Discover more from Everything is Liminal
Time is a liminal space too
What day is it again? Time is a strange construct when you're on a break, but I realized something as I experienced what felt like 3 seasons on a recent walk.
I took the most enjoyable walk a few days ago during a morning that was enrobed in this delicious misty haze. Normally, I give myself permission to skip my daily walk if it’s especially rainy or windy out, but the fog was pulling me outside early that day. Just as I stepped out it had started to drizzle, but this is when the leaves are at their most vibrant—even the dried, curled up ones on the sidewalk. It’s like the rain gifts them one last moment to shine, the weight of water giving them one last life, pinning them to the concrete in a collage of colors.
There are still leaves on trees in December here in NYC. I can’t remember if this is unusual or if this has always been the timing of Fall, but it’s been a fairly warm Autumn and all the trees and flora are confused, I think—a smattering of tired roses still clinging on to their stems; the stacked rows of Douglas Firs standing tall in Christmas tree stalls, the tippy tops reaching up to commingle with yellow ochre leaves.
When I exited Prospect Park, a cloud of pink caught my eye. Oh, it’s just the fog playing tricks on me, I thought, but as I walked closer, this tree, which I have seen bloom so many times in the Spring, was on full display with cherry blossoms…in December! I snapped some photos and walked away. I mean, why not? Everything feels confused. The weather, after all, did feel more like early April.
Time, and even the seasons apparently, feels very fluid. It can both limit and be a catalyst for change. It keeps pushing us forward even if we ourselves feel mired by the past or stuck in the present. Mostly though, it is going by really fast. This is the first month in 3 or 4 years where I haven’t had to scan the calendar in the mornings to check for meetings. This is also the first month in maybe 14 or so years where I haven’t had to work at all. I am a workaholic, like juggling 2-3 jobs, sometimes working 15 hour days kind of workaholic, so this is a very big deal. Without the structure of a job and a weekly cadence of meetings, the days tend to blur into each other. I surrender myself into a scheduled routine of my own making so the days don’t float away.
Mornings are my favorite right now. It didn’t always used to be, but as soon as the kids became self sufficient enough to get themselves dressed, fed, and out the door, the mornings became mine again. I’m usually up between 6:30 and 7. I relish that first cup of coffee and sit on the bed with the cat, watching the morning light gradually shift. I am a notoriously terrible sleeper, and yes, I still head to bed around 2am which means I never get the recommended 8 hours. My body has always been on its own timetable and no matter what, it wants to wake up after 5 hours of sleep. It’s been this way for years. I have stopped trying to fight it.
In full transparency, this sabbatical, as I have begun to call it, wasn’t really by choice. I didn’t leave a job; I’m not sure if I’m that brave. We’re all sort of reexamining what work means to us at our company, and where and how we want to do it. It’s a wild time right now in tech and other industries—budgets contracting, resources reallocating—and its anyone’s guess where this will all land in 2023. But now that I’m in it, this gift of time that I would have never prescribed myself otherwise, I’m prioritizing the things I have neglected for so long—walks, yoga, reading, writing, my health, a deep breath. It seems like a luxury and a privilege to be able to take a pause from working. I was talking to a friend who is at a similar juncture and she expressed some guilt about not bringing in a paycheck.
“Don’t feel guilty”, I urged her.
As moms, we have earned these breaks no matter how we come into them, I tell my friend. I have earned this break. I remind myself that this is what all the hustle and working multiple jobs was for, and that I have felt like I was holding my breath for the last 2 years, unable to process what is left of my family because there wasn’t any space left at the end of the day. When I look back at this time, I’ll think about this walk on that foggy day because that’s really when it hit me—this moment of clarity, through the mist and the rain, that for the first time in a long time, I was happy.
3 things I’m enjoying lately
‘It’s Like I’m Floating’: Skating New York Under Lockdown - I go back to this feature every so often from the NYTimes, published in 2020 when NYC was a ghost town during the height of the pandemic. It feels so long ago, and some days even a dream. Was the city this empty? Did we really clap and bang on pots every night at 7pm? There’s something about the pandemic years that always makes me miscount a year. I guess it makes sense. We’ve lost so much of our lives in 2020.
Neiwai - I kept seeing ads for these Barely Zero bras everywhere and so I finally decided to take advantage of a sale to try them out. Ok, I can honestly say…I love them.
Laderach - By coincidence, I recently received 2 separate gifts from 2 different people by these Suisse Chocolatiers. They make beautiful gifts, and for something a little different than chocolate truffles, the Tartufi and FrischSchoggi are divine.
*These product mentions are not sponsored in any way. I just genuinely enjoy them.
Subscribe to Everything is Liminal to receive new posts and support my work.