Day 3 – the one where I skip a day

I came late to the party, so although this is officially my first log apart from my intro, I’m calling it my day 3 log entry.

Today I woke up late. When I say late, I mean 7.15 am. For me this is  late. I usually wake up naturally before or by the alarm at 6.30. This messes up my routine. The reason for all this is that over the weekend I lost my phone and all my contacts and photos therein. Trying to get another one from Orange was like pulling teeth and in a fit of pique I cancelled my account. I am actually quite relieved. They were treating that phone contract like a license to print money and I was done with it. Losing my phone was probably the universe’s way of telling me to cut those thieves loose. But here’s my dilemma. I am sans phone – which effectively means I have not only lost my main mode of communication but my watch, my diary and my alarm clock.

To compensate, I downloaded an an apple alarm clock app that is supposed to gently beep me awake in the morning. I think this is a good idea. It works fine the first few days then it starts going nuts. Yesterday it hacked into my itunes files and wakes me by blaring dance music at me at ever increasing frequencies. It will not allow me to press the snooze button. I switch off my computer. Today it just didn’t bother to come on at all. This alarm clock app blows. And that is why I wake up late.

Still I do my usual thing – reach under the pillow, pull out my writing pad and my pen and begin my morning pages. A little digression/note about morning pages: If you’ve read the artists’ way then you’ll know that morning pages is one of the mainstays of the practice. You get up in the morning and write three full uncensored pages – or the rough equivalent of 30 mins worth – of anything that comes to mind. You do it first thing after you wake up. That’s when it’s most effective.

This isn’t journaling. This is catching your subconscious unawares. If you do it right, the things that your mind throws up in those first few minutes after waking will surprise and give you insight into the stuff that your mind tries to protect you from so that you can be a fully functioning human being. At it’s heart, I suppose it’s a form of meditation, except instead of attempting to clear your mind and focus, you are noting down all the stuff that your mind is emptying out. It is essentially a mind dump.

I have been doing this religiously for the past 9 months now and it has become a practice and I can see the benefits but some days are harder than others. Sometimes my mind wanders and tries to impose a linear narrative on what is a random outpouring. Sometimes the process fills me with joy, other times I cry. Sometimes I’m full of anger and self loathing. Whatever it is that is at the root of me that needs to be outed for the day, it comes out in my morning pages and that is why I try never to miss a day.

After morning pages I switch on the radio and half listen to the today programme while having a fag and drinking my tea. I come back to my room get radio 4 up on the iplayer then check my emails. I shouldn’t be doing this. It is a bad idea to settle into an email check when I should be getting ready for work on a day when I am already running late. I do another stupid timewasting thing. I pull up an addictive little computer game involving setting various permutations of coloured dice to score points. This sucks up 30 more minutes of time that is already in deficit but I really need to sit and do nothing and I’m already late, so this is what I do.

By the time I take a shower, get dressed, get on the bike and head out, it’s already 9 o’clock – which is officially start time for work. I’m usually out of the house between 8 and 8.30. It takes about 25 minutes at full tilt to get to work. The air is clear and crisp and the sun is out. It’s a good cycle. By the time I’m parked and locked up and at my desk it’s 9.35. Luckily my current manager is lenient and not one of those crazy clockwatchers. Lucky me. Strange thing is, I actually prefer to get to work earlier, so I can take some time to just settle into my desk before the day’s work begins but I seldom get to do it. I grab breakfast – cereal, which I always keep at my desk to remind myself to eat something healthy in the morning. Read through my emails, check through my task list, faff about a bit and soon enough it’s lunchtime.

I check through my gmail account, order my emails. Gmail makes it easy to organise my emails. I have various labels and sub-folders into which go things for the blog, press invites and releases, stuff from friends, newsletters and alerts. I often hear people complain about too many emails but I have never had that problem. Possibly because I am a crazy email sorting machine or probably because I just don’t get as many emails as everyone else.I see Jacob’s email about the new blog and check it out. It looks interesting so I copy and paste the pages into a word document and print it out to read during lunch

For lunch, I grab a bacon bagel, freshly made from the cafe down the road. Usually I’ll eat at my desk, while checking out facebook and twitter and posting to the blog. Today I’m sitting in so that I can read the pages I’ve printed. The bagel is tasty. I enjoy it and will probably be ordering it again for the next few weeks. When I eat something I like  I have to keep eating it until I’m sick of it. On the way back in to work I have another cigarette. The wind is blowing a gale. It’s cold and I am shivering. I’m standing in the cold swaddled in layers, shivering and smoking. I must look like an idiot.

Back at work I burn through my task list and am done by 3. I spend the rest of the day checking and responding to emails both work-related and personal. I write my intro post to this blog. I write a post to my blog. I make tea, shoot the breeze with my colleagues. Some time after 5 I head out towards Baker street for a fashion press preview. I haven’t had time for my daily discipline. I feel a bit guilty about this but I don’t want to get to this preview late. I take the tube because I’m no sure how far Baker street is and I don’t feel like cycling there. I leave the bike at work.

The preview is predictable, Dj in a corner, photographers, fashion types milling about. Various bits of amuse bouche, clothing racks, lined against the walls. I check out the collection, take a few notes, drink a couple of glasses of champagne, talk to a few faces I recognise. Have an interesting chat with a stylist I’ve just met, then head back south. I stop by work to pick up the bike and ride it back home.

Back home plonk myself in front of the computer. Check to see if there are any new Dr Who programmes on the Iplayer. Not yet, but there’s an animated series so I watch that instead. It’s entertaining. I grab some food from the fridge  – this usually consists of some sort of carb, protein, green vegetable and pepper combo. I usually cook of up a vat and reheat it out of the fridge till it’s finished. For the last three days it’s been, rice with kidney beans, prawns, broccoli, spinach, sweet peppers, onions and garlic and scorching hot habaneros. I eat while checking more emails. Read a few blogs, then settle down to write today’s log. After this I shall meditate and then go to bed. It’s already gone midnight. I’m trying to train myself to sleep for no more than 6 hours a night. I read somewhere that sleep cycles take about 90 minutes each so as long as you wake having finished a complete sleep cycle then you’ll awake refreshed. 6 hours is four sleep cycles. I reckon that should be enough for anyone.