Whenever people hear that I wake up at 4 in the morning, often times the first question out of their mouths is "why?" I normally go into my morning routine for them, describing what I do that necessitates my waking up at 4. While I now wake up at 4 out of necessity, I used to wake up at 4 for the peace and quiet that you can only find during the wee hours of the morning. Soon following the question of why I wake up so early comes the statement "you must go to bed early!" Well, that's not always the case. While there are times that I will pass out at 8:30 watching a little TV on the couch, more often than not I get involved in a project at home that keeps me busy till 10:00. I have found that my body only needs 6-7 hours of sleep a night. If I shoot for 8 hours, I just wake up earlier than 4 which is not my idea of fun. So following on the heels of all the Facebook posters who like to narrate every second of their life for the general public, I figured I would go through my day, start to finish, and give people a little insight as to what an average work day is like for me. Mind you, the weekends are excluded from this as I normally wake up late, meaning 5 o'clock, and my schedule isn't nearly as hectic as a regular weekday.
3:50-4:00 I usually wake up before my alarm goes off (which actually goes off at 3:50 as I have my alarm clock set 10 minutes fast to speed along the wake up process should I need assistance. Maybe once or twice a week I need to turn my alarm off, but overall its not that often. I won't put in a time for the next step of my day as it is not overly interesting, but immediately after waking up, I use the porcelain throne.
4:05 Grind coffee beans fresh for the first pot of coffee for the day. I usually end up drinking about two thirds to three quarters of the pot of coffee. Depending on the day, I sometimes make a few extra cups to keep me going and to ensure that I reach my proper state of wakefulness.
4:10-4:35 Take dogs (Princess and Aspen) out for a walk. I usually have a set route that I walk every morning, which according to my guesstimating would be between three quarter of a mile and a mile. I was actually just thinking the other day that if you add up the amount I walk just in the mornings over the course of year it would be around 365 miles. I surprised myself with that. In any case, in addition to the coffee, the walk helps clear my mind and usher in a more acute attention to the world around me. With life almost at a standstill at 4 in the morning, it is nice to be able to walk in the middle of normally busy roads and not have to worry. I might see a car or two during my entire walk, but for the most part, the world is still sleeping.
4:40-5:30 Feed the dogs, pour myself the first cup of coffee for the day and break open the laptop to start writing my blog post for the day. Despite the one interruption I will mention next, I usually write almost non stop for a half hour before sometimes proofing what I wrote and posting it. There are times when I will have an idea in mind as to what I want to write about in which case it goes a little quicker while other times, I stare blankly at the computer screen waiting for any iota of inspiration to take hold and infect my typing fingers.
4:45 Go upstairs and coax my wife from dreamland into the world of the waking. The coaxing comes after I turn the light on which she hopefully isn't facing. Some days takes less time than others but I am her alarm clock she often times tries to hit the snooze button on my head with never any success. If need be, I drag her to a sitting position to get the blood flowing. As of yet, I have not been seriously injured in the process of waking my wife up. Once up, I head downstairs and pour her a cup of coffee so she can get the juices flowing.
5:30 Head upstairs again to get my son out of bed. Depending on the day, he normally wakes up sometime between 5 and 530. He never starts crying. Instead, he just starts his babbling, quietly at first with little moans of effort to scrub the sleep from his head that soon escalate into full out "I'm up, come get me, I'm having fun but getting hungry" type of babbling.
5:45 Once I get my son's diaper changed and hand him off to my wife to be fed, I head into the kitchen and start making breakfast which is always the same to make it easy; scrambled eggs with muenster cheese, spinach, and black pepper. Every morning I end up making 9 eggs which we split between the 3 of us. Obviously my son doesn't eat quite as much as my wife and I do, but we all share them. Sometime during my breakfast making extravaganza, my son walks in, plays for a few minutes in the kitchen, and then wants me to pick him up.
6:05-6:15 Breakfast is ready and we all sit down at the dining room table (my son in his high chair) and eat breakfast together. My son always feeds himself now, not with a fork, but simply by fitting as much scrambled eggs as possible into his little fist and shoving it in his mouth.
6:30-6:35 I leave for work with the cooler full of food that my wife packed for me while I was cooking breakfast. It really is a team effort in the morning at our house. There is a system that we have down and it runs quite smoothly most days.
7:30-7:45 Depending on traffic and where I am working, I arrive at work between these times. Over the past few months as I have been working in Norwalk, the commute has taken me between an hour and an hour and fifteen minutes. If I am working closer to home, the morning schedule changes somewhat with me leaving the house closer to seven. All in all though, I rarely leave the house after 7.
7:45-12:00 Work. I don't think I really have to explain this as I am a painting contractor and it is not that hard to figure out what I am doing during my day. While it differs slightly depending on the day, it is usually pretty much the same.
12:00-12:30 Lunch. This usually consists of a salad with home made salad dressing. I usually snack throughout the morning on home made trail mix and a banana. Mixed in with all this food is a copious amount of water that I drink to remain hydrated. Once I finish eating, I either make phone calls that need to be made or just relax for a few minutes before getting back to work.
12:30-4:00 Work. I find that if I don't get up within a half hour of eating, I will start to get tired and lose my motivation to work. I must keep going or I won't go at all. Depending on the day, I usually start cleaning up around 3:30 so I can be on the road by 4 to the next job. During this time, I continue snacking my way through the afternoon on trail mix, a pear, and occasionally an apple.
4:30-5:00 Arrive at second job for the day, set up quickly and start working. My second job for the day is usually a smaller one that I can chip away at over the course of a week without the homeowner minding too much. Almost all my customers don't care when I work so this works out fairly well most of the time.
5:00-7:00/7:30 Work. Since I just explained what I did, I will not explain it again. However, clean up for my afternoon work normally only takes about 15 minutes.
7:30-8:00 Arrive home. After getting myself quickly unpacked, I try and help out a little around the house. I either help with cooking dinner, cleaning dishes, putting random stuff away, picking up our son's toys, or any other household chore that needs to be addressed. If I am not helping out at all, I simply talk to my wife while she is cooking dinner.
8:00-8:30 Eat dinner with my wife either in the dining room or in front of the TV. Most times, we watch a little TV as she is getting tired by this point and I just want to sit on a comfortable couch and relax for a while.
8:30/9:00-10:00/10:30 Once dinner is done and the food put away, my wife returns to the couch to relax some more and wind down before going to bed while I usually head to our garage and begin working on a project out there. For what seems like the longest time now, I work on my kitchen cabinets. Since I only get a few hours every evening, it is taking me quite a while to get them done. I am currently working on the doors for the lower cabinets and they are moving along quite well. I get a little more wood cut and glued together before beginning to tire myself out. I normally finish cleaning up by 10:30 the latest as I know that 4 o'clock will come too quickly if I stay out any longer.
10:30-11:00 I head inside, get myself ready for bed, and hit the pillow only to repeat in 5-6 hours.
So that has been a typical day for me for the past 3-4 months. There are times when I will be home earlier due to weather or some other mitigating circumstances, but in general, this is the life I have lived recently. Also randomly interspersed in there are crazier days when I don't make it to bed till midnight but those normally happen only once a week. There are times when I don't know how I do it and still have energy to do it all again the next day, but I manage somehow. For some reason, I enjoy what I do and my schedule doesn't seem overly crazy to me. I know what I need to get done and do my best to get it done. This will probably be a one time deal about my life. I am sure whoever is reading this would get bored if I related every detail of my life, every day. We all lead different lives with different schedules and different stresses. This is a glimpse into my life for whatever it is worth. Hope you enjoyed it and if you didn't, fear not, for tomorrow I will move on to another topic.