The Life of A Pedestrian

Here I am and there I go. Walking walking everywhere. I wear my Fitbit hoping that if I go over 10,000 steps something incredible will happen.

I get off the subway and I walk. Walk to my next appointment. Walk to the market. Walk to meet my friends. Walk to get alone. Walk to connect with my husband. Walk to see nature. But really, as I walk so much more these days than ever before, I am learning it’s about the walking itself and what happens while I journey. The people I meet, all the things I notice on foot that I would never see in a car, and the opportunity to stay healthy in my body and my mind.

I was kind of hoping for some type of change on the scale too, but that’s for another post. So even when I need my umbrella up, I get excited about today. And then tomorrow.

 

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C

How The Heck Are You?

How the heck are you? That is what one of my girlfriends asked me last Friday evening when 9 of us gathered in my apartment to catch up. It was the first time most of them have seen where we ran off to 3 months ago.

The conversation was rich and the time together reminded me that too much time can not pass between conversations, texts, visits or phone calls. It just can’t. Nothing is as important as when we think about a friend – hello needs to be said at the next available moment.

In these days…I am learning that it is as important to spend time alone as with others.

I visited a museum by myself in the top photo just yesterday to learn about the Four Freedoms of the Roosevelt administration.

And not too long ago (the second photo) I was meeting one of my daughters for lunch, and I passed by the hospital I was a patient at several years ago. The thoughts, feelings, and memories came rushing back to a time I wasn’t sure about tomorrow. Thank God I am in remission and I can look forward, but this too was my journey and had I not turned down a certain street, I would have been in too much of a hurry to stop and remember.

In the third photo I showcase my tiny urban garden. It’s so tiny that I think I will only have enough produce to make only a few salads, but that’s ok. Who would have thought that the back drop to my tiny garden within a community garden is the Manhattan skyline…. Never thought I would be able to have my hands in the dirt even in city life!

As I learn news ways of living and doing even drying my laundry, I am grateful the adventure is still in its infancy. More for next time…

Habit Forming

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” ~ Aristotle

β€œThe soul, like the body, accepts by practice whatever habit one wishes it to contact.” ~ Socrates

You’ve seen these right? I have a dozen more quotes like these tucked away in the circulatory system of my conscience. I have memorized the quotes, but then why aren’t the habits as familiar in my daily rhythms?

Why after 2 months of living in this new home – which by the way has a gym several floors below my apartment, have I only used only a handful of times? Why does the GF bag of chips go from the grocery shelf to my cart without a blink of an eye?

I don’t think I am lazy. Sometimes I procrastinate, but my motivations often match my actions to the best of my abilities. ( I can say that at my age without sounding pompous)

But then, getting back to the habit of spiritual disciplines, fitness and diet, why is it so difficult sometimes and other times not so difficult to do that which I want to do and not do what I don’t want to do?

We can go down the path of the fall of man, but today I think I will stick with what I can see before me: my calendar and to do list. They are too full. Appointment cancellations make me excited!

I am not sure if you are in the middle of your life like me, but my goal for today and tomorrow and the next is to do what my husband and I have tried to do by moving into the city- declutter, purge and simplify.

The happiness quotient just got simpler, but honestly it’s the hardest most important realization I can come to today. Live with less. Do less. Be content with less.

(The moment after I got on the elevator after my 4th time in my gym after 2 months. Pls notice the beads of sweat:-)

Until next time,

C

So Much To Learn Here

It took a few days and lots of planning and the birthday party went off without a hitch. That’s not the whole truth really…

There were bumps and nothing was seamless. I love using real plates and real glasses so if you do the math, 25 people can use a lot of china!!!! But, friends – we had fun. It was worth every bit of the work. And, my friends showed me grace as I figured it out as the evening went along.

My summary

1) Perfect parties are not a reality.

2) There will always be a better orchestrated party somewhere else.

3) Living on an island doesn’t mean I need to be an island.

4) After everything is cleaned up is the best time to make a to do list for the next time.

What do I mean by these 4 points? Well, a perfect party doesn’t exist. If it does, it isn’t nearly as fun as the kind real people plan and attend. Secondly, no matter how well my execution is the next time 25 people hang out at my house, there will be a better party somewhere else. For me, this keeps me humble. Pride goes out the door. Thirdly, now that I see how much work goes into a party in my apartment based on size and layout, I will ask for help – catering part of the food, hiring someone to do dishes throughout the evening, or just put a lock on the kitchen cabinet, and use disposable dishware. Finally, two days after the party, a dear friend came over and we brainstormed how to do it better next time, and I am excited to use my napkin sketches to try again soon.

I am on a steep learning curve. Hope some of this helps you and reminds you that you are not alone.

Everyday is new here for me and as I learn, I am glad to share the journey with you!!!

Let There Be Warmer Light!

And then there was warmer light!!!!

Before

During

And

Now

Since we moved in, we kept thinking it was just our perspective. Too stark. Too white. Sometimes it just looked blue and felt cold. The difference between a house and an apartment maybe?

Welcome to LED world. My education on Kelvins. The higher the Kelvins, the whiter the light. Warm white sits between 2700-3000 Kelvins. Daylight sits between 4000-4500 Kelvins. And, cool white is between 5000-6200 Kelvins.

This may mean nothing to you, but I suspect that if you are moving into a new home in the future, you too will learn.

So why do different lights affect people in different ways? Some people like daylight and cool white, and others like warm light.

We are all different and receive the world in unique ways. Can’t we all get along though? Whether we like one type of light or another type of light? Whether we like vegetables or meat? Whether we like to dance the night away or sit curled up with a book?

The moral is my lights are not better than your lights. Kelvin tells me they are just warm lights.

365 New Days. 365 New Opportunities.

I totally stole these words from a sign hanging in my bathroom. But, they’re in my house, so I have some license to use them.

So this week. I am going to try to get dinner on the table earlier. We have been eating really late – like 8pm some nights. I am going to try and get more sleep. You know you are not getting enough sleep when your eyelids become heavy on the subway and you have only gone one stop. I am going to try and exercise more than walking up a moving escalator. And finally, I am going to try and think more about what’s next for me professionally. I met a woman many years and decades my senior who is finishing her doctorate and I thought – hey, why do I sometimes feel that being at the halfway point in life is like the final 1/3???

Can you relate? It’s all connected. Even when you eat and exercise. Hopefully you will be reading this early in your week so that as you open your blinds in your bedroom (these are mine), you will think about life in a macro way as you look outside to see your new today and your new week.

I will include a few more entries this week about house projects in my new apartment and how I am planning my first big party without on street parking.

See you next time.

Love,

C

Its Time To Go For a Walk

Good Morning Friends,

It’s Friday morning here. It’s been a month this past week that we moved into our apartment.

All of our belongings are here. Every box has been unpacked. Almost all is put away. I am excited to be here. I am grateful for all the divine ordained moments which brought us to this place and time.

And yet, I still sense we have a ways to go to make this place “our” home. For the last several weeks, I have been learning new rhythms, new routines, new ways to get from point A to point B, and even new ways this home works for hospitality.

Yet, it’s not yet “my new normal”. It’s not yet fully home. It takes time to make it a home, our home.

This morning my husband reminded me that in an entire month, he and I haven’t taken the time to put the good busyness aside to go for a walk. A moment to pause. Time to breathe.

We will wait no longer. Today, sandwiched between work, Home Depot and errands, will be a pause. A hand holding pause. Β A walk.