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olivia’s routine – month three

April 2, 2010

This has been a super busy month. I blame Canada Immigration. But we finally sent off our 5-inch-thick application and all its components, and now we can actually play the waiting game.
I’m glad things are calming down a bit. I’ve got stuff to do, damn it! And that’s what this post is kind of about.



[may-troh, boo-loh, doh-doh]

This French expression is actually loaded with significance because it depends almost entirely on context. It can be a joke, a serious matter, a criticism or a shrugged off “that’s life” kind of fact. Literally, it translates to “subway-work-sleep,” and it’s most often used to describe a hectic schedule, with little empty space between the three activities. It’s one of those beautifully compact sayings that I wished existed in English.  It’s also a much more interesting synonym for “routine,” something that I’m a little anxious to get back.

You know, we often look down on routine. There are lots of expressions for this: “her life is so routine,” “my daily routine,” or “back to the work routine.” When we put it like that, there’s no question we’re talking about something rather dull. The unfortunate thing is that the implication demeans the parts of the routine that are healthy. Like how a job can give you a sense of purpose that you don’t have without one. Case in point, one of my friends, who’s incredibly artistic, says he might never work on art if he weren’t a graphic designer. So his job gives him an outlet for that energy. There’s also how I can’t seem to maintain a workout regime unless I’m able to insert it somewhere between “boulot” and “dodo.”

Sure, some people would love to have my problems right now. And I’m not saying I actually have any problems. There’s no question that travelling is a luxury, and it’s rich in so many things. But it’s not like we’re spending the year backpacking. When we’re actually travelling, it’s interesting and fun and eye-opening. But there are lots of times when we’re neither travelling nor living anywhere in particular, and those are the moments when I crave a bit of structure.

In the last week, we’ve sent off our papers to the lovely folks at Canada Immigration, and we scrambled to get our stuff together so we could finally, finally make our way to Spain, which is going to be our home base for the next little while.

And you know what I did when we arrived? I put our books on a shelf. I put our clothes in the closet. I put the suitcases away. We got groceries and got what we needed for what’s going to be our joined low-carb experiment. We even got a Wii Fit. In other words, we set the wheels in motion to put regularity back into our lives.

Oh sure, there are going to be a couple more trips to other European cities. We have to take advantage of being here while we can, and we know that. But right now, the thing we want most is a routine. Something reliable, tangible, and, despite being a little dull at times, ours to shape as we see fit. There’s power in that, no doubt.

So here’s the kind of schedule I’m hoping to uphold. Wish me luck!


Low-carb breakfast

Catch up on yesterday’s news (we’re 6 hours ahead of E.S.T.)

Catch up on Perez

Click on every interesting link posted by the people I’m following on Twitter

Low-carb snack

Look at notes for next blog post, write 3 paragraphs



Low-carb lunch

Write at least 3 pages of screenplay

Wii Fit


Low-carb snack



Low-carb dinner

Coronation Street (where applicable, and possibly while Internetting)

Possibly finish blog post (if not, apply to tomorrow)

p.s. On weekends, this routine goes to hell and I eat a bunch of spaghetti.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 3, 2010 10:28 am

    great post! beautifully written.

  2. livvyjams permalink
    April 4, 2010 3:17 am

    Thanks Sarah! 🙂

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