Breaking Bad.

Establishing a new routine is not easy. 

A month ago I decided that enough was enough! News broadcasts were driving me over the edge. This presidential campaign cycle has gone beyond contentious into the kindergarten sandbox of foolish and mean, and it was pushing my blood pressure to dangerous limits. (The Plague of the Incivility Worm)

I decided to go cold turkey and cut out all news contacts. Sort of. I don’t have network or cable TV – only Apple TV. I don’t get a physical newspaper. NYTimes pops into my email every morning.

My morning routine for many, many years has been to click on NPR before my feet hit the floor, and it usually stayed on into the evenings.

  • Old routine.
  • Flip on the radio.
  • Take Shiloh out.
  • Make the coffee.
  • Settle in with the news on the radio and on my iPad.
  • Finish up with a Sudoku or crossword puzzle.

This leisurely morning routine could last from an hour to three depending on my schedule.

On March 9, I resolved to stop listening to the news. I had to change my morning routine.

For several mornings after, I paced my living room not quite sure where I was supposed to be after tending to Shiloh and wrapping my hands around that mug of coffee. I picked up the puzzle books attempting to continue that part of the old routine, but my head wasn’t in it. I plugged in my iTunes playlist thinking that I could start the music part of the day earlier, but the timing wasn’t right.

There was too much silence or rather SILENCE

No one was talking to me.

Then about 10 days into this trial, I heard a voice. It was my voice. I sat at the keyboard, listened, typed and discovered that the best time of day for me to write is in the morning with that first cup of coffee. 

My head is clear. There are no soundbites or disasters or the quibbling of immature politicians. The aroma of fresh coffee is stimulating my creativity. Cloudy or sunny. Rain or snow. I feel energized.

I am not totally isolated from the events of the world. I am well connected by technology. News leaks in through social media, and I do still get the digital NY Times every morning. So I am fully informed of the disasters in Belgium and Bernie Sanders’ wins that aren’t really wins. Local friends keep me up to date on community events. The difference is that I have chosen to learn of these events after my morning routine – after I have set the tone for my day. The outside world is not setting the tone for me.

My new routine. 

  • Take Shiloh out.
  • Make the coffee.
  • Settle into iPages and write.

After a couple of hours, I have a rewarding sense of accomplishment – not the heavy weariness of a world out of control. 

My new routine is not yet a habit. (Current thinking is that new behavior can take up to 244 days to become a habit. I’ll keep focused on it.) There are still mornings that I meander aimlessly with the cup of coffee in my hands but not as frequently. I even find that some nights when I go to bed, I am looking forward to morning and wonder what will flow from my head through my fingers to the keyboard.

I like this new routine. I am breaking bad and building good. My blood pressure is coming down.

2 thoughts on “Breaking Bad.

    li class="comment even thread-even depth-1 parent" id="comment-97">

    Are you writing a book?

      li class="comment byuser comment-author-tameralg bypostauthor odd alt depth-2" id="comment-98">

      Yes. Postcards to My Younger Self.

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