Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Day in the Life of Julia from Color Me Green

Hi, I’m Julia. I blog over at Color Me Green about my slow food, eco-friendly life in Brooklyn. I will be filling in here while the Emerald Apron takes a little maternity leave and am excited to join the Green Phone Booth community. I figured what better way to introduce myself than to share a day in my life.

Although, this week has been anything but typical. Hurricane Sandy hit New York hard. I personally felt lucky to be unaffected and thankful for all of our modern infrastructure and conveniences, which meant I was snug in my apartment on high ground without even losing power, able to monitor the news via internet throughout the storm. For me, the hurricane has meant days of getting to just relax, cook good food and do some work remotely at home, while we wait for power to be restored to lower Manhattan where my office is located, and for the subway stations to be pumped clear of flooding. In New York, the forced relaxation that comes with severe weather is a welcome relief from my busy life. So on to a typical day in my life...

My boyfriend wakes me up around 8:30 to say goodbye. He is a morning person and has to be at work earlier, so he gets up nearly two hours before me. I indulge in snoozing time before slowly waking myself up by checking email on my iTouch in bed and finally get up sometime around 9am. I'm not good at getting up on time, so I'm late to work most days.

Around 9:30, I leave for work on my bike. It’s a 5.5 mile ride, around 40 minutes, through nice brownstone streets in Brooklyn, over the East River, and into downtown Manhattan. I try to focus on just enjoying being outside on my bike. I ride to work about 3 days a week, since I work from home one day a week, and I take the subway if it’s raining or if I have plans that will keep me out at night after work. In the wake of Sandy, I’m happy I can use my bike to get around even with the subways down.

When I arrive at work sometime between 10 and 10:30, my first stop is the office bathroom to change. Later this winter, my office is moving to a new location that will supposedly have showers on site, which will be nice. However, in the meantime, I don’t find it necessary to shower after biking. I’ve written about my strategies here. I bring a change of clothes, and since I don’t wear make up, I just brush my hair and reapply my homemade deodorant and am good to go.

I typically start my day at work with a small bowl of my homemade granola and a good cup of sustainable coffee while I catch up on my google reader.

I work in the fundraising department of an international environmental nonprofit that promotes sustainable land-use practices around the world. My days are spent writing grant proposals and reports, writing correspondence with donors, scheduling and preparing for my boss to meet with donors, and fighting with our donor database to make it work the way we want it to. There is pretty much always too much work to do, so even though it's not a corporate job, it's still a stressful office job where I sit at my desk for eight hours a day.

I often feel too busy to take the hour lunch break I am allowed, so I usually eat at my desk. Being in New York with delis and bodegas everywhere, it's easy to be lazy and buy lunch, which I did a lot last year, but I felt bad about it because it gets expensive and wasteful with all the packaging. For the past several months, I’ve been good about packing lunches most days. My boyfriend is currently on a no-processed-wheat kick lately, so my lunches lately have involved a simple mix of quinoa, beans and some sort of vegetables with a little cheese.

On the couple of days a week I can motivate myself to get out of the office for a “lunch break,” I run errands or go to a gym nearby to lift weights and stretch, but it's not as often as I'd like.

The workday officially ends at 6pm, though I usually leave around 6:30 and sometimes not until 7 or 7:30 because I want to keep getting work done. I change back into my biking clothes and ride home, in the dark this time.

On Mondays, my boyfriend and I are usually both home in the evening. Most other nights of the week, one or the other of us has band practice or plans with friends. Since we both enjoy cooking, we cook dinner together, using ingredients we picked up over the weekend from the farmers market or coop.

By the time we clean up dinner, there's only an hour or so left before my boyfriend wants to get ready for bed. We'll watch a little TV courtesy of the internet or play some music together. My boyfriend goes to bed around 10:30, but I'm more of a night owl so I stay up for another hour or two at my computer, wasting time reading blogs and writing and always wanting to eke out some more worth from my day before it's time to go to sleep and do it all over again.


Betsy (Eco-novice) said...

Wow, you actually work in the green sector. Glad to have you here at the Booth!

Anonymous said...

Your bicycle commuting has always been an inspiration to me, Julia!


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