It sure is great to finally feel like I’m getting back into a routine, she says, two days before going out of town for five days. HAHAHA. Actually, I am very much looking forward to getting out of town for a couple of days. Imma sit in my friend’s house while she’s out of town, writing, watching her cats and her dog and being a Responsible Adult (HAH! Has she met me?) in the house as I also watch her amazing daughters come and go to and from work and school. I always write better when I go out of town, which you’d think would be the opposite, yeah? Go out of town, mess up your routine, where does your creativity go? But when I am here, at home, no matter what my creative force says it wants to work on, I always feel like HaldeCraft should come first. Going out of town removes me from the studio, lets me say “well, I can’t work on that even if I wanted to” and so then I am free to focus on writing.

Side note, I am not a fan of these changes WordPress has been doing that make it super counter-intuitive to put in a photo. I want to — whoaaaaa I almost wrote “carriage return” like I’m doing this on a typewriter (kids, ask your grandparents). Anyway, I just want to start a new paragraph and see an option to add a photo if I want. Not start a new paragraph, hover over it until I get a little pop-up, click the pop-up so that it gives me a selection of things I can do, like insert a table or a quote or an image, and click image, choose from Upload or Select Image or Insert from URL, and if it’s that I want to Select Image, do I want to use some sketch free photo site, log into Google photos and use something there, or insert a picture that I already have uploaded to WordPress and is available in my media library?

It’s almost enough to get me to stop putting images in my post! What’s with all the extra work?! She says, complaining about the free service she uses to only occasionally blog with. Not to mention that some other recent update has shrunk the type down to like 6 point font. There has GOT to be a way to change that. Urgh. Hrm. So. Anyway. Moving on.

What was I talking about?

Oh! Right! Routine!

I have been enjoying routine lately. You know that phrase, all the best things are out of your comfort zone? I call bullshit on that. Sometimes, the best things are comfortable. The best things are things you can trust in and rely on. The best things are things that make you feel at ease, especially when everything else is so out of control.

I wake up a little bit before 7. If it’s a day when I’m running the kiln, I go over to the studio and start the kiln while the coffee pot starts up in the house. Then I sit and work on social media for about half an hour or so while watching Stargate with two friends, and drinking coffee. I love these two humans and honestly the four mornings we get together (virtually, online) to watch shows we love is the best way to start a morning. We’ve watched Farscape, Babylon 5, are now into Stargate, and have plans for Stargate: Atlantis after that. I love talking about the show with them on Facebook, making fun of things or doing a “hey, it’s that guy” thing or talking about how much we like the costumes or set or whatever. It’s just… fun. And social!

Then I try to spend at least 15 minutes, maybe half an hour if I’m not feeling pressed for time, in the guest room coaxing Tulip into being a snuggly house girl. She still does not want to come out of her room although we leave the door open all the time, to the rest of the house. So I try to hang out in there a few minutes a day here and there, give her some attention and human interaction.

I’m generally in the studio by 9 at the latest. I work on HaldeCraft; I put yesterday’s orders together, take them to the post office or UPS, try to keep an eye on email or social media in case I need to answer a quick question. And then I make things. I make ceramics, I make soap, I wrap soap, I glaze ceramics, I load or unload the kiln, I take product photos, I dye yarn, I wind yarn, I label yarn or label soap, I work on custom orders, I email people about custom orders. Then around 2 or 3 I try to wind that down and work on Patreon. I write, I do research on things I want to write competently about, I make notes about what businesses are on what station and what the floor plan of the station is, I work on blog posts for Patreon, I answer messages left on Patreon.

Then, since about the middle of December, I try to get on the treadmill by 5, 5:15 at the latest. I walk for 45 minutes to an hour, and watch something on Netflix. A long time ago I was trying to watch American Horror Story but there are some storylines I just can’t get through and I don’t know that I like the ones I have liked enough to skip over the ones I don’t, and try another season. What if I don’t like that, either? So I started rewatching Longmire; I’d seen the first two seasons but then not the rest, and I love how dark it got after it switched over from regular TV to Netflix.

After the treadmill, another little visit with Tulip. After that, dinner. After dinner, TV. While watching TV, catching up on accounting, or writing a blog post, or catching up on personal email, or coloring, or knitting.

Then reading, and sleeping, and waking up and doing it all over again.

Once every other week, I order groceries online and drive up to Starke to get them. And/or I go into Gainesville. If my friend Bill is up for it and Parklands is open, I’ll go see him. I’ll meet a friend for a socially distant wave. A couple of weeks ago I went into Anthem to talk to a new-to-me artist about getting some ink (Monday! eep!).

I kind of like having a routine. It’s almost like things being back to normal… I mean, other than they aren’t. But at least without waking up and my first thought being “good lord what the fuck now” as I read the news… and a bit of a routine that I can lean backwards and relax into… it almost feels like things might get better soon.

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