They say routine is the easiest way to manage depression. If you get a routine down, it’s hard to shirk duties you owe yourself. Getting a routine down, especially when not in regular employ, is more than a bit of a challenge. I mean, I still don’t understand mornings.
But baby steps add up to bigger ones. Now if I want or need to get going in the mornings, I instruct Nick to leave me a mug of coffee before he goes off to work. It’s damned near impossible for me to convince myself to sleep some more after that much coffee, no matter how comfortable I am or how much the cat is snuggling up to me.
Ah, the cat. You have no idea how much Charlie has informed my routine.
The little princeling hates it when I’m in my office. Despises it. Will sit at the door, staring balefully, singing the sad songs of his people. Whining. Practically crying. So I can’t work. Or doss around on the internet, surfing pointlessly and wasting my time.
So he pretty much laid down a wordless ultimatum: work out of the house, or don’t work at all.
And now that’s what I do. If I’m not going to get my arse handed to me at the gym, I pack up my bag with my iPad, bluetooth keyboard, fountain pens, drawing pouch, sketchbook, notebook and something to read, and head out to… somewhere. Anywhere. As long as there’s wifi and coffee, I’m happy.
Here’s the weird thing, and why I think this whole ‘mobile office’ phenomenon works: I have games on my iPad. I have access to the internet on it. But I do tend to just sit and write. I do a bit of surfing to look stuff up, but that’s about it. Any social networking, like Twitter or Facebook, I check on my phone, which is usually in my jacket pocket, silent unless I feel like checking.
Maybe I just don’t want to think of how it looks if I’m taking up a space in a coffee place playing Ticket to Ride, or watching cute cat videos. I have some pride, you know.
If the coffee place is playing cool music, like Timberyard usually does, then I’m sorted. If not, Spotify is my best friend, as long as I have a wifi connection. If I’m in the library, I tend to put on a white noise generator app, or more often than not, a rain generator. It all works.
This new routine has meant that I’ve caught up with most of my gardening magazines and journals, written drafts of things for the blog, and drawn a few silly things when I have very little brain left. And none of it felt hard. It all felt comfortable and achievable. It felt very me, in my skin.
It’s a nice feeling. Who knows: if I keep this up, I might end up writing stories again. Or just have page after page of doodles that make no sense or might summon small gods.
It’s all better than being at home with a clingy cat, feeling sorry for myself, looking for the end of the internet.
(There are cats there. I’m sure of it. Cats and cute puppy butts.)