The routines /…

The routines / discipline thing seems to be working. I'm trying to eat less and exercise regularly, now that my life is no longer such a mad frenzy of teaching / packing / renovating / unpacking, and so far, so good. I had gained back a bit of weight since last summer's big weight loss, and that's gone now, plus a few more pounds. I'm down to 142, which is still definitely overweight for a 5'0" woman, but a big improvement. One of the best benefits is that I have more energy -- I've hit the point in weight loss and muscle-building where it's actually a lot easier to exercise than it used to be. It's always seemed sort of cruel to me that when you're very heavy, that actually makes it harder to exercise. Unfair.

Now my body is working better, it's not hauling as much fat around, and it positively wants to take walks and possibly even climb stairs. That's such a radical shift from where I was a year ago (and for several years before) that it's hard to take in. I hope I can keep it up; to actually drop out of the overweight range would mean losing another 20 pounds or so. Which used to seem utterly impossible, but is now starting to seem like it could theoretically happen. Weird.

And I have to say, it definitely makes my day better to write first thing. By first thing I mean after tea and e-mail, of course. But before blogs or cleaning. Serious cleaning, anyway, because picking up a few things as you're waiting for your tea to steep surely doesn't count as cleaning. Right? Definitely before childcare -- perhaps the most noticeable direct result of writing first thing is that I am much happier to see my children in the morning. Instead of why are you monsters keeping me from my writing???, they get ah, your lovely bright smiling morning faces! Let us roll around on the green IKEA shag carpet in a happy puppy pile. It's good.

Also good is actually producing stuff, and in fact, in a series of one-hour blocks I've managed to write a 5000 word story this week, which I completed this morning. I think it's pretty decent too. That makes me very happy. This may be my summer of short stories, as I think after the long hard novel slog (which have been so far not so productive on the publishing side), I need a break before I take one up again. Short stories are such a lovely fast burst of satisfaction by comparison. Although by that logic, perhaps I should start writing poetry again.

I have to admit, it sometimes feels a little weird blogging successes. I worry that it will come across as smug, and be irritating to those who are in the midst of struggles. But there has been a lot of stress and anxiety and frustration in my life the last few years, and I know I've complained plenty to you all about it; it seems mete that I record the good times too. Right now, I'm feeling pretty blissful, with all the pieces of my life finally clicking together nicely. It won't last; it never does. I'll enjoy it while I can.

Here's the opening to the new short story, "Birthstones."

Suresh sat across the kitchen table from the slender beauty, sharing a last evening cup of tea, surprised yet again by how gorgeous Sindhu had become over the years. When he'd first met her, she'd been a scrawny gamin of a child; now Sindhu was as lovely as the Bollywood film stars she revered. She could have been an actress herself, if her parents hadn't been dead set against it. Throughout her childhood, they had kept her under strict lock and key, and now -- now everything had changed.

"I don't know how you stand it," he said, softly.

Sindhu shook her head fiercely, setting her long black braid swinging. "It's not as bad as you think, truly....

3 thoughts on “The routines /…”

  1. Speaking of daily rituals, just happened across a page showing the daily schedule of your hero Ben Franklin; thought you might enjoy it if you haven’t seen it before.

    I think you should add “contrive day’s business” and “prosecute the present study” to your morning to-do list.

  2. Thank you for the link, Jed. I find myself wondering about two things. Would I find such a schedule/to do list as Franklin’s useful for me? Also, Why did the poster modernize his spelling? It is hard to believe that it was the original.

  3. Might I suggest an evening cleaning ritual. Putting the home to bed as it were. Then you wake up to a clean space, which I find very refreshing and even energizing in the morning. And much less temptation to clean instead of write. Or play with the kids.

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