27 May 2010

The Plan

It's been a dark morning, but perfect for thinking.
I woke up a little bewildered, wondering why I needed to turn my light on at eight in the morning, until I registered the sound of the rain.  
I've been sitting at my new desk in my living room, facing out the big windows, freshly picked lilac in a vase.  Writing my thank you notes, opening mail that I've neglected the past few weeks, eating raspberries and a slice of cold pizza.
Thinking about my plan.
Thinking about my habits, my vices, what I want to change, what I want to accomplish.
I think this gift of time I have is going to incorporate being gentle with myself, but at the same time stretching and challenging myself.

So this is how I'd like my schedule to shape up:

8ish AM - Wake up, have a smoothie while doing a 10 minute journal and a 10 minute sketch.  I used to do a free write for 10 minutes every morning in high school and it helped so much in centering myself, and realizing what had been eating at me the night before, or what it was that I really wanted - needed - to accomplish.  For some reason I stopped once I got to college, but I think I need to bring this back into my life.

9ish AM - Run/hike/bike/some sort of outside exercise.  I find that when I get this over with early in the day, not only do I feel wonderful and clear-headed for the rest of the afternoon, but I also sleep so much better.  I also want to stop thinking of it as a chore, because I really do enjoy it.  I need to remember that I never regret exercising, and always feel so much better afterward.  So just do it!

11ish AM - Spend some time blogging or catching up on all of the lovely blogs out there, e-mailing, internet stuff in general.  I'm in the habit of reaching for my laptop upon waking up, and I really want to cut that out.

Noonish - Lunch!  My favorite meal of the day.  I want to eat, and just eat, not read or talk or facebook or any of that nonsense that I absentmindedly do sometimes while eating lunch.  This should be a time of reflection, or quiet, of deliberate, slow eating.

Afternoon - paint/draw/write... create!  I really want to work on some short stories that I've tabled for a long time due to paper-writing for school.  Also watercolors!  I have so much to learn.

6ish PM - Dinner.  Again, deliberate, slow, quiet... unless sharing the meal with loved ones!  Also, now that I have time, I want to cook more intricately, more passionately.  Not just eggs or beans every night.  Another hindrance of cooking the way I want to is that I have to wash my dishes by hand, a task I've always hated.  But now I have time, and there is something very hypnotic and meditative about washing the dishes.

7ish PM - A stroll down to the river, or around the neighborhood with the camera.  At home with my parents, the ritual is a walk down the long dirt driveway every evening after dinner.  It's such a peaceful act, one that I'd like to carry over.

8ish PM - Read, watch a film, or go out with friends.  I really am a night owl, which I respect about myself but also get frustrated with at times, so I'd like to attempt to go to bed earlier.  Also, every night as a child I would read for at least an hour, usually two, before going to bed, and now that there is hulu and instant netflix, and all of those other ingenious distractions, I rarely make time for a good book anymore.  Reading for school was a very big aspect of that, so now that I don't have obligated reading anymore, I want books of my choice to be reintegrated into my nightly ritual.

Phew, I hope I didn't completely bore you with that, but it did help me think about what I really want, especially when putting it all out there for everyone to see.  I make schedules like this from time to time for myself, and then have a hard time not beating myself up when I stray from it.  So the most important aspect of this time, as I said, is to be gentle with myself, but also to really try.
So, do tell me, what is your summer schedule shaping up to be?  What are you going to try to work on?  When is your special you-time in the day?


  1. that was wonderful! i have lots of time too and it's lovely to read what you love to do. Have you ever heard of the artists way? Julia Cameron says we must write three pages the moment we wake up. Whatever is in our mind, just spill out of bed and onto the page. It has helped me immensely! three pages quite often seems like a lot, but it helps! oh and i love your cousins! they sound hilarious!

  2. oh this plan sounds just perfect. what wonderfully full, yet relaxing days. there is something magical about accomplishing things. setting goals. and reaching them.

    i can't wait to see the fabulous pictures that emerge from your beautiful time off.

  3. I have been experimenting this week with not opening my laptop until afternoon or evening. No morning check-in. I like it a lot. It's a tough balance sometimes, being gentle with yourself and trying to stick with a schedule. Enjoy this new time in your life.

  4. i love making little life plans and goals! rainy days are so perfect for thinking. it's gray outside my windows today. i have a lot of thinking lined up for later on...

  5. lovely. you've give me a few ideas, too.

  6. I've been working on the being gentler with myself part, too.

    And I, too, find doing the dishes to be quite meditative - one of the few house chores I don't mind so much... Early evening is definitely time for myself...

    Being present and kinder to myself. Those are my goals for the next few months. No specific plan, since it tends to bring out the OCD in me, but those are my goals.



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