Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The day to day

Hand-knits + cold-brewed coffee  |  The day to day on *sparklingly  |
{  Sneaking in a few rounds of knitting and cold-brewed coffee before work  }

Much as a I'm a "career city girl" that takes a teensy bit of pleasure in being busy and productive in an office, dressing up for work, flying business class internationally, having a job that affords me the ability to live well and not worry about money, it's not really what makes me happy. It's just what I feel like I'm supposed to be doing—and of course it's nice to contribute to supporting our little family of two—but it's not at all something that gives me joy.

Which is not ideal, of course.

But sometimes when you're on this path, it takes a bit of doing to get off. I think I'm secretly (or maybe less secretly) hoping that a big physical move will also lead to a big creative move. Maybe I won't have to spend my hours chained to a desk and a computer (much as I love the fact that I can work from anywhere, the truth is I don't work from anywhere but my company's office).

I never intended to stay here for long, and yet the end of this month marks 6 years of living in Manhattan as an adult. Sometimes I can't believe I live here—an introverted, homebody living in a place that makes the news around the world. And I'm not talking about the stock market, but a random subway flooding will be mentioned on the streets of R's Sicilian hometown. People dream about living in New York, and somehow I still do, even though I know the truth about living here. After years of putting up with the insane rents, the pricey treats, the hyped-up restaurants, the non-stop buzz that may be what makes me feel so fuzzy-headed, the rats setting up villages in the subways, plus the thousand-and-one other inhumanities New Yorkers must succumb to, I'm still here.

And then sometimes, I think, well of course I live here, where else would I live? Maybe I don't take advantage of living next to the best clubs, theaters, and museums (the restaurants, I definitely take advantage of), but I just like knowing that they're there if I feel like climbing out of my cocoon. Where else would I live but somewhere that's pro-walking, pro-all-kinds-of-love, pro-efficiency, pro-multicured everything, pro-locavorism, etc.? It's when I leave the city and run into the opposite of all that, that I realize, no way could I live somewhere else.

Well, that's not true. Of course I could live somewhere else, but what I need is a better blending of city and country. The ability to walk everywhere during the week married to the ability to walk in woods and meadows on the weekend.

The idea of living in a charming little village (near a bustle-y town or city) makes me giddy. The idea of having chickens. Growing my own garden. Living near the woods. Spending weekends doing homesteading'esque rituals (and then actual ones, too, of course).

Maybe the problem is that the type of work I do is in the wrong field, because to be honest, I do love running things and making things happen, but maybe I'm just doing it in the wrong arena. Which is a shame, since 50 hours a week are spent at work or getting to and from work and I'm just wondering at what point enough is enough.

I'm not really sure what I'm saying here, other than that I know something's missing. I know I love taking care of my family, I know I love putting things together and making them work, I know I love being creative (with words, with ideas, with my hands), but how it all comes together so that the things I love aren't only relegated to a few hours a week is all a bit of a mystery to me still.

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PS. The final post in my 3-part Gentler Day series on Amanda's Pickles & Honey went up yesterday. If you haven't seen it yet, click on over for Tips for a Gentler Evening & Night.

P.P.S. In case you missed the first two: Tips for a Gentler Morning and Tips for a Gentler Workday.


  1. As you know, I totally relate to this! I was just saying yesterday how I've basically spent the last 5-6 years (most of my professional life) working jobs that were meh at best. I had a couple of years where I LOVED my work, but learned that it was more about the people and atmosphere of growth than the actual work.

    I also relate about wanting the city/country life balance. Living just outside of Boston gives me this to an extent. Our goal is to one day leave apartment life and get a house (with a yard!) here, but that costs serious $$$$. I shudder thinking about the down payment for that!

    1. So glad I'm not in this alone, Amanda! Here's to us both getting it right / figuring it all out soon!

  2. Living in NY and enjoying city life is my dream someday, hopefully withing few years..but I can see how it may feel incomplete and lose its charm. As much as I love my current job, I sometime get so confused and don't even know if i want to continue anymore yet I go to the same job everyday..Last several Amanda's post have helped me a lot.

    1. City life is great—trust me, I don't think I could live far from it—but it's hard (at least for me) to have a good balance in New York. Leaving the city, even for an afternoon, is such a hassle! And, agree completely about Amanda's last few posts!

  3. I love your day dreams! I can totally visualize what you're talking about. Cheering for you! Great artists first draw their masterpiece in their minds and when they sit down with paints they know exactly what to do. Sounds like you're drawing it all in your mind, soon you'll put it on paper. ((I'm visualizing myself on a yacht in a white suit and gold sandals...))

    1. Big hugs to my Sempre Primavera cheerleader! Hoping that these day dreams turn into real life soon—in the meantime, thanks for reminding me to enjoy the drawing phase :). And, am TOTALLY with you on those gold sandals!


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