About this time last year, when it became apparent that the COVID-19 pandemic would continue for the foreseeable future, I set about putting together a daily routine for the weekday mornings. This routine included working out, reading, writing, playing with the cats, and generally relaxing and preparing for the workday. I managed to stick with this routine until I received my first COVID vaccination shot at the beginning of April, at which point the stress and anxiety which had been powering my life to that point evaporated, and so did my routine. After my second shot at the end of April I tried to pick it up again, but other life stressors appeared and, while I managed to do some minimal workouts and writing, all of this went away at the beginning of September when my mother passed away. The writing picked up again in the beginning of November with NaNoWriMo, but I haven’t had a good steady week of morning workouts in almost a year.
So here I am at the start of 2022, with a renewed sense of purpose, if not exactly renewed energy. I am 52 (and a half!), and don’t have the deep well of mojo I had in my twenties, or even in my forties.
But a routine is a good framework around which to build a day, and mine looks something like this:
5:00: wake up, feed cats
5:10 – 6:30: calisthenics, chi kung, kung fu and tai chi forms practice
6:30 – 8:00: write
8:00 – 8:30: read or more writing
8:30 – 17:00: work prep, work
17:30 – 18:00: stationary bicycle, hand/arm/grip conditioning
For the rest of the day I relax with my girlfriend, read a little more, play with the cats, work on projects around the house, and maybe watch some TV. Repeat each day of the work week. Weekends are open time when Zyra and I do whatever suits our mood.
For writing I also planned a monthly routine, which involves setting aside the first full week of the month for editing and submitting, and using the rest of the month for writing. As this is the first full week of January, I am using my time in the mornings to catalog and sort all the poems I wrote in 2021, as well as reviewing the large pile of short stories, completed or otherwise, which await my attention.