Since leaving my job at the end of January, my weekdays in NYC have gone pretty much like this:
9:50 a.m. TV alarm turns on
9:55 a.m. Go to bathroom, turn on computer, assemble breakfast
10:00-10:54 a.m. eat breakfast while checking email and watching Guiding Light
10:55-11:00 a.m. work
11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. check email while watching The View
12-2:00 p.m. work, calls, grocery, fax, post office
2-3:00 p.m. lunch while watching The Bonnie Hunt Show
3-4:00 p.m. Ellen
4:00 p.m. go do something productive outside of the house
5:30 p.m. Happy Hour
8 or 9:00-11:35 p.m. mindless television
11:35 p.m.-1 a.m. flip back and forth between Letterman or Conan or Fallon and Sex and the City
1-1:30 a.m. try to fall asleep
No wonder I had to get the hell out.
Now that I'm living in the desert, every day is pretty much different. I read a lot more. I don't have access to television at all (not even broadcast) which means I am very choosey about what to watch online. The outdoors - the open road - has become my television, and instead of dreaming that I'm one of the Friends, I dream I'm in some new exotic place, with visions of the road streaming under me, trying to find my way. Trying to find my soul.
The geographic and mental adjustment has resulted in a schedule more like this:
5:30-6:30 a.m. Wake up with the sun glowing orange outside my window
6:30 a.m. Fill glass with fresh ice and filtered water
6:31 a.m. Put on work gloves, start dragging hoses around
6:32 a.m. Fill birdbath with water, dodge excited birds as they flock to it. Take photos of bunnies.
6:35 a.m. Start watering first round of plants
6:45 a.m. Breakfast
6:50 a.m. Switch hoses to next set of plants. Critique level of water flow and fidget with the spouts.
7:05 a.m. Switch hoses again. Accidentally scare off cottontails sipping from the collected water at the base of the plants.
7:10 a.m. Try to finish reading Eclipse, the third in the Twilight Saga, and hate myself for reading it at all.
7:20-8:00 a.m. More switching and reading and drinking water. Pulling cactus spines out of my fingers, shins, and pants. Sweating in the 80+ degree heat. Glad I have something productive to do. Try to coil hoses back up without dislodging too many decorative rocks or cacti.
8:00 a.m. Walk the short distance to the vacation rental up the hill, scoffing at the idea that I was supposed to use a golf cart to get up there. Turn on sprinklers.
8:05-8:10 a.m. Uncoil hoses, fiddle with spickets, switch
8:11 a.m. Spot a jackrabbit. Boy those things can hop.
8:12-8:25 a.m. Swat flies, read, water
8:30 a.m. Turn off sprinklers.
8:31-9:00 a.m. Hoses, water, prickly, swat, read, water, birds chirping, lizards scuttling, bees
9:01 a.m. Coil hoses, dirty pants, sweaty feet in sneakers
9:10 a.m. Consider nap, email instead
10:00 a.m. Consider lunch, nap instead
11:00 a.m. Consider more nap, shower instead
11:30 a.m. Drive off somewhere to look at stuff, take a hike, take pictures, see what there is to see, grab lunch, get gas
2 or 3 or 4 or 5 p.m. Water Canyon Coffee: work, read, write, bagel, coffee, calls, email, mohawk, chat, 90s alternative rock
5 or 6 or 7 p.m. Stater Bros, Walgreen's, Wal-Mart, fax, copy, postcard, post office
7-8:30 p.m. Set up post on table outside my door to eat dinner, get back online, write more, upload more photos, and watch the sun set. I don't actually watch the sun; I watch its orange glow reflected off the landscape that lies to the east.
9 p.m. Consider bed but watch Guiding Light online
10:30 or 11 or 11:30 p.m. Turn on LED candle and set in window sill. Make sure window is open and blinds are up. Turn off light and wait for my eyes to adjust. Stare out at the moonlight until I can't keep my lids open anymore.