A Few Quiet Moments

A Few Quiet MomentsAlthough it wasn’t by (my) design – I had the house to myself last night.  But it’s a few quiet moments this morning – while the girls are sleeping upstairs that seems more relaxing to me.

Maybe it’s because I’m a little better rested this morning.  Maybe it’s because I’m not in a flurry of text messages with the girls over who is where and when they are coming home….

Or maybe it’s because I tend to be a morning person (now).

There was a time when I was able to sleep well past 10 in the morning.  Now sleeping to 830 is sleeping in for me.  But that time has become some of the most productive of the day for me.

Whether I am out getting the weekly food shopping done, getting to the gym, heading out to the trails for a bike ride or a run – or simply catching up – getting a few quiet moments in the day isn’t so bad.

Despite having those moments last night – there is no way to gauge the productivity as I sat on the couch watching Chopped and hockey.

So, coffee at my side I get some writing done here and on a few work projects (even on a Sunday) and try to figure out how else to make use of a few quiet moments – before getting into the crux of the day.

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The No-Email Fail

Somewhere just before 8 on Wednesday morning last week, I unilaterally  declared it would be a  no email day for me.  I was going to go the rest of the day without looking at email.  Now mind you, I had already processed well more than 150 new emails across four accounts by that time in the morning-but in that moment I had enough and I was going to take a day off.

Some background to keep everyone up to speed.  First, just how (over) connected I am.  I carry three phones which all have the ability to send and receive text messages and generally access seven email accounts (five are mine of which one is work and two belong to the girls).  Along with this, generally people get hold of me on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Four Square.

I don’t think that is hugely unique, but there is also no shortage of inbound data that needs to be processed and call it 65% of the time responded to.

The other factor that added to this monumental decision (and ultimate failure) was the middle of the school vacation week that my girls enjoyed.  I was home with them on the Friday before Passover and Easter and the Monday following.  The plan was for me to go into the office Tuesday through Thursday and then take a work from home (child care issue) on Friday. That part was pretty manageable.

The factor I did not add in was the split in the schedule for the girls.  Without school-they were up to 11 (we even had a sleepover one of the nights I had to work) which generally meant I was up anywhere from an hour to two hours later than usual.  That did not impact me on the time I woke up though-I was still at the gym at 4:15 so sleep was at a premium for the week.  The usual routine is that when I get home from the gym I make some coffee, take a shower and begin the daily caffination.

On Wednesday I forgot to make the coffee before hitting the shower.  Since the sitter was coming at 6:30 and I was racing for the 7:19 train (usually I am on the 7:57) I figured I would catch up with coffee in the city and skipped making the coffee.

With email across all the accounts tumbling in-some of it of the spam nature, some of it actionable, some it with me on the “CC” line so others can CYA and no coffee in the system I had enough.  Right there on the train with two of my friends I declared it would be a non-email day.

A bold prediction for someone carrying the three phones, two laptops and iPad in their work bag that day.

As the morning train hit the platform in Penn Station I put some Grateful Dead on for the subway and headed off to be email free.  I stopped to pick up a cup of coffee from the coffee cart lady and hit the office.  As I did, I ran into one of the senior managers in my division at Verizon.  He wanted to review a spreadsheet he had sent me earlier in the morning.

“Sounds great.  Can you pull it up though? It’s a non-email day for me,” I told him.

“A what?” he asked.

“Never mind,” I said.  “Just let me get into this coffee.”

And so no-email day ended before 9AM and less than 10 minutes after hitting the office.

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Some Social Commentary

Warning-I am going to break format here and offer some social commentary-but not about social media.

Yes, there is no Twitter, FB, MS or Plurk in this post.

Instead, I want to talk about the $4 bagel, supply and demand, and price gouging.

In a not uncommon occurrence, I missed my train this morning, giving me about 40 extra minutes at the train station. Tired, hungry and bored, I set out for some breakfast. There is a DD at the station-but I hate DD.

So, since I had time to kill, I headed over to the bagel place. And for the first time in my life as a New Yorker, I experienced a $4 bagel (granted with coffee).

Now, I understand fully the concept of paying for convenience and simplicity. But as I was thinking about this, and eating an incredibly mediocre bagel–even that argument broke down.

Bagel and coffee from the guy at the top of stairs when I get off the subway $2.25.  That is convenient.

Bagel and coffee from the place I go when there are two or more on line at the coffee cart (I have a problem with lines) $3.25.

Bagel and coffee at the POS LIRR train station–1/4 mile from the station platform $4.00.

There is something terribly wrong with this math–as George Bush would say, its fuzzy math, bordering on voodoo economics.

And now back to your regularly scheduled blogging–don’t worry, I’ll Twitter this to make it seem on point.

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