It was Monday afternoon around three o’clock that I wrapped up the last of my remaining projects. I completed my review with my boss, grabbed my lunch bag and jacket from my office, and headed home for an as yet to be determined length furlough.
Since then, I’ve tried to stick to a routine. I sleep as late as humanly possible since it’s a perk of not working. I then wake up and read for at least an hour in bed: mainly New Yorker issues, of which I have a backlog of several months unread. I actually feel smarter, or at least more informed as a result of that endeavor. A half hour of exercise, then writing until lunchtime.
Afternoons I spend some time learning programming and then do whatever, watch at most an hour of tv before dinner, devour social media, etc. I’ve been doing the cooking every night with mixed results: I made the other night what my wife considered one of the two worst meals of our entire thirteen year marriage; so I’ve been sticking with the tried and true favorites since then.
I’ll admit that the above routine hasn’t been followed to the letter every day, but close enough that I feel that my time is being used constructively.
I could be unfurloughed at the end of the month, or sooner, or later, so there’s no point in setting massive transformational goals that will end up uncompleted. Basically just incremental progress towards some pretty unextraordinary goals: read more, exercise more, cook something new that isn’t a disaster.
After one week completed, I have no epiphanies or “this is what I should be doing with my life instead” moments. I realize that my brain has been rewired by this little device I hold in my hands so that reading without interrupting myself to do anything else is a constant challenge. But I do enjoy it when I can focus enough to read for an hour.
One of the biggest dangers for me is staying up way too late. It’s one a.m. as I write this and I should’ve been asleep hours ago, but it’s at this time of night when I feel like the words flow more easily onto the screen. When I spent a year as a screenwriter, I went through periods where I would write later and later each night to where I would have to force myself to stop after a certain evening hour, a curfew on my creativity so to speak.
I’m doing my best to take advantage of this opportunity without going all Type A by trying to achieve twenty gazillion things. Time will tell on the wisdom of this approach.