Change is Good!

newroutescartoonbrighter

Like most of us, I fall into routines. I get up at roughly the same time every day.  My breakfasts of fruit, cereal and coffee don’t differ that dramatically from one day to the next.  But I’m trying a new strategy to try different routes to get to places I might routinely need to get to in Manhattan–especially on foot.

What this new approach does is to provide opportunities for constantly changing sights, sounds and experiences.  It’s especially nice when these new routes have older buildings that evidence the city’s history.  They’re certainly shorter.  Most of them are going to be brick or stone, to have survived fires.  Some of them might even have an old sign embedded in the masonry.

My new walking plan not only makes it much more fascinating to walk around but gives me a chance to reflect on New York City’s incredibly interesting history.  Plus I’ve found some great new places to stop to have a coffee and a muffin on the way.

My next goal: Changing breakfasts!

 

Grandchildren!

kidsonsofacartoon*

I was never one of those parents who hocked their kids about having children. Quite the opposite, in fact.  I just assumed my very talented daughter and daughter-in-law would continue to pursue full-time careers and not try to balance them with motherhood.  In fact, at my 45th college reunion, one classmate asked, “So, Amy,  any grandchildren yet?” My response, “No, but I’ve got 2 adorable grand dogs!”

So, in the fullness of time, and a mere 7 years later,  I now have 5 very wonderful, adorable, bright, and (mostly) kind and considerate grandchildren,  I truly do count my blessings and am enormously grateful to have them, and my wonderful children and children-in-law, in New York City.

I’m heartbroken that my husband of 41 years, who died 9 years ago, can’t be here to enjoy spending time with them, too, and I hope they each come to know about him even more as they get older.

I recently read an article aimed at the “wrinkles” demographic, about the importance of having “meaning” in life,  for its health, social, psychological and emotional benefits.  Having a close family certainly helps provide that meaning and grandchildren, well, they’re right up there.

 

 

Black Friday, Gratitude and the Gray Rat

Ratdrawing

For Thanksgiving, we all try to focus on things for which we’re grateful.  For me, they include having a wonderful family and being able to see them regularly.  It also includes being able to live a reasonably full life doing the things I enjoy.

I read recently that taking note of your gratitude is something of a life preserver.  The article recommended that we all keep ‘gratitude journals’ and record daily entries of things for which we’re grateful.  I decided I would at least make mental note of them, since I didn’t think I would actually keep up a notebook.

Like the rest of the planet, I thought I’d get into the spirit of Black Friday by starting my holiday shopping.  It was a pretty chilly but sunny afternoon in New York City and walking down Broadway definitely put me in the holiday spirit with lots of sale signs and people.  It was enough to inspire my first mental note of gratitude.

However, the formulation of my gratitude list was suddenly interrupted by the appearance of a big, gray rat racing across my path a few feet ahead of me.  I yelled, “YIKES”, but it wasn’t enough to wake the man sleeping on a bench right where the rat was headed.  I thought of waking him but then thought better of it and didn’t. In NYC, you don’t wake up people sleeping on benches.

So that was my first daily gratitude experience.  But apart from the trauma of the rat getting so close, I’m at least grateful that he didn’t run over my feet.