Warming up

Thursday morning, 8 a.m. I’m at a new cafe. I’m here in spite of things: in spite of cleaning the garage; in spite of the career work I need to do; in spite of worrying about my parents; in spite of needing to go to San Francisco tomorrow so I can make it to the pre-surgery happy hour for the guy I know who has really scary cancer; in spite of good weather; in spite of going to the gym more this week; in spite of needing to lose five pounds in order for my favorite skirts to fit; in spite of –

For the past four-plus weeks I’ve been tracking my time: half hour by half hour, daily, weekly. I’ve learned a few things:

  • When I feel stressed out because I don’t have enough time for work, it’s because I actually haven’t spent enough time at work.
  • “Enough time at work” means 40-42 hours, not more than that. I am not one of the overworked in this world 🙂
  • I sleep 6.9 hours per night on average. This holds true regardless of late nights, early mornings, insomnia, whatever. At least so far, I revert to an average of 6.9. This feels about right to me: I feel awake, I feel alert, I have energy, I physically feel good. My 6.9 average holds steady even if I don’t set an alarm on the weekends.
  • I read a lot. Like, a lot. I read 8-15 hours per week.
  • On weeks when I feel stressed and have a lot going on – and within this four-week span, there was a week where that definitely felt like the case, even more than the usual these days – I spend more time planning, and more time switching between things. This means that on weeks when I have more to do, I have less time to actually do it. No wonder I feel stressed! I have no particular solution for this, other than reminding myself that this isn’t always the case.
  • For example, there was only one week like that out of the four. Not bad.
  • When I feel stressed, I also spend more time calling friends 🙂
  • I have time to go to the gym three days a week and walk 8,000 steps each day.

In other words, from a time perspective, things aren’t bad. I’m managing.

Given how much there is going on right now, managing feels like a win.

And so, I’m here. Writing this.

As a warmup for, I hope, writing something else.

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