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Nov 28, 2018

Filling in Empty Time Slots in NYC

While living in CT, if I had an hour or two between meetings and no time to get home, I used my car as my office provided the weather permitted. I’d pull off the road at a rest stop to coach a client, or recline my driver seat for my afternoon meditation.

Living in Manhattan removes the vehicle/office option. If you’ve ever been in the city for the day and needed a place to hang before your ticket time or appointment, you know what I’m talking about. It’s tricky to find a place to read, write or even listen to something in peace. That’s where the New York Public Library system had gotten my love. Not only do I need to concentrate, I also need to use a computer.

With dropbox and google docs, all of my work can be accessed anywhere there’s an online connection. I found myself between appointments on Monday. I’m in the middle of a webinar planning project where I’m copying all of my blog posts re my memoir process and pasting them into one document for easy reference and assessment. I have 40 pages so far. From there, I’ll determine the outline of my presentation and what illustrations I plan to use.

I wanted to document this activity with a photo and made a request from the woman at the next screen. She’d just pushed back from the desk. Thinking she was taking a break, I said, “Could I ask you for a quick favor?”

“No!” she retorted angrily and rushed away, leaving her jacket on the back of her chair and her notebook open.

I did some self-talk. Her rejection isn’t about me. She must be in a hurry. Her bad mood is a reflection of her. QTIP: quit taking it personally.

I got back to work and my stomach calmed down.

She returned 5 minutes later. “If you don’t get right to the printer,” she began, “they toss whatever you’ve been working on. I’m sorry I was so abrupt. What can I help you with?”

She then took a series of pictures of me at my remote computer and said, “I think it works better when I get more of the library in the background,” and continued to click.

I set out to accomplish one task, but got a great lesson as well.

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  1. Aliza Freedman

    Hello, old friend. Miss your wisdom, your company and your indomitable spirit. Ever come back this way? Over the holidays, perhaps? Or even better yet, maybe we can catch up over a glass of wine (or 2) in the Great Big Apple…xo

  2. Kate Eisemann

    Hello there remarkable Jane –
    I never got used to not having a car, even after 20 years in NYC!
    Thank God for the library. Here in CT, the libraries have been a Godsend to help
    ‘working at home procrastination syndrome’.
    Thanks always for your wisdom.

    • Jane Pollak

      @Kate – I’m so glad to hear that I’m not crazy! It is ONE of only a few things I miss about the suburbs. So good to get your comment. xo


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