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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne


Oh, who the #@#! am I kidding?

I just spent over an hour in futility downloading a keystroke recovery program onto that laptop (I'm now on my big computer in the office), then carefully selecting the (close to 100) files I'd used or modified today and finally clicking on 'Recover'.  I was brought to a screen that said, and pardon me if I paraphrase here, "Oh, if you actually want to RECOVER these files / keystrokes, you NOW have to upgrade to a paid-for program vs. the free one you downloaded.  The free version will show you the modified files, but to actually recover or read them, you have to pay us for it, SUCKER!"

It's not too early to start drinking, is it?

In a much briefer overview, here's what my lost post said . . . .

I have a schedule, but it's not one that works with the hours of the universally accepted Work Day.  This is because I'm a Night Owl.  Definitively and conclusively NOT a  Morning Person.  Fortunately, I do have some options.  Namely, I am fortunate enough to be able to do some of my office work here at home.

Also, because I am not "allowed" (wrong word, but true) to have gallery hours until after 4:00 or 5:00 PM on weekdays due to the nature of the other businesses / Non-Profits in my building, I think I need to change my heretofore work week from Tuesdays - Saturdays to Wednesdays - Sundays in order to capitalize on the hours I CAN be open to the public (there are no restrictions on me in the weekday evenings nor weekends).

Too, to take advantage of my folks' generous offer to watch the dogs during the day (I need to pick them back up between 4:30 and 5:00), I need to start getting the dogs to them earlier . . . and then, as a direct result, myself into the office earlier.  Right now, my schedule has me dropping the dogs off around 2:00 or 3:00, working until 4:45 when I pick up the dogs and feed and exercise them, and then returning to work until 8:00 or 9:00-ish, but not much later than that since I don't like the dogs having much more than those couple of hours in the cold car at night.

So, the conclusion to all that I've outlined in the above abbreviated fashion, is here's my new "school day" (work day) schedule . . . one I hope you'll help me stay honest to.  They say that if you're trying to make or break a habit, you need to do that thing for 21 consecutive days.  That might be hard with Christmas and the New Year coming up within those 21 days, but I'm gonna try it. 
  • 6:45 / Alarm
  • 6:45 – 8:00 / Feed Dogs & Cats, Shower, Ready for Day
  • 8:00 – 8:30 / Chores, Abbreviated on Work Days
  • 8:30 – 9:30 / Drive to Town
  • 9:30 – 10:00 / Drop Dogs Off, Get in to Office
  • 10:00 – 4:45 / Office
  • 4:45 – 5:30 / Pick Up Dogs, Get Gas
  • 5:30 – 6:30 / Drive Home
  • 6:30 – 8:30 / Chores, Dinner, Whatever
  • 8:30 – 10:00 / Blog, Unwind
  • 10:00 - 10:30 / Bedtime
The 6:45 AM alarm is gonna be a killer . . . especially since it will still be dark at that time for many more moons!  But, if I *DO* get to bed on time, that SHOULD help.  Anyone out there have any “get up when the alarm goes off” tricks?  I already do the “put the alarm on the other side of the room so you have to get out of bed” theory, but it doesn’t work:  I hop RIGHT back into bed and snuggle under the warm covers.  Hmmm, maybe I should take the time to boot the computer up each morning so I can post an “I’m UP!” note to you all!  ;)

Those of you who know me well (especially my ex) are surely chuckling over this because I have made UMPTEEN schedules for myself over the years, and NONE of them stick.  But, I do enjoy having one because it allows me to not have to think!  Instead, I just look at the posted schedule, find out what time it is, and say, "Oh, look!  I should be doing this right now!"
Aside from going to bed early on the day of the week that will end up being "my Sunday", I'll allow my two-day weekend to follow its usual, organized chaos schedule.

So, there ya have it.  Aside from more detail, that's pretty much what my morning's post was about.


  1. 1) It will be hard at first. ALL change, even good change, is hard for a while.

    2) That thing about doing something for 21 days and it will become a habit or natural or whatever is total, absolute bunk. Take it from someone who has HAD to do disagreeable things for much longer (MUCH longer) than that. You simply have to show your true grit and tough it out by knowing you want the end product you'll get from your efforts. And I know you can do that.

    3) Think how far ahead you are on your New Year's Resolutions by starting this new schedule now!

    4) Death to computer problems.

  2. I think you need to allow a little slack in there - too much structure on your unstructured self may lead to revolt! I am not much help in the alarm area, since I wake up every morning at 4:30, no matter what. But I agree that schedules help by relieving you of thinking about it - I am on a pretty good schedule that allows me to get done (almost) everything I need to do before I leave for the office. I'm rooting for you!

  3. Susan, more wiggle room? Eek, I feel like I'm already wiggling too much as it is! ;) And, between picking the dogs up just before 5:00 and getting to bed at 10:00 - 10:30, it's all, pretty much wiggle-able. The morning is the non-wiggle time . . . and that's my problem area, so I *have* to be strict w/ myself there, I think. But, the proof will be in the pudding, won't it?! :)

    Mom, the 21-day thing DOESN'T work? Welll, THANKS! Here I was actually looking forward to that invisible line, after which the new schedule would be old-hand!

