Summer's gone it's time for you to get relief, relaxation

WORKING WOMAN

September 13, 1992|By Niki Scott | Niki Scott,Universal Press Syndicate

Summer is over. Yippee! No more weekends of racing to the beach or pool to see how water-logged, sunburned, sand-flea-bitten, food-poisoned and overstuffed with small talk we can make ourselves by sundown on Sunday night.

No more half-raw, blackened pieces of barbecued chicken served with lukewarm, mayonnaise-laden potato salad gunk. No more having to have fun, fun, fun in the sun, sun, sun. Let's hear it for rainy, snowy weekends when we can hibernate without guilt -- or sunscreen.

No more long, lazy days for our children, either. Back to school they go.

We working parents will actually be able to work for whole hours at a time without a phone call from home -- or knowing full well that if the phone DOESN'T ring it's probably because our bored-with-summer children are too busy trying to kill each other (if there's more than one) or destroy the house entirely.

Now that everyone has come back from their summer vacations with the obligatory sunburns, mosquito bites, overextended credit card balances and vows to go "off-season" next year, we can get back to the business of running businesses.

It's time to take concrete steps toward taking better care of ourselves this fall and winter, too. Here are suggestions to help get you started:

* Check with your local Y and other places in town where you can swim, use exercise equipment, jog, play tennis or handball -- whatever helps you let off steam and stay in shape -- and pay the dues now, before Christmas gets any closer and you have to save all your money for other people's presents.

* Check your community colleges for courses in photography, macrame, antique-hunting, foreign languages, ancient history -- whatever interests you -- and sign up now, before fall gets into full swing and you miss the deadline (again) and decide you'll wait until next winter.

* Make a firm decision now to set aside two hours each week just for you -- time that is scheduled but not committed, time that you spend in any way that pleases just you. Two hours a day would be better, but at least two hours a week is absolutely essential for your mental health and the future well-being of your family.

* Finally, make an ironclad decision now that this fall and winter your needs will be as high a priority for you as everyone else's -- not higher, perhaps, but just as high. Because no one else can do this for you, and we working women simply must start taking

better care of ourselves, beginning right now.

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