All my life, I’ve wondered and often inquired how people pass their days. What rituals do they follow when they are the most creative? What do they eat for breakfast? When do they dine for dinner? Are they a morning person or an evening person? Do they wear a uniform of sorts or does their wardrobe vary? What little distinctions do people make as they go through the routine of their days to help define their particular nature and distinguish themselves from others? We all basically look the same and have somewhat the same routines yet each of us is an individual and I’m curious how we define ourselves as special.
In this light I thought it only befitting that I reveal the peculiarities that surround my daily rituals.
5:00AM to 6:00AM depending on the season. Rise and then shine briefly.
This is both a time of great happiness, the best I usually feel all day, and often anxiety. I’ve never quite figured out why I feel both happy and anxious. I often need not a cup of coffee but rather a valium to get my day rolling.
7:00AM to 8:00AM
Breakfast which has become somewhat of a ritual. Usually scrambled egg whites with toast, followed by one hour of bliss either reading the New York Times or in the Spring and Summer walking in the garden, pruning, listening and speaking quietly to the landscape and the gardens around me. By this time I am usually so mellow I now need a cup of coffee. There is nothing like a valium followed by a cup of coffee to finally realize the perfect stasis in my morning.
8:00AM to 9:00AM
What would be more proper as I have now reached the perfect equilibrium with a slight tilt towards repose to take a nap. This has become a habit that started in my twenties and has lasted well into my sixties. This time although it appears I have dropped out of the world is one of my favorite times of the day. I love waking up and then going back to sleep. I usually sit in my favorite chair in our garden room with the sun shining through the windows and I quickly and peacefully nod off for an hour.
9:00AM to 12:00PM
Everyone arrives at 9AM so I have to pretend like I’m busy. Everyone is humming along, scanning, invoicing, estimating, processing film, etc. and I the lord of the manor oversea the enterprise.
All my life I have basically worn a uniform, although today I broke from my usual habit of wearing khaki pants, a dress shirt with my initials embroidered at the third button, and a pair of tassel loafers. This was my uniform in boarding school, in college, and in life. Why change a good thing. I know what I’m going to wear and I don’t have to worry. I’m comfortable in my uniform. This is also my most productive time. If I am shooting, writing blogs, doing correspondence, or any paperwork this is the time I will get the most done and am the most productive. The day is lost for me as the clock strikes twelve.
12:00PM to 1:00PM
Lunch. Normally in the winter months a beautiful Columbian Lunch prepared by our longstanding Columbian housekeeper Matilde is laid out in china. The meal is made up of chicken, rice, and carrots and for the last few months I have not varied from this. In the summer I often have a chopped salad made up of vegetables and tomatoes from our garden. She often tries to slow me down and make me eat in proper leisurely manner.
1:00PM to 1:30PM
I usually take this time to read. Usually a work of fiction. I try to read a book a week.
1:30PM to 2:00PM
Another nap. All people over 5 should have a small siesta. Since I have been doing this for so long I’m very good at closing my eyes for twenty minutes to a half hour. Waking refreshed.
2:00PM to 4:00PM
My feeble attempt to get more work done. If I’m smart which I rarely am I should do something productive like filing or straightening up the studio, cleaning my cameras, or simply thinking about new ideas for shoots. Ironically when I was younger some of my best ideas came to me while I was mowing the lawn. I haven’t found an equivalent physical activity but I’m sure one exists.
4:00PM to 5:00PM
Walk on the wild side. Usually a one hour walk through the woods thinking profound and deep thoughts all the way. Unfortunately my thoughts usually end up on money. How much I need to make it through the year but I try to let things go where they wish and on occasion I will think of ideas I want to accomplish photographically.
5:00PM to 6:00PM
Read. Back to my novel.
6:00PM to 7:30PM
Usually dinner with my wife Leslie. As I am home most of the day I am ready to go out. As she is out most of the day she is ready to be home. We usually compromise, some days dining out at local places some days eating at home. This is never a restful and relaxing respite from the day. This is my witching hour when I am at my worst. I am usually angry and not great company. If you want me at my best you have to see me in the morning.
8:00PM to 9:30PM
If it’s summer I’m usually watching the ballgame. I usually fall asleep about the forth or fifth inning and fight to stay awake to the seventh at which time I give up and go to bed.
After two or three pages of reading, all is well and fast asleep.