I used to think that in order to write, I would have to live some glamorous life in a big city with a party every night and an excursion every day. Even without COVID-19, my life doesn’t look like that. I’m a boring person, but I think that also makes me interesting. Like many of us, I’m finding beauty and delight in the simple, even mundane things within each day. In order to show you that ordinary life can be, in fact, extraordinary, I blogged a particularly boring work day in my life. I wanted to capture the little details, especially my runaway imagination and the random thoughts that pop into my head. I know that later, when I look back on my life, you realize that the little things are actually big things.
Friday, May 22nd.
5:41 AM: I gratefully wake up to find that I have slept all through the night since I went to bed at 10. I have been struggling with sleep for a while so this felt like a victory. The CBD oil I took last night is poppin’ off. I head back to sleep.
7:20 AM: I finally decide to get up a 10 minutes before my alarm goes off. I do my morning routine: brush teeth, drink water, make bed, get dressed for work, make coffee, meditate for five minutes. Once the coffee’s ready, I pour it in one of my favorite mugs and add a splash of almond milk. While I slowly sip on it, I take out my journal and write 3 things I’m grateful for, one good thing that happened yesterday, one thing to look forward to, and one thing I’m manifesting. I have used this journal prompt every day January 1st of 2020 when I made it my New Year’s resolution. It’s quick, easy, and doesn’t require mass amounts of mental energy. It starts off my day in a positive and gracious mindset. Usually I finish journaling before I’m done drinking my coffee, so I go into my room to do my makeup while watching some YouTube. Lately I have been into Cari Cakes. She lives in Seoul, South Korea and creates the most relaxing and aesthetically-pleasing content.
8:15 AM: I make breakfast; just one slice of avocado toast with a crispy fried egg and a handful of blueberries. I have been cycling through the same breakfasts combinations for awhile now: usually some type of toast or yogurt bowl. I’m aware I haven’t put much effort into creating new recipes, making my food look aesthetically pleasing, or posting it on my food Instagram. It saddens me to admit that I think I may have fallen out of love with that platform, perhaps because deciding what to make every single day started to feel like a chore. The exertion that came with researching new meal ideas opened up more room for other things in my life. Don’t get me wrong; I’m still, and always will be, a die-hard foodie. But I think our interests and passions change and evolve as we do, and that’s OK. Anyway, the avo toast is delicious and hits the spot.
9:47 AM: I realize I have to stop watching Cari Cakes’ video about the cultural differences with her Korean husband and start on my 11 minute walk to work. Yes, my walk takes exactly 11 minutes. I have been making this commute every summer since 2017. I fill my travel mug full of a second cup of coffee, say goodbye to my dad, and head off. I’ve been trying to cut down to only two cups of coffee: one in the morning and one with lunch, but as you can see, your girl is struggling with cultivating this habit.
My walk through through my hometown, Sackets Harbor, is sunny and gorgeous. Even though it’s not even 9 AM, there are plenty of people out and about. It almost makes me feel like it’s a normal summer day on a holiday weekend. The main drag is usually hoppin’ with locals and tourists, most of them are waiting in line to have brunch at Tin Pan Galley. I close my eyes and reminisce on the lively buzz that used to epitomize my hometown, a small and quiet village full of color and character. I try not to get sad about all the things that COVID-19 robbed me off this summer–from brunching on Stuffed French toast and mimosas at Tin Pan to my full-time job. There are still so many silver linings–the fact that I still have a job, I have food on the table, the weather is still glorious…
Do I really need to spend over $20 on brunch anyway? I turn up my music on my AirPods…
9:00AM: Work is different this year. I work at a state park and historic site, and it’s honestly the most delightful job I ever had. Except for now, our site is not open. I only work two days a week instead of five. I’m not going to get into the specifics of what exactly I do at my job right now, but it’s a lot more maintenance and cleaning the exhibits than interacting with the public. Through the morning, my supervisor and I go over the new social-distancing protocol that the patrons are required to follow: masks are required for using the public restrooms, no crowds larger than ten people, and everyone must be 6 feet apart. These rules are going to be strictly enforced over the Memorial Day weekend. From now on, you will all address me as, social distancing ambassador.
9:40AM: the day drags on, and consists of a lot of cleaning, and sanitizing everything I’ve touched. I listen to 3 podcasts: But, What’s Next? with Michelle Reed, Thick & Thin with Katy Bellotte, and How I Built This with Guy Raz. I’m especially excited to hear about the co-founder of Dave’s Killer Bread, of which I am a LOYAL consumer of. Dave Daul has an inspiring story–after serving fifteen years in prison, he was able to go back to work at his family’s bakery and create the number one organic bread in America. Most of the company’s employees have a criminal record. Hearing about unthinkable hardships that successful people face weirdly brings me a sense of comfort. I mean, if Dave can go from being an ex-con with an alcohol addiction to an entrepreneur/millionaire, I can finish my last year of school, right? I truly believe that no matter what situation you’re in, there’s always hope.
12:30PM: Lunchbreak, yay. I eat my signature salad: greens or some sort of lettuce base, air-fried sweet potato, mushrooms, avocado, tomato, Balsamic yogurt dressing, and whatever source of protein I have on hand. Today was just sliced turkey. I eat it with a cup of black coffee and allow myself to scroll through Instagram for a few minutes, yet another habit I’m trying to cut down on. Then, I read The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff. This read is unlike my usual choice of cheesy romance novels that are probably written for teens rather than young adults (whatever). I’ve never seen the movie, but it takes place in Denmark in the 1920’s, about gender fluidity and the complexity of gender. I think it’s important for me to read about the perspectives of others with a different identity than my own.
