Chapter XVII

because you never know someone from the very beginning


May 2015

Typical Saturday night


In our backyard. Came out back to look at the stars. I think my neighbor is screening a movie. If I had to guess I’d say Mad Max. Alex gardened today so it smells like mulch. Neighbors have been grilling. Air conditioners. There’s a nice breeze. City trees are rustling. I hear people yelling from the street. And then they go away. The kids are sound asleep. I think I’ll set the coffee maker and start tomorrow out here. 

How To Waste Time

I worked for a guy once – very successful – very busy – who told me “make sure you waste time productively.”

Best advice!

I’m not one of those people who ever says “I just can’t relax!” (place hand on forehead, dramatic sigh).  Well too bad, that must suck for you – I’m great at relaxing!  And of late, I’ve taken my former boss’s advice to heart.  I’ve always been pretty good about not getting caught in some mind-numbing TV vortex, but lately I’ve taken this all to the next level.  Here are a few ways I’ve been spending time…

  • I’ve always loved music…but haven’t listened to a lot of the greats.  I’m now making my way through Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.  This is a big project so I am starting with the first 100 and reading a little Wikipedia entry on most the albums as I go to get the history.  I still don’t like John Lennon but Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On the whole album is great! I chose albums instead of songs since…I know this is old school…but albums are complete works of art. (when does this happen?  at my desk at work)
  • Doesn’t everyone read?  I read a lot of books but have also been reading a lot of articles lately.  (when does this happen?  subway to and from work; in front of the kids on weekends “Look at mommy read a magazine!”, right before bed). Here are a few recent interesting articles:
  • History.  Oh, for my lack of history knowledge. But with Khan Academy I’ve been watching quick little videos to fill in some (embarrassing) gaps.  Starting with early 20th Century Empire Building and events leading up to WWI. (when does this happen?  usually after the kids get to bed…takes ten minutes)
  • I would just like to note for my husband and others close to me that I have yet to mention Crossfit.  Which I find an incredible use of time, thank you very much.  But I won’t talk about it despite its awesome impact on mobility, strength, cardio and overall well-being.  Moving on…
  • Podcasts.  I’m realizing my subway rides are really pretty awesome – well spent time. In the past few months I’ve meditated (Tara Brach), heard an amazing murder trial reopened (Serial), and listened to incredible interviews of Arnold Schwarzenegger (don’t judge – he was hilarious), Rick Rubin, Elon Musk, Maria Popova and others thanks to podcasts. I learn something new every time.
  • And of course TV.  Game of Thrones, A Chef’s Table, Parts Unknown with Anthony Bordain, Bloodline, Homeland…so much good content!  In addition to being a person who knows how to relax, I am a person who is not afraid to admit I like television. Some of it is just great!  (when does this happen?  at night after the kids are in bed, lunches are made, laundry is folded, emails been checked again…)

So that’s that.  I hope you can find your own downtime and ways to “waste time productively.”  If you need a jump start, read THIS, The Busy Trap (great article. Just great.)

It’s a very happy birthday…

43 so far…

A poached egg over spinach and Canadian bacon. Laughing watching Home Alone in bed with the kids as we woke up this morning. Lunch with old friends. A new coffee maker (automated!).  Wandering the Village with Avery and then a gorgeous walk over the Brooklyn Bridge. Perusing a new cookbook with my feet up on our deck. Listening to church bells and kids jumping on a trampoline two doors down. Cool breeze and a blended up bunch of berries and bubbly water. GRILLED STEAK. Mushrooms. Cauliflower. Wine. Fresh raspberries with a little cream.

And lots of outreach from friends and family. 
What a happy birthday it’s been!!

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