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Another Late Morning

I have been trying to fix my body clock (unsuccessfully) for the past weeks. While I have mostly been able to keep insomnia away (thanks to Healthy Options’ Sleep Support), I am still not getting enough hours.

Having taken on more than the usual load of chores, I need more time and energy to get them done.

Hence I am caught in a difficult cycle of fatigue just building up and me losing momentum in catching up.

Today I have a full set of dayjob tasks to get done. I need 4-6 hours of focused uninterrupted time. My battle is against disruptions and distractions. My best option is to get up as early as 5-6AM and block off that whole chunk of morning. Then I would have enough time left to prepare lunch.

This assumes a lot of other things, such as:

- I do not have to prepare breakfast but I have breakfast prepared to eat

- I do not have any other chores to attend to or help with within that morning time frame (e.g. cat feeding and medication, house supply errands or delivery orders)

- The meal plan and the food shopping are done and all I have to do is prepare the necessary ingredients and cook lunch

- There are no sudden stressful surprise or ambush of one kind or another from any of the other household members.

- The room/studio/work area has been maintained clean and clutter-free.

Thus assuming that I manage to get up and coherently function at 5-6AM, my morning could go like this:

1. Freshen up and dress up to help set the energy (about 15 mins)

2. Have breakfast and then feed the one cat I am directly responsible for (we have a total of eleven but that’s another story) (about 30-40 mins)

3. Write a journal entry either here on the blog or in my notebook. This may stretch into or include some sketchbook work. This whole exercise is for soul care and self care. It will help me be so much better for the tasks ahead. (about 20-50 mins)

4. Review and update my planner. (about 10 mins)

5. Set up and then settle into work — My work is very mental. A lot of reading, data sorting, analysis, and report-writing. (4 hours)

6. Wrap up after 4 hours of focused work. If the momentum is good I can extend for another hour. If the momentum is really good, I can pick up where I left off after lunch for two more hours of work. (Hence 4-6 hours a day allotted for dayjob. Anything beyond will already be inefficient.)

Lunch chores include washing up after the meal and maintaining kitchen tidiness.

Early to mid afternoon can then be spent on any household chore that need doing for the day. There’s a LOT that need to be either done daily or at regular intervals.

And then in the mid to late afternoon I can proceed to studio and shop work. The tricky thing here is whether I still have the strength to do, both mentally and physically. Often by this time I just want to nap.

Dinner has to be prepared and cooked so I have to allot time for that. (Again assuming the meal plan and shopping has been done.)

Early to mid evenings are actually dead spots for me. My body and brain would begin winding down. There’s also the chain of chores to prepare the house for a shutdown for the night (kitchen cleaning, food storage, taking out the trash, etc.) This is when I really feel the effort to do things and sometimes I get stressed over it.

My energy perks up a little again after 10PM when the house and its inhabitants have been put to sleep, in a manner of speaking. Then I have time to myself again. A full bath and then I revisit my planner to go through the day’s checklist as well as mentally prepare for the next day. Afterwards is when I‘m able to do leisure without the guilt. So I catch up on reading, Netflix, social media, daydreaming — and end up sleeping really late. As late as 3AM. (So now you see why getting up at 5-6AM can be hard.)

I do my best to keep weekends free and free-flowing, although some chores cannot be escaped from.

I don’t have kids but I have two senior parents who need to be taken care of and managed like kids, and cost as much as kids to support. They always have one concern or another that comes up almost everyday. In the past two years, there had been too many medical emergencies, and their medical maintenance costs are quite high.

I dream to have a really good daily routine that is efficient and productive but also one that have space for heart and spirit. I am a person who feels for everything and I cannot do that thing of “compartmentalizing”. Everything connects for me, everything flows into a whole and thus I am too keenly aware of how one thing can affect another. So I want a good routine. I want less hard days. I want to have enough studio and art shop time every day.

I want to not always be tired and stuck on wishing days could be better.

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