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I never used to exit the building from the south side. I thought it would feel depressing or sad or uncomfortable.

Now, I seek its hush of peace.

The downtown neighborhood of my office is a work in progress. It’s not so much a neighborhood as it is a construction zone. At lunch time I walk north and away from the construction, into the neighborhood full of moms and children and office workers. I need to walk during the day, to step away from whatever I’m working on and to feel fresh air on my face.

It wasn’t until last week that I began walking through the 9/11 memorial area.  At first it seemed wrong—who wanted a reminder of that time every single day?  But then I noticed the bright green of the trees in first bloom, so I decided to keep going.

I could hear the quiet, even when it was crowded—and even when crowds of people were talking.  There’s a reverence in the air, a sacredness.  The light seems to fall differently, no matter what time of day.

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We rebuild, not what was, but for what we are to become. The nearby construction is the perfect metaphor for rebuilding all those areas of our lives where we took a wrong turn and felt the aftermath of destruction. We can begin again.

As I walk through the memorial, looking at the names of those lost on September 11, it hasn’t failed to put whatever worries on my mind into perspective. Not once. Its grace is a reminder we only have now.

Maybe it’s time to make the most of it.

xo, with goodness and grace.

I am not a morning person.

But a combination of early workouts and sporadic insomnia mean I am often up at the first peek of dawn, literally.  I have come to love the peace of the early morning and its quiet stillness.  You can feel the happiness—contentment, I guess is a better word—within reach this early.  Especially in New York City, where noise is in ever fiber of this town.

The beauty of the early hours is you are not in the company of anyone who doesn’t actually want to be there.  It’s you and the dogs out for their walk and the pigeons in search of food and the small children who understand daylight is where the fun happens.  Morning means peace, before the worry starts to kick in.

There is an August ritual in New York City called Summer Streets, where a long stretch of Park Avenue is closed off to traffic in the morning on three consecutive Saturdays. New Yorkers take full advantage of this, descending on the streets to roam, ride bikes, jog, and take part in activities the city has installed along the way. It’s a fun mix of energy, laughter and giddiness.

But I wanted to know what it was like before everyone showed up.

It was heaven.

Grand Central Terminal, as we never get to see it.  This road is closed to pedestrians normally, so to approach the front of the building is to see a work of beauty.  Except for a few bikers and joggers, I was blessed with empty, peaceful stretches of city and up close views of this landmark.

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May you know stretches of peace and roads leading to possibility throughout the coming week.

xo, with goodness and grace.

 

 

I’m often complimented about my calm disposition. And my patience. And the fact that in a crisis, I can be unflappable.

Sometimes these compliments make me feel like a fraud.

The truth is my mind is constantly whirring, thinking, contemplating. It rarely stops assessing. Strategizing. Remembering.

Because I worry about everything.

I worry because I didn’t say good night to my manager friend at the restaurant where I had dinner a few nights ago, as I always do.  Would he think something was wrong?  Did he even notice?  He always gives me a sweet hug on my way out, and I worry that I’ve broken the spell of our huggy ritual.

I worry about everything I eat now because I just recovered from a stomach bug. Just days after I felt better, I questioned the wisdom of eating sushi for dinner (I felt perfectly fine) and nacho cheese sauce first thing in the morning (I felt perfectly awful).

I worry that I went on a cleanse a couple of weeks ago and ate beautifully clean food for two weeks and that I undid all of that goodness by recovering from the stomach bug with a three day diet of bread and saltine crackers. Followed by said nacho cheese and french fries on Super Bowl Sunday. (But, oh, it was good.)

I worry about typos…oh, the typos that have kept me up at night. I write corporate-y things all year long and the worry bosses have instilled in me over the years when it comes to typos is mighty and powerful. You’d think proper spelling was the answer to achieving world peace. I worry that there will be a typo in this blog and then I’ll feel stupid, because what kind of writer allows that kind of thing to happen?

I worry that pigeons like to sit on my windowsill. Particularly after the morning when one of my upstairs neighbors threw what seemed to be a pot of rice onto the windowsill and I woke up to an entire pigeon family and some of their friends having their morning meal right in front of my window.

I worry that I’ve done something to my upstairs neighbors because there was a period when random food would show up on my windowsill on Sunday morning. Tomatoes. Raw eggs. Rice for pigeons.

I worry that I’m not where I’m supposed to be in my life and not doing what I’m supposed to be doing with people that I’m supposed to be doing it with.

I worry. It’s exhausting.

But sometimes it’s the moments of exhaustion that invite a surrender. Enough, my tired mental muscles seem to say. Enough of all of that.

There’s a place at the end of the day where the worry grows weary and needs a moment. That time between wakefulness and sleep where the day is pure again and everything is enough. And then sleep drifts in, carrying the worry of the day away.

It’s the place where the wisdom of my body kicks in and knows exactly what to do. The automatic reflexes know to save me from myself and my worrisome thoughts.

It is here where the worry is powerless. It is here where I find peace.

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