Plotting a new course (and an apology)

So what have I been doing during this two-week break? Not writing those five meaty posts on my list, for sure–but some of those may turn into C&I essays in any case.

In addition to clearing out some mental cobwebs and tossing away old regrets, and of course writing for the next C&I and working on the Academic Library Blogs book (if it ever happens), I’ve been seeing how a future schedule might work and make sense. Here’s what I see so far.

  • Given that the new position is explicitly part-time, I’m aiming for a total of 40 to 45 hours a week for professional activity, both “work” and writing. That would be a significant reduction from the 60 to 65 hours I’ve been averaging, and leave time to get back to reading more books, getting a little more sleep, and thinking about some of the writing a little more. (Since another very-part-time gig may yet turn up, I’m actually aiming for 35 to 40 hours total at the moment. We shall see.)
  • I’d picked up a cheap pedometer (unfortunately, way too easy to reset inadvertently) about six weeks ago and started checking out what I’d need to add to my daily routine to reach 10,000 steps a day (roughly five miles). Turned out adding a daily walk of roughly a mile did it–and given the lovely scenery out at the old workplace, it’s a shame I didn’t start doing that years ago. (Key factor: I’d been doing at least 1.25-1.5 miles a day on the treadmill.) But…
  • Working at home could be a whole lot more sedentary. That’s a danger. So I’m taking preventive action, and I hope to keep it up. Two parts to that. First, I’m replacing the 40 to 60 minutes a day I used to spend driving (to and from work and to and from lunch) with something like 1.4 to 2 miles a day of extra walking–either walking to a nearby strip mall to buy a sandwich, or walking to the same mall to mail letters, or just walking. That takes 18 to 30 minutes, since I walk at around 4mph on a level surface. And I’m upping the average treadmill time, from 18-25 minutes to 25-30 minutes (watching old movies in fewer but longer segments–currently, two segments each for more of the old one-hour oaters). Those walks also make good, effective breaks, getting out of the house as well as off the computer. I expect to live for a good while longer; I’ve always been a fast walker who enjoyed walking; I’m hoping that doing it long and often will help assure that I can keep doing it. (And, to be sure, keep my weight down.)
  • Yes, I’m sleeping in a little later, but I’m still a morning person–but morning now starts around 6:15 instead of 5:30. So I sit down at the computer somewhere between 7:20 and 8:00, instead of the old 6:55 to 7:15.
  • Right now, a “typical” schedule of 7:30 to 11ish, long lunch/walk/errands break, 12:30-1ish to 3-4ish, then exercise, shower, and *maybe* a short computer session roughly 5 to 6:15, will work nicely. That’s actually more than enough time, but it looks like a workable overall schedule, particularly if I skip the late-afternoon session many days to read or dream instead. And, to be sure, the computer almost never goes on after dinner: That’s been true for a while, and I intend to keep it that way. Added note: That leaves out weekends, of course…which used to amount for maybe 8 of those 65 hours. I’m trying to keep that down to 6, and to use it as overflow as needed.

Changing work habits so substantially is a slight shock to the system. I’m sure these patterns will vary over the next months and years (and, of course, will be wildly disrupted before and after conferences and vacation trips). But I think the general parameters make sense–for me, for now. More walking, a little less working, and maybe a little more focus.

About the apology. On this post at Information wants to be free, I added a comment that overgeneralized what Dorothea Salo was saying. I conflated several different posts (not all from her) and got it at least a little wrong.I attempted to add a comment today at that post, apologizing to Dorothea. Apparently my comments are being trapped as spam. So I’ll do it here. I still think there’s too much “exclusion of the middle” in the field, but in this case Dorothea was not saying what I heard. That happens. Sorry.Oh, and I certainly agree that librarians must be willing to take some initiatives in trying out new things, at least some new things, at least some of the time. Stagnation helps nobody.

6 Responses to “Plotting a new course (and an apology)”

  1. Maybe you should get a dog? She makes sure we go for mile long walks twice a day every day — come rain or come shine. She likes puddles and cold weather so the only time we cut it short is in the heat. If I’m working at home, she’ll let me know it’s time for a play break, too, which is nice.

  2. A dog? Not us–well, not me, at least. Cat people. And, of course, if it was mandatory, chances are my wife would do it better than half the time. No, I’m capable of motivating myself to do that walk at least every sunny day (which around here covers 80-90% of the year). The only problem is if I get really deeply in the middle of an essay or some work… and going to buy a sandwich two or three days a week takes care of the problem immediately, for those days: to and from the strip mall=1.4 miles minimum. Add good Chinese food for lunch at the same mall one day a week, and I’m pretty well covered…

  3. Meredith says:

    Hey Walt, sorry about that! How weird that it let your first comment through, but not the other two. And yet, it seems to let spam through all the time. Sigh…

  4. Meredith says:

    Oh yeah, and I restored your comments.

    I haven’t yet had a chance to congratulate you on the new job. CONGRATULATIONS! Couldn’t have gone to a more deserving guy and I only wish our area was served by PALINET so I could benefit from what you’ll be doing. If you ever have any wiki-related questions, please drop me a line. I’m happy to help.

    And yes, I do see that as being very different from a “training wheels” situation. 😉

    Best of luck in this exciting transition. I fantasize about working only 40 hours a week.

  5. walt says:

    So now I’ve apologized three times, which means it’s a true apology. [Thanks to Lewis Carroll, The Hunting of the Snark. Fortunately, very few of the snarks in libraryland are actually Boojums.]

    I’ll certainly feel free to ask you if I have in-depth wiki questions–but after I’ve gotten a pretty good feel for it, since it’s going to be a primary work tool. And I agree that’s not a training-wheels situation.

    Thanks, also. Don’t be sure you won’t be able to benefit from what I’ll be doing…I just don’t know enough at this point to know how that will work.