Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Breaking the Bundle One Stick at a Time


My Dad loved quotes, and one of the great ones he used to repeat was "break the bundle one stick at a time".

It is a great quote, but it's not really in my nature to break the bundle one stick at a time. I'm kind of an attack until it is finished kind of person. I generally hate lingering/unfinished business hanging over my head. I want to be done with it and move onto the next thing. This sometimes leads me to "beat a dead horse" (to incorporate another great saying) for the sake of completion.

But since I have had Jack, I have come to (have had to) appreciate the value of incrementality, of doing things in small bits. When you have a newborn child, you generally can't always finish what you start, in a linear sequence. This applies to projects both large and small. For instance, it took me three days to complete a simple apple crisp recipe this week...Day 1: peeled and chopped the apples, Day 2: did nothing, Day 3: made the crispy topping and finally, baked!  Perhaps there is a market opportunity in extreme slow food for moms? But I digress...

It can be very frustrating at times when simple things (e.g. showering) become elevated to the level of projects and when our lives seem to be in a constant state of interruption (e.g. applying lotion to one's body has now become a project in and of itself and cannot, often, be completed directly after shower project). But on the flip side, there is value.

Forced interruption can be a good thing: it can remind us to give whatever we are doing a little breathing room. Sometimes things - especially things which require thought - turn out much better if you can put them down for a few hours, or sometimes a few days. Sometimes projects need a little breathing room. Other times, they are so large that you can't possibly figure them out all at once. You need to tackle one part first and see how it plays out, before you can figure out your next move.

Here's too chipping away at things in bits, one stick at a time, and living a more incremental and, perhaps, thoughtful life. Apple crisp is always worth waiting for.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Bringin' back the pack



I was both delighted and disturbed to see the recent feature in the New York Times magazine a couple of weeks back on the virtues of the fanny pack. Delighted, because the writing is hysterical, and so true. Disturbed, because I had only recently declared (to myself and to my husband, and also to my mom), that I wanted to bring back the fanny pack, for moms.

Then - boom! - this article comes out and now everyone will think that I read it and followed suit. Oh well, small price to pay. I am going with it...the fanny pack is THE ideal fashion accessory for new moms. Easy, hands free access to your keys, your $, your phone, all while hiding your slow to disappear, still-distended belly. It doesn't get better. Bam. Happy Thursday Ladies.

Ease in...


...and nearly another two months later, I am back! This is quite a pace I am setting...

In the meantime, Jack and Johnny and I moved - to Fort Greene! What a wonderful neighborhood for new moms, my goodness. Seems like such a strong, vibrant community. I loved Brooklyn Heights but the difference in energy is night and day.

After 9 years living in a 465 square foot 1 bedroom apartment, it feels so wonderful to have positive change. We are renting a light filled and spacious (relatively) 2 bedroom...it feels glorious. Despite the downgrade in amenities (no dishwasher, no washer/dryer), it feels more luxurious. I think/I know I was going a bit batty in my little living room...there was no where to go, I just kind of had to circle the living room. I felt like I was living that creepy short story I read in high school - The Yellow Wallpaper - only our living room is grey, and painted. I've got to reread that one sometime - in my free time!

So many topics I have collected to write about...but I keep getting stalled out and it takes some easing back in, forcing me to write ease in entries before I get to what I actually wanted to write about. I need to get much better about writing when the thinking strikes me, or else I feel the topic loses its interest (to me at least), and might feel a little forces/stale.

All for this ease in entry...hope to be back very very soon.