My new bike rack arrived last night so between that and the gorgeous weather, I decided to try bike commuting for the first time today. I thought that it would be cool enough to wear my work clothes instead of bringing them and cycling in something different -- slight tactical error. Although I brought wipes and deodorant, I arrived at work a little schvitzier than I had hoped. Next time I'll likely bike in a different outfit and carry the work clothes. And I'm already starving . . . Is it lunchtime yet?
I stumbled across this amazing list of "time, energy, and attention hacks" the other day. It's chock full of information and links to articles about ways to be more productive. One tip that spoke to me was the concept of "clear to neutral." The idea is that by removing resistance that enables you to procrastinate, you are more likely to take action. A prime example is making sure that after you cook, you clean the kitchen so that the next time you walk in, you aren't blocked by a pile of dirty dishes. I realize that I'm much better about doing this outside of my regular routine -- when I'm out on Fire Island, or on vacation -- than I am when I'm trying to cram things into my daily life. Tonight after I cooked and ate, I cleaned up. It always takes much less time in reality than it does in my head, and I'm much happier with a clean kitchen, whether I cook tomorrow or not.
There are days when I walk around the city feeling like a pack mule. On a typical day, I'm carrying a purse of some sort (larger if I'm carrying work documents and/or my tablet), a coffee mug (because I cannot wrap my head around the fact that places are now charging $4 for a cold brew iced coffee), breakfast (I generally don't eat or drink coffee until I get to work -- maybe I need to work on this), and lunch (not every day -- but most days). Tack on a visit to the gym and I've got workout gear, a Citibike trip and I've got a helmet, and today, to top things off, I toted my compost uptown to drop at the greenmarket on my way to work like a good little citizen of planet earth. Luckily by the end of the day, the coffee mug will be empty, breakfast and lunch will be eaten, compost will be gone, and I can ride a Citibike from 59th St. to the gym wearing my helmet and gym clothes, only toting my work outfit (lighter than gym clothes). This all counts as exercise/triathlon training, right?
Perhaps it's the recent full moon, but I've encountered quite a bit of unchecked hostility and anger on the streets of NYC recently. Seems that many New Yorkers are generally pissed off, and will lash out at their fellow city-dwellers at the slightest provocation.
Two cases in point: first, I was riding home on a crowded subway Friday evening and a woman near me was carrying a bag on her shoulder, as most women do. The bag bumped me so I repositioned myself a bit; it also bumped the guy next to me. We exchanged glances (subtext -- sheesh, that's kind of annoying; yep, it is) and went back to reading. The next thing I know, he yelled at her, "Hey, watch your bag. It's fucking annoying. Why don't you look and see what you're doing," or some such thing. The woman, startled, moved her back out of the way and apologized sheepishly. Then, after a breath, she turned to him and says "You know, all you had to do was say 'would you please move your bag." The man, flustered, apologized to her, and then to me (as I'm sure I had quite a look on my face due to his overreaction). He got off at the next stop and I had a long chat with the woman and her friend about why he possibly reacted that way and how great it was that she called him out on his behavior.
The next day, I was riding my bike up to Central Park on the 8th Avenue bike path. I was waiting at a red light and, admittedly, my front tire was partially in the crosswalk. A man on the sidewalk says to me, "why don't you just go through the light?" And I responded, "I always abide by the lights; it's safer." He then says, "but you're blocking the crosswalk -- you're a crosswalk blocker." It's important to note that he was not trying to cross the street in the crosswalk in front of me and nobody who was crossing seemed to have any trouble going around the 6 inches that my bike tire was over the crosswalk markings. He then proceeded to sing a little ditty about my crosswalk blocking: "you're a crosswalk blocker . . .a crosswalk blocker . . ." The light changed and I rode away. Why did this guy feel that it was his duty to discipline me for poking my tire over the crosswalk line -- so much so that he had to compose a SONG about it?!
If you're like me and hate shopping (and feel somewhat un-stylish), you may want to check out Stitch Fix. It's a service that, for a $20 charge, picks out clothing and accessories for you based on an extensive survey. They send you a box with style cards suggesting different options for wearing each item, and once you've tried everything on, you pay for what you want to keep -- the $20 you paid gets credited towards the total -- and send back what you don't in a pre-paid envelope. You then complete a detailed survey on why you liked/didn't like each item so that your same stylist can send you items more aligned with your taste.
Generally, I liked most of the items they sent, but the fit was a bit off on the two dresses I liked most. They sent me a gorgeous silver lariat necklace which I definitely would have kept had I not owned a very similar necklace already. So this time around, I didn't keep anything except the style cards (for inspiration), but I've already scheduled another box for May. I'm hoping that with the feedback I provided, the next box will be more fruitful. Well worth the $20, in my opinion! If you want to try it, use my reference code. NOTE: I'm not being compensated for this in any way, I just really liked the service!