Friday, May 22, 2009

A day in the life (someday)

I wake up at 8 a.m., well-rested after a good night’s sleep. I put on my slippers, plod out to the kitchen and warm up the pan on the stove, preparing my customary egg breakfast. While it’s cooking, I feed the pets, tidy up from the night before and get ready to start my day.

I eat my breakfast of eggs (with spinach and cheese this morning) at the kitchen table in front of the sun-filled windows. I read the local paper, spending the most time on local news, the comics, and letters to the editor. I also fiddle around with the Sudoku puzzle and half-heartedly attempt the Jumble before I get moving on to more important things.

After breakfast, I hop into the shower, dress, and boot up my computer. It’s a slow-beast of a thing, so while the computer is waking up from a night off, I gather my research materials and prepare myself for a day’s work. I’m halfway through a book about party planning that I am reviewing for the Examiner. Maybe I’ll read another chapter today and make a few more notes for my review. I also have a stack of research on contracts, which is serving as the basis for both my 20-page final project at Northeastern University and an upcoming Examiner series. The last two stacks include materials that cover some teen health information for my gig as a teen advice expert and a pile of multi-colored Post-its with column ideas for Inner Thoughts and Outbursts.

I start with an article for a wedding blog about what to wear to a summer wedding. When it’s completed, I read a few chapters of the party planning book, make some cursory notes on the pages sticking out of my contracts research, and take a break to start some laundry. I hate doing laundry – the sorting of whites and lights and darks and delicates – but it’s a necessary chore and a good, quick break to clear my head of the cobwebs that get in the way of concise writing.

Downstairs in the basement, I throw in a load of towels and am temporarily distracted by my crafting supplies. Hmmm… I think. I wonder if I’ll have time to work on some scrapbooking today? Maybe make some cards… I’m often momentarily distracted by the hobbies I love but don’t have time for. I’m happy, however, to be working from home, so I trudge back upstairs and write for another hour.

At half-past noon I take a break for lunch. I bake a piece of trout with some asparagus and eat it in front of the television, alternating between the mid-day news and shows on TLC. The decorating, makeover, and medical mystery shows that cycle on the channel are enough to distract me from the formulaic and alarmist news that I can only stomach in short bursts, so I don’t mind my guilty pleasure of eating in front of the TV.

Feeling relaxed after my TLC-fix I pile my dishes into the dishwasher and head back to my desk to write for an hour. It’s just enough time to let my stomach settle before I go to the gym. It’s about a five minute drive and I feel guilty driving instead of walking, but I’d have to cross a six-lane highway – something that doesn’t seem like an incredibly good idea. Instead, I drive, park, and spend an hour or so kicking my own butt with the free weights and a treadmill. Some days my trainer meets me here, but he’s usually here later in the evening and I like the way the gym is half-empty at 2 or 3 in the afternoon. I don’t feel like such a spectacle when I lunge across the gym floor mid-day as when the gym is packed at 6 p.m. and I feel like all eyes are on me.

The gym break is good for my body and good for my mind. I get back to work and spend the rest of the afternoon compiling research, reading all the online news I can handle, paying bills, and responding to e-mails and phone calls. I wrap things up for the most part, but know that I’ll be poking around with a particularly tough-to-write article later tonight.

Once my boyfriend gets home from work we have dinner, go for a walk around the neighborhood and settle into our evenings. He putters around in the garden, watering bushes, picking tomatoes, and pulling stray weeds. I sneak down to my neglected craft table and work on a few scrapbook pages. I keep the TV on in the background, a crime show soundtrack keeping me company.

That night, content from a productive day, I cuddle up in my bed with my laptop and chat with friends online. I do poke around the tough-to-write article for a few moments, but leave it for the morning when I have fresh ideas and inspiration. Then, computer off, I snuggle in with a Lisa Scottoline novel and read a few chapters before setting my alarm to get up and do everything all over again the next day.

Life is good.


Cassandra Mortmain said...

That really does sound like a lovely, lovely day, Danielle. I hope you get to live it out some day in the not too distant future-- the Examiner is definitely a good start towards that though!

Off topic, have you ever read any mystery novels by Sarah Stewart Taylor? If you like the Mary Russell books, I think you'd really enjoy her Sweeney St. George mysteries.

Danielle E. Brown said...

Thanks! I have not read anything by Sarah Stewart Taylor, but I am looking them up right now and adding them to my "To Read" list. :o)