It’s Our Tradition, She Said

Leave a comment Standard

One of my long time BFFs, Jill, and I have always talked books, recommended them to each other and shared them. The few years we were roomies, we had shelves overflowing with books. Shelves that were doubled with books. And that didn’t stop us from making frequent trips to the book store either. We always looked forward to our journeys to Chapters, to look through the book shelves, usually leaving with more books to add to our home library.

Even when we moved apart from each other, we still made our Chapters trips every once in a while. And a few years after that, after I moved to New York, we both kept up our own book store trips. My solitary trips to Barnes & Noble were never the same, but still filled me with some sense of ease and homeyness.

So as our years of book sharing evolved, Jill and I discovered an author we both loved. Somehow the book Barefoot was picked up and read during one of my trips to B & N, and when I shared the book with Jill she said she had read it too. From then we started reading Elin Hilderbrand‘s beach reads quite incessantly. We read them for the tangled stories of relationships and the descriptions of the beautiful setting on Nantucket. To say the least, now we both anticipate the release of her June summer books for one of our first summer reads. And the last couple of years, we also anticipate the release of the winter series for a cozy cold season read together.

Since the new book Here’s To Us came out a couple of weeks ago, we checked to make sure the other purchased it before starting to read. We were both in the midst of other books, so we both needed a few days before getting into the new book. Jill mentioned that reading it simultaneously was our tradition – and it’s definitely true! Something that’s “our thing”, that we stick to a couple of times a year, even when our lives are filled with other things. So now here we are, literally on opposite sides of the planet, still reading books together, over coffee or on the couch or wherever, because it’s our tradition.

I think maybe we can partially thank Elin for our tradition, but mostly we can thank ourselves for staying connected, even when our lives keep moving along and changing.

And one day, Jill and I will make a trip out to Nantucket together to explore all those places we’ve read about in the books!

Elin

Advertisements

I’ve Been Brainwashed

Comments 2 Standard

I have a good friend whose friend says that New York has a way of making you think you can’t live without it. Well that’s definitely true.

New York has brainwashed me. It’s been brainwashing me for the last nine years to think I can’t live without it: its hidden treasures, beauty and all it has to offer. The food and restaurants, the parks, the uniqueness of many places around the city. The running around Central Park and the relaxing to write blog posts in Bryant Park. Walking down a couple of blocks and having the option to eat any kind of food I want at practically any hour. How can I leave it?

Well, I can.

Yes I will miss it, but I will be okay without it. A new adventure awaits in another time zone and place, and I’m excited.

Friend Therapy

Leave a comment Standard

The last two weekends have been full of friend time, and the next three weekends will be about the same.

Spending time with friends both at home and away from home is so much fun. Friend time has so many benefits, like therapy. Some benefits very obvious, some maybe not as obvious… however all positive when you’re friends with the right people!

Friend time allows for…

… talking/catching up on what’s going on in our lives

… bouncing ideas off of each other

… eating at great restaurants we may not normally eat at

… sharing opinions about society’s big problems

… planning trips together

… collaborating about world domination

… dreaming about a more peaceful and productive society

… talking about great books we’ve read and recommending the ones we love to each other

… laughing at funny things we’ve said, done or plan to do

… crying about anything without judgement

… challenging each other to be the best version of ourselves

… nonsense

… just time together in the same space

… self-reflection of ourselves as friends, and the kind of friend we want to be…

IMG_9743

Restored Belief

Comment 1 Standard

Let’s face it, the world is a huge mess right now: backlash against the police, non-peaceful protesting, shootings, hostage situations, and on… Luckily for me, I feel like spending time in Singapore has restored my belief in kindness and humanity.

Having time away from NYC and being able to spend time getting to know some new communities reminded me that there are places that can be peaceful, even in a large urban center.

My belief in the kindness of people has been stored…

How refreshing for a government agent to understand your circumstance and try to make things a little easier for you by giving you a few extra minutes at the counter to get your things together.

How lovely that people can just wait patiently in comfy chairs for their numbers to pop up on the screen at the post and government offices.

How peacefulness watching traffic flow without the constant blowing of horns.

How novel having a cashier that actually smiles and greets you because she enjoys her job.

How deliberate people are to leave the particular seats open on the train for people who really need them.

How calm a crowd can be, ensuring that everyone is enjoying themselves.

Of course I’m not saying there is no kindness in New York; it just seems few and far between when you go to a place where it’s so prevalent. Now that I’m back in the city, I’ll look be looking more diligently for that kindness. I want to keep my restored belief in people. But when I feel that belief diminishing, I will be the kindness and humanity, in the hopes that it will restore other’s belief in it too.

 

Year of Change

Comments 2 Standard

As 2014 wraps up, I think about how fast time has gone. Was it really a year ago that I had the crazy busy Christmas break? A trip to Edmonton to see my family, a wedding in North Carolina and then to Phoenix to be with Brett and the kids? Yes, it sure was.

