Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Bachelor Life

Tonight is my last bachelor night. I'm celebrating by going to bed early and reading until I fall asleep (party animal!). Since Laura's been on tour, I've been noticing the differences between my life when she's here and my life when I'm on my own. For one thing, I don't sleep when she's not here. When she's here, I go to bed with Laura; if she's not in bed waiting for me, I'm much more likely to stay up all night. I've been reading, writing, playing games, baking, performing cat maintenance -- anything but sleeping. This isn't necessarily a good thing; I'm not getting enough sleep. I'm feeling tired a lot, and I'm definitely not functioning at my best. But I have more awake time. I need to decide if more usable hours are worth the overall drop in quality.

I'm also noticing that I don't eat as much when Laura's not home. Laura cooks when she's here, and she cooks good, healthy food. But I usually snack when I get home from work, and then eat dinner an hour or two later. Without Laura's cooking, I still do the snacking, but I don't have a meal afterwards. And my snacks tend to be less healthy without Laura around. If she's here, I don't want to be a bad influence by bringing extremely unhealthy snacks into the house; if she's not around, I'm more comfortable eating extremely addictive hint o' crack tortilla chips and salsa for a snack.

I have also been exercising more since Laura's been on tour this time. This doesn't have much to do with Laura, but I took the occasion of her absence to organize some exercise into my daily routine. For one thing, I'm doing a set of pull-ups every time I go down into the basement. This is a minimum of twice a day, to let Chaka out of the laundry room every morning and to lock her away every night (lest she pee all over the kitchen floor). On laundry days, I do a lot of pull-ups. I'm also getting in the habit of doing regular exercises at particular times and places; I do Hindu squats while I'm brushing my teeth, I do a set of push-ups before I get the paper every morning, things like that. I know this kind of intermittent exercise isn't as useful as a planned series of dedicated exercises that you do together, but it's at least a start.

I'm also writing a lot more. This is partially because I decided to write more, and partially because writing in necessarily-small quanta of time is difficult. I'm not a good writer, and/so it takes me some time and energy to get into a good mental space for writing. My hitting-my-stride time seems to be about an hour. I'm just figuring out that trying to write in short, interruptible chunks of time is extremely frustrating. I'll just be getting into a space where words start flowing easier when I have to stop writing and do something else (like, say, eating or sleeping; see above). It's hard to even sit down and start writing (except blogging or journaling, which isn't really what I'm after) if I don't know I've got at least 90 minutes of contiguous, uninterrupted time; the interruptions are mentally hard to cope with. It's a bit like building a house of cards. The first huge chunk of the work is pretty dull, building foundations and raw structure. The interesting stuff comes once the foundation's done. And having it knocked over just as the good, creative part starts is a bunch of suck. I'm hoping that this becomes less of a problem the more I write, that my warm-up period will get shorter. But for now, big chunks of time have helped a lot, and I'm trying to think of a way to fit this into our life when Laura's back home.

I'm extremely happy that Laura's coming home tomorrow. I've missed her a lot, and I'm looking forward to picking her up at the airport. I've made a few nice discoveries about the way I work and made some positive changes in the past two weeks, and now I get to see if I can keep them going when I'm no longer leading the Wild Bachelor Life. Wish me luck!

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