Warning, Do Not Overload, Day 23
New York City. Land of just about anything you can imagine somewhere in town and every type of person you could imagine all over town, some of them resting but most of them rushing to the next new thing. With so much available all of the time, I rarely question why this city seems to fit me like a perfectly tailored glove. Not today.
I awoke in Long Beach to the sound of seagulls, feeling recharged and almost better after two days of sick rest, cared for by my awesome boyfriend. Deciding to head home to my NYC apartment, I planned a trip “on the way” to the performing arts division of the NY public library system to pick up a few, though sadly heavy, song compilations for my continuing songbook research and preparation. I allowed more than ample extra time to walk to the station so as not to exhaust myself further but still collapsed, winded on my chosen seat on the LIRR. Yeah, it was a long day after that.
From this train to that subway, to the bank, to the library – all over the library, with my overnight bag and an extra bag of heavy books back to the subway to transfer to another subway to another subway, to the store to buy some much needed juice, to the lobby of my apartment where my mail fell on the floor, to my apartment, to the basement to throw out the recycling I’d left in boxes, and finally back to my apartment, I saw an ironic sign in the elevator. “Warning, do not overload.” Where were you, warning sign, when I’d planned my day? Truthfully, that kind of hectic behavior rules most of my days, and the fact that I usually do much more than that in much more rapid succession probably lent to my body’s recent health strike.
I habitually rush but today, I could relate to my friend Amy Armstrong‘s facebook post “What’s the hurry? Do people really need to stand in the aisles 2 stops before they get off the train. Rant – part Fin.” Undoubtedly, I could have handled today’s journey home via the library with no problem on a normal, fully healthy day, and I would have pushed myself to workout hard at the gym and would also have found something else to do on top of the cleaning I also did when I arrived home. Instead, after cleaning, I did something else I’ve been both anticipating and slightly dreading for quite some time. I relaxed and watched the final episode of Battlestar Galactica.
For those of you who love geeky sci-fi like Battlestar and Star Trek, you’ll appreciate the next reference (for those who don’t, bear with me momentarily). Admittedly, television for me is sometimes akin to the holodeck for Lieutenant Barclay on Star Trek: the Next Generation. He forms an addiction to a computer program designed in the future to simulate real three dimensional situations (the people and landscapes in the holodecks look and feel real). I too gain attachments to the characters on the other side of my television screen and will miss catching up on Battlestar Galactica and my weekly Netflix deliveries of more Starbuck and Appollo.
The relationships forged on a series and their and conflicts and resolutions appeal to my sense of longing for adventures without real injury and for meaningful rare connections without any actual or lasting heartache. In some ways, so does rushing from one errand, one challenge, one subway ride to the next. Sometimes, often while listening to an Eckhart Tolle audiobook on my ipod or opening my mind to relax or receive in some other way, I catch the smile of a stranger or notice when someone actually needs my help. On those days, I feel as if I’m wearing some “open for business” sign on my forehead to indicate my willingness to participate in humanity – it seems as though connecting events occur all day.
Tonight, I head to bed a bit earlier, in hopes that my sickness wanes by morning and I can continue my week well and a bit more active. Perhaps since my Netflix queue and my head will open up around the same time, I can convince the rest of my spirit to do the same as well. New experiences certainly don’t have to come with walls to keep me safe. In fact I suspect that a greater vulnerability, in this case, may just keep me healthier in the days to come.