A Bit of Real Life, Chit Chat, New York

Silent Night…

Want peace this holiday season? Spend them alone.

Of course, I’ll explain.

For the past few years, I’ve had pretty awful holidays. Daylight savings time would immediately drive me into a deep hibernation. I’d cancel plans with friends. I’d want to go to bed at 6 pm. I’d avoid answering my phone or e-mails, and you’d more than likely find me on the couch, wrapped in a blanket, watching TV in the dark and going at a pint of Haagen-Dazs like a shipwreck survivor with a first meal after nine days at sea.

This year has been markedly different. Although I procrastinated too long to hang Christmas decorations, I’ve otherwise enjoyed the season in an unexpected way that’s been hard to quantify. Sunset before 5 pm is still a drag, but my world doesn’t shut down at 5:01. I’ve met friends for dinner, done errands for my mom, seen movies and concerts, and generally braved the cold 90% more than usual. So what’s changed?

To be blunt, I was working for five years, and now I’m not.

There’s something freeing about unemployment, something more substantial than having time for coffee, a walk around the park,  excessive blogging or endless harassment of your friends to publicize your blog (weren’t these the same  people who urged me to start one?).

For me, being unemployed has meant celebrating the holidays on my own terms. Not schlepping into the city every day has been a major part. I didn’t realize until recently—after more than 15 years of working full time—just how much of the city seeps into everyday life, often without my knowing it. Particularly around the holidays. I worked near several hotels and Central Park, which meant I was constantly dodging tourist groups of four or more who either 1) walked abreast and not single file or 2) stood at stop lights both red and green, gawking, making those of us on the hustle either stop short to avoid barreling into them, or detour around them like a car around a pothole.

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14 thoughts on “Silent Night…”

  1. No problem, you’re a newbie, and an incredibly sweet one. Luckily you’re my number one fan, so I’ll work with you on this. ;-) Hopefully you’re counting sheep by now. And thanks again for supporting the blog, I appreciate every comment and bit of feedback! xoxo

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  2. When I lived in Brooklyn,circa 1943-1960, we built concave forts twenty feet apart and had snowball fights ( the boys, of course. I don;t know what the girls were doing). The snow waas crystalline white- for awhile. Street traffic soon changed it into gray “stuff.”
    During one snowstorm, the snow was so high, it was above our heads. The project maintenance men still built a path through it. Now that was something. I was probabably about ten at the time, and the elevated train on Myrtle Ave was still standing.
    Do women dream of Louis Vitton bags when they dream.
    N.

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  3. I mostly dream of being able to fly from brownstone rooftop to rooftop. I can also do amazing backflips and am amazingly skilled in martial arts in general. Perhaps my nemeses throw up their designer clutches in a vain attempt to avoid detection from me, but I use Kindles and flash drives like throwing stars.

    i would looove to have shuttled through a snow tunnel. Ahh, youth. Thanks for sharing! :-)
    BSC

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  4. Great read! I have lived both sides and love the way you tell this. I laughed all the way through at the cube farm, hair toss, Kay Jewelers couples… those damned office December snacks and the bed bug blanket. You are flippantly a riot. It is all so true though. Office culture is its own thing. I guess that’s why the show The Office is so damned funny. You know what they say, laugh when you can’t cry anymore. That is certainly a tear inducing environment for so many. Well enjoy this time on your own clock. So glad the blog is rocking. Happy Holidays! PS Love the Gateway photo :)

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    1. I’m really glad you liked it, Claire! I was surprised to find that photo as well, but what can I say? Google gets down like that these days. Here’s to a rocking New Years for our mutual endeavors. ;-) Cheers~

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