The beginning of 2014 proved to be somewhat mechanical with Brett and I continuing to work in the same jobs we had for a few previous years. But then May came, Brett got an offer for a new job and the changes started rolling!

By June I found out I was accepted into ASCD’s Emerging Leaders program. Brett started a new job AND I was also accepted into the 2014 and 2015 NYC marathons on the same day.

In July I became somewhat of an anxious mess, but eased into my marathon training. Spent some time in San Diego with Alaa and Monica, then went to DC to participate in my first ASCD L2L event.

In August my training increased and I began mentally preparing for Brett to go to Singapore for the month of September. I also started a new job. No more teaching at the same school I had been for the previous eight years. Emotions and anxiety running high!

In September Brett was away and I started my new position. Many new routines and anxiety not improving! Pretty intense marathon training. A lot of newness this month!

In October Brett returned from Singapore but only for what seemed like a hot second because he had to be in Austin for a couple of weeks. Good thing was I was able to go to Austin for the long weekend to hang out with him. Marathon training became somewhat derailed for a week in particular due to two migraines! No bueno. But the good news was, by the end of the month, the anxiety began waning as the training tapered.

In November Brett made the move to Singapore – on my marathon weekend. Thankfully I had Alaa and Brooke with me over those transition days to soften the blow. Days at the new job were not ideal but at least I didn’t have the same stress of teaching. A break from running was okay for a couple of weeks, but then I ready to get back at it by mid-month.

And somehow December rolled in, becoming the second month of Brett being away. The job improves sightly but it’s still not necessarily what I signed up for… Going to Singapore for three weeks over the holidays was what I had been waiting for – despite the snafus with managers about the days off and the derailed departure because of a passport that would have expired in four months.

Now that I’m here, I feel like I have a clearer picture of what I need to do in the beginning of 2015. The first three months will be extremely busy with travel and fun friend/NY stuff. But it’s another year of change. Good change. Somewhat less dramatic, but also somewhat more.

Stay tuned and thanks for reading this year.

change-4-1imepyc

My One And Only

Comments 4 Standard

I guess I could try and describe November 2nd, 2014 to you – the day I ran the TCS NYC marathon. My first marathon, and my only.

I could go through the play-by-play of the morning getting to the start and describe the emotions running through me as I ran through this great city. But telling you wouldn’t really do the experience justice. You would have had to have been there, experience it, and bask in the enormity of this life-changing event.

Training for and running this marathon taught me a lot about myself and what I can do, including how to deal with struggles along the way.

I remember telling someone in a little over a year ago that I would never run a marathon. That running a marathon was crazy. But today, I can say I have done it. I know it’s cliche to say – but never say never. You’d be surprised what you can do, and the incredible sense of accomplishment that comes with it, especially when you think you can’t. And taking so many people on the ride with you is another accomplishment in itself.

Take a chance and do something you never thought you would, or could do. You will be amazed at the adventure it takes you on.

Total exhilaration at 26 miles, just 0.2 to go!

Total exhilaration at 26 miles, just 0.2 to go!

Looking back at the finish

Looking back at the finish

IMG_8313

The most precious medal I have earned.

IMG_8315

A sea of blue capes to stay warm at the end.

Three Sightings in a Week

Comment 1 Standard

So I know I’ve been pretty quiet the last couple of weeks. In all honesty, I feel like I don’t have a lot to say, but I actually do. New job. Husband away in foreign country. Fall, my favorite season. Friends. Running.

But on my list of what people like to hear – because they’re not usually an everyday occurrence … celeb sightings. I’ve had three sightings this week. All in very different places but all comedic people, funnily enough.

The first was last week during one of my numerous Central Park training runs. As I was in my last mile, I ran by this guy from a TV show who I recognized immediately. Curly haired, short, white dude. No idea what his name is, or what show he was on…

The second was on Monday, and it was so exciting! My colleague and I were leaving one of our school sites, walking and debriefing. In my mid-sentence, she says – “wait a minute”… and I look right beside her to see Jerry Seinfeld getting miked for an interview maybe, or maybe his show Comedians in Cars with Coffee since there was this gorgeous old Mercedes parked just to the right. So we keep walking and then I stopped and asked her like a 16-year old – “should I go and ask for picture?” Well, I answered my own question… I walked back to where the small group were standing and talking, and asked a big dude if I could snap a shot and he said it was fine. So I did! I should have asked him to say something to my Voxer group while I was at it.

Jerry on West 83rd Street

Jerry on West 83rd Street

My third sighting was today, on my way home from acupuncture in the Gramercy area. I was walking past a little playground and saw this woman on her phone, pacing by a stroller. I looked at her because I thought she looked familiar, then she looked at me because I was looking at her. She kept talking and I kept walking. It was Rachel Dratch, who plays Debbie Downer on SNL. I contemplated taking her pic, but I didn’t want to be a creeper hahaha!

