I made it through the holidays, and it all went pretty well. I was fortunate to be invited to a few parties that I enjoyed being at with friends and family. I actually hosted 12 for Christmas dinner at my home. Honestly, my brother-in-law made most of the food but having my in-laws and family here together was far more healing this year. I had not planned ahead for New Years, but thanks to nice, local friends I was able to ring in the new year with great neighbors.
My sons are home from college and law school. My list of things to do includes returning some gifts by mail and mailing out one Christmas card. The house is still decorated and the thought of tossing unnecessary decorations and downsizing is compelling. But I will have to stop thinking about it and really pack them up soon.
Back at work and I have plans to make for my students, patterns to cut out, Pinterest sites to browse and behavior plans to modify. Working full time is very time consuming but it does get me up everyday and I know that if I did not have that, there are many times I would miss the mornings completely. Some days I have energy, but there are still many days when the whole thought of waking up and dealing with the loss of my husband is overwhelming.
Then I get distracted.
I still have so much to learn about blogging. I’ve signed up for some on line classes and I spend a lot of time reading blogs from writers whose topics interest me. In other words, I am surfing the internet during a lot of time at home.
If I am not reading blogs about being a widow or traveling, I am searching for places to visit. Places on my list include Iceland, Norway, Africa, Cuba, St. John, Peru, Italy and France. But I am flexible.
Then I start to search for budget travel. My funds are not unlimited. Maybe a big trip every year if I can swing it. I did have a lot of fun mini trips last year that did not involve a lot of money or travel expenses. I read someone’s blog who called them “weekenders”. That is a great title. Especially working full time. I can find some weekend escapes and I will.
The important thing is to get out there and have some adventures. Being around friends, family and fun people is key. Although doing things on my own can be fun too. Learning something new, experiencing cultural opportunities, engaging in some exercise programs and finding opportunities to give back are just some of my thoughts for this year.
I think I should be able to do some of those things. I want my blog to be positive and inspiring. If I can do it, you can too.
So while I did not run away during this holiday break, I am glad I had the free time to visit with family and friends as well as have some serious down time sleeping in late with my puppy, ordering in food, and binge watching T.V. with my sons.
Some women from my yoga class have been doing an annual yoga weekend. I have gone several times to Montauk with this fun group of gals. We do some yoga and get spa services. Happy hour, dinner and sometimes dancing was part of the weekend.
This year, I invited my sister-in-law to join the group in New York City. One friend has a membership to the New York Athletic Club. The NYAC was founded in 1868 to support amateur athletes for the Olympics. The 24 floors include 187 guest rooms as well as restaurants, an olympic size pool, gym and a magnificent dining room. The 2nd floor displayed a collection of trophys, awards and photos from people who placed in Judo, wrestling, water polo and more. We spent more time on the 4th floor which was the ladies locker room that led to the pool, hot tubs, large steam room with shower and 2 saunas with Adirondack chairs overlooking Central Park.
Saturday morning we took the Long Island Rail Road into Penn Station then a cab to the hotel. It had just started to snow so we checked in, then walked a block to the Time Warner building. We had a delicious quiche and salad on the 3rd floor at Bouchon Bakery.
The snow was falling pretty fast and we shuffled back 2 blocks to L’Institut Sothys New York. I had looked on TRAVELZOO in the morning and found discounted prices for Aromatherapy massages. We both agreed it was one of the best massages we have ever had.
Back at the NYAC we met up with some women from the group and had some hot tub time. We wanted to wear our robes up to the hotel room. Well, this club has a strict dress code. Jeans, leggings, capris, flip flops, short skirts and sneakers are not permitted in public areas. Dressy or corporate attire is. The ladies in the gym area did allow us to use a special freight elevator to go to our rooms. That was an adventure!
We all gathered for Happy Hour in a suite and then ate at Red 58 across the street from our hotel. Later that night we sat in the cocktail lounge as the snow fell across the street on Central Park.
Of course we also visited the solarium on the 24th floor. Definitely the most magical view of the weekend.
The next morning, we slept in then walked through Central Park. It was like living in a postcard. I couldn’t stop taking photos. Children sledding down hills, people walking happily with pom pom hats upon their heads, skaters on the rink with the sun trying to shine through fluffy clouds.
We walked down 5th Avenue which has quite a bit of police activity and barriers due to the Trumps living in Trump tower right there in midtown Manhattan. Store windows still had their decorations up and it was an overall cheery atmosphere.
MoMA, the Museum of Modern Art, is located a short walk from Central Park. One friend had stopped at the public library and shared a free admission pass so we spent a few hours having lunch and touring the museum. It is always a great pleasure to see my favorites. The Picasso paintings, Matisse, Van Gogh, Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol’s work is inspiring. One floor brought us through the entire 1960’s in America and had art as well as simple things like phones and ice buckets. When you see some strange art like sand behind glass, the phallic chair and 3 dimensional stuff on wood it makes you wonder, and then giggle a bit.
As we left the museum I felt sure I had developed an eye for art so I took this photo. I call it “frozen bike with helmet”.
After our visit to the museum I was tired and eager to get home and see my sons. They will be going back to school soon so I want to spend as much time with them as I can. It was a lot of fun to go on an adventure and I plan to do that throughout 2017. It was a great weekend but I forgot to do yoga. Oh well, next time.
I haven’t planned a big trip yet but I will. Meanwhile I will continue to have new experiences, spend time with my family and friends, play with my puppy, and keep moving forward.