1:02PM: Back to work, and my imagination takes flight. I start planning about the furniture and accessories I want to buy when I move into my house this fall. I plan what groceries I’ll buy and when and how I’ll meal prep for the week. I think about all the things that I still have to look forward to this summer: kayaking, Starbucks runs, breathtaking sunsets, and movie marathons. I take mini phone breaks and get angry when I realize people are really discriminating against Asian Americans by boycotting Asian restaurants? As if the pandemic was Pad Thai’s fault? I mentally commit to joining the #TAKEOUTHATE movement and decide to tell dad that we simply HAVE to order Asian cuisine this week. In all seriousness, this is no time for racism. As a society, we have to lift each other up, not tear each other apart during this time.
I start daydreaming about Pad Thai, kimchi, and pho for about ten solid minutes.
3:37 PM: I attempt to make conversation with every patron that passes by the site. Not only to keep my interpersonal skills fresh, but also to brighten their day. After all, there’s nothing more contagious than a smile…
5:00PM: Time for my 11 minute walk home, which is usually more like a seven-minute walk because I’m rushing. I get sick of Podcasts and turn on some sick beats from Soundcloud and imagine I’m at the gym or something. I have enough energy that I could do a workout, but I’ve been working out consistently for the past six days, so I decide to take a rest day. Usually after work I’m far too tired to work out, which is why I liked to get up early and do it. However, now I don’t want to wake my family up as I’m jumping around in my basement. It is what it is, I suppose. Lately, I’ve been exercising more to fuel my soul and continue a healthy lifestyle than to reach any concrete goals or look a certain way. Come to think of it, I feel like my workouts have actually been more effective now that I haven’t put too much pressure on myself to reach a new PR each week. I find myself having more energy, running farther, and even doing more push-ups. My memory sails back to the summer before this one, where I had my workout routine down to a T. I got up at 6:00 AM almost every day to go to the gym and get a full workout in before showering, getting dressed, and making an elaborate breakfast and posting it on my food account. Since quarantine, the thought of sacrificing even an hour of precious sleep to work out makes me shudder. Past me would’ve rolled her eyes at the lack of “self-discipline” but present me is proud of my maturity. The world is piecing itself back together after experiencing one of the most traumatic events it has undergone. I don’t really need to be stressing myself out over the intensity of my workouts.
5:13 PM: I come home to find dad watching TV in the family room while Riley is putting the finishing touches on his final painting for class (he’s an art major). My cat is asleep with them. I grab one of Caleb’s beers and plop down on the couch to discuss the monotony of my day.
6:30PM: It’s dinnertime, and I’m starving. But I have to wait until Caleb is done with the airfryer. We just got it two weeks ago and I have to say, it’s life-changing. Caleb is excited because he got accepted to an AmeriCorps program in New York this summer. Although I’m happy for him, I’m also smoldering with envy. His position deals with hunger and food security during the pandemic, which is literally the area of Social Work that I’m specializing in. However, I’m sure he’ll do great. Community service might do him some good.
I make a sheet-pan dinner: air-roasted chicken with golden potatoes and carrots. Perfection. I eat and begin writing this blog at the same time.
The boys took off to play Dungeons and Dragons at their friends’ house shortly after this picture was taken.
7:30PM: I wish I could say I spent the evening doing something interesting or blog-worthy, or that something completely enthralling and unexpected occurred out of nowhere. Alas, my evening remained on the same mundane frequency it began: cleaning up the kitchen while watching Anne with an E on Netflix. I didn’t expect this show to be so addicting. One day, my dad spent the entire day watching it. He was that hooked. Past me would have been annoyed with myself for consuming so much content instead of creating it. Current me understands that the joy of being absorbed in a really good piece of entertainment, even binge-watching, is a form of self-care. Can you think of a better feeling than pressing “play” after completing the day’s worth of tasks? Let’s avoid buying into the belief that watching TV makes you “lazy.” In my opinion, transporting yourself to another world full of characters and a plot is healthier than scrolling through social media and comparing your life to others around you. I care more about Anne’s relationship with Gilbert than the banana bread Karen made. People who claim they don’t “have time” to watch Netflix annoy me. Kidding, lol.
9:00PM: I take a shower to wash all the germs off from serving the public today. After I’m feeling refreshed, I sit in my bed and begin to read another chapter of The Danish Girl. It’s not long before my eyes start to feel heavy. I tend to go to bed around 10:30, mainly because it does take me a long time to fall asleep.
After reading, I take out my journal and do some manifest-journaling. Usually this puts me in a relaxing headspace before I go to sleep. I journal as if I’m already living my dream life. I like to get right down to the fine details: what does my morning routine look like? What does my dream apartment look like? What groceries am I buying at Trader Joe’s? Not only is this journaling technique very fun, but I believe thought manifestation is very powerful. I kind of want to do a blog post about all the law of attraction, but I’ll link a helpful video about it here.
10:30 (ish)PM: I stop checking my phone around 10 each night, so I’m not entirely sure what time I decide to go to sleep. After taking some CBD oil, brushing my teeth and washing my face, I’m ready to KNOCK off.
All in all, it was a great day!! Thanks for following me around today. Please let me know if you want to see more blog posts like this. :))