Daily Prompt: Giving My 26 Bones a Time out in a New York Minute
I am the quintessential New Yorker: I have never had a driver’s license, I speed walk everywhere and I tend to eat lunch either on my feet, at my desk or with a cocktail. Preferably a mojito. By 8am I will have had at least two cups of coffee. While I write long-form documents and reports, I prefer that my meeting colleagues get to the point in a minute or less. Since we have some Texans on our team, we also like to say A New Yorker does in an instant what a Texan would take a minute to do. As a New Yorker I am just always on the run. My neighbor races me home. I race him back. Strangers jostle on the street to get ahead of each other. New Yorkers furiously jaywalk to get ahead of others oftentimes nearly getting hit by a car. I am not an exception to that New York rule. I walk a total of 50 minutes to and from work every day. After all that racing, I get home and I run on the treadmill for another 30 minutes.
By the end of the day, the 26 bones in my right foot and ankle (that’s my dominant in-step) are tremendously tired. Can I even state they are bone-tired? Additionally, the 26 bones in my left foot and ankle are somewhat tired. My brain is a bit exhausted as well. Overall, being a New Yorker takes a lot of stamina and perhaps some ankle braces.
New York children are not very far off from their adult parents in terms of getting caught in the hustle and bustle of waking life. There are so many kids that run from one activity to the next, while eating a snack en route. Luckily, my son is still not caught up in that life race; yet. However, I do occasionally need to give my child a time-out which as we all know is a parenting technique for disciplining our kids. At my son’s school they have the “thinking chair”, which is apparently raspberry colored, as a way to enact a time-out. His thinking chair got me thinking about how I am always caught up in the New York minute. His thinking chair made me realize that, on occasion, I should give myself a time-out. In trying to calm my life down just a tad bit, I have started enacting some very minor changes to my daily routine that provide my weary bones and brain with a daily “time-out”.
First off, I have started sitting in the last train of the commuter car as that is designated as the quiet car. I have been sitting in the very last row of that last compartment where I can sit without distractions and can thus zone out. I used to work on my morning commute getting an early start on the backlog of emails that somehow sprung up overnight. Now, I may answer a few of those annoying early-morning emails, but I also allow myself to just stare out the window and look at the rising sun. Second, I used to get up (five minutes before arrival) and walk over to the other end of the train compartment so that I could stand near the doorway and get a head start out of the train. Now, I am the last person to get up and leave the compartment. I just wait it out. I watch as everyone else starts jockeying for position to run out of the train ahead of everyone else. It is an amazing sight to catch. You can see the passengers getting irritated and somewhat elbowing each other. I wonder as to what is the point of starting to get irritated so early in the morning. Work will come soon enough and there will surely be enough irritants there. Why get a head-start on irritation? Third, I put my headphones on and walk slowly out of the train down the long, long platform. The long walk allows me to truly enjoy one song. I even walk and sway in-step to the beat. I get into the zone before I head onto the streets of New York where I again get into the literal rat race. Once out of the train station, I speedwalk (and occasionally run) 17 blocks and three avenues in record-time. I do so, even in rain, sleet and snow. By the time I get to work, I have worked up a hardy sweat and heart rate.
By taking those three “time-out” steps, I give my weary 26 bones a rest before I put them through the ringer of the day-to-day New York hustle. These little steps may not seem so grand. Trust me, though. Those little time-out steps I have given myself do wonders to the mind and spirit allowing me to take in a few minutes where nothing other than the dawn of a new morning impinges on my state of consciousness. That brief time out allows me to engage peacefully and happily in the eventual series of activity-ridden New York minutes. Go ahead. Give yourself a time out!
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