Sep 12, 2011

A Day in the Life

Maybe some of you are curious what a normal day in my life looks like, and maybe some of you couldn't care less, but today was particularly stressful, and I can't seem to figure out why. Let us look back.

Alarm goes off at 6:30 a.m., Tuvia gets up.
Alarm goes off at 9 a.m., I hit snooze -- or so I think, and start to nod back off, feeling hazy.
Alarm goes off at 9:05 a.m., I angrily turn it off and set it for 10 a.m.
I doze back off (shockingly).
Alarm goes off at 10 a.m. I turn it off.
Lawnmowers start running outside my window. I groan.
I check my email, hoping for an email from a friend who was flying in who I wanted to meet for coffee -- nothing.
I doze back off, cellphone in hand.
Finally, around 11:30 I throw the covers off, flip my legs around, sit up, say Modah Ani, groan. Head toward the bathroom.
I shower, get dressed, make a smoothie, pack a sad excuse for a lunch/dinner in my Laptop Lunchbox, grab my bags, head for the door.
Commute into Secaucus where I grab the #320 into the city, arriving at Port Authority a lot quicker than I'd anticipated.
Walk from Port Authority over to 39th and Broadway to the Coffee Bean because I have a few hours to kill before a 2:45 appointment near Union Square.
Wait in a long line to get an iced coffee after which I hear "Chavi!" being called out.
Sit down for some chillaxing time with some e-friends.
Hop the Q Train to Union Square and walk over to my therapy appointment (yes, I said therapy; yes, I'm nuts and need help)
Spend an hour crying, questioning, talking out loud to myself, having mini-lightbulbs go off and then shattering just as quickly as they arise)
Walk toward campus, only to realize I left my ID in the car.
Walk to the campus security office for a temporary ID to get into one building.
Walk over to the library, get a temporary ID to access the library for the day.
Go to the computer to print out some papers to read, only to realize while standing in line to print the papers that I don't have my ID and thus can't pay for the copies.
Spend 80 cents of my only $5 to buy a temporary copy card and print only half the documents I need.
Go to Starbucks, wait in line, and pick up a Starbucks Double-shot.
While waiting in line I hear, "You know, he looks like you -- really Jewy, you know?" making me giggle.
Grab my coffee and head over to 246 Greene for 4:55 class, and I finally eat something, which makes me feel sick. Oh, and I realize I'm dehydrated.
Sit in class until 6:35, debate the logistics of going to visit Hadassah in the hospital.
Go to Bobst Library and pick up an English translation of Midrash Rabbah.
Head toward Port Authority.
Arrive at Port Authority to discover lines all the way back to the entrance of Port Authority.
Sweat like nobody's business, hear people say "I can't use my phone! Only emergency calls! What's happening!?" sending a scary vibe over the crowd.
Finally get moving and arrive back at Secaucus around 7:45 p.m.
Excited that my day is over, I -- emotionally exhausted -- begin to drive. Over an orange parking cone.
I back up, go forward, back up, go forward, back up ... and the cone is lodged underneath my car.
I pull over to the office, where -- lucky me! -- there happens to be two police officers dealing with a drunk guy.
I walk over to the cops, "Um, there's a cone stuck under my car ..."
The cop -- Alex was his name -- proceeds to spend 10 minutes dislodging the cone from the underside of my car.
I drive away, feeling stupid, hit up Whole Foods so I can actually eat this week, arrive home, and ... end the day.

Except not. I have a ton of reading to do, a restless hamster, and ... that's that. Poor Alex, though. Seriously. People like me probably drive him to drink.

I think my day felt more stressful than it actually was. The question is: Why?


20 comments:

TMC said...

Do you prepare your husband's breakfast the night before? Do you prepare his supper ahead of time for the days that you're still in school at supper time?

Chaviva said...

He makes a smoothie for breakfast (with groceries that I make sure to buy) and I try to have something ready (tonight it was crockpot food).

shoshana said...

Why should Chaviva prepare her husband's breakfast?? Her day sounds quite stressful enough without treating him like a 4 year old.

Chaviva said...

Either way, it's no thing. He doesn't really notice when I come and go anyhow :\

Kate said...

I'm glad to hear Evan makes his own smoothies. Your day sounds busy as it is! Glad that cone came out. ;)

Drew said...

Your day does sounds stressful but I could totally be projecting my stress onto your stress :-)

Glad to hear you got yourself some food. Make sure you find a minute or two to take care of yourself in addition to your many obligations.

TMC said...

I'm just curious about Orthodox homekeeping. I meant no disrespect, Chaviva.

midwestmamainisrael said...

I think the trek to the city and back would be stressful enough. Probably sleep is the culprit- I used to be a late night, late morning kind of gal until my son started waking up for the day at 5:30. I used to be an insane sick-feeling, freak if I had to wake up before 7:30. Now I kind of enjoy it. If I can get to bed before 11:30 pm I'm good and can actually enjoy the day! Give the hampster a snuggle for me.

