Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What does one do of a day?

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!)

Eat breakfast
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.

Eat lunch

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!


Rae said...

Are you saying 3 things we WANT to do- or NEED to do?
some art project
flea markets
clean closets
mow yard
I don't even work outside the home and I've barely got my needs or wants done! Whew! You are to be congratulated on your busy, bur productive day!

Karen Walker said...

Jan, I loved reading about your day and your wish day. I have 5 things I prefer to get done in a day: walk, write, blog, practice piano and practice singing. I'm lucky if I get two done. And I'd like to add meditation in there, too.

GigglesandGuns said...

My 3: read, write, blog
Intrigued by the tomato idea. With adult ADHD I do everything in increments.
25 mins would be a stretch for me but I'm willing to try.
You are one busy lady.

Elspeth Antonelli said...

I really like the idea of someone bringing me coffee; really, really like. Thanks for sharing your day, Jan and I know what you mean about the weather - out here it's been rain, rain, grey day, rain, rain. We DID get sun for my daughter's prom, thank the Powers That Be. However, since the Canucks are still playing most people are glued to a TV set anyway.

I'd never heard of this tomato.com before. I am investigating as this sounds perfect for me.

*waving from the west coast*

welcome to my world of poetry said...

A most enjoyable read Jan, loved your list.
Have a good day.

KarenG said...

You know I always wonder what does one do in a day. I'm interested in the mundane details of a person's life. I like to know what people eat, when they eat, what they do with all the hours of a typical day. So this post was right up my alley!

Liza said...

Maybe because I worked so long in an office and the first thing I did each day was fire up the computer, that now, the first thing I do, after showering, making a lunch for my daughter, eating breakfast with her and waving her off to school is to sit down at the computer. I'm trying to force myself to write before I read blogs though...sometimes that's easier than others.

Eve said...

I have always been fascinated with Buddism and learned TM with the rest of my family back in around 1975...I'm not even sure if those two things are connected...on my ideal day I like to get these three things done, 1. go to the gym, 2. spend time with at least one of my sons and grandsons,if I can't actually see them I like to talk to them on the phone, 3. Listen to music that I find uplifting, inspiring, or just catchy! It's always nice to know how other humans spend their time..

K.C. Woolf said...

I love the 'two of three' rule. That might actually work - if only I could reduce my list to 3 items.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

My life is total chaos - no set schedule due to clients and speaking engagements. I wish I had a routine!

grrl + dog said...

The two out of three idea seems gentle on the soul..

as I sit here still in bed blogging/goofing off and have already been a princess getting tea in bed...

sue said...

I love being a princess in bed with tea and laptop, or tea and notebook (paper, not electronic). I like the two of three rule. I got out of the habit of regular meditation. I'll be attending a conference in a couple of weeks which I hope gives me a bit of a boost meditation wise.

Jan Morrison said...

Hi all wonderful womenses!
Yes, I am a princess, maybe even a queen! But since I wrote this - two whole days ago - I've found that I'm getting on to things. This morning I sat until 7 am, walked the dog in the piney woods and now will sit down to write for two hours before I go to work! Yeehaw. Yesterday I got to three out of three too. Feels good. Having my sweet patootie bring me my coffee on my cushion is quite nice and allows me to sit longer...

Stephen Tremp said...

I make three trips to t he school shuttling the kids back and forth, so this really breaks up my day. I write when I can and hope by the end of the day I have a couple hours in.

ShannonAnn said...

I am a graduate of Goddard so it was fun to read that your friend Annie teaches there now. Isn't it interesting how we manage to put our hearts desires last?

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

Um, now you know why I have a "green bathtub" - lack of schedule. I tried a cleaning schedule, but I still prefer to write and hang out with my kids more than clean. And of course, there's always more groceries to buy, and a child to drop off at this or that activity. Basically, I live by the seat of my pants. I do read my Bible every morning. That's about all the schedule I can manage. :) Oh, and child nap times are very strictly enforced writing times for me.

Great post, Jan!

Jan Morrison said...

Stephen - yep, I know that one. Sometimes I try doing car meditation when I've got a lot of waiting!

Shannon - I'm fascinated that you are a Goddard grad! Annie was too. What did you take there? I'd love to go to Goddard - it seems such a good place for those of us who shy from convention.

Amy - I'm with you on that - anything but clean though I do like the shine I get when I'm trying to avoid writing...I guess I would like to schedule the important things - the things I want to do as opposed to what I think I OUGHT to do. I can always wait until we have visitors coming or are trying to sell the house to clean it!