Sunday Sessions

Wanted: A total reset

One thing I worry about is how little time we spend doing supposedly “New York” activities—the ones you read about in that book that made you think you had to live in New York if you ever wanted to have a life story worth telling. I don’t have a bar. Most of the time, I’m not walking through Central Park wistfully. If New York is the city that never sleeps, I wouldn’t know it—I’m usually in bed by 11.

Last week, though, I broke up my routine. I met up with my friend Tim and we had dinner at Her Name is Han. I went to the Pop-Up Magazine show at Lincoln Center with my pal Justin. And then afterward—when it was nearing 10 PM—I walked to the Upper West Side and got an impromptu late night back massage. This weekend, David and I had free tickets to a city-wide food festival and danced to DJ’ed beats at Pier 97 while drinking beers and eating tacos. It felt good to be out—to see the city at nighttime.

Still on my list: Stand in the long line for Saturday Night Live tickets. Comedy at the Village Underground. Live music at Marie’s Crisis Cafe.

Of course, all of this happened on top of an incredibly busy work week. We launched two new projects: a new podcast about the impeachment proceedings and just a little old podcast about DOLLY PARTON. Even though I don’t create the audio that makes up these projects, my job is to bring them to people like you—future listeners. It’s a pleasure to put myself in your shoes, to imagine when and how you might encounter a Dolly Parton podcast and how exactly I can make you excited about listening.

Of course, all that activity adds up and I’m completely exhausted. My shoulders are tight and knotty. My throat is just sore enough that I think I’m perpetually on the verge of getting sick. And I’ve had a least two surprise stress periods in the past two weeks. It’s not a sustainable pace—something I think about often for both myself and my team.

In a few weeks, I’m taking off a few days to spend with my family in a cabin in a remote part of West Virginia—roughly the midway point between New York and southern Virginia/North Carolina where my family live. I’m looking forward to hitting the reset button.

To Read

There is a trend on Twitter right now to name 6 things that bring you uninhibited pleasure. In this moment, in these times, don’t we need that right now? Clicking on one just sends you down a rabbit hole of individual pleasures that often conclude with you thinking, “Ah yes, I love that too!”.

This week, think about some things that give you pleasure and text one or six of them to me. I’ll send you my list in return.

To Hear

Music is usually something that happens in the background for me. It feels odd to say I’m not someone moved by music—which is also not true—it’s more that I don’t seek out new music. When I find a song I like, I can listen to it on repeat for an hour, discovering something new about it with every replay.

This week though, I asked myself to be more open to the music around me and I found myself drawn to several pieces.

To Eat

A Poem

The Orange

At lunchtime I bought a huge orange—
The size of it made us all laugh.
I peeled it and shared it with Robert and Dave—
They got quarters and I had a half.And that orange, it made me so happy,
As ordinary things often do
Just lately. The shopping. A walk in the park.
This is peace and contentment. It’s new.The rest of the day was quite easy.
I did all the jobs on my list
And enjoyed them and had some time over.
I love you. I’m glad I exist.

— Wendy Cope

I discovered “The Orange” on The Gladdest Hope, maybe my new favorite site for poetry.