Aging, Gracefully

This past week I hit two new milestones in my adult life: went on my first solo work trip and attended my first book club meeting!

On Wednesday I boarded an 8AM Acela train to New York City with significant nervous energy… which boiled down to praying my GPS worked once exiting the station.  As many friends know, my sense of direction is shaky at best.  When I get off at Metro Center it still takes me 2.5 wrong turns to head in the right direction.  The last time I was in NYC I got on the wrong expedited Subway train to the Brooklyn.  Luckily, my Wednesday mission was fairly simple: stop by the Cake Boss Cafe, then head to the office for training and back to Penn station.


The day started off strong.  Getting out at the right exit is always a plus!  I made it to the cafe in great time and once I walked in I immediately recognized and met Buddy’s sister [celeb sighting!(?)] and the other cafe employees.  The cafe is adorable and has such a fun atmosphere!  Definitely recommend stopping by if you’re craving a Lobster Tail or cannoli in Times Square.

The afternoon navigation and training was equally as successful.  Major highlight for the trip: Two (2) different people asked me for directions in the Subway station.  AND I gave the first guy correct information!

[While waiting for the E train Downtown]

Q: Do you know which train came last?

A: … M. [I knew this because I got on the M train and thought to myself “this doesn’t feel right”, exited the train, and realized the “M” sign on the side did not stand for “Metro”. Continued to wait for E train.]

For the second guy’s question, I just had to say, “I have no idea!” and smile my way along.  He appreciated the honesty.  It was a long day, but a confidence boosting one (because of work too, not just navigating).

On Thursday I had my second middle-aged activity for the week: Book Club!  The group is a mix of AU grads looking to discuss good books.  In my case, someone that needs to be held accountable to actually read good books.

January’s selection was “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak.  It was about the Holocaust.  It was depressing.  It was, however, an interesting take on the time period. After discussing the book with my new book club friends I could better articulate my feelings: the story takes place during the Holocaust … but the main characters aren’t Jewish, and most aren’t inherently great or evil so nothing deeply profound is ever able to happen.  It was a good read, but when there was nobody I can truly root for I found it difficult to keep reading.  Social stigma helped this time.

Luckily, the group is fun and easy going.  Our list for the next few months is a good mix of topics and genres, some light-hearted ones even!

New recipes, better runs (today’s was sad) and crafting coming soon!

– EmPan


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