment for me. Time away, that’s what I needed and just what the doctor ordered. He also ordered me to stop typing on my laptop (I’m not a good patient. As you can see, I don’t always listen to what the doctor says and then I wonder why I’m not healing).

I decided this week…as I approach the year mark of my husband’s passing…and as I approach the year-end of my 50th year…that I no longer want an Armani suit as my 50th birthday present. I’m getting off the fast-track. I don’t want the corner office either (not that I was going to get it, but I don’t want it). After 25 years of dressing the part, I’m ready to step back, slow down, change. I no longer have need for an Armani suit. (Don’t get me wrong, I have always loved Armani and always will, he is a stellar designer. I will always love his suits…the details…the draping…the fabrics…the man, but I’m hanging up my Armani dreams).

Bath Time: It’s amazing I’m not a shrivelled up prune after this week. I spent so much time taking baths with my new Earth Therapeutic Anti-Bacterial Bath Pillow. The most amazing invention. And today I used the lovely Love Notes Healing Aromatherapy Bath Salts…a gift from J and C (thank you..thank you). Ooh, aah, ooh, aah, I was in heaven…with scents like lavender, white tea, jasmine and mint.

Yoga: I ordered my yoga blocks from Yoga Direct. They arrived yesterday special delivery from UPS. Now I can watch my new yoga tape and practice my asanas with correct posture. I think I’m going to have to turn my daughter’s room into a yoga studio. Yes, that is one of my new dreams.

What else did I do to relax?

Massages: I got massages twice this week. My massage therapist is so great. (Those of you who are local to Southern NJ should check out my massage therapist’s ad on my blog. Just scroll down the right side panel. She is a fellow 50-plus woman).

Cooking: Cooking is so relaxing. I used new Swanson stock and made a braised beef recipe. According to last week’s New York Times Dining section, braising is the ‘in’ way to cook now. It was yummy.

Spa Plans: Ah yes, I looked up spa trips to Canyon Ranch and Miraval. I’ve decided that instead of that Armani suit for my 50th birthday, I’m going to take myself on a spa trip to celebrate the new me. I got as far as calling reservations and checking flights to Tucson…now I have to get up the courage to call back and actually book my trip for January 2009. While January 2009 was to be my 25th anniversary trip with my husband, I will have to go it alone next month…and Miraval is my choice. Stay tuned…I’m going to do this…I’m going to do this…I’m going to take my first ‘ME’ vacation. It’s Oprah’s favorite spa. I should tell her I’m going…maybe she will join me.

Time with Oprah: Speaking of Oprah, I watched her show today. I relaxed in bed and watched her show. And guess who was on the show…Tom Cruise. The interview took place in his house in Telluride, CO. What a magnificent place. Maybe I will have to put that location on my list of 50 plus dreams for my 50 plus years. Like me, although a little younger, Tom is celebrating 25 years of being in the movie business…25 years since his breakout role in Risky Business. He said he has ‘lived his dream’ but now he is ‘turning it up.’ (Me too, I’m going to turn my life up too in 2009…I mean turn up by slowing down and creating new dreams).

Building Another Life: I read Lou Ureneck’s piece in the New York Times about how he is building a cabin in Maine. It was a wonderful story…will have to follow his blog.

New Bedtime Rituals: My new bedtime rituals (in addition to Ambien) include turning up my new iHome and listening to my ‘sleep’ music as I drift into ‘la la land'(although I did wake up at three the past few mornings and then I turned on my iHome and did my ‘mindfulness meditation’).

Doggie Dreams: I also perused Petfinder.com to look at dogs. It’s a fun pasttime. I found Chewy, a very cute Shih Tzu…oh, should I get a dog…yes…no…yes…no, no, no….maybe…this is too stressful…I stopped looking at all the dogs that are up for adoption.

More relaxation planned this weekend…facial, haircut, lobster dinner (since lobsters are in abundance right now…who cares if I eat lots of lobster and run up my cholesterol with so much shellfish).

The Crescendo is over. Thank you to all my readers who sent me ‘get well’ messages…I appreciate all your comments…you are my spiritual and emotional support.

The new ‘ME’ is emerging.