In a recent blogpost, the very talented A. S. Akkalon explained the regrettable disparity between her perceived day activities and her actual day. I thought it was a neat idea, so I announced my intention to try the same.
7 in the morning (AKA fuck-this-o’clock in the morning)
I think: I get up immediately, refreshed by my 8 hours of sleep. I greet the new day and do my salutation to the sun. My mood is good.
I really: Open my eyes to curse the job that makes me get up at 7. Wonder if I could get away with not eating or dressing or being a functional semi-human being in the morning. Open Pinterest and see what I could make one of these days. This is despite the fact that my phone alarm clearly reads: “Do NOT open Pinterest!”
7.30 in the morning
I think: I eat a healthy and nutritious breakfast while reading the news and having a stimulating conversation with my partner.
I really: Blindly fish in the fridge for whatever we have. I make an effort to eat the veggies, though. My partner grunts in his sleep and turns around. I seethe with resentment for having to get up while he gets to sleep. I make the coffee with more automatic movements than actual thought.
8 am, gods is it really this late already?
I think: I take all my meds and do a simple yet satisfying beauty routine.
I really: Slap on some makeup and hope for the best. Leave the house. Run back to bathroom and take all my meds.
8.30 am, who decided to start the workday this early?
I think: I have a nice walk to work, noticing the singing birds and the crisp morning air.
I really: Have a nice walk to work, noticing the singing birds and crisp morning air. I also notice a drunken man urinating on the city walls and teenagers swapping a bottle of something that probably makes you go blind. Living in the city is great!
9 am, shite…I forgot my pens
I think: I get to work, greet everyone with a smile and grab a delicious apple. I have a wholesome conversation with co-workers about our mutual hobbies and share professional advice. When the bell rings, all of us are in the classrooms and we greet our students with a smile.
I really: I get to work and greet everyone with a smile. One co-worker asks me if I’m ill, another one wonders if aliens kidnapped the real me and replace me with a pre-10 o’clock-smiling monstrosity. I grab another cup of coffee (is this my third or my fourth? I can never tell…). I enter my classroom and smile and greet the students, who echo the sentiments of my co-workers. This reinforces my idea that people don’t want things to be nice, but to be familiar.
Noon Just a little bit more
I think: I have a free period, which means grading. I do this quickly, professionally and with no doubts in my mind. While grading, I think about story ideas and dialogues I need to polish.
I really: Run to the toilet. First break of the day, thanked be the lords of urinary infections and their decision to spare me from my bad decisions regarding my bladder! I down another cup of coffee and read the essays. I read them again. I spend five minutes trying to decipher what Mr Random was trying to tell me about his thoughts on Censorship. I ask three co-workers. We sit together and try to decipher the paragraph. We give up and it is decided that Mr Random needs to see me during my office hours.
4 pm Freedom!
I think: I go home, eat my lunch and do some light cardio. I plan my lessons for the day, then enjoy an intellectually stimulating podcast and meditate for a bit.
I really: Come home, dump all my essays (of course they’re not finished) and wolf down whatever my gracious partner left on the stove. I thank the gods for a living companion that cooks. I read the rest of the essays while nibbling on whatever cookies I managed to scrounge from the deep recesses of the Nibble Pantry. Then I watch Scrubs for the fifteenth time. I glance at my half-finished novel. I shudder and go back to Scrubs.
7 pm Writing time
I think: I write two pages effortlessly, my characters do whatever I tell them to and my world-building is elegant and detailed.
I really: Argue with the Main Baddie about their motivation and give up. I write a short story that has nothing to do with my novel. I blink back tears of frustration and decide I will never be an author.
9 pm Free time
I think: I relax, read the literature I need for my work and wait for my partner to arrive home.
I really: Do the planning I ignored right after work because I was too tired. I can’t find the right activities. I curse at the screen, then play on Twitter for a while. I glance at the blog, then close that tab and leave it for a calmer time. I remember with a start that I forgot to do the paperwork. I frantically click between my planning and paperwork.
11 pm Sleepy time!
I think: I greet my partner, who has returned from work. Together we sit down, drink a relaxing mug of herbal tea and talk about our days. After an hour, we prepare for bed. We read for a while, then fall asleep early, to be ready for our next big day.
I really: Shout Howsya! to my partner from behind the laptop. The tea is brewed, but it’s gone cold and manky. The partner shouts back he has still some work to do and if I had a good day. I yell that no and ask about his day. He describes Dante’s seventh circle. He also asks where the wine has gone. I pretend I didn’t hear him, but put wine on the shopping list. We have tea after it’s the approximate temperature of Antarctica and complain about how tea used to be much better in our day. We get ready for bed and catch up on the news on our phones. I play around on the Internet and fall asleep around one-ish.
So, here’s my day. I think I’m beginning to understand why my novel is taking so long.