Taking a hooky day today!

English: Looking south from Delancey Street, a...
English: Looking south from Delancey Street, at central mall that divides Allen Street (Manhattan) on a sunny late morning. ZIP 10002. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is a sad truth that I can see the towers of Manhattan from our street 25 miles north of the city, shimmering like Oz — yet I rarely head there for pure pleasure.

I’m just not the sort of person who sits in a loud, crowded cafe and “works” on her laptop. I don’t want background noise when I’m speaking to clients or colleagues, nor the hassle of having to move or carry stuff. I’m writing this at my dining table, staring up the Hudson River, listening to WNYC.

But for today — play day!

I’m taking the train into Manhattan with Jose (yay! hubby time!), and meeting a blog pal — Mrs. Fringe — for coffee, my third (so far) blogging blind date; two years ago I met Lorna, of Gin & Lemonade on her visit here from Scotland, and met Michelle, The Green Study, in Minneapolis in October.

I’ll head downtown to the Lower East Side to see a show of ballet photographs by Henry Leutwyler, which closes on January 12, at the Foley Gallery on Allen Street. (I’m going to see the New York City Ballet on Tuesday evening, and can’t wait!)

I’m meeting a new friend for lunch at this spot, Spitzer’s Corner. I have only one work commitment — a 4pm phone interview with a professor at MIT whose wisdom I need for a meeting I’m having on Monday. I plan to browse the LES, which has some of my favorite shops and restaurants, before heading to Joe’s Pub at 7:00 p.m. to watch my friend Elizabeth Bougerol play with her band, The Hot Sardines. Both shows are sold out, which is so terrific — I met Elizabeth a few years ago when we sat beside one another at the Sunday Night Dinner, an ongoing fun event held in the Queens home of Tamara Reynolds.

Then we’re heading out to dinner at Le Philosophe with my friend Tracy, who makes gorgeous hats — Madonna and Mary Blige have worn them — and her partner, an architect.

This workweek has been insane. Truly (happily) non-stop.

I have a major business piece in The New York Times this weekend — so had to shoot some last-minute questions to a source in Islamabad at 9:00 Wednesday night — and am working on another Times piece about a very cool young woman, so cool I’m also pitching her story to a variety of other publications as well. That’s meant asking colleagues for their help and contacts, like a woman who used to live in my town seven years ago I found on LinkedIn.

I’m also working on a speculative and very interesting business possibility that has me speaking to people in Nova Scotia, Toronto, and Illinois for their insights and advice. It’s a big step away from journalism, but a potentially very interesting one.

My fab new assistant — the non-stop C of Small Dog Syndrome — is keeping me busy keeping up with her progress.

I decided last week to take Friday off entirely, which, of course, put extra pressure on the rest of the work week to grind it out. The one joy of working freelance is that I can indeed disappear occasionally when it suits me. Believe it or not, Jose has to really nag me all the time to take time off for fun. Any of you who work for yourselves know this all too well!

Here’s a neat new book, “Tweak It”, about how to carve out work-life balance.

Do you ever take a hooky day — a weekday away from school or work — for pure relaxation?

17 thoughts on “Taking a hooky day today!

  1. I wish I could, but sadly I need every day of work or class so that someday I can take it easy.
    Speaking of meeting fellow bloggers, any chance you’ll be coming to Ohio to speak to my fellow students sometime in the future?

  2. Take it up with the glorious C! She’s now in charge of all my bookings and is trying to set up such events for me…I did give her the contact info you gave me. I’d love to come out, but have a fee I need to be paid, and some schools just don’t have a budget for that, or much of anything else.

    If you have the time or energy to ask on campus for me, that would be great!

  3. I do a bit of a variant on a hooky day. We call it a “grown-ups’ day off” and try and do at least one a quarter on a school day. With the 6 kids and two full-time jobs between us, making time for each other is always a challenge. So we schedule these days, take a day’s paid leave from work and the rules are very simple: no chores, other than to feed the gremlins and we do things that involve us spending time together doing things that we easily do couldn’t do with the children around. Daytime baths, lying in bed reading (sometimes :-)), lunch out (we can do this with the kids, but it’s nice to linger), movies and basically whatever takes our fancy. I know it doesn’t sound terribly romantic to schedule a hooky day, but it works really well! Your life sounds fabulously interesting and fun at the moment.

    1. Oooooh, sign me up! I love that you are so intentional about making sure you have this for yourself. Parenthood here in the U.S. so often seems a highly competitive game of misery and martyrdom, which is really boring for people who don’t have kids to listen to. My parents were not overly protective (understatement) but I also respect that they made sure they enjoyed their own lives.

      I think it is deeply romantic! Jose and I had a fantastic night out in NYC on Friday; live music and French food and he was thrilled, and we are 13 years in.

      My life, finally, (after a few rough years) *is* pretty great. I am very grateful indeed!!

  4. As a teacher I can relate to a hooky day but find it difficult to take my personal days and end up rolling them over into the next year. I really miss the classroom and feel guilt when I leave my students with a sub. Hooky days are needed though, aren’t they, BtW–cool idea about your blog blind dates. Is that an article?

    1. God, yes! You are in a very high-stress, intense job, as am I. Burnout is inevitable without taking this sort of personal time off.
      But unlike you, I work alone all day at home in the booooooooooring, lonely burbs. It is “normal” for me to go an entire workday with no face to face interaction with anyone — unless I run errands. Not exactly stimulating! I have to do these hooky days for my mental, emotional, intellectual and spiritual nourishment. As a creative person, I am a dry well without this.

      I am also able, with my own sked, to work at night or weekends as needed to make up the difference.

      I’ve now had three blog blind dates, so far, and have a fourth, possibly, later this year. But, it does sound like a good blog post.

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