Foiled Plans and Zen Attitude

Disney? No, the Little Island...

Remember in school when we learned about the word delta in math class? That triangle that meant "change" in some equation or another? It's easy to remember when we see it in a very different context these days. A context that, for me at least, has meant the antithesis to change.

I had plans this year. I wanted to go away, be a nomad for a while, stay a month in Lisbon, see friends in Paris, eat pizza in Italy again. With vaccinations it seemed possible. The world was healing.

Then delta changed that all, or rather prevented me from changing at all.

I stayed put. I committed to New York for the foreseeable future. I stopped opening countless tabs on my browser to Airbnb properties. My plans had been foiled by delta.

I know I can still travel and jump through the hoops to do so, but it's not worth it to me. I have traveled so much and so freely that trying to recreate something like that in this environment just isn't appealing. The sort of long, drawn out, immersive travel I like to do just won't be enjoyable if I can't mingle with people in spaces the way I used to, and if I have to worry about figuring out how to get a COVID test in Portuguese. I'm sure it's all very simple, but like plant-based meat products, I just don't see the point. 

I can say this because I live in New York, the self-proclaimed but often-echoed "greatest city in the world." We're licking our wounds post-pandemic but life is back, if even in drips and drabs. There is outdoor theater. There is sidewalk seating at my favorite diner. There are familiar faces to see.

It's a matter of refocussing my expectations, recalibrating myself, and adopting a zen attitude about this place. It's not so bad. It can even be good.

The French food truck still pumps out my favorite chocolate croissant.

The Little Island, for all its issues, still has some worthwhile events.

The diner still makes the best pancakes in town.

The outdoor musical theater performances are unique ways to see shows.

Lean in. Do it. Wear a mask. It'll be fine. Zen attitude.

A little French pastry goes a long way...

By leaning into New York, I've been able to lean away from the future. You know that thing that's just a big dark nebulous ball of uncertainty? I spent too much time playing in it, hoping for it to take shape. No longer. It's cliché to say I need to live in the moment. It's also a very healthy thing to do, so I don't mind saying it.

The summer is ending but I'll keep the day trips to the beach and the other little pleasures alive until the future shapes up, or if it ever does. And if it doesn't, i still have the best chocolate croissants ever in my backyard, so I'll be fine.