I’ve been back in…

I've been back in Chicago for a few days now, starting to get into the swing of things, being at home. Working on the road is a surreal experience in many ways -- you're disrupted by not having all your normal comforts and routines, but at the same time, you don't have to think about all the little household things you do at home. I'm still trying to figure out how to productively work here -- even without a day job, balancing all the housework (getting groceries, laundry, cleaning up, running errands, cooking, etc.) with at least four hours a day working in a cafe is reasonably easy, but I haven't managed to add in two hours of gym time as well (that's counting transit time).

I'm not particularly good at long-term discipline, but I do okay with time-limited discipline. So I can say to myself -- okay, until this first draft is done, say, by Christmas, you need to be in a cafe for four hours every day, typing. And I think I'll do that, for the most part. Whereas I would fail utterly if I were thinking in terms of needing to write a little every day for the rest of my life. Oof.

Similarly, if I think -- okay, you've managed to hold steady around 140 pounds, which is good, considering you started the year at 152, but by the end of the year, you should really be at 130 pounds instead, which means going to the gym 5 days out of the week and counting calories again, sigh -- I think I can do that. I started the calorie counting again on Tuesday, and by Monday, I hope to be back to the gym. We'll see.

Partly it's an issue of time of day as well. I don't productively work or exercise in the evenings, so in some ideal sense, that should be when I do the household stuff. But it's so much nicer to get up in the morning and putter around cleaning up the apartment and running errands and the like. It's going to take some discipline to be as strict about time as I should be. A rough ideal plan might look like this:

  • 6:00 - wake up, drink tea, read journals and e-mail
  • 7:00 - 8:30 - go to gym
  • 9:00 - 2:00 - showered and dressed, go to cafe and work (allowing for transit time)
  • 3:00 - 7:00 - come home and run errands, cook dinner, deal with backlogged e-mail, do volunteer work for SLF and DesiLit, etc.
  • 7:00 - 10:00 - read a relaxing book, snuggle with Kevin
  • 10:00 - go to bed
It all sounds good, and not particularly much like hard work, even. But it's amazing how much puttering time disappears in there somehow. :-) You guys can judge how close I come to this in the next three months. The goal is to be good from now until mid-December.

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