Monday, May 3, 2010

28 Days

I read somewhere that it takes 28 days to form a habit. If you do something for 28 days in a row, you will have become a habitual something or other.
Okay, so this is day 1.
Despite the fact that I didn't get to sleep until after 4am, I woke up at 6am. After a slight delay while I argued the pros and cons of starting my day on less than 2 hours of sleep, I got up. I tiptoed to the kitchen and had a quick bowl of Cheerios - Yes, that's right ladies and gentlemen -I had breakfast. I know, I still can't believe it myself. I slipped on my coat and shoes and popped in the headphones and was off.
I don't mind walking, but I am not a runner. So, I casually made my way on the sidewalks of the city to downtown. Basically, just making an elongated circle my morning route. My hope was to have a beautiful morning to myself on this first day of my 28 day trial period, but nature had plans for this day long before I did. But I still walk on, even when the grey clouds above let go a sheet of drizzle. Still, I continued, pausing only to wipe off my glasses a couple times.
Sadly, I find no comfort in the day or the act. Thank God I had my music. I never considered technology much of a comfort, but today I was so very grateful for the tiny mp3 player and its 1.7GB of music to make the journey at least bearable. The thoughts floating in and out of my head are not the inspirational, meaningful, or beautiful ponderings I had hoped would accompany me on this little trek. I should be grateful they were not depressing. They were just barely there - again, thank God I had the music to drown out, or at least distract from the humdrum unimportants of my rambling mind.
It's 7:10 and I'm back at home. I barely made my walk last an hour. Well, at least it was an hour. Tomorrow, I will try to keep to that, or better it. I slink into the bathroom and find the first comfort of the day in the warm cascades pouring from the showerhead. I stay in there too long. Oh well, enviromentalists and green activists go ahead and scold me, but I needed that extra 5 minutes. To make-up for it, I use a minimal amount of water when I brush my teeth. Okay, so that doesn't really make up for anything, but at least I'm trying.
Wrapped in my robe, I go back to my room, hang up/put away last night's laundry. I look at the clock and it is only 7:42. *Sigh* I can't fall back asleep, but that doesn't mean I can't be in bed. So I climb in and cover up and start to read. This should become part of the routine too.
It's now 9:05 and about 15 minutes ago I had the urge to write. Maybe this should be part of the routine too.
It is now 9:07 and the logic of my ideal morning is fading.
It takes 28 days to form a habit - and it takes 2 minutes to realize that minus the most pleasant part of the morning, the last hour and a half, I might be able to do this.
Here's the explanation:
I want to be better about getting out and walking. I am doing this mainly because I love walking down by the lake in Bemidji, and I want to get myself into a routine so that when I go there for the summer, I will have the habit to do this in the crazy, hectic summer days. The plan is to get up, eat breakfast, walk it off, get back to the dorms, and get changed before having to get on the job. The relative privacy of a morning walk is much prefered to an afternoon or evening excursion. Which works out okay for me since my evenings are either busy or exhausted. I just hope this idea grows on me. I hope the days get prettier, my thoughts get deeper, and my enthusiasm doubles. I also hope I will have the time to read and write in the summer. But that part isn't likely.
About the reading and writing. I found a lot of my old papers not too long ago, and I also found many of the papers from my two Creative Non-Fiction classes in college. I've been going through all of them, and I was happily reminded why those were, I think, my favorite classes. I took them for fun, mostly, and fun I did have. The professor's philosophy about first drafts was "Let the shit flow," so we let it flow - and we found gold piled in shit. They were more than classes. For an hour and fifteen minutes every other weekday morning I was in group therapy for the writing elite. I was incredibly out of league, but I enjoyed every minute of it. Most of the people in that class were way smarter than I was, and much better writers. I loved reading and workshopping their papers. I loved listening to the authors present their work, and for the first time in a long time, I loved sharing my work with others. We laughed, we cried. Through our writing we expressed everything kind of emption humans could write about. We shared memories, secrets, thoughts, observances, and intellectual style. It was the most exhilarating thing. In some ways I knew those people better than I knew my roommates. I was privy to their most inner thoughts and longings - because we were writing truth - truth that went beyond hard facts and into experience. I would give anything to take a class like that again. A writer's life support group.
It's 9:36.

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