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My typical day

Hidde kindly nominated me to write one of the “typical day” posts that have been making the blogging rounds. I’ve been enjoying reading them, as they give a nice look into how other people are holding up in quarantine.

I’m also all about demystifying things. Here’s my daily routine, warts and all:

All day

These are activities that are threaded throughout my waking hours. I’ll:

5:00–5:15 AM

My partner’s alarm goes off, so I wake up with them. They’re a teacher who has been forced into going back to in-person, because this country is a selfish hellpit death cult. I’ll typically doze poorly after this, until:

8:15–9:05 AM

I mash snooze a few times, check my email, Slack, and Twitter in bed to make sure nothing is blowing up. I’ll also check Nuzzel because FOMO is very real.

I’ll then take my anti-anxiety medication for the day—thank you Past Eric for getting your shit sorted. Most of the time I’ll take a quick shower afterwards, although that, like a lot of other things, has been slipping as of late.

9:05–9:30 AM

I tell my work Slack channel what I’ll be working on during the day—it sort of feels like yelling into a void. We just re-orged, so I feel disconnected, directionless, and isolated more often than not.

After that, I take about half an hour and read a collection of news and industry sites and aggregators, as well as my RSS feed (again, FOMO). I’ve been doing this for around a decade now, and it really helps me stay on top of things in an industry that moves way too fast.

A new thing I’ve added to my routine is checking what album is next on, adding it to an macOS Music playlist, and giving it a listen. This is worth noting as routine-worthy because:

9:30 AM–12:00 PM

I make coffee and then do client work.

I honestly wish I could provide more detail here, but my day-to-day tasks can be highly varied depending on what kind of client I have and at what phase of the contract we’re in. This leads to all sorts of jokes from my friends and family about not actually knowing what I do for a living. Reader, sometimes I don’t even know.

12:00–1:00 PM

Lunch. Our office used to be in the heart of downtown Boston, so I used to love going out to pick up lunch from a large variety of places. It wasn’t the best for my budget, but hey.

Now I make instant noodles more often than not. Like making coffee, it is a process I have down to a science. While I’m slurping lunch down I’ll talk with any coworkers who show up on our all-company casual Google Hangout. This is effectively my human contact for the day.

1:00–6:15 PM

I continue doing client work. Around 4:00 PM my partner comes home, exhausted from teaching and commuting. They’ll typically need an hour or so to decompress on the couch—I worry a ton about how their school’s selfishness will affect their longterm physical and mental health. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot I can do other than provide support where I can.

When it’s nicer out, I try to sneak in a quick walk around the block. I try to go on off hours to minimize the chances I run into someone not wearing a mask.

I reserve the last 15 minutes of my work day to button up any remaining email or other job-related hygiene. You’d be surprised what slips when quarantine has ritualed you in a monotonous dissociative fugue state.

6:15–7:30 PM

We make dinner together, then eat it. In the Before Times we were trying to make a concentrated effort to eat dinner in the dining room, and not in front of a screen. These days there’s not much in the way of excitement. That, coupled with exhaustion, means we usually watch TV.

Hunderby is great so far, and 30 Rock is a good show that aged poorly that is comfortable and brainless enough to fill the void.

7:30 PM–12:00 AM

I’ll generally faff about and work on writing or the slow redesign of my website. Sometimes I'll change it up by playing some Switch or calling my mother or sister.

I tend to write when I’m anxious, because it helps me feel in control. There’s been a, uh, dramatic increase in output as of late, so read into that what you will. I’ll also typically field proposed MDN edits and work on The A11Y Project, although the latter has been difficult to keep myself motivated with as of late.

I’m also currently rehearsing a talk. I try to practice delivering talks once a day for a month before I’m supposed to deliver it to make sure everything flows well.

My partner goes to bed around 8:00–10:00 PM, depending on how tired they’re feeling. I try to make it a point to tuck them in. I used to do a lot more Zoom friend and family chats, but they’ve felt absolutely draining as of late.

1:00-2:00 AM

I have a job where I sit all day, and so my teenage insomnia is back in full force. I watch absolutely trash TV, doomscroll on my phone, and drink too much mediocre whiskey.

I used to work for an organization that subcontracted with SAMHSA, so I am fully aware that I’ve self-medicated myself to the point where it’s substance abuse. However, reality is also a slow-motion horror show that I don’t have any control over, so we’ll call it even.

2:00-2:30 AM

I sneak into bed and read, then pass out.

Wrapping up

It’s not a happy story, but I’m not really in a good place. Hopefully this helps show that we’re mortal and fallible. The past year’s quarantining and political reality factors into how you exist in this world, even if you have a cushy computer job.

I'd like to nominate Sarah, Mel, and Olu to join this chain.