Tag Archive | New York City

I’m Feeling Sunshiney

Sick of hearing about the dearth of women in science? Why don’t you step over to Snaps & Bits, because Stacie is a P freaking H DEE in biology.  And a breast cancer researcher & survivor.  And hilarious.  And a great writer to boot.  She nominated me for the Sunshine Award because she accurately perceived that I needed a few extra rays after someone asked me if I was pregnant last week.  Scientists– they just know stuff that the rest of us don’t.

Well, I love Stacie and awards and sunshine, so it’s a winning combination for this gray Chicago day.  Imma gonna answer these questions and then get on with the terribly important business of ignoring my children.

Sunshine on my shoulder makes me happy....-- John Denver

Sunshine on my shoulder makes me happy….– John Denver

1.  What is your favorite Christmas/Holiday movie?

When Harry Met Sally.  Remember where Sally is dragging that Christmas tree off the lot when she is so sad and alone? No one does pathos like the perky.  You know how they could make that movie even better? Do a remake starring Andrew Garfield (he’s my Ryan Gosling) and me. But that would actually be more like The Graduate since I am so much older than he is.

2.  What is your favorite flower?

This one’s easy.  The flower of my youth.  It has precisely 3 petals left, and they are turning brown.

3.  What is your favorite (non-alcoholic) beverage?
Fresca– plain and old school from a can.

4.  What is your passion?

I just looked up “passion” on dictionary.com.  It is defined as “any strong or compelling emotion.” I am passionate about the size of my ass, the shape of my career, and the smell of roasting vegetables.  Less superficially, I am passionate about friendship and connections with others, writing a good story/blog post, and making sure everyone loves me.  (Hey, not all passions are healthy.)

5.  What is your favorite time of year?

Any time as long as it’s really sunny– no clouds, lots of sunshine– don’t care if it’s zero degrees or 100.  Just let the sunshine.

6.  What is your favorite time of the day?

I love that 15 minutes of peaceful snuggle right before my kids pass out at night– their defenses are down, mine have been beat down (by them) and the sweetness of life seeps in and covers us all.

7.  What is your favorite physical activity?

Spinning but only if the music is good.  Hall & Oats B-sides ain’t gonna cut it, nor will taking my favorite songs and making them sound like “house” music.  Make the spin mix clean, old school and add some Grandmaster Flash if you want me to join your fitness cult.

8.  What is your favorite vacation?

New York City.  You can have the beach and the passports and the hassle of Transatlantic flight. Give me Manhattan, any time and any day.

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New York City Scene Proves That I Am Neurotic In This Time Zone Too

Last night I was scrolling through the pictures I took during Day 1 of my weekend away, and I can’t stop coming back to the picture I took of a group of people, who were blindfolded and walking in a human chain through Mid-Town. I assume this is a martial arts class based on the shared uniform of belted white heavy cotton “pajamas,” but I don’t know that for certain. The blindfolded guided walking reminds me of trust walks that were a staple at my summer camp in the Texas hill country.

It also reminds me of a Biblical line that suggests when the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into a ditch.

I was riveted watching this human chain lurch through a busy intersection. I wanted to join them. Each of them seemed calm and focused– all each had to do was hold on to the person right in front of him and take the next step. I imagine that the blindfold helped sharpen the focus required for the task. It looked appealing to me in its simplicity and the limited range of choices.

Ah, the heavy burdens of freedom and choice.

And when I find myself thinking these thoughts, I want to buy one of those soft pretzels sold on the street and punch myself in the face with it. Here I am– on this wonderful trip I am grateful to be on — I can go, see, and do anything I want, but I am making moon eyes at a dojo’s human chain?

And it’s so damn me. I am on the streets of NYC with complete freedom, and I long to have safety and limits and restrictions. But, the minute I get back home, and I am responsible for making breakfast or pulling lipstick shards out of Sadie’s mouth, guess who is going to be aching with longing for a solitary walk through a city– New York or Topeka or Waxahachie? Anywhere new, exciting or unfamiliar. When those limits appear, I rebel like a pit bull on a short leash.

So as the sun rises over my head this morning, I have a sincere wish to be here, fully and presently. I can’t help that freedom and new experiences frighten me and that discomfort makes me wish for the familiar– even when getting away from the familiar is the whole reason for this trip. I want to lean ever so slightly more into the unfamiliar and the gaping discomfort. I want to be a little more brave woman warrior and a little less child’s pose. Just for today.

When the sun goes down, I can curl up into a little fetal ball in the sterile silence of my hotel room, but until then, my prayer is to open up my every cell to what is right here now.