Structure

I know I’m not the only one struggling to build my own routine right now. I envy disciplined people who can set up calendars and stick to them: a time for meditation, a time for exercise, a time for enjoying nature while constantly being aware of how close the nearest person (vector‽) is.

I can’t do the calendar thing, at least not all in one leap. I have a weekly entry for these blog posts, and whatever zoom meeting is coming next. I have added regular times for exercise in the past, but too often I ignore the recurring events and after a couple of weeks, I delete them.

It feels prudent to examine why I have failed before I attempt the same strategy once more.

My trouble with isolation has been that there is rarely an obligation which requires me to set an alarm. Consequently, my waking time has varied dramatically. I know from experience that I feel best when I sleep around 2:00 or 3:00am and wake about eight hours later, but in April I had great difficulty waking up before three in the afternoon.

May has been better, and I’ve been going to bed at more reasonable hours (it was not uncommon to see dawn last month). I’ve even set a recurring alarm Monday through Friday for 11:00am. I have settled into a morning routine of texting, reading news and checking out social media, then preparing coffee and breakfast.

On good days, breakfast takes place at my desk with my calendar and to-do list open so that I am aware of my goals. Drafting or editing blog posts is easy, and I’ve been very good at keeping my desktop organized so my projects are within reach. My desk has become a space where I come to work, which makes it easy to open a notebook or document and get to it.

Then there are days where I float to the living room with my coffee and get pulled into my phone again. I am trying to train myself to put it facedown more often, so that I can’t see the silent notifications appear on the screen. (But what’s the covid case count, will business opening increase it, is it safe to go outside… there are so many reasons why my brain wants me to check my phone at all times, including “Did that cute boy reply to my text?”)

I am going to put more energy into having my days be good. That might mean adopting a morning stretch routine where I drop out of bed onto a yoga mat and start my day feeling my body, or going from breakfast into the shower. Apparently I crave a physical warm-up, and I know better than to dismiss the link between the mind and the body.

I’ve done things backwards today. I’m going to click “schedule” and have a steamy shower. I’m staying indoors again today, I already had an encounter with heat exhaustion Monday and I am taking care not to repeat the experience. A jog can wait for a drop in temperature. Stay cool, and stay safe.

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