#286: Eating My Way Through

We started painting the walls of the house this weekend. Just one room so far – a sunroom downstairs – and just the first of two coats. Most of the work has been prep work. I go around with my headlamp on, scrape off small bumps and stray bits of plaster we’d missed when we primed. I spackle tiny holes and, while I wait for the spackle to dry, test stains for the wood trim in the upstairs hallway. I come back down and sand the dried spackle smooth.

Julia’s working these next couple days, then going up North to see family, so I’ll be on my own for most of the week. When I’m working alone I can do two rooms in a single afternoon. Today I’ll prep the adjacent living room, second-paint-coat the sunroom, then first-coat the living room.

The smart, efficient thing to do would be to prep every room in the house in one go, then paint all at once, but there’s something vastly appealing to me about finishing room by room. It’s like when I’m revising a book and can say, chapter-by-chapter, “This chapter is done.” The quantity of visibly finished work increases, and the quantity of visibly unfinished work decreases.

I have, in my head, the image of a worm eating its way through an apple.

One of the toughest things about this whole deal is that I’ll come back tired – too tired to write – but it’ll be too early to go to sleep. Especially when Julia’s working night shifts at the hospital, my willpower-depleted evening self usually ends up wasting time on the Internet. Last night, at 12:30am, I texted her a Reddit gif of a pit bull who was overly excited about a new toy.

Even though I write in the mornings, I feel affected by that internet-bad-sleep flywheel. I end up groggier and less focused on waking, slower to start writing, later to finish, later to get to the house, later to eat meals, etc. etc. I’ve never been long without a morning routine, but I can’t remember the last time I had a healthy evening routine, and I think I might benefit from one, especially in these busy weeks.

So I’m asking you: Do you have any good evening routines, or rituals?