An Interesting Day

I am snacking on spinach.

Baby spinach, to be exact.

I’m writing my second blog post in a day because I feel chatty, and my friend isn’t online because it’s 3am where she is, and Facebook feels like a waste of time. Besides, there’s still Camp NaNoWriMo to win, and I need 22,000 words by… whenever the end of April is. The end of five days or so. Strangely, I’ve written more today (or I will have written more today) on this blog than I have written on any novel in a day yet this month. (The point I am trying to make is that this word count will be high. :D)

If this were yesterday, I would now probably be studying madly at some literature or history, but instead I have f.lux installed, which has currently made my screen look orange and pretty cool… if I could just get used to the fact that the normally blinding bright light is… yellow.

Normally, at this hour, I would have to have the room light on, even if I’m just using my computer screen, simply because the contrast between the computer screen and the room puts a strain on my eyes, and I don’t like the lack of contrast with a dimmer screen. Of course, now the computer screen is at about 40% brightness level, simply because I am now conducting an experiment.

Normally, at this hour, if I had had the schedule I have had today, I would be quite awake and eager to go. I am pleasantly sleepy.

To explain:

Today I woke up at 5:00 (all times are now on the 24 hour clock), got dressed, said prayers, went downstairs, ate a breakfast I can’t remember (probably peanut butter sandwich), came upstairs, tried to write at my novel (which… I am not even going say a word about how slowly this is moving. 500 words a day is too fast for this thing), stopped at 5:45 on that, then tried to concentrate on physics.

“Nope!” said Brain, “Nope nope nope! Remember that willpower being finite thing? Remember all that other stuff?”

“Shut up, Brain. I’m going to close my eyes and banish all your thoughts and concentrate on my breathing.”

“Well, okay.” says Brain, properly chastised. He’s quiet as I concentrate on my breathing. It’s like a little mini-meditation session, and it’s awesome. And relaxing. Tomorrow, I am going to do this for 15 minutes!

“Okay. Back to physics,” I said.

“Nope! Nope! Nope nope nope! Remember that productivity stuff you were going to read?”

“Okay… back to mini-meditation.” I said.

Brain is again quiet.

The third time Brain spoke up, I said, “Fine. Okay. I’m going back to sleep.” I told Bouchra I was going back to sleep until 7. She told me to have a good sleep, and I did.

Problem was, when I woke up I really didn’t feel like doing any work. So I consciously made a decision not to work until after lunch. I was gonna have a nap, then get right into work. Right?

Wrong. I found out some really cool stuff. I wrote a blog post  I found out some more cool stuff. I finished  a book that’s due at the library tomorrow and has been in the house four weeks. And it’s even a book I liked! I just felt lazy to read it.

I invited a friend who was in the area over to eat lunch with the family. We and he and his mother enjoyed an hour eating lentils and pasta and trying not to cringe at the fact that our food storage was dangerously low. All the same, it was a pleasure to see how that guy enjoyed eating food. I now think I want to learn to cook. A bit more.

After lunch, I realized I had some tabs open. So instead of jumping into work, I jumped into clearing off the tabs. Then I remembered I still hadn’t looked up willpower. (the good thing is, it’s a muscle, and that’s all I wanted to know. Another thing about it is that depleted stores can be restocked by consuming glucose. Good to know.)

Bouchra, by then, was heading to bed, so we talked a bit and she said, “I will be disappointed if you don’t have at least a number total in the 100s by the time I wake up.”

So I set in to work. I grabbed my big round chair that folds up, put on my sweater, went outside, and sat on the porch to read analyses of literature. It was really cool, but an analysis of Ion Creangă does not make me want to draw like an analysis of Mihai Eminescu does. After 20 minutes I threw in the towel because the wind outside was really getting annoying (despite the fact that the clear blue sky totally made up for it), and came back inside. Decided to read a romance novel after trying to tackle the analysis again, but it was really boring and nothing was getting through to me.

And I did, right up until sunset, when I held to my resolution of not exposing myself to blue-light after sunset. I went downstairs to eat… and this brings me to the baby spinach.

I wasn’t hungry for dinner, nothing in the fridge looked appetizing, and I was not in the mood for a peanut butter sandwich. In fact, I wasn’t really in the mood for eating at all. But, I told myself, staring into the slightly-too-bright fridge interior, in a matter of months I am going to have my own apartment. And I will have to force myself to eat.

So I took out the bag of baby spinach, cut it open… took out the bean dip my mom makes (traditional Romanian food called fasole bătută (fah-SO-leh buh-TOO-tuh), literally ‘beaten beans’. It’s amazing and we use it as a bread spread, or eat it on its own… or recently, in vegan burritos that have become something of a staple in the house. I can’t quite remember what we ate in other Lents (I’m Eastern Orthodox, so our Easter varies from the Catholic’s version. This year it’s May 5th). Then, after having spread the bean dip and scattered spinach on a tortilla, I took and washed a tomato. Then I remembered something I wanted to tell my sister, so I picked up the bag of spinach and took a leaf to chew on.

Eventually I realized this stuff is good. Much better than the boiled spinach my mom and dad think are amazing.

So here I am, snacking on spinach.

Writing a blog post. Quite having fun with the blog post, actually.

And Bouchra, I am afraid you are going to be disappointed. Total work time is 34 minutes. It has been glorious. I recharged, I learned some things.

I don’t see this as a lack of self-discipline. (I did exercise self-discipline. I stopped reading a pretty interesting book at sunset. And I think I’m going to bed at 21:00.) I see this as a natural call from my body that 6h+ days and going to bed at 23:00 is not good for me.

It’s not a failure. It’s a phase of a learning process. And frankly, I feel really calm. I have no idea what’s going to happen tomorrow, but I’m determined that I’ll do work.

Life, I have discovered in the past hour, is really boring if I can’t read after sunset and the only thing to do is write introspective blog posts when I’m pretty much all thunk out. Honestly, without light, there is pretty much nothing to do except jump around and do push-ups or go downstairs into the really bright lights that I don’t particularly want to confront right now.

The plan for tomorrow

Wake up at sunrise. Technically, this is at 6:09. However, seeing as it starts getting light out about 24 minutes before that, I’m going to wake up at 5:30, then go out and see the sunrise.

The best thing about this house is that there is a certain point where I can both see the sunrise and the sunset.

I shall call it thinking time and it shall be mine. And it will be my thinking time.

After that

Work. I’ll take a notebook up to jot down ideas up there, about things I am going to do tomorrow. It shall be awesome.

I have no minute goal. I have no word goal. All I want to do is get one important thing done, be it the physics test, or the literature book, or a perfect history test score.

That’s about it. 🙂


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