Archive for April, 2011

How to Have a Good Day

First, get enough sleep the night before. Seven hours is good. College You could get by on five. You are no longer College You.
[To get good sleep, strike a balance: not starving, not so full as to incite Cosbyesque dreams of Muppet sandwiches. A glass of milk or one beer helps. Maybe two. Never more than two beers or what results cannot actually be called sleep. Strike a balance with what you’ve done that night after work: not too much sloth, nor too much work. If you work up until bedtime, you will dream of deadlines. Too much sloth, and the things you “forgot” to do will creep into your dreams. Better to work and then to unwind. Television helps. One episode, maybe two. The West Wing works a little better than Twin Peaks. Twin Peaks too close to bed and you will dream of Bob.
Giant cats, handmade quilts, and kindhearted bedfellows are advisable for an optimal sleep environment.]

Hit snooze one time, only once, so you may complete your favorite recurring dream, the one where grownup life is a great version of camp, with every single person you love living right nearby, and communal meals, and tree-filtered sunshine, and the odd friendly competition. Shower, thanking your stresspile of a job for giving you money to buy the nice soap, thanking your waking limbs for all they do for you each day; lovingly prepare them for another day’s work.

Read deeply on the train instead of checking Facebook and a million little websites. Go deep. Immerse and the time flies. Read deeper and your thoughts get wider, connected. A full day.

Understand that your work is your work, and whittle away at it, and know that it will subside eventually. Hold it like a crystal bowl. Too tight and you crack it (and you); too loose and you have nothing left but broken pieces. It is a treasured accessory. It is not what clothes you.

Have lunch with an old friend. You grew up in the same little town and now live in the same big city, but in different neighborhoods, with different choices, still walking around with matching memories in your head.

Appreciate the strange sunlight through your alley-facing work window. Acknowledge how strange it is to have gotten there, a little room of your own, a magnetized nameplate outside the door, some to-be-told level of temporary. Look around.


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