mental health

Giving my 26 weary bones a time-out in a New York minute

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!

New York Billboards Out the Train Window

New York Billboards Out the Train Window

Here are some other posts on 26:

1. Your Days are Numbered: The sacred & unutterable name of God

2. Twenty six is a number

3. Daily prompt: Your days are numbered

4. Daily prompt: Your days are numbered by tnkerr

5 Lucky number: A mom’s blog

6. Your days are numbered by Nola Roots, Texas Heart

7. Once and Zeros by Edward Hotspur

8. Ah, the lonely people by the Jittery Goat

9. Your days are numbered by Jigokucho

10. Twenty Six: by Martha Ann Kennedy

11.the wandering poet

12. Concentrate on yourself

22 replies »

  1. After moving to New York several months ago, I loved reading your thoughts. I find myself needing small ‘time-outs’ throughout the day, too. I love the hustle and bustle, but sometimes you just need to sit back and process everything! Thanks for expressing it so well.


    • Thanks for stopping by abd sharing your thoughts. I’m glad you made it to the big apple. I live NYC but have come to realize sometimes there is a need to just step out of that hustle and bustle. Enjoy your NYC adventure and time outs 🙂


  2. Love it! I have been encouraging my best friend to do the same for awhile now. She hasn’t yet caught on, though. Enjoy those morning horizons and dancing!


  3. This reminds me of a boss I had long ago, a woman from New York. In Denver, that’s important. She’d lived there 9 or 10 years and married a Colorado guy. She told me how the first time her parents came to visit she met their plane. She was talking to them when she suddenly realized they were not with her. They were SPRINTING to the baggage claim.


  4. Who knew time-outs were good for adults as well?! But seriously, I followed your story from the Daily Post’s Daily Prompt site, and enjoyed reading what I see here. Interestingly–perhaps!–even non-New Yorkers can have a little of the “New York state of mind,” because I’m a refugee from the South [now transplanted in the Midwest] but always feel in a rush . . . to the point that I channel, unwittingly, upbeat music in my brain when I’m in a hurry; either that or annoyingly memorable advertising earworms like the incontinence jingle “Gotta go, gotta go, gotta go right now . . .” I rush the kids here, I rush myself there–I run, as you do; somehow, I try to wedge in the workouts–and I tend to like to get ahead of others when I’m walking, doing chores (getting ahead of myself, ahead of the chores), and definitely when running (if I’m able, obviously). Anyway, not to belabor the point, but it’s a fascinating connection; thank you for sharing a “slice” of your life with we who have never (yet) been to New York (state or city, in my case). Cheers!


    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Yes, it is a funny thought that adults need a time out…in multiple wats :-). I travel a lot to the south and its an interesting vibe for sure. You must someday come to new york and speedwalk your way across the city 🙂 hope you are having a great week!


      • For sure; I had to give myself several TOs tonight alone! Anyway, I’ve always dreamed of going to NYC, so it’s a deal. Maybe we can speed-walk together and you can recommend some “do-not-miss” sights including but beyond the obvious and tourist-y things! 🙂 You have such cool art on your site, like the juxtaposed balcony photos and such … thanks again for blogging this stuff (you’re my window on the world!).


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