The Notes App on my iPhone has become a sort of diary for me. Scrolling through you’ll see:
- What teachers do all summer 7/30/16
- Goals 2/17/16
- Natalie’s Wedding Toast 7/30/15
- Shopping for New Apt 3/27/14
- Baby names 12/29/12
I never have time to write in my fancy leather bound diary. Nor any time to write in an artsy diary I purchased in France with Monet’s Sunrise on the cover. Not even a crack into the cute little owl covered journal I bought when my daughter was born. It’s a wonder I got this blog thing going! Motherhood and teaching have very little down time. One can never be bored!
I remember being inspired to jot down “My Daily NYC” after reading a post by Trudy who blogs in Rendezvous En New York. She described her NYC Non-negotiables for Happiness and it got me thinking of what got me through the day in NYC.
My Daily NYC 5/13/16:
- My Morning Coffee. Mornings are a mad dash of chaos (6 am wake, shower, dress. 7 am wake & dress the kids. 7:20 pile everyone in the car. 7:45 drop off hubby at the A Train. 7:50 drop off kids at daycare. 7:55 search for parking. 8:05 enter work – hopefully). I usually rely on Starbucks. They sold me on the App perks. I’d love to go to Rockaway Roasters every morning, but there is no parking lot or mobile orders. If for some reason I can’t make it to Starbucks, I end up getting a weak brew from a deli. Sad face.
- Parking Loopholes. It is possible to drive to work in Queens, however, if I want to be on time for work, I take a semi-illegal spot at a bus stop that forces me to move my car by 1 pm or face an $85 ticket. Oh well. I need to step out of the school building for fresh air at least once a day anyway.
- Deli/Bodega/Bagel store for lunch. I hate packing lunch because by the time 12 noon rolls around, I might have had the type of day that requires comfort food. Sometimes I’ve had the type of day that requires a sandwich that can be inhaled in under 45 seconds. Sometimes, I just want more coffee. Still waiting for gentrification to hit Ozone Park so I can get some more options for lunch.
- Alternate routes. Traffic. Sucks. ALWAYS. Better to know your side streets and, if only for your sanity’s sake, take the scenic route instead of blasting your horn down Crossbay Blvd.
- Rockaway Beach & other NYC Parks by the water. I don’t know what I’d do without the ocean. Whether is on the boardwalk or a promenade in Brooklyn, water views add zen to our chaotic city.
The similarities and differences here in NOVA?
- My Morning Coffee – I am now the only one leaving the house at 6:30 am every morning (waking at 5:30) so I either brew a pot and bring my coffee or I make a stop at Starbucks (those perks add up). Did I mention how much earlier I need to be at work? School doesn’t start till 7:30 but we are encouraged to be in before 7 otherwise you will get stuck behind the horde of buses dropping kids off.
- Parking Lot. No loopholes needed. There’s plenty of spots and I usually take a spot right in between the exit and the front door. One less battle to fight before you start the work day!
- Bring Your Own Lunch or starve. There are no delis or bodegas on any corner in this area. There are lots of trees! So if I don’t pack a sandwich, salad or leftovers, I’m screwed for lunch. Lesson learned and now I leave a few cans of Progresso in my closet at school. We have quite the teachers lounge, unlike NYC, so I fill the fridge with salad, tomatoes, croutons and avocados for the week. There’s even a stove if I want to whip up something (which I don’t).
- Alternate Routes are still necessary. I have a pretty direct commute of 10 minutes on the Beltway, but, if there’s an accident, I jump right off and experiment with side roads. Ok, so that’s happened once.
- Parks and Waterfronts are still vital to me. I love Alexandria Waterfront and Great Falls Park. The only difference is that you can, believe it or not, swim in the ocean in NYC. You cannot swim in the Potomic. It sure is pretty to look at! I’ve become a fan of hiking and hope to do more of it over the next year.
NYC teachers go through so much before the day even begins! The kids don’t have it any easier – there’s no bus that picks you up on your street corner and drops you in front of the school. Most of my kids took the crowded J train to Jamaica Ave and transferred to a crowded Q11 bus which leaves you two blocks away from the school’s entrance. Can you imagine riding the subway in 6th grade?
What are your non-negotiables? What gets you through the day in your city?