The last few weeks have been good. We have been going back to a known good routine. In this post I want to outline the routine we’re using and why it’s been chosen.
The goals of my routines are autonomy and productivity. To be able to make meaningful decisions about my life and to be productive enough to hold down a job.
I have relatively small amounts of energy each day, without support I can just about keep on top of things but I quickly run out of energy and crash.
The routines provide a predictable backbone of support. The focus is covering the day to day life things most effectively as possible. Hopefully to leave enough energy left over I can things / work.
I find being home alone very tricky. There is a lot to keep track of when home alone. It takes a lot of energy per hour compared to being in other places like a local cafe or sat in my private mini office in town (aka, the cupboard).
However, I also don’t have the energy to be out all day everyday. In order to minimise the time I am home alone I run a slightly strange sleep schedule. I start my day for noon and have a lunchtime routine with support to help me start the day well. I then focus on work (and avoid being home!) from 1pm through to 7pm when either my flatmate gets home or I have my second support routine.
I then have routine through till 9pm focusing on dinner, prepping for the next day, a bath etc. Then from 9pm till about 1am I hide in my bedroom and decompress from the day.
With home being so demanding for energy I find it very hard to get much work done there. Instead I do most of my work elsewhere.
I think cafes work well because they are a pretty consistent and stable environments. The cafe staff are managing the space. I can sit in a corner and focus on my work. My safety is not based on reacting to things like fire alarms / door bells / ensuring ovens are off etc. Sat in the cafe is a sort of passive supported environments. It works well for me.
Now that I can return to the cafe and my mini office the next step is to slowly build up the hours. My current target is around 10 hours a week. I am aiming to be back to my job in a few weeks time. Slowly taking on more things. For the moment I am allowing those hours to happen on either weekdays or the weekend. The most important part is sustainable and consistent pacing, breaking for the weekend is more disruptive than it is restful.
All work and no play is pretty miserable. Part of the return to normal life also means a return to having bike adventures. Specifically riding places like bike parks. As I mentioned above I have 1-2 days a month where I can break the normal routine. I really love spending one of those days out on my bike.
My routine works well and is well tested. But it’s not perfect. Living the way I do is very effective, but it has downsides.
The biggest downside is energy related. Following my routine I always have some energy, but I rarely have lots of energy. Energy is a slow steady supply which makes single large energy events extremely disruptive. Life can get frustrating.
The second downside is loneliness. In order to minimise time alone I sleep a large portion of the day and most of my waking hours are spent alone. In a typical day I am alone around 22 hours.
I have friends I can chat to online and a flatmate, but for most of the waking hours I am not working they are asleep. While working I need to focus on my work.
Long term the loneliness is the biggest challenge we need to resolve. We have some ideas for how to do this, but it’s going to take a while to sort out.