It’s difficult to be human, but we all have very important jobs perpetuating the human race, and making ourselves better to contribute to the betterment of all humankind and ultimately the universe, probably shouldn’t be an easy job. Whether you’re a corporate executive, a coal-miner, or a kid who dropped out of college so he can fish all day and roleplay a werewolf on an IRC channel at night, it doesn’t matter. Your task is still critical – be human.
However, there are things you can do to make your task less of a burden on yourself. Like being happy. For the last year and a half, it’s been one of my primary goals and I previously wrote about the failure to achieve happiness as a processing problem if you’re interested in that sort of thing.
Ultimately our goal on this planet isn’t to be happy, but it should probably be a high priority for most people, because no living organism, as far as I know, enjoys living in an uncomfortable skin.
One thing that helps accomplish that is routine. When we know what to expect, how to plan for it, and how to adjust our lives to react to it, it’s easier to achieve what we want, do what we want, and be flexible. We can install things in our daily routine that will give us some modicum of relief, or help us find a quiet hour.
I used to abhor routine, like most things that would ease me of a burden or give me any modicum of peace or comfort. I’m a masochist and for many years I operated under the idea that anything helpful should be avoided. I liked the flavor of pain, after all, I thought it gave a particular flavor to my writing. Which is all well and good, until said writing begins to collapse under the lack of structure and the pain ceases to give flavor, but saturates every mode of being until writing itself seems pointless.
I don’t think a routine should push you or be something that is disparate to your own nature. It should be something to give shape to what you already wanted to do. It doesn’t need to model the habits of an angel. Hence why I decided to post the picture of Bukowski up there. Your routine isn’t about what’s “good”, it’s about what you want and ultimately what works for you as an individual. When first writing your routine, you may feel compelled to force yourself to get up at 5 A.M everyday, drink only green smoothies, but if that’s adverse to who you are as a night owl who likes to snack on cheese fries at 3 A.M, it’s probably not going to work longterm. (Unless you want to change – but that’s another topic)
Bukowski’s routine involved racetracks and copious amounts of alcohol:
I never type in the morning. I don’t get up in the morning. I drink at night. I try to stay in bed until twelve o’clock, that’s noon. Usually, if I have to get up earlier, I don’t feel good all day. I look, if it says twelve, then I get up and my day begins. I eat something, and then I usually run right up to the race track after I wake up. I bet the horses, then I come back and Linda cooks something and we talk awhile, we eat, and we have a few drinks, and then I go upstairs with a couple of bottles and I type — starting around nine-thirty and going until one-thirty, to, two-thirty at night. And that’s it.
Right now Robert, the puppies, and I are currently living in a hotel, as we just moved to California from Austin, Texas. And right now my only job is writing. So this is subject to change. (Which is another thing about routines, they must be flexible and suit your needs, so must be comfortable with change.)
My current daily routine:
Get up, reassemble what remains of my smoldering consciousness
Take the dogs out for their morning walk before they revolt and eat my shoes
When I get back, maybe cuddle or play on my phone enjoying the comfort of my bed, and not wanting to get up before I’m forced to recognize that I have to get up at some point if I want to accomplish anything
Grab some boiled eggs and a muffin from the hotel’s dining hall (I’ve been logging all my calories in an app called LoseIt)
By 9 or 10, be ready to write.
Eat a late lunch and shower
Take the dogs out to the beach at Del Mar. (This takes up a ridiculous amount of time – like 3 hours – puppies really need a yard)
If it’s a lazy day, get the dogs some burger patties from In-N-Out and grab myself a protein-style burger or a burrito from taco bell. (Be quiet, I don’t want to hear it) Otherwise, feed them whatever I had in the slow cooker that day and cook my own dinner.
Read, play videogames, or surf the Internet and read Reddit like a zombie, forcing myself to not think about work. Depending on what my calories for the day look like – probably drink some alcohol. For some reason I’ve been drinking a lot of bombay sapphire lately with diet tonic water and olives. I also like chianti and tequila shots.
Kvetch on twitter or Facebook
Take cigarette breaks with Robert outside
Take the puppies out for a night walk
When it’s time for bed – listen to some music or ASMR videos until I pass outRelated posts
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