  4. That schedule seems workable! Sorry, I have no advice for getting up with the alarm. I'm one of those obnoxious early birds that's up and at em by 5:00 am, no alarm needed. My problem is wanting to be in bed at 9:00, especially on cold dark nights.

    You get so much done, every single day. I stand amazed at all you do!!!!

  5. I guess you shouldn't discount it for everything. I was thinking more along the lines of: If you follow a diet for 21 days, after that you won't have any food cravings because you're used to it. Or if you start an exercise program and stick to it for 21 days, after that you'll love it so much you won't think of quiting. Or if you cut out bread from your diet for 21 days, after that you won't ever want a sandwich or piece of toast again. Or if you stop smoking cigars for 21 day, you'll never have the urge to smoke one again. On the other hand, if you see results you are searching for after 21 days, I think you'd want to keep it up.

    Know what I mean?

  6. AHA! Now I get the hours with the gallery thing, that's kind of a bummer since it gets so dark early and people are back home, but I am sure it will be fantastic to have those gallery hours in the summer when people are still milling around town. I too, confess that I am up at 5:45 every day without an alarm, have been since boot camp straightened me out some 21 years ago! My issue is that I still am a night owl, too! I think your big issue will be getting to bed at a decent hour, if you are able to master that, the wake up thing will fall into place. BOO BOO for those computer problems, that just plain sucks. Last time I lost stuff on mine I just cried. :)

  7. If anyone ever tells you that you can't do something will you do "it" just to prove them wrong??


  8. So, adjust your schedule like this:
    6:15am: automatic start of IV caffeine drip.
    6:45am: alarm goes off...you are so freaked from the IV caffeine, that you leap from the bed, frantic
    6:55 am: start thinking about something really stressful; a problem without any good solution, etc.
    7am: you will be WIDE AWAKE and stressed out, i.e., ready to start another day of rat race.

    Hahahahha, good luck!!!

  9. 18 years at work at 4:30am, 1 year at work at 5:30am:

    1) Set a variety of alarms. No clocks in your room should show the real time. Time display can be anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes off Real Time. Use da snooze if you can't jump out of bed awake. Set alarms to give you as many snoozes as you need to wake up gradually, if that's the way your body works.

    2) Set the "i am not kidding" alarm in another ROOM so you have to GET UP AND WALK to turn it off.

    3) always have a backup battery alarm clock set in case of a power out.

    4) buy a little four cup coffee maker for $10-20 bucks, one with a timer. Set it up in your bedroom/adjoining bathroom. Set up a pot of joe each night and set the timer to go off about ten minutes before the "i am not kidding" alarm.

    5) get up, turn off "i am not kidding" alarm, pour hot cuppa joe. another benefit is that you have smelled it brewing and you will wake up happy and comforted.

    6) reset the alarms every month or so or whenever you start to fudge and start running late.

    to recap: tricks are never knowing for sure what time it actually is, creating a process to wake yourself gradually if that's what you need, making alarms inconvenient to turn off and warm robes/hot coffee etc EASY to access.

    Yes, i've made rather a science of this. sigh.


  10. So, Susan, you say you have your morning schedule down. Any specific suggestions? I know waking up, no matter what, each morning at 4:30 (you) or 5:00 (Becky) or 5:45 (Erin) is a problem in itself, but I'll bet the number of times it helps far outweighs those it doesn't! :) I tell you, if I were a morning person, it would jibe much better with the rest of the working world!

    Becky, you heap TOO much praise on me! Remember, I have no kids and, now, no partner . . . so I have all that time to spend on the things I do! I don't think I get any more done than the rest of us busy women & men. :)

    Mom, good thing I don't intend on going on a diet, starting an exercise regime, EVER (!) cutting bread out of my diet OR stopping my 5 cigar-a-day habit then! ;)

    Erin, yup, I'll have to remember when I'm forcing myself to go to bed "early" each night that my mornings will (eventually?!) be MUCH LESS PAINFUL as a result!

  11. So? Confession time, Chicken Mama! I am curious if your new schedule has (a) kicked in and (b) feels workable. My schedule (in a nutshell) is: rise at 4:30 and, between then and 9:15a I (in this order as much as possible) let dogs out, make coffee, knit, pack lunch, finish laundry if necessary, change to barn clothes, feed dogs/cats, walk dogs, eat breakfast, feed sheep/llama, feed chickens/ducks/rabbits, check water, change into work clothes, let dogs out once more, leave for work. The evening is abbreviated: let dogs out, change to barn clothes, feed dogs, gather eggs, close up chicken coops, new water bottles for rabbits, hay to sheep/llama, inside.


If you are familiar with me and where I live, please respect my right to retain some anonymity by not referring to me by anything other than Chicken Mama nor mentioning city/town/villages by place names. Thanks!