I wake at 5:37AM. This is a new trend of mine, waking up early, well-rested. I’ve been off from work this week and have been going to bed early, so waking early. It’s great waking up early to begin the day.
I check the time the grocery store Morton Williams opens. It opens at 7AM. I need oat milk for my tea. I check when Starbucks opens. It’s opened. “Starbucks employees have to wake up early,” I think. “Do they go to bed early too?” I wonder.
I walk into the living room and look out my 7th floor apartment window to the building across from mine. Most apartments are dark. Except one that has white holiday lights in the window. It’s dark out. I tun on my Christmas lights and my mini-tree. Three days till Christmas. I need to get as much use out of the lights as possible.
I feel motivated at 5:37AM. I can clean or write or load the photos from my iPhone to my hard drive. I ran out of phone storage on my 256GB phone last night during my niece’s Kindergarten Christmas pageant. As she was singing “Feliz Navidad,” I get a message saying, “Your phone’s storage is full.” I delete old videos on my phone quickly. I didn’t want my niece to look out into the audience and see me staring at my phone during “Feliz Navidad.”
The grocery store “Gracefully” is opened, but they don’t have the brand of oat milk I like – Chobani. I’ll get a Starbucks chai tea. I usually make my own, but am glad to get Starbucks. I order a chai tea with an extra splash of soy milk then check my Gmail. I see emails from Daily Harvest, HelloFresh, HomeChef – home food delivery services I’ve used before. I often fear I’m paying for a service that I thought I cancelled. Or I’m worried I’m going to get a food delivery of 9 Daily Harvest smoothies I didn’t pick so they are flavors I don’t like, like “Strawberry & Peach.”
The weather is 33 and not-raining. I will go for a morning walk.
I leave my apartment. It’s dark out. I get hit with cold air. The cold air transports me to being on vacation in Florida at 9-years-old and being outside in the cool morning air. This feeling happens often with cool morning air. It’s a good, nostalgic feeling of being 9, on vacation, in a warm place.
On the street outside, I see two men in black suits wearing winter hats. They walk in unison to a car that is covered by a tan tarp. They remove the tarp, revealing a black limo. They are headed to work as limo drivers, I assume.
I stand three seconds to hold the door open for a woman leaving Starbucks as I enter. I pick up my tea. I walk two miles. It’s dark and early.
People are walking their dogs, opening stores. I see a person getting in an Uber with luggage, presumably going to the airport. That’s exciting. Where are they going? Why are they traveling? They are at the start of their trip. (or maybe end) I feel like the person is me, when I went to California earlier this year. I’ve been headed to the airport on an early-morning flight just like this person. I know the feeling. “We are all each other,” I think. In a Buddhist-sense of the way.
I am by the pickleball courts at 6:42AM when the Good Mood hits. The caffeine from tea. The cold air. The exercise. The combination makes me feel motivated and inspired. The sun begins to rise. I love the morning.
I run. Then walk. I look up at the windows to the hundreds of apartments and imagine shouting, “Wake up! Everyone, good morning! We are alive! Wake up!” The people would come to their windows and we’d look at each other, feeling the cool air of the morning day. We’d take a big, deep breath and know no matter what we’re going through, we exist. This is it. We exist. “Everyone, we exist!” I would shout. I see a person jogging. A water fountain fountaining. It’s a beautiful day to be alive. I think of the Johnny Mercer song, “It’s Great To Be Alive.”
I feel like a spectator of life, as if life is a play. People are actors. People are jogging, walking, working. These people could have been cast.
I talk to the Universe telling it I am open to receiving good things. Receiving what it thinks I need. “I receive good things,” I say.
I have a thought — You should let things change you. New Years is coming up. Maybe you say, “In the New Year, I’m going to get healthy.” Great! Do it. That’s ok if, “starting something in the New Year” is cliché. Let it inspire you! Sure, you can start The Thing any day, but you can also start on New Years! It’s a great start to a new year. Let it change you and be good for you.
Another thought — If there is something in your life bringing you negativity. Maybe it’s a thought you constantly have like “I’ll never get in shape,” a thought like that may come up often. Use that thought and put a different meaning to it. So, every time you have the thought, “I’m never going to get in shape,” turn it into an active, positive thing. Every time you think, “I’m never going to get in shape,” tighten your core muscles or do one squat. Stack a positive thing on top of the negatively perceived thing. Attach something “positive” to the “negative” thought.
I go to Morton Williams and get two Chobani oat milk’s and spinach then see the sunrise toward the water.
