The proverbial thud at the front door as the hefty Sunday edition of the New York Times hits the floor. Let's pretend for a moment that it is a sound we all recognize (I don't believe the online version announces its arrival.) Everyone has his or her favorite first read, followed by numbers two, three, etc. until the bulk of the news is consumed and digested. My top picks: The Corner Office, page two of the Business Section, followed by the event page of the Sunday Style (checking that The Plaza Ballroom made the paper again) and then the Metropolitan Section, page two, highlighting the Sunday of a fellow New Yorker. Some are obscure, some behind-the-scenes wizards and others outright celebs. And I never fail to wonder:
A. Is my life interesting enough to merit a feature, and
B. What would my Sunday look like?
And I ponder point B far more than A -- as I cannot influence whether or not I am a New Yorker people would want to read about -- but I can determine what I do on a Sunday. Am I a predictable creature of Sunday habit or is each kick-off day of the week a new adventure? Do my Sunday activities mirror my self-image?
Which brings me to the initial inspiration behind this week's blog in the first place: the fact that after weeks of intense activities at work, each day highlighted by a demanding "actionable" to-do list (make every moment count); international and domestic travel and ambitious self-imposed goals and project deadlines; a relentless series of seven overfilled days each week, I decided to opt for a weekend without travel or car time, without social commitments, with short and achievable lists highlighted by manicure and hair coloring as the most strenuous activities; where even the weekly pilgrimage to the Union Square Greenmarket was replaced by a five block walk to my local (albeit modest) Greenmarket. Was it sheer and inevitable exhaustion, or the need to retreat to recharge? Or more likely, that horrible feeling you get when you think you are about to get really sick and the only place you can envision being is your bed? Yes, that was it! And it hit on Friday at 4:30 p.m.
Ah, so this is how people whose children have embarked upon independent lives live! They can opt to sleep late then stay in PJs until ungodly hours of the morning. They putter around the neighborhood, perhaps venturing crosstown, where they leisurely accomplish an errand, or two. They rest. I dipped my toe in that pool (but did not turn on a morning talk show or even look at the couch. Even I have my limits!). Just the act of defining the circumference of my travel was radical enough.
What needed to get done got done. Tuesday evening I will deliver the Keynote Address for the Third Annual Women Entrepreneurs Festival at NYU. I polished up my remarks in the quiet hours of Sunday morning. I fulfilled my maternal obligations to daughters who emailed request lists.
And on my short list of seven things to do, I have accomplished five and it was not even 5 p.m. on Sunday. I had yet to turn a bag of Meyer Lemons into Preserved Lemons or work on my list of "actionable items" for next week.
And if I failed to accomplish that -- I can always improvise and make lemonade.
And to my eternal question of what my Sunday in the New York Times would look like: a road trip to Katchkie Farm to walk the fields with Farmer Bob; or a frenetic food adventure to a new neighborhood; or a visit to a GP party (or most likely all three) -- or will it be the weekend of a mere mortal with unambitious plans that are an equally meaningful definition of life?
I don't know -- but for now, at least I can cross "weekly blog" off the list.