Week 2 felt very dichotomous. There’s several things on my list that feel like, “this is just what I do now,” and some that remain a struggle. Having a set bedtime frees up a prodigious amount of mental space. Answers to questions like, “should I continue binge-watching this show?” are set in stone, and there’s no more mental math about how many hours of sleep I might possibly get if I stayed up just a little later. The struggle to get out of bed when my alarm goes off is slowly lessening, though again, I don’t know if that’s the result of the routine, or the exercise, or even coincidence. I have no control group! I made a deal with myself as I came down with a cold that I’d keep my bed and wake times, but allow for a nap if I had the time and needed one, since I’ve read lots of research that short naps can be excellent for health. But even being sick, I haven’t felt like I needed one. In general, I still have moments of low energy, especially after returning home from work, but I feel an overall consistency that I didn’t previously. I don’t have those moments when I feel like I can’t even get out of my chair.
Now on to the less successful side of the spectrum. When I paid for gas with my loyalty credit card (the first time I’ve had to buy gas since the project began), I realized that there is not a universe that exists in which I will pay actual cash for gas. I’m not going to walk the three steps into the little room with the Funyuns and tell the guy to put X amount of dollars on pump 9, then either have to walk back to get change or have the tank not completely filled. That feels like something from the stone ages. I’ve decided the best I can do on that front is to use my debit card instead of credit. I’ve decided not to put this one in the fail column, but some other middle column of “ironing out the kinks.” I did have one real fail this week though. Read the notes to see what happened.
Day 8 – Monday: Picking up my daughter from school just because she asked. The school has limited parking so I have to go half-an-hour early just go get in the vicinity of the campus, and I thought several time about how this cuts into my work time. BUT I’ve realized that pitting these two things – work and life – against each other, making them opposites, is stupid. Not only stupid but antithetical to my very nature. I’ve worked very hard to set up a good life-work balance (because life comes first) in a culture that makes such a thing very difficult. I am still planning on someday executing (organizer) Marie Kondo’s suggestion/requirement to picture the details of the life I want, and when I do, this will be in it. Having time to do this nice thing for my child for no other reason than she asked. I will still get work done. It will somehow be fine.
Another beautiful Monday autumn walk.
Day 10 – Wednesday: I forgot to meditate today, in addition to being 10 minutes late to rise and 10 minutes late to bed because I was working and didn’t notice the time. I suppose 10 minutes is nothing to write home about.
Day 11 – Thursday: I had trouble falling asleep last night. Then I woke up too early this morning. This is the trouble with set bed/wake times, but I can see it as something that’s only a temporary interruption. I heard in my college psych class that one does not need extra sleep, just a normal amount of sleep, to catch up on missed sleep. I don’t think a single soul in that large lecture hall believed that, but let’s hope there’s some truth to it.
Day 12 – Friday: I spent most of the day at doctor’s appointments. The medical profession gets super excited to hear that you’re exercising seven days a week. They were equally excited about walking as a form of exercise. I’ve walked all week thanks to some superb autumn weather and Marc Maron’s podcast.
Throughout the week, though I was not faced with a particularly strong desire to drink a Coke, I did feel a certain amount of jealousy as I heard the click-fizz-whoosh of my husband pouring his Coke Zeros into a glass and slurping away. I took notice of the fact I can barely turn around without running into a coke product, whether it be at work or the grocery store or even the park. It is the definition of ubiquitous and it requires a moment of mindfulness – of reminding myself that feelings of being left out will quickly pass – to retain self-control.
As for the rest of the items list, so far they feel less impactful. I am unsure if this is because I’ve not set up the rules as specifically as I could have, or if the execution leaves something to be desired (probably), or if they will, at the end of the year, end up on the cutting room floor. Rest assured that I’m ruminating, and I’m sparing you the quotidian details for now.
Until we meet again next week.