It’s 8:03AM and I make a Daily Harvest “Mint Cacao” smoothie. It’s my favorite smoothie because it tastes like a mint chocolate chip milkshake. I add a big handful of spinach for extra nutrition and use “iron-infused” ice cubes – Ice cubes made from “iron fish”-boiled water that I freeze and use in my smoothies. An iron fish is a 2-3 inch fish-shaped piece of iron that if you boil or cook with, infuses what you’re eating with iron. (Every morning I add two iron-infused ice cubes to my hot tea to make it drinkable temperature-wise.)
I just remembered during my walk I took a big sip of tea and it “went down the wrong pipe” and I immediately coughed and spit the tea out of my mouth. It was a big sip of tea. To an onlooker (someone watching from their apartment or someone watching on a security camera) they would be like, “Wow that person just, unprovoked, spit out a large gulp of tea.” I imagine if I went missing and they were reviewing the security cameras, they would see me walking along, then randomly spitting tea. They would maybe look into the meaning behind it. But it really was just a “wrong-pipe” situation.
I bundle up and head to the street to sit in my car from 9:30-11:30AM. I have to sit in my car during this time because of “Alternate Side Parking.” There are people in the car in front of and behind me too – waiting the two hours. I wonder what their life is like to be able to sit in the car two hours during the work week. Every half hour, I turn on the car for five minutes to warm up. I write on my laptop and read.
It’s 10:11AM and I’m a little tired. Maybe 5:37 was too early to wake. I’m also hungry.
It’s 10:26AM I’m halfway into my two-hour-car-sit. I call my friend Kristen to catch up. She’s at the fish store buying fish with her mother for Christmas Eve. I tell her to say hi to her mother but she says her mother is talking to someone and I hear her mother say “fish sauce” in the background. I tell Kristen I had my Daily Harvest smoothie and I “added spinach to it for nutrition” and she says sometimes she adds protein powder to her smoothie to build muscle. “You should do that now that you’re a lifting weight enthusiastic,” she says to me. “I mean enthusiast,” she says. “No no I’m a gym enthusiastic,” I say to her. We laugh and hang up.
There’s a man waiting in the car in front of me and the car behind me too. We are all waiting to park our cars. At 11AM, the man in front of me gets out of his car, looks around and pushes in the mirror. He leaves. “Why would he wait all that time, then leave a half-hour early?” I think. Worrying he’ll get a parking ticket. I see the man behind me get out of his car too. I get out and read the street sign. The “no-parking” is from 9:30-11AM. I thought it was until 11:30. I am able to leave a half-hour earlier than expected! This is a good feeling.
I go to “Gracefully” grocery store and buy a “Hummy Pita” sandwich – a whole wheat pita with cucumber, avocado, hummus, sprouts and lettuce. I go to my apartment and make lentil soup. I’ll save the sandwich for dinner. I leave my apartment and walk to Best Buy in Union Square. I want to get a “printer cable” to connect my Yahmaha digital piano to my laptop. I walk into Staples and a man unlocks the locked cabinet. I buy the 21-dollar wire and hope it’s the right one. I walk home and it’s raining heavy. I don’t have an umbrella. I usually have two umbrellas at my apartment. I think back and realize I left one at work and brought the other to my parents’ house.
The piano cable fits and I hook up the piano to my laptop and play songs into GarageBand. It hooks up easily, I’m excited it works. It’s fun to play a song then change the settings to hear what it sounds like being played by a different instrument. I play a “rock guitar” versions of The Hollies’ “The Air That I Breathe.”
I get tired around 2PM. I lay in bed and scroll TikTok. I nap for an hour. I wake up and watch Tim Robinson’s “I Think You Should Leave With Tim Robinson” on Netflix. It is a funny show that make me laugh.
I get myself to the gym. I stand up, put on socks and shoes, then jacket and leave the apartment. I walk to 10 blocks to the gym. I stretch then go on the treadmill. I walk on an incline then jog for a while. 35 minutes total. I play a “170BBPM” running playlist on Spotify. The song “You Can’t Stop The Beat” from Hairspray comes on and it’s motivating and fun to run to. As I’m running I look at the building across from the gym – I see two apartments on top of each other. They have identical layouts with the same chandelier. Looks modern and nice. There is a single dude walking around both apartments. I can see them both, but they can’t see each other. The man upstairs doesn’t know there is a similar man right below him. Both men get a visitor at the front door. One feels like date, the other a friend-hangout. I wonder how they feel living across from a gym, always seeing people workout. I think that could be motivating.
I walk home listening to the Melanie “Sporty Spice” Chisholm: The Discipline of Girl Power” episode of “Mayim Bialik’s Breakdown.”
At home I eat half the “Hummy Pita” sandwich I brought earlier.
I take a screenshot of a Jim Carrey Instagram quote I like – “Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.”