Woolfairy said...

I'm calling it for the chocolate almonds. I had to stop eating chocolate because, while I got an immediate calm, I then felt cranky and crazy the rest of the day. Took me a while to make the connection.

Lullie said...

Chaviva, your day sounds a lot like an average day of mine. It is filled with tiny moments of importance packed into one measly day and it can feel overwhelming. At least, for me, I become mentally overwhelmed. If I catch myself having a "terrible" day for no real reason whatsoever except that it's just busy or annoying, I try to think of something I've gone through that was harder than that particular moment, i.e. Orthodox conversion, the biggest presentation of college, a fight with my husband, etc. Then I think about how I handled that moment and how in comparison, everything NOW is really OK.

And, of course, always thank Hashem for wherever he put me because, even though I can feel like a chicken running with its head cut off, I know there's a bigger reason for the madness ;)

le7 said...

Chavi - Your day sounds stressful to me! My most stressful days are the ones where I'm not completely scheduled and I have a bunch of small random stuff to do. So a lot of traveling/waiting/standing in line interspersed with small/large random things. Those days always stress me out because I feel like I didn't do anything even though I totally did.

Bracha said...

Are you serious? You wake up at 10 a.m. and complain about being stressed? Maybe if you woke up at 9 (or even 8:30!), you could have some valuable time to organize yourself (pack a real lunch, make sure you have your ID and everything else you need). If Tuvia can manage to wake up at 6:30, surely you could face the day a little earlier.

VickiB said...

I really like the concept of this post. It's a cool idea.

Sorry that you had such a stressful day,especially with the parking. But, as a nerd economist I gotta say I see a lot of efficiency gaps that could be filled. ;)

For example, why not wake up earlier? I have to be at work at 9, but I usually wake up around 6:30 so I can get a run in. I can't say that I enjoy it at all, either getting up early or running, but I do find that later in the day I'm grateful that I had more time to focus and think before I had to rush out the door. I definitely have those days where I just don't want to do anything (especially Tuesdays where I have 8 hours of work followed by 3 of class), but I find that getting up earlier makes me more efficient.

I also try to make a soup for dinner and maybe pasta or something so that it lasts for 3-4 days and you don't have to rack your brain thinking of what to make that night.

Tovah said...

What time she wakes up really depends on what time she goes to bed :P From the sounds of it, she probably doesn't even get home until 8:30-9pm, and with a normal adult needing 8 hours of sleep, and giving 3 hours of study time, cleaning, picking up, etc, she's probably not in bed for at least another 4-5 hours, putting her in bed around 2am...she only told us part of her schedule (and I know I see her on late at night). You also don't know if she suffers from insomnia or other sleep disturbances that keep her from being able to get a full 8 hours of sleep in one shot.

Batya said...

I trust that not every day is like this, or am I wrong?

Leah Sarah said...

There's definitely something to waking up earlier though. Last semester, I had an early class so I had to be up at 7am...But the previous night at work, I wouldn't even get off work until 11pm or later! On those days, I'd probably get a little less sleep than I wanted(not needed), but I'd take a 30 minute nap in the mid afternoon. I'd feel much better on the days I woke up earlier, even if I went to bed late.

Must be something about maximizing those daylight hours in the sunshine or something... :)

the rabbi's wife said...

I agree that the key to getting more from your day is getting up earlier, even if it means waiting until morning to study or do house stuff so you can get to bed before midnight. You never would have convinced me of this 10 years ago, but I have found it to be true.

Dave said...

Chavi,
I view your post as way for you to mentally organize your day rather then to vent to the world (but I could be wrong). The logistics of your day is meaningless becuase every day is different and you don't have control over most of it. I hope this "exercise" brought a sense of organization to yourself and your "personal process" as I like to call it. When I put things like this on paper and take a step back I find ways to improve myself. I hope you found some clarity too. With clarity, the stress will subside and the stress will turn into personal accomplishment. Good Luck

HaSafran said...

Obviously the problem is that you aren't saying Shema b'zmano ;)

Redacted said...

I hate to admit it, but my initial, gut reaction when I read this post (before it passed through my brain filter) was not one of much sympathy. Then I had to remember what life was like before kids and the job that drives me crazy. I realized that my definition of "normal" and "crazy" days has become a lot different over time.

There was a time that yes, the above day would have seemed like sheer chaos and driven me nuts. Now, I have a different perspective, but that doesn't make hers or the one I would have had several years ago any less relevant. I guess it's just proof that we get stronger in order to deal with what life throws at us and that Hashem never gives us more than we can handle? Besides, no one can really live another person's reality and I'm sure I'm in no position to judge someone living in NYC. My commute is a breeze compared to theirs!

Anyhow, I'm glad it turned out all right and I'm very glad I have my mind to filter my gut. It's usually, hopefully, a lot smarter and kinder than my gut! :)

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