As part of my “stress less” goal for 2017, I’m savouring my last 6 months of a relatively unstructured schedule. This will likely change significantly when I get a job this fall.
My schedule depends, naturally, on what kind of job I am able to find, but for now, I’ve a lot of freedom to choose how to organise my days. With all my classes, internship hours, research seminars, time for studying, for my thesis, for volunteering, a little bit of socialising, and a lot of sleep, I feel like I’m spinning a dozen plates at once, but I’ve tested a couple of different kinds of schedules and found a few that work for me.
Here’s a little breakdown of my mornings, I’ll have the next posts on my days, afternoons, evenings, and weekends up over the next few days.
Mornings are typically early for me – I’m not getting up as early as a high schooler, but it feels close! This is due in large part to the fact that E needs to get up around 5:15, so we try to go to bed around 10. We’re not always successful, but I don’t generally need to sleep past 7:30 am. My morning routine is still very luxurious, and I’m loathe to cut it down until I absolutely have to, because I really enjoy it.
Some mornings, I go for a 20-25 minute jog around the neighbourhood, sticking to long boulevards and the quiet streets near the stadium. When I’m more interested in staying in the house, I put on some YouTube yoga and roll out my bright, blue mat. I’m working on getting my flexibility back after neglecting it for a few years and I find I’m making progress!
For breakfast, I invested (emotionally, if not financially) in a little bullet blender in November. It arrived on the 8th, oddly enough, and so I’ve been making smoothies religiously. It feels like a twisted form of self care/coping with American political realities, like there’s no time to worry about how weird the texture of banana feels when someone is trying to destroy America and the rest of the world with her.
I tend to keep it really simple, a handful of raspberries, some blueberries, and a banana, with either water or orange voice to blend everything together. I tend to keep the ratio of liquid to frozen fruit fairly low so that the smoothie is very, very thick. My inner child LOVES the idea that I’m eating bright magenta ice cream for breakfast! I’m also trying to get more protein, so I typically put some eggs on to boil while I hop in the shower.
If I’m not washing my hair (another adventure, thanks to the hard Parisian water), then I take a quick shower (to beat the boiling water on the stove!) while my smoothie waits on the counter. One of my favourite parts of the morning is wrapping up in a bathrobe and wearing some terrycloth, hotel slippers (my favourite kind of slipper, inexplicably!) while I eat my breakfast. Our daybed is pushed up to the radiator at the window during the winter, so that’s where I lay about while eating. It might be a bad food habit, but that’s not nearly enough to convince me to stop!
After eating, I putter around for a bit taking care of a few daily re-set chores (I.e. Trying to maximise my bathrobe time!) I make the bed, fill my water bottle, clean off the table, and put away my pyjamas, before finally accepting that I need to get moving.
In terms of what to wear, I truly own very little clothing, so as long as everything is clean I can be dressed, out the door, and walking to the train in 15 minutes. I try to stretch this time out as long as possible, while I still can! I love to put on a podcast and take my time while getting dressed or putting on a little makeup, I listen to a lot of political podcasts these days, but there are plenty of other favourites in my rotation.
If I haven’t done so the night before, I put some veggies on the stove while getting ready so that I can pack them off into my one tupperware (we’re really committing to minimalism over here!) to take with me of lunch.
We don’t have a counter in the bathroom, but the dryer is wedged between the sink and the tub, making for a makeshift vanity. I try to keep it 100% clear, apart from the spoon we wedge into the dryer to make it run – are you jealous of my glamorous French life yet?
Thus, one final task before bundling into my coat is to put away my little makeup sachet, various hairbrushes, and other lotions and potions that live on the small shelves between the sink and the wall. If I’m running behind I’m loathe to take those 3 minutes to clean up after myself, but it’s well worth it for when I or E come home and don’t feel like we’re walking into the detritus of the morning.
I know that this routine, which takes about an hour and a half, is very long compared to routines that my friends have on their way to work. Still, when most of my classes or my internship days begin at 10, I feel fully awake and prepared to face the day after a long morning!
When I have to arrive on site earlier in the day, I may try to wake up earlier to indulge in the same routine, but I might save my sleep and cut some podcast time out of my morning. When classes start at 9, I tend to save my exercising for the early afternoon, which isn’t a habit I’ll be able to take with me in a traditional 9-5 job, so something’s got to give!