Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Value and Surprise of a Good Daily Routine

   Being W-2 deficient, my work days can vary greatly.  I am my own boss and my own employee, sort of, and this is a situation filled with landmines. 
   Some days are magically inspired, free from foggy thoughts and energized beyond the norm.  These are the days when new projects get started, old projects get finished, a few hundred extra calories are incinerated on the elliptical machine, and we spontaneously invite loads of company for dinner.  Oh, and these are also the days when I start a blog.

   Not all days can be this good.

   On those days that lack in this mental sharpness and physical power, I believe a good solid routine is exactly the ticket for carrying our home from chaotic and depressive to quietly functioning with very little conscious effort or creative thinking on my part.

   Here's my Monday through Friday run down, stripped down.  Prepare to be underwhelmed:

  • Release the chickens & turkey.  Count guineas.  
  • Feed and water cats and kittens.  Curse yourself for not getting cats fixed sooner.
  • Cook breakfast & pack lunches then rotate clean/dirty dishes in the kitchen and tidy up in there.
  • Air out the beds and doll them up all smooth and pretty, making mental notes to nap later if possible.
  • Empty Pacino's messy tray and replenish his food and water.
  • Start a laundry rodeo.
  • Grain horses and buffalo. 
  • Distribute hay to everyone and rotate grazing. 
  • Turn on pool pump, making note of "peak time" electricity rates.
  • Feed and water pups.  Scruff  and smooch their wrinkly faces.
  • Quick-clean bathrooms and take out trash then walk to gate to check mail.  Avoid making eye contact with weeds growing there.  Avoid mentally landscaping this barren part of the farm for the nine-hundred fifty-seventh time.
  • Decide whether today is a sparkling clean floors day or a tiptoeing through seeds day and act accordingly.
  • How's that laundry rodeo going?  Any ironing to do?
  • Check on veggie gardens, weeding and watering just a little bit.  Curse yourself for not planting more stuff by now.
  • Make sure we have a plan for dinner and are supplied.  Shop and start food prep if necessary.
  • Slather on some SPF and take a cheap paperback to the pool for siesta.
  • Shower before Handsome gets home.
  • Cook, eat, clean up.
  • Cuddle, cuddle, romance, talk...
  • Prep coffee for tomorrow morning.
  • Take Nabisco treats to animals and lock up chicken coop.  
  • Yawn... 
   So, when I am not inspired enough to strategize my abundant free time (which is not really free but is negotiable), when I am not able to make full use of every half hour, layering and maximizing my tasks like some kind of a Time-and-Energy-Management Mutant Genius, like Handsome, this three or four-hour routine is enough to get things more or less done and keep things running more or less smoothly around here.  More or less.

   Most days might allow me or you to fly under the radar, but we all know that is a terrible way to live long term.  I want greater than seventeen pieces of flair, thank you very much.

   The surprise benefit of pushing through the occasional fog is that along the way I gain energy while I expend it and one completed task after another lends me inspiration.  I think most people would agree that if you buckle down long enough, just doing one simple, productive thing after another, you will soon be cruising at a better pace and altitude.

   A note, just don't over think anything until you reach that cruising altitude.  Try not to worsen your mental cloudiness with added questions and pressure; let common, necessary productivity clear things up a bit first.

   Then you may discover not just a decent "baseline" physical environment but also a renewed outlook and brilliant ideas for the rest of your day!

  Whatever you do, don't wallow in exhaustion, boredom, or confusion.  Resist hiding in the shadow of the Big Picture and instead just do the next good thing in front of you and be content.  Then take a deep, happy, cleansing breath and be excellent.

"Shun idleness.
It is a rust that attaches itself
to the most brilliant metals."

1 comment:

  1. Oh, how I agree! I've finally come up with a "chore list" for the house and though it's only been a couple of days, I already feel better. I don't have the gazillion animals to feed that you do (fix the cats already! and can I come pet the buffalo?!), and so in some ways, sloth finds me fairly regularly. Ugh.

    There is a difference between a fabulous siesta and a day of slothfulness. Is that a word? I enjoy days of doing nothing because nothing is required. I do not enjoy days of avoiding the stacks of boxes in the garage simply because I don't wanna do it!

    Thanks to you, I'm going to add some of those boxes to the chore list for the next however-long-it-takes to be able to park my car in the garage. Whew!


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