For me, writing is thinking and I haven’t prioritized writing for about a year now. It’s really been that long: my last real writing was in early September of last year, and it is now late August.
A lot of things have happened during this time, chief among them that Shanu and I now live together in San Francisco. Everything about it has been wonderful except for the fact that both of us have fundamentalist patriarchal christian parents; dealing with our fallout with them has really taken its toll on both of us but we’ve since adapted well and are quite happy.
I plan on writing at length about the transition sometime because it has certainly shaped my current beliefs (and some nights I wonder if it’s karma for the thoughtless conservatism of my youth) but not right this minute. It’s a bit late and I’m just restarting my old writing habit.
Tonight was nice: 2 mile run, bi-rite for dinner (I ordered my usual vegan hippie; Shanu loves their peach arugula salad, we had a baguette with olive oil and balsamic vinegar alongside it), then we discussed plans to jump-start our personal studies.
It’s been very difficult for me to find what I term “study time.” I generally wake up around 7am to catch either a 7:40am or 8am bus to Mountain View — long days at work keep me until around 8pm and after catching a bus I get home around 10pm. Even more normal days where I leave my desk around 5pm have me home around 7:15 or 7:30pm. At this point I’m exhausted and lucky to get in a quick run before bed.
The consequences of my schedule are: dropped correspondences, fewer personal projects, a writing-less year, and a few breakdowns out of frustration. But I’d like to start again working on personal projects and interesting MOOCs, and keeping track of things I learn and what I do.
Shanu and I have incrementally been finding our ways around our busy schedules (she freelances in addition to her full-time job) to do the things that satisfy us intellectually. I started by finding some good podcasts for the commute because I get carsickness if I try to use the computer, and together we have made exercise and sleep major priorities in our routines.
We already don’t watch much TV but I expect our total amount to decrease also as a result of our efforts to reclaim scattered hours in our day.
Our plan circa tonight consists of:
1. Running during the day. I’ll try to run at work — it’s slightly more efficient because I don’t have to squeeze it into the limited hours at home where it’s more likely to cut into sleep. Plus the sun is healthy.
2. Minimum 3 days a week of “study night,” where we work on courses we are taking or personal projects. This means I have to get home early enough to do study night 3 days a week, so late nights at the office are limited to twice a week. I have to be very careful about procrastinating and being efficient during the work day. This system lets me be flexible on really busy weeks, albeit by moving 2 of my study days to the weekend (or perhaps compressing it into one of the two weekend days).
3. Writing. We talked about how writing forces our brains to make multiple passes over the information, solidifying things into memory. And remembering everything about this good life is important 🙂
Things we do not plan on compromising on:
2. Work quality
3. Each other