Last evening my friend, Annie, was by for tea and company. She lives not far from us in another small enclave of houses along this rocky shore. For the most part, the fella and I don't hang with people from around here much. We seem to have only a few friends who live out here and Annie is one of the few. She's an artist, a teacher at an American college, and a fellow practitioner of Buddhism so we have LOTS to talk about.
Where our conversation meandered last evening was to what we do in the run of a day. Both of us have several endeavors on the go. Annie spends time at Goddard College where she teaches and in Quebec with her elderly mother. Sometimes she manages a trip to Iceland where she'll work in another artist's studio for a bit. I'm not so travelly but then I have the step-dot, the chickens and the man to tend to.
My curiosity was how does she, in the run of a day, fit in her art discipline and her meditation practice as well as take care of a household, walk the absolute monarch, Miss. Maddie, and do her work as a distance teacher at Goddard.
This led to a description of my day - I don't have a typical one but there are probably some threads that stay constant from day to day. We discussed how the smallest refinement can make the difference between doing what we WANT to do and rolling over and going back to sleep. In her case, the discovery that she could have her cup of tea while she meditated has made a huge difference. In my life, I would guess that the initiation of the 'two of three' rule has helped. That rule, for those of you unfamiliar with it, is that one chooses three things that one wants to do every day - mine is to walk in the woods, sitting meditation, and write. I feel like a successful person if I do two out of the three and the rule seems to satisfy my rebel child who is hugely against HAVING to do something.
Just for fun, I'm going to tell you all a sort of day that I might have and what refinements I would like so it would be come a gloriously joyful routine!
Woke at six when the man got up. Waited like a princess until he brought me coffee. Drank coffee and read. Remembered it was the step-dot's birthday so went downstairs and got out a crystal sherry glass, filled it with the chocolate mousse I'd made the night before and stuck a tiny silver spoon in it. Found a tiny cinnabar carving of Kwan Yin and ran up stairs to give her both (we'd already celebrated her birthday but I wanted just a bit more on the day!)
Got dressed and fired up the computer. Ate some breakfast and fiddled with blog and blog roll folks.
Started a tomato on mytomato.com (a program that reminds you to work in 25 minute blocks with stretches or blog writing in between) Wrote for about an hour and a half.
Person I'm working on a project called - asked if I had any time (she would be our other wonderful neighbor). She came over and we worked for two hours on project (editing a book).
Drove to town, saw two clients, drove home. got home at about 7:30 - man had dinner ready, me, man, Felix ate. Had a glass of wine too.
Annie called, came over and we had discussion.
Conclusion: I only did ONE of my three things. In all fairness, it has rained here for about three weeks and even the dog is depressed. But I'm not sitting as much as I would like. I had a wonderful discipline for about four months that has fallen off. So here is the refinements and what I hope for.
New Day Routine
Wake at six. Man gets up to make coffee, I get up and go to cushion in front of shrine. When coffee is ready, man brings it to me. I don't need to lie in bed waiting for it, reading and dozing. - did that today (meditating not dozing!)
Fire up computer - do post and visit five blog sites.
Start tomato - work in 25 minute sprints for two and a half hours. In five minute breaks, stretch and go comment on one or two blog sites.
Walk beasty - I'm usually pretty good with this.
Go to work if I have it or stay here and write in afternoon
Evening - knit or read or visit with man and possibly friends
Hit the hay by ten
OR if I have more clients
Same until after breakfast but make sure that is all done by 7:00 , skip the blog posting and visiting and write for an hour and a half.
Walk dog for half an hour, drive into town and do day.
Knit or write in between clients.
Come home etc...
So, tell me what your routine might be and how you refine it or what makes it work for you!