A Thursday in the Life

Were you curious about how I spend my days? I am, actually. I’m mainly curious about how I’ve been going nonstop all day and feel like I’ve accomplished basically nothing. What did I do? Read on for the excruciating detail.

NB: Here’s a day in the life from back in 2014 — pre kids. I reread it and was astonished by the fact that we ate dinner at 7:50 pm back then. Wow. Otherwise, well, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose, n’est-ce pas?

5:25 My alarm goes off but I snooze it twice before getting up to take a shower, get dressed, and do my makeup.

6:05 Oddly, it seems that the kids are still sleeping, so I start coffee. L hears me and gets up so we hang out and talk a little bit in the kitchen. He asks me how to spell words so he can try to write them down.

6:20 CW, Egon, and E are all up. I take Eegs to bathroom then help E&L pick out clothes while CW makes their breakfast, then I make my own breakfast (whole grain toast with avocado, a fried egg, and everything bagel seasoning.

6:45 I finally sit down to eat.

6:55 I do E’s hair (one ballet bun with a big black bow clipped below it).

7:45 I arrive in my office to find a new-to-me computer! My old Mac desktop (ca 2011) was due for replacement, but I wasn’t expecting the new one to appear until Friday, so this is a surprise. Kind of a nice surprise, but also Friday is a lower-pressure day and I would’ve had more time to get it set up. Today I have grading to do (on the computer) and students coming to see me. This adds an unexpected element of mostly benign chaos to my morning. Side note: I am non-tenure-track faculty and therefore receive hand-me-down computers at work. This one is circa 2013, so.

8:00 I get started setting up computer while waiting to see if students come by for help on their papers. Most of them opt to come by later in the morning, so things are pretty quiet for a while.

8:30 I’m still trying to get Chrome to install correctly and it will not. It simply will not. WTF, Google.

8:40 I give up and decide to use Safari for my tasks today and attempt to start grading.

8:40-8:55 I get distracted by an email, then reattempt to start working.

8:55-9:12 Students drop in.

9:29 I eat half a Clif bar (pumpkin spice) and drink a generic Aldi seltzer while grading. Aldi seltzer is just as good, FYI. Save yourself some dollars.

9:35-10:15 Students drop in.

10:15 Grading papers.

10:45 It’s the end of drop-in hours. I go downstairs to get a Diet Coke and head back to my office to eat a Sad Desk Salad while I start this post.

11:13 I’m still eating this stupid salad. So much kale and cabbage. SO MUCH CHEWING, SWEET LORD.

11:30 After lunch, I switch focus to providing some feedback on an ongoing group project for another class. Groups are working on the next phase this week, so they need feedback on the last phase. I’m able to work with my office door closed during this time, so I can get things done a little more efficiently.

11:56 Finish writing and sending feedback but Safari is about to drive me BANANAS, so I try again with Chrome and knock wood but I think I get it working this time. (See how this new desktop situation is filtering through my day? Sigh.)

12:04 Mess around on the internet while eating a mini-bag of Skittles leftover from Halloween.

12:15 Out the door for class.

1:57 Back from class and I’m equipped with a hot coffee to fuel the next couple of hours. I had planned on grading more essays during this time, but I realized a more urgent priority is creating some online content for one of my classes that needs to be ready for next week, so I’ll turn my attention there.

3:20 Wrap up work on this content, eat the other half of the Clif bar, handle a few neglected emails, and shut down my office for the day.

3:22 Head to the gym for a cross training workout.

3:43 Arrive in the locker room, unpack my gym bag, and realize I’ve forgotten a sports bra. Well then. I’m glad it’s not a running day, at the very least. I get changed and hop on the elliptical. I’m listening to the latest episode of the Road to the Olympic Trials podcast with guest Carrie Tollefson. Love her.

4:02 I’m finished with the RTTOT episode, so I tune in to Ali on the Run’s episode with awesome pro runner couple Nikki Hiltz & Therese Haiss. The elliptical is the worst, seriously. I manage thirty minutes and then switch to the erg, but it’s kind of bothering one of my right quads and I have a long run tomorrow, so I bail.

4:35 On my way to pick up the kids at daycare.

4:50 The evening chaos begins the moment I step into their classroom: both kids are climbing up me and shouting at me about various bits of Exciting Preschool News, and I’ve got to respond to them and speak to their teachers and get their coats on and empty their cubbies and get out the door without forgetting to sign them out. So! Much! Stuff! Then, in the hallway, they both insist on putting on their gloves, so I help L first and then E and then L turns to me and hands me his gloves back because he’s decided he doesn’t want them after all.

5:02 We’ve made it to the car.

5:25 Everyone is home and I’ve changed into a cozy sweatshirt. Soup is on.

5:45 Dinner.

6:04 Post-prandial chaos including a kitchen dance party. I am too tired to participate so I decide to chill on the couch for a few minutes. Eventually the children are just literally running up and down the hall screaming and kicking/throwing some cheap plastic firefighter hats they got at school last month.

6:30 Pajamas and teeth-brushing while CW and I chat on the couch for a precious couple of minutes. Then we all snuggle on the couch and read a few books.

7:05 We start getting kids to bed, which involves a lot of “discussion” about whether it’s bedtime or not. I need Alexa to handle this shit. The curtain calls begin literally four seconds after we walk out of their room and close the door. They run back out of the bedroom several times in 15 minutes, culminating in a stubbed toe and many tears.

7:15 I remember I need to wheel the recycling bin down to the curb and while I’m there I check the mail. The mail carrier has crammed a package in there that precisely fits the mailbox’s dimensions so I can’t fit a finger alongside it to pry it out. It’s cold and raining and I’m standing out here trying to remove a package from my mailbox like some kind of ding-dong. I wind up bending a fingernail backwards trying to bend it, squash it, and/or poke a hole in the side for purchase. Eventually I pry it loose, cursing the mail carrier and all of his descendants. It’s my Picky Club subscription box and yes that is a referral link.

7:25 I’m finally in my jammies and settling into bed for some reading time. I’ve got flannel sheets and cozy socks and the gentle sound of rain outside.

7:30 But hark! What is that other sound? Aha, the sound of my daily phone reminder to set up the coffee pot for tomorrow.

7:35 I’m back in bed again but guess who is not?!

7:52 I can hear them singing over the monitor. “Happy Birthday,” the alphabet song, etc. How the hell are they still awake? I’m signing off. I love you and good night.

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