Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Evening Routines

OMDG posted today about her challenge with evenings, which got me reflecting on my own evening routine since starting back at work.  When I was on holidays, my plans for my work evenings were very ambitious - cook tasty dinners with my girlfriend, clean the kitchen, take care of housework/paperwork, exercise, and read stimulating and erudite books.  Shockingly, the reality has been somewhat less impressive.  Despite not actually working that hard yet (I'm only working about half-time at the moment), I've been coming home mentally exhausted every day, and I haven't been able to motivate myself to do most of the things I would like to.

Currently, my post-work schedule looks something like this:

1)  Arrive home and dump all possessions (lunch bag, purse, backpack, jacket) in the front hallway.  Ignore voice in the back of my head that tells me that I should be putting things in the spaces I created for them.

2)  Cook dinner with my girlfriend.  This varies from spending 2-3 hours making an elaborate dinner (we love cooking) to BBQing hot dogs and eating potato chips from the bag.

3)  Spend way too much time on the computer.  Facebook, blogs, news, repeat.  I haven't mastered the art of turning off the computer when there is nothing good left to look at, so this eats up a lot of time.  On a good day, I write a blog post of variable quality.

4)  Watch something on Netflix with my girlfriend.  Lately we've been watching Human Planet, which is actually a decent and not entirely mind-numbing show, so it could be worse.

5)  Look at the stack of library books on my coffee table.  Decide it isn't worth the effort.  Possibly watch another Netflix show, usually of lower quality than Human Planet.

6)  Feel progressively more exhausted.  Resist the urge to go to bed like a reasonable human being.  Repeat item #3.

7)  Realize it's past my bedtime.  Rush around trying to make a lunch, pack my work bag, feed the cats, and do anything else that needs to be done.  (Feeding the cats is the only thing I consistently accomplish before bed, and that's only because they meow at me.)

8)  Finally get to bed much later than I should.  Realize that eight hours of restful sleep has become an impossible dream.

9)  Lie awake staring at the ceiling, regretting all of the things I didn't do.

This is something I need to work on, because evenings make up a lot of the quality time I have for myself and my girlfriend outside of work.  Looking back on this time of my life, I don't want Facebook and Netflix and a cluttered apartment to be my most vivid memories.

How happy are you with your evening routine?


  1. LOL. I would do that except the kid can't watch/doesn't like the TV I like. I WISH!! Some day....

    But more seriously, I do all of this except for some reason I got really good at making myself go to bed. So... GO TO BED!! It IS possible to go to bed before 10, and sometimes even before 9. Try it sometime!

  2. I am the worst for routine, in that my schedule as an emerg resident is pretty unpredictable (and I love that!).

    With that said, when I get home, I do have a routine. I do a quick clean. It takes less than ten minutes (my apartment is only about 600 square feet) to pick up things left out, wipe down counters, and quickly sweep the floor. Then I usually eat and listen to some music before cooking and eating (like you, I love to cook!). I try to then spend some time studying and writing or editing every day. I work out nearly daily. I read in bed (bad sleep hygiene, I know!) before falling asleep.

    I find that when I need the routine the most it just totally falls apart. For example, this past week I have been overwhelmed with what has been going on with my blog, and while I have been commenting, tweeting, and reflecting on feedback, my apartment has become messy, I'm behind on my writing, and I haven't studied enough. I regret letting the routine slide, because I find routines free up so much brain space for me. I'm actually taking today to totally re-set and re-orient so that I can re-start my routines tomorrow with a clean slate.

  3. This sounds so familiar... though slowly getting better! Honestly partially by just setting low expectations. A couple other things that helped me though - actually timing and seeing how it actually only takes a few minutes to do the dishes/tidy up/pack lunch, which makes it seem less overwhelming to start.
    Also I my New Year's resolution this year was to go to bed when I'm tired! So simple it seemed almost ridiculous, but it has actually really helped. I'm a night owl by nature and I'd always think, "I'll just... [do one more thing]" and then it would be so late and everything would seem so much more difficult the next day!
    Anyways, hope it gets easier! Also so glad you're back to blogging!

  4. With the recent passing of Dr. Oliver Sacks, I hope to say my farewell to him by reading his last memoir -

    1. That's also on my to-read list. I'm just waiting for it to become available at my library.