Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Habitual choices

Not only am I a creature of the Paleolithic, I'm also one of some very deep and ingrained habits. I literally do practically the same things in the same order every single day. Any little upset to the routine and I go all cranky. It's unbelievably sad just how routinized I am. To give you an example.

Every morning I wake up at the same time to the same CD: 7:30 am to Sarah Brightman's "Harem Tour" CD. Even if I wake up before 7:30, I lie there and wait. And even when the CD comes on, I don't actually get out of bed until My Imagination comes on; some mornings, when I'm particularly eager to get out of bed, I will actually hit the fast-forward button twice to get to the song, I'll listen and then I can get out of bed (Yes, I actually have to listen to it all the way through before I get out of bed).

And then it's a stumble to the kitchen to put the kettle on for coffee so by the time I finish in the bathroom, the water is boiling. I like to watch the last 15 minutes of the Cosby Show and about a half-hour of the Today Show while drinking coffee. I get cranky if I miss the 8 am headlines with Anne Curry. I get really upset if more than two of the Today Show hosts are missing on any given day, like today, when only Matt Lauer was there; 8 am is still not late enough to take Campbell Brown, lemme tell you. Ironing happens at 8:30, along with hair etc., and I'm out the door at 8:50 am at the latest. If I'm out any later than 8:50, I start to get agitated, even though I'm not technically late at work until 9:30 and I live all of 2 miles from the office.

I listen to the same CD in the car every day -- Kuch Kuch Hota Hai -- and I listen to tracks 1, 2 and part of 4 on the way to work. Coming home, it's tracks 6, 7 and part of 8. Every now and then I might deviate and substitute number 5 -- which is a fairly fun and upbeat song -- for either song #4 or song #6. (BTW, a friend from college once visited me and I had Sarah Brightman's Eden in the car for his entire visit; he return a few months later and Eden was still in the CD player. My friend nearly had a conniption on the spot).

I park in the same spot every single day at work and I always take the stairs down the parking garage to the skywalk. I get cranky if the usual guard isn't by the door to wave and smile at me; the other guard doesn't seem as friendly somehow. At the office, first thing I do after logging on to AIM and the stock exchange ticker, I check my email. Then it's a quick check of the day's headlines etc., and by around 9:45, I'm ready to start working. Sometimes we run down to the Mexican place for a breakfast taco. My work day is also fiercely regimentated, with several deadlines over the course of the day. The afternoon deadlines are the killer ones, and I start to get cranky when we get close and there's work still left to be done. Sometimes I'm fearful, that because I am such a creature of routine, that if I'm working a routine job, one of these days I'll just turn into some automaton or something.

At home, after work, the routine is usually either to head to class/gym or a walk with my friend in the evening. Then it's back home for dinner and I watch one episode of the X-Files every night (two episodes on Saturday and Sunday). Then, if there's time after doing homework for class or my 'reading time' -- usually about an hour in the evenings -- I'll get online and see what's going on. Then it's time for a shower, and more reading in bed. In the morning, I get up and do it all over again.

Lately, the one change has been I've been doing some homework in the mornings. I think that's a remnant of my grad school days where homework used to go on until close to midnight, and then I'd wake up super early in the morning, around 6 am, to keep going. Somehow, I'm still more alert and eager to do homework first thing in the morning. Bills, btw, also get paid first thing in the morning. Also, Tuesdays are starting to turn into television nights at my friend's place, as she's got cable and I've got a thing for Outback Jack.

So there you have it. The life of Seema, aka the cure for insomnia. (Why yes, I have run out of things to blog about).

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