Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Morning musings.

~3:30 a.m. Roll over in bed, look at time projected on ceiling, wonder why I am awake at this hour. Again. Pet the cat who wanders over to see what the fuss is about.

~4:30 a.m. Roll over in bed, look at the time, and wonder I am not asleep. Again. Kick the cat because he is attacking my feet. Again.

5:00 a.m. Cell phone alarm goes off. Reach up to window sill, silence alarm, lay in bed while trying to understand what is going on. Right. Morning. Maybe I'll call in dead?

5:04 a.m. Heave myself out of bed, stumble to the bath room (petting the cat who is laying on the corner of the bed) and start the shower. (Optional, start coffee before shower) Shower, brush teeth, wash hair, etc.

5:15 a.m. Second alarm goes off (in case the first alarm didn't get me up). Still in shower. Ignore. It silences itself.

5:20 a.m. Second alarm repeats, since it got no reply the first time. Stepping out of shower, silence alarm. Dry off. Walk to scales and weigh myself. Comb hair.

5:25 a.m. Get dressed after entering weight into www.fitbit.com.

5:26 a.m. Get distracted from getting dressed by the lure of checking my webcomics and news sites.

5:30 a.m. Third alarm goes off. Silence alarm and drop phone into shirt pocket of  the dress shirt I put one while reading interwebs.

5:40 a.m. Notice time, finish getting dressed, put lunch and breakfast in bag, make sure I have phone, comb, name badge, spare cash for water if needed on walk home. Make sure FitBit is in belt clip

5:45-6:00 a.m. Turn off lights, computer, etc, finish optional coffee, walk out door and lock it. Start walking to work.

~24 minutes after leaving apt, arrive at work. (Usually 6:24 a.m.) Meet supervisor out side building as he enjoys first cup of work coffee. Talk about previous day, plan for day ahead, talk family. Chew fat.

~6:30 a.m. Put lunch in freezer at work. Start breakfast cooking.

~6:35 a.m. Sit down at desk, let food cool off. Log into PC, start loading work programs. Go get coffee and water. Come back to desk. Finish loading programs.

~6:40 a.m. Listen to morning voicemail from CEO on store sales and other noted events. Load morning websites.

6:45 a.m. Clock in, log into phone, start work.

We all have our little quirks, our habits, our patterns. Sometimes they are created because we can't stand an unstructured life, sometimes they are imposed on us by our career (military life comes to mind), and sometimes by our loved ones, children who need to be up in time for the bus in the morning.

For me, it was about survival. Not life or death, but I wanted to keep my job. My car went Kaput, and begging rides is not how I roll. (Heh... Rides... how I *roll*... get it? Ahem) I have to either walk or bike to work. The bike needs some work done on it, so I am walking. When the car first stopped on me, I didn't have a bike to use, so I was walking regardless.

I knew, without a doubt, that the ONLY way I was going to show up on time was to turn my morning into a regimented routine with a built in room for error. You may have heard the axiom "Hope for the best, plan for the worst." I've read enough military sci-fi to understand that the best thing to plan for first is your "Go-To-Hell" plan. That way, when if you are still working on other projects and plans and things suddenly go to hell, you have a plan for it. My go to hell plan is to call my boss and beg a ride if I am running really late. He knows this, and has offered rides before, so I don't feel too sorry about it. When my car was working, my go to hell plan was walking. It's a good thing I had a plan.

When I was at Multnomah, I had a 7am class. Ugh. I ended up with a similar routine in place to get me to class. I am not a morning person, but I am a routine person. If I have a routine in place, I follow it fairly well. A little too well, sometimes. One morning I stumbled into the cafeteria for breakfast and the lady there scanning meal cards looked at me and declared "You're late!" It turns out I was five minutes later than when I normally would walk in. I didn't know I was that regular, I just followed my routine. I had to. If I didn't, I wouldn't make it to class.

There are three things I want to highlight. The first two are ones that really only came to me as I was writing this.

1) What routines do we have, good or bad, in our lives? How can we remove the bad ones, and replace them with good ones? How can we use these good routines in our lives? What do bad ones or poorly built ones do to negatively impact our lives?

2) What is your "Go-To-Hell" plan?Do you have a plan for getting items of value to safety if you need to evacuate? I do. Do you have a plan to get to work if the car breaks down? I do (obviously). My co-worker just called in saying he was in a bad wreck. (He said he is ok, by the way, but prayers appreciated.) Do we have a plan to get him to work once the on site stuff is settled? Yep. At work we just did a major revision of our emergency planning for all kinds of problems. (Most begin with "grab the firebag and run like crazy.") We have a plan. Do you?

3) How many people don't have a job to plan for? How many people do not have the privilege of going to work in the morning, of earning money. How many have given up hope of a future? Americans have been accused of being lazy. And to some degree, that may be true. But one thing that has always been true is that by and large, Americans are not afraid of work. As a country, we need to work, we need to move, we need to have something to plan for. We cannot do this when we are taxed to heavily, when our employers are forced to pay higher premiums on insurance, and after being fleeced to pay for government programs for the poor, they cannot afford to hire the poor. The needy. The hungry. The ones willing to work.

The answer is not to support our poor in their poverty. It is to keep them uncomfortable in it, to let the employers have the money they need to hire more people, to let the poor lift them selves out of poverty by getting a job, even if it is minimum wage, and to plan and hope for a better future. To have a reason for a Go-To-Hell plan, because they are no longer in it. Power over poverty does not rest in the government.

It rests with the people.

These are things I think about when walking to work.


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