Tuesday morning I wake up at 6:00 am, decide against the gym and roll over and close my eyes. I really SHOULD work out. But I feel restless, out of sorts, like I'm stuck in a broken habitrail. Working from home does not help. I spend hours alone, sometimes as many as 36 without human contact. Which sounds like it would be harder to do when you live in a town of 8 million, but for me, not so much.
Instinctively I know I should break free of this routine where I consume liquid and solid calories, wake up sluggish, avoid exercise and repeat. Broadway shows and restaurants, neither of which I mind doing alone, should be where I focus my energy. They are, after all, two things I love about New York. But the thought of getting ready and going downtown is massively demoralizing these days. And when I scroll through my phone I wonder, how, with so many friends, I have no one to call when I feel down. Maybe I am really just a loner disguised as an aging party girl.
It has become much easier to sit in my dark apartment eating chips and drinking wine. My local wine shop is an excellent enabler with their 10% discount for 5 or more bottles. So is Duane Reade with their 99¢ bags of Ruffles. This might be why I am engaged in a full-on battle with my clothes that cause me physical pain because they no longer fit. Spanx and sucking in my breath have stopped working as quick fixes to the problem. Buttons now leave indents in my skin long after I undress at night. You would think this is all the motivation Desi Girl needs to get off the couch and into the gym. But no, I prefer to stay up until 2:00 am watching Frasier, who makes me laugh and keeps me company. I wish I knew his phone number when I feel sad.
I know nothing can ail me without my consent. I also know I won’t meet anyone sitting in my apartment. But sometimes I lack fire and will. I find myself wondering what happened to that girl who packed up all of her stuff, took a chance on “what if” and moved to Manhattan.
Often times I think I should grab a book and eat dinner at a bar or restaurant and see who approaches me. Then what? Would I really date and bring a non-Indian home to meet Dad? I am finding dating to be EXHAUSTING and a vacuum where my good energy goes dead. I’m not dating for fun, I’m dating to get married, have kids and move to Westchester. Maybe there is some merit to arranged marriages, but that thought is equally depressing.
Life won’t happen to me if I continue to lie on the couch. So I pull the blanket away and get up. I brush my teeth and make coffee. While the java brews I dig around the kitchen and take inventory of my sundries. Crackers, cheeses, chips, chocolates, ramen noodles, cream and wine. Hhhmm. No fruit, veggies or dairy. I need to buy sensible things like milk, yogurt, and whole grains. I dart back to the living room, turn on the computer and place an online grocery delivery for tomorrow. I log off and I decide to run.
I used to joke that I don’t believe in the religion of running, unless, of course, my house was on fire. But right now breathing the Manhattan morning into my body sounds like what I need. I pull on track pants and tennis shoes. I always thought people who ran were running away from something. But maybe runners are running towards something new. Maybe I need to run towards a fresh routine, sleep more, eat and drink less, run and repeat.
I lock the apartment and step outside into a deliciously cool and brisk morning. I head down 181st Street and towards the footbridge and jog along the Hudson River. My feet pound against the pavement and I draw long breaths into my lungs. I feel invigorated, fueled with the belief that I am running towards a better day wrapped in hope and laced with faith.