Inspired by Stephanie’s Day in the Life post over at Drama Happens, I chronicled the events of my Wednesday, September 9th – a work day like any other for me. Hold on to your hats, folks, this is sure to be exciting stuff.
6:30 AM The alarm rings. I hit snooze and yank the covers out from under Chunk who has stolen them all in the middle of the night.
6:39 AM The alarm rings again, but I just got these covers back and I’m not ready to give them up yet. Snooze again.
6:48 AM The second snooze expires. I get up and head to the bathroom. Chunk rolls over to occupy my empty spot on the bed. I tell him he’s a lucky bastard.
7:28 AM I’m dressed and ready but not fully awake until I get my first hit of caffeine. There’s no use in speaking to me before I’ve had my coffee on a work day – I won’t be able to comprehend what you’re saying. We coerce Chunk out of bed with the promise of peanut butter smothered thyroid medication. I get him dressed for daycare (aka put on his collar) while Mr. S makes our coffees.
7:30 AM I walk Chunk off-leash across the street to my parents’ house while Mr. S starts up the car. Like me, Chunk is still half asleep and it takes very little verbal command to get him to walk by my side.
7:31 AM In the car, I take my first sip of coffee and start to feel like a human being.
7:40 AM We are in the parking deck of the train station stuck behind someone who has clearly never been here during rush hour because they are moving at a snail’s pace up the winding deck. No, you will not find any open spots until the 4th floor so hurry up or all of us are going to miss our train. Cars behind us start angrily beeping and the newbie gets the hint.
7:51 AM We board the express train to NYC. Something is wrong with the door and it repeatedly opens and slams shut :::CHU-GUNG CHU-GUNG CHU-GUNG::: This is not going to be a pleasant ride.
8:36 AM We arrive at New York Penn station. The entire train disembarks and we all start the slow shuffle towards the escalator. This is the worst part of my day – trudging behind all these bodies and overstuffed backpacks is a soul-sucking exercise. Nobody wants to be here and yet everyone is eager to be first in line. Mr. S and I part ways once we are above track level.
8:42 AM I finally emerge from the bowels of Penn Station and walk two blocks west to my office at the Hudson Yards field site.
8:50 AM Breakfast pit stop at the one food establishment this far west. It’s like no man’s land out here. Today I opt for oatmeal topped with brown sugar and strawberries. Good news: the cashier informs me the brown sugar topping is free. Bad news: the cashier informs me strawberries are not considered regular oatmeal toppings and charges me $1 extra.
8:55 AM I arrive at my desk and check my calendar. A meeting in the morning and a meeting in the afternoon, otherwise a light day.
12:45 PM We round up the lunch crew and take a walk to Bottino on 10th Ave and 25th Street. Our surrounding area is a very active construction site and we have to cross the street a few times to get around construction barricades. I order the number 2 (prosciutto, mascarpone, tomato, and arugula) on foccacia. I generally don’t have carbs during lunch, but today will have to be an exception. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices.
1:11 PM We return to the office with our lunches. I catch up on Facebook and the news while I eat at my desk. Politics is not my usual go to section, but Trump is just too entertaining to pass up.
2:00 – 5:11 PM Back to back to back meetings and sit downs. I miss my window for afternoon coffee (if I don’t have it by 4pm, I won’t be able to fall asleep at night). I settle for an earl gray tea.
5:54 PM I check in with Mr. S on which train home we are going to catch. We shoot for the 6:37.
6:15 PM I pack up for the day.
6:26 PM I get to Penn Station and post up at our usual meeting spot outside Dunkin Donuts. The munchkins are tempting but I have some leftover teriyaki beef jerky in my bag. Don’t judge, I love beef jerky.
6:30 PM Mr. S finds me and we head down to the track to board our train. It’s one of those double decker trains with front and back facing seats. Mr. S likes to sit in the front facing ones but we can never tell which direction the train will go so it’s a guessing game every time. Today we guessed wrong.
7:17 PM We arrive at our stop. Again, a shoulder-to-shoulder shuffle to descend the stairs. At least this time I understand why everyone is so pushy – we all want to get home.
7:27 PM Getting out of the train station is a clusterfuck. The traffic lights are poorly choreographed so there is always a jam in the intersection. Maybe I should write to my senator about it. Or maybe I’ll just continue to complain about it on my blog. Mr. S turns on AM radio to listen to the Mets broadcast. I wail dramatically about how nobody cares about the Mets, and by nobody, I mean me. He puts on Z100 to shut me up and it works.
7:28 PM We ask each other the daily dreaded question, “What are we eating for dinner?” After a five minute exchange of “I don’t know, whatever you want, I don’t know, what do we have, I don’t know, probably nothing” we decide on Stuffed Peppers.
7:34 PM We realize we are missing the key ingredient to Stuffed Peppers – the peppers. We stop at the garden market to buy some.
7:52 PM We pull into our driveway. Mr. S drags the garbage bin in from the street and I head over to pick up Chunk from daycare. Chunk is elated to see us and his tail is winding around like a windmill.
8:07 PM I get dinner started while Mr. S throws in a load of laundry and makes Chunk’s dinner.
8:57 PM The humans’ dinner is served. We eat at the kitchen peninsula while watching Fear of the Walking Dead.
9:12 PM Mr. S cleans up and I sink into the couch with the laptop to putz around on the internet.
9:15 PM Mr. S realizes I have no interest in the zombies and flips back to the Mets game. He’s very excited, but it is all lost on me. The Mets have been playing every night for, like, the past one million months – I don’t understand how it can still be so riveting.
10:00 PM I am exhausted and I know it’s because I didn’t have my afternoon coffee. My bedtime is usually around 11:30, but I bid Mr. S goodnight unable to keep my eyes open. Chunk follows me to the bedroom.
10:15 PM I feel Chunk tentatively paw his way up onto the bed (as if he could do anything in stealth mode at 72 lbs.), nudge him towards Mr. S’s side, and scratch his belly until I fall asleep.
Three months in and it’s obvious I’m still not quite used to the commute. I thought it would come naturally since I’m no stranger to this routine, but ugh, it really sucks the life out of me. It’s not terribly long, but the heavy reliance on train schedules and navigating rush hour patterns is more exhausting than it seems. I also haven’t figured out a way to fit in a solid gym schedule and am hoping/needing to rectify that in the coming weeks. On the plus side, at least we managed to feed ourselves something that didn’t come from a drive-through window.
Perhaps one day I can get Chunk to do his own version of “A Day in the Life” – an extensive report of his naptimes in between trying to trick daycare into giving him more treats than he deserves.