It's amazing how quickly one's thoughts about winter in NYC can shift from "the snow makes everything look so lovely and serene -- it's a winter wonderland!" to "how am I expected to get around with these massive piles of filthy snow and ankle-deep puddles of nasty slush, especially when the damn trains aren't functioning properly!?!?" Deep breaths.
As you may recall, I was the lucky recipient of a Fitbit One this year (thanks, Mom & Stephen!). One of its features is sleep tracking -- it tells you how many hours you slept, how long it took you to fall asleep, how many times you woke up and how many times you were restless during any given night. Looking at this information has been fascinating to me. Since I got it, I learned that generally I might wake up once during the night, and am restless from one to three times per night. During the time that I have been sick (including the night before I started to feel crummy), I woke up at least three times and was restless upwards of ten times, including one night when I was restless twenty six times and one night when I was awake five times. No wonder I've felt so exhausted. Last night I didn't wake up at all and was restless nine times -- an improvement at least. Here's to hoping for less restless sleep going forward.
2014 isn't treating me well so far -- although New Year's Eve was lovely and filled with friends, food and laughter, I've been hit by a cold that keeps me up coughing all night. This was fine when I could lounge about and nap during the day, but it doesn't work so well when I have to go to work. Definitely ordering soup for lunch.
Happy and healthy 2014 to you all (and to my body, which didn't get the memo about the "healthy" part)!
I'm a New Yorker -- I walk. A lot. I walk to and from the subway, up and down the stairs, I walk Moxie several times a day, I walk to do my errands -- grocery shopping, dry cleaners, and I often walk to get to restaurants or bars, movie theatres, or anywhere else I have to be. I recently downloaded Noom Walk, a pedometer app for my phone. I had been exploring fitness monitors (think I've settled on the FitBit One), and figured this might be a good place to start experimenting with tracking daily activity outside of workouts.
You may have heard that 10,000 steps per day is the ideal target recommended by health authorities. I was certain that I'd hit the target with no problem given how much walking I do. I was so wrong. On a fairly active day, I was hovering around 5,000. I was stunned. I'm now figuring out ways to walk even more than I already do (in addition to getting back to the gym), including getting off the subway several stops early on my daily commute. I'm determined to hit 10,000!
If I, as an active pedestrian, can only hit 5,000, I can only imagine that a car-bound suburbanite who also sits at a desk every day doesn't even come close to that. Yikes. Don't be surprised if the next time we get together, part of our plans include going for a walk . . .
I've been spending time today reflecting about my experience during Superstorm Sandy, which took place a year ago today. I was lucky. For me, it was an inconvenience, but it was also an adventure. As someone who has lived in NYC through 9/11 and a blackout prior to Sandy, it was yet another illustration of how the city comes together in a crisis and how people take care of each other. Although I lost power, I cooked, saw friends and neighbors, made it to work, and generally made the best of it. I was also able to help determine where my law firm devoted financial resources, as well as legal resources. I helped get attorneys trained so that they could help the law firm staff who were impacted most severely by the storm in addition to helping those outside of the firm.
I'm sure this wasn't the last time NYC will see such a disaster or other crisis, but I have no doubt that we will get through whatever comes next. To Karen, Nannette & Richard (and their family), Dan & Kathryn, Jesse, & Anthony -- thanks for helping me weather the storm.
Earlier this summer I had grand plans to get rid of all kinds of stuff in my apartment. I've lived here for over a decade, and when you don't have the impetus of a move, it's a bit of a challenge to go through your belongings with a critical eye and get rid of the things that you don't need or use. I'm in the process of some big changes and so, although I'm a bit behind schedule, I've set aside some time to start purging. I've set aside a particular section of the apartment for each day (living room, bathroom, bedroom, etc.) and have started to get to work. For example, in my bathroom, not only did I go through my cabinets and throw out a ton of stuff, but I cleaned the inside of my medicine cabinet, light fixtures, and every nook and cranny I could reach. In my bedroom I went through the storage bins under my bed, set aside clothes for donation, and cleaned out my jewelry box in addition to basic dusting, cleaning, vacuuming and mopping. Today I've tackled stacks of magazines and paper in the living room and am moving on to my office. The goal is to make room for new energy -- not new stuff -- and get rid of old, dead weight. Wish me luck.
Overall, I have been truly enjoying my Citibike membership. It's perfect for a trip across town, especially if it's not too hot out -- if it's really hot and you need to be somewhere where you need to look your best (like a first date or something), it's sometimes better to walk to avoid showing up looking like a huge sweatball. Which brings me to last night. With about 15 minutes to make it to the West Village and a cool evening breeze blowing, Citibike would seem to be an ideal transportation mode. It was -- it got me to Perry and Bleecker in good time with barely a schvitz. This would've been great except for the tiny fact that the rack at that spot was completely full. I then biked over to Christopher and Hudson -- full. At that point, I had to pull out my phone and find another kiosk -- Bank and Hudson. I biked up to it, down the (stupidly uncomfortable) cobblestone street to find one free slot at the kiosk. Hooray! I was still in the safe 5-10 minute late range, and a tad schvitzier than I would like, but good to go. Until the bike wouldn't dock properly. The green light wouldn't go on, no matter what I tried. I was not about to keep biking farther from my destination at that point, so I called Citibike customer service. After a bit of time on hold, the rep took all of my information (key number, rack location, bike number) and she let me leave it where it was. I strode in to the restaurant about 15 - 20 minutes late, sweaty, and pissed off. At the very least, I had a good icebreaker story to start off the evening.
Yesterday, while biking along the 10th Street bike path between University and 2nd Avenue, I saw two people biking against traffic and one person blow through a red light as a pack of pedestrians started to cross in front of us. Earlier that day, crossing 5th Avenue as a pedestrian, I nearly got hit by a cyclist who didn't stop for his red light. After sunset, I saw a guy cycling the wrong way down a bike path, no helmet, no reflective gear or lights, with headphones in both ears. All of this stupidity and lack of concern for fellow New Yorkers is fairly typical, unfortunately. That said, I also saw some moron drive IN HIS CAR the wrong way down 5th Avenue -- while I and other pedestrians yelled at him -- in order to make a U-Turn. As we all yelled "wrong way!" all he had to say was "I know." Seriously?!? WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE!?!?
Not looking forward to this week's heat wave here in NYC, but at least I have killer a/c and enough food I can cook without heating up the kitchen too much. Stay cool, everyone, and don't forget to hydrate (especially my friends who are in NOLA for Tales this week - someone please go to Willie Mae's & Cochon on my behalf!)