I have to say, I'm really enjoying my routine these days. It's keeping me humming along even in these dark damp days when motivation is sometimes low and either crawling under the sheets or running far away sound like the best options. And of course, the added horror of current events has made me lose a few days of productivity to anxiety. Those lost days were what really motivated me to re-focus on the daily routine and discipline of studio work. It might still be work that leaves me tired at the end of a day, but it's meditative, creative work that feeds my spirit and gives me energy to resist wherever I can.
So, what is that routine that is so miraculous you ask? I thought I'd take some pictures of my day and let you in on the wild and crazy life of a studio potter. (hint: it's neither wild nor crazy but I sure like it!)
I'll skip over the pictures of me first thing in the morning, stumbling around for coffee because no one needs to see that. But I do make coffee first thing while the kids get themselves ready for school. We're really lucky that we live right next to the elementary school where my youngest goes and my oldest either takes the bus or walks to middle school, so I don't have to drive them there. After they leave, I sit down with my coffee and check emails and social media, answer any comments or questions that have popped up overnight on anything I posted, and then try to get out of Facebook and Instagram before they become a huge time suck. I then take a bit of time to read and learn something new either about ceramics or about the business side, like marketing, accounting, blah blah blah. I'm not a natural at any of that, so I have to be really intentional at continuing to seek out new information. (PS - If you're looking for a great resource for info on social media marketing for creative professionals, I really love Meighan O'Toole's advice and candor.)
I'll eat something simple for breakfast then head out to the studio. If I'm throwing, I'll sketch up a few ideas on the wall chalkboard. I can look at these shapes while I'm throwing and it helps keep me on track.
Podcasts are my jam while I work and these days I'm really into the docudrama pods. They're another great way to escape current events for a bit. Here are my favorites: Ars Paradoxica, The Deep Vault, The Bright Sessions, Archive 81, and Life After.
I usually work until 12 or 1, eat some lunch, check email, and then go for a walk or run. I usually have a little fight with myself about whether or not to go on that run or keep working, because I really want to get more done but I know that I need to workout and clear my head. Usually the workout wins and if it loses, I regret it later. When I get back, it's back to work until 3 when I take a quick break to pick up my son at the school. He has snack and downtime while I work for another hour or two. If there are nearby deliveries to make, I often do them at this time. Otherwise, it's throwing or glazing.
My partner gets home between 4:30 and 5 and he'll come into the studio so we can discuss the day and think about dinner. Occasionally I work in the evenings after dinner, but most of the time I'm in by 6, we have dinner and then it's on to homework and story time for the kiddos, followed by down time for the grown ups.
And that's basically it. Every wednesday morning is yoga and every wednesday evening we have dinner with neighbors and friends, potluck style. Every thursday evening I walk over to my friend's house for whiskey and gossip. Every other friday is date night. You get the idea. I used to be very routine averse and liked to fly by the seat of my clay covered pants, but the more complicated life got, the more I'm enjoying a loose structure to keep the chaos contained.
How about you? Do you love routines or is every day a surprise? ;)