The Break – Mid-Winter

Here in New York we have this fancy thing called “Mid-Winter Break.”  Basically, it equals a week off of school in the middle of the winter.  This event reportedly began as a money saving technique as heating bills could be reduced by closing school for a week during the coldest part of the year.  Now it just means that I got a week off and get to work a week longer into June.

That said, having a week off during the coldest part of the year is very, very nice.

You know you’ve had a great break when….

1. You got to leave the city and experience just a bit of space (I went to PA and visited friends and hung out with Mennos.  Happy sigh for having peers- perhaps the thing I miss most about my city living adventure)

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2. You got to run errands and mark off important things from your 2-do list, like changing your driver’s license and finally becoming an official resident of New York!  And you get to do it in the middle of the day (meaning- no rush hour traffic!!! :D)

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(p.s. I made the happy discovery of a very efficient DMV in lower Manhattan.  Also, I love that I live in a place with views like this on my way to the DMV. <3)

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3. You spend lots of time with funny kids and you don’t have to write up any of their progress at the end!  (No data collecting for this girl!  I got to babysit and NOT do therapy!)

{This kid isn’t even 2 and was fascinated with his own personally sized ipad.}

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{We had staring contests, breath holding contests, crossed our eyes, went to McDonald’s and the park, and they taught me how to play “Settlers of Catan.”}IMG_20150221_125355295_HDR

4. Finally, you got to enjoy the snow without the frustration of having to go anywhere in it.

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{This cute house is in my neighborhood- who knew?!?}

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make your whole life interesting and beautiful, and you will look forward to each and every day.

Punxsutawney Phil

Winter is a blast here in New York.  But only if we get snow days.  So.. basically… it’s been a blast for 1 day.  That said, my snow day 2 weeks ago was spent sleeping, chilling, and making snowmen in the park with children.  #lovedit

On the flip-side- I have found that one of my most recent struggles to maintain sanity and love has come in the form of wintertime commutes.  This week (specifically- Monday and Tuesday) I had my two worst commuting days- back to back.

These days always start innocently enough.  It’s just a small change in my regular routine.  I’ll just catch a different train today so I don’t have to stand on an outdoor platform.  Or, I just have to stop by the post office (and wait in a half an hour line!?!) But they climax.  What starts as a beautiful day with light snowfall escalates into numb fingers and toes after an added 30-50 minutes to my commute.  Just to list some of these terrible events.

1. I missed my train.

2. I took the next train. We got stopped for no reason for 10 minutes.  In the tunnel.  Without reason.

3. The next train was too full to get on.

4. Take the next train.  Sanity returns.  2 stops later- I’m surrounded by obnoxiously loud teenage boys watching the express train pass by my window.

5. Miss the next train.

6. The next train is skip stop.  So. 10 minutes of waiting and it’s still not my train.

7. My final train comes.  The door I’m standing in front of leads to an empty car with doors that won’t open.  Go to the next car.  Make conscious effort not to be trampled. (No exaggeration.)  and, spend the last part of my ride carrying the weight of my fellow passengers on my back while holding on to the ceiling- while on the phone.

And that was my Tuesday commute.  Monday involved a cursing crazy lady, the panic of realizing no trains are coming, and the taxi service declined to send me a car.  Thankfully, the train did eventually come!

After which I promptly hustled to the gym to run off my frustration of being unable to escape. And came to the conclusion that I love commuting when:

1. I can sit.

2. No one touches me.

3. I can drown you out with headphones.

But put me in a situation where my personal space is so invaded that I cannot crawl inside myself.  That’s when I’m spending conscious effort to be sane.  My brain screams, “serenity now!” “keep it together!” “two more stops. You can do it!” and.. “Thank you Jesus,” when I get off the train.

Upon analysis I have determined that things like- 1. rush hour 2. winter weather manipulations 3. everyone holding their bags instead of putting them on the (now snow soggy) floor- make for rather intimate and undesirable situations.

Alll that to say.  Winter makes New York hard to love.

On the plus side. It has its beautiful moments.  When the snow is fresh.  Or when it’s too cold for everyone to go shopping and you have no lines at the registers.

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Oh Punxsutawney Phil.  Are you SURE we need 6 more weeks of winter??