Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ordinary Days - Part 1

Ordinary Days Part 1


Simply put, probably ninety percent of what makes us is the ordinary stuff - the very ordinary course of our days.  The peaks and valleys can be created and we have control over them through the big choices we make. 


The ordinary days are far more of a give and take between us and the world and the crafting of them is more of a delicate movement through our environments with many small choices that we make and that are made around us. 


So, I thought of a list of very ordinary questions, about the very ordinary things of our ordinary days. Then, I thought it would only be fair if I answered these questions so you can learn a bit more about me, if you were interested - about the course of my ordinary days.


Here is the list of questions that I thought of:



What time do you wake up?


I normally wake up about 5:00 AM Pacific Time.  I am, by habit, an early riser.  That habit pretty much runs through the ordinary days including the weekends.


What morning rituals or habits do you have?


My main morning ritual is coffee.  I tend to wake up crisply (a smooth transition from sleep to awake), so I roll out of bed, pad into the living room, and fire up the coffee pot.  On weekdays it isstraight from the coffee pot to the shower, on weekends, I might linger and wait to take the shower.


Do you wake and hurl yourself into the morning? Or do you linger?


It is rare that I linger - morning is my most productive time, personally and professionally, so I tend to hurl myself into the morning.  Every now and then I will purposely linger, purposely slow myself down.


Do you take the time for breakfast? Or do you grab a quick bite and dash off to work?


I almost always eat breakfast.  One of the big advantages of being an early riser is having the unhurried time in the morning, so it is a rare day when I skip breakfast.  Oatmeal with brown sugar is my breakfast of choice. I accompany it with a muffin, usually with cream cheese and chives.  Sometimes I will substitute a bowl of cereal (Total or Special K).


If you happen to see me online in the early weekday mornings, it is because I am eating breakfast and playing on the computer - reading or watching the morning news, responding to personal e-mail, maybe chatting online, etc.


How do your dress for work?


I am fortunate it that I work in casual to very casual work environment (common in IT), so I usually dress in a button shirt, jeans (or casual slacks), and casual shoes (my beloved Rockports). I usually wear light jacket - I have a favorite, a tan weatherproof jacket.  Sometimes I will wear a sport coat.  I will wear a suit every now and then, when face to face meetings with customers are on the schedule, but since most of my customers are virtual, that is a fairly rare occurrence.


What is your commute like?


I commute about ten miles (about twenty minutes), either on the Interstate (280 to 87 to 237), or on <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Lawrence Expressway.  Time wise, it is about the same either way.  Because I tend to go into the office early, I tend to avoid most of the morning commute and slip straight into work.


I'll pick a specific CD to listen to for a few days running, or for a week or so.  I usually carry about ten different ones in my car (a Saturn Vue) and will alternate among them.  Every once in a while I will listen to the radio, but generally, I don't.


Most days I stop at a coffee shop (either Peet's Coffee or the Coffee Bug) and pick up a cup for the commute.  I like my coffee black with extra blackness.  I prefer my coffee to be just coffee - nothing against the six million flavors of coffee and the specialty coffee drinks - I just prefer ordinary black coffee.


About two thirds of the way into work is Baylands Park.  I will often pull in and finish my coffee and watch the sun come up sitting on the hood of the car.  On other days I will do it from the parking lot at work.  We've got great sunrises here for the most part.


What is your work environment like?


I am an information systems analysis manager, so I work in an office environment.  I work in an old building (the building itself is older than me) and it is an old manufacturing building that has been, over the years, retrofitted for white collar workers.  It is not a nice place quite frankly, I do not like it, and never really have.  I joke that you step through the doors back into the 1950's and that the carpet is older than I am.  (We have truly hideous carpet that I believe the actual name of it is "speckled blue left-overs".)


Other than the color scheme and the age of the furniture, my office is nice enough.  It's on the small side, but it is neat and clean.  I have two pictures hanging - one is an abstract of a mountain valley, and the other is a large photograph of a mountain stream.  I've got a desk, a table, a file cabinet, an incidental table and a bookshelf.  I've got assorted trinkets around the office, enough to make it feel homey.


I've got two computer monitors (makes me twice as productive) and I have each of the backgrounds and screen savers set to different pictures, either ones people have sent me, or ones from my own collection.


Overall, my work area is a giant closet in one aspect - we are buried inside of the building, completely inside, so we have no natural light, at all.  We cannot tell what the weather is like outside.  Fortunately, it is fairly spacious with high ceilings, but otherwise it’s a giant closet. There are about sixteen people inside the area, scattered about in offices and cubicles, so sometimes the level of ambient noise rises up.


I've had better offices and I've had worse offices and this one lies somewhere in the middle.


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