So I imagine that will be the end of my sighting for some time. Three in a week was a lot of work. 😉

stupidcupidblog.com

stupidcupidblog.com

New Commute Routine

Comments 4 Standard

My commute to work the last few years is now part of the past. My co-teacher used to pick me up in the mornings around 6:45 Monday through Friday for three or four years. We’d head up 1st avenue, chatting during the drive, sometimes stopping for coffee or at the bank, then arriving at school just after 7. The way home would be a walk to the 6 train or sometimes a full 2.5 mile walk home, depending on the day I had.

But now my commute has changed. I had to establish a new commute routine because I started a new position as a “central employee” based out of the Bronx division office.

So Sunday night I walked to Grand Central after our ramen bowls to get a 10-trip ticket for Metro North. A three-way subway transfer every morning would end up frustrating me, so I chose the most appealing method of transport to start my day. I looked up the train schedule for Monday morning and determined the best time to leave home to catch the 7:18 train, arriving at 7:36. Perfect for an 8am start. Just enough time to stop in the Starbucks located near the entrance of the building. So far, the morning trip is great! I have a nice 10-12 minute walk to Grand Central, not accompanied by many people on the sidewalk at 7am, and not a lot of people on that reserve commute out of the city.

metro north

blogs.wsj.com

The way home is not as desirable but it’s not horrible. I now take a west side train, the B or D because it’s the nearest to the office. And by nearest I mean, a 10 minute walk. As a walker, not a big deal at all. It’s just an interesting walk. So I hop on the subway and could transfer to the 4 to get to the east side but it takes the same amount of time if I just stay on the B or D and walk home from Rockefeller – which is a nice walk anyway.

Now, this new commute routine will only be valid for the next couple of weeks, because after that I’ll be making site visits and those locations will be different every day. So guess what? No routine there! The routine would be that there is no routine – which I will happily get used to.

Enjoy your long weekend everyone!

 

Staying In One Place

Leave a comment Standard

We arrived in Dublin 10 days ago and stayed at the same hotel the whole time. I know many come to Ireland and travel, hopping from medieval town to the next, a couple of nights here and there. I love that idea, I really do. But I also really loved coming back to the same place every night on this trip.

Here’s a list of things I learned about staying in one place in Ireland:

1. I really got to know the place (hotel) you are staying. You get to know the staff, who works when, when they will knock on your door, who gives the towels at the gym, who runs the elevator to the rooftop lounge. I got to try basically all the food at the hotel, which I have none to complain about.

2. I really got to know the neighborhood. The Marker Hotel is new to the Dock area and the Dock area is the newest neighborhood in Dublin. It houses many internet and financial companies, new condos, cafes and hotels. It’s pretty accessible to downtown but really has what you need in the area.

3. I learned to feel content. In July I began to put this into practice when I was in San Diego and continued that content-ness here. Feeling present and content in each experience by doing what locals do – having a morning routine, running routine, activity time and quiet time.

4. I learned that it’s okay not to do everything. Yes we were out everyday exploring, but it wasn’t this sense of crazy rushing around. Okay, so we didn’t make to the Cliffs of Moher because of a poorly planned Saturday, but I’m not sweating it. We went to Galway, Kilkenny and Dundalk, so it’s not like we didn’t see the countryside, cows, sheep, stone walls, rolling hills. Again, this is something I am continuing to learn, and for those of us who are always on the go – this is hard! Learning to be present is hard and takes time to get used to! Planning ahead is inevitable but it’s also nice to not plan sometimes too, letting events happen organically.

5. I learned that I really don’t like eating all the time. I didn’t eat a lot each day, but my body really just wants my veggie and hummus dinner back.

I value my time away, and when you are away, make sure you really enjoy what you are doing – even if it means doing less.

:)

🙂

 

Dublin Delights

Comments 2 Standard

We’ve been here in Dublin for almost three days and I think I have some things figured out from a lazy first day trying get sleep, a busier second day wandering around Temple Bar area and a third day of Hop On Hop Off Tour Bus and more walking.

First, Irish people are really nice, love to greet you, and are amazing attendants at our hotel. However other really nice Irish people do not offer the greatest service in restaurants. It’s not bad service, just minimal. I guess that explains the no tip rule?

Second, I need to listen very closely to those Irish that I assume speak Gaelic. They speak so fast I have a hard time comprehending! Lip reading doesn’t really help either.

Third, I like the afternoon sunshine but not the chilly, cloudy mornings.

Fourth, unlike London, I’ve actually been quite impressed with all the food I’ve eaten so far. I haven’t had any blood sausage or pudding or Irish Stew yet, but the wings, soup and breads & dips I have had were pretty tasty.

Finally, there are not many runners but plenty of bikers. I was excited to see the many bikes lanes since we will be biking around the city today! Will let you know how that goes!

Dublinbikes

Dublinbikes