A Day In the Life of the Ardent Reader

Day-in-the-Life-EventToday, Trish of Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity is hosting “A Day in the Life”, an event where bloggers are encouraged to document a typical weekday for them. I tend to think my life is pretty, well, boring, but Trish mentioned in her post for the event that she likes having these kinds of posts to look back on and remember how she used to do things. And who knows? Maybe in ten years, I’ll have a husband and/or kids and wonder what I could have possibly spent my time doing before them?

Below is a pretty typical day for me. I ended up having to mash together two attempts at tracking my day after going home sick halfway through one day and then forgetting to track until lunchtime on another. On the two days I supposed to rest from the Couch to 5K program, I’m usually at a meeting for one of my three book clubs or I’ll spend an hour talking to my parents on the phone.

6:36am: Without my glasses, I can’t read the numbers on my alarm clock so on mornings where I wake up before my alarm goes off, I end up reaching for my cell phone to check the time. I once read an article about how terrible checking your email first thing in the morning is — something about starting your day with stress and anxiety — but I’ve never been good at following this advice and lie in bed checking my email and other social media accounts for the next twenty minutes.

7:00am: Alarm sounds. I shuffle into the kitchen to pop a bagel in the toaster and turn on the electric tea kettle. Since I usually think about — if not pick out — my clothes the night before, it doesn’t take me very long to get dressed and I’m back in the kitchen right as the tea kettle shuts off. I prepare a to-go cup of loose leaf tea to take with me to the office.

7:15am: Second alarm sounds. Some mornings I’m not as prompt about getting out of bed when my first alarm sounds so I use the second one on my phone as a back up. I have to root around my bed to find my phone and end up making the bed in the process. Once I’m done, I head into the kitchen to eat my bagel and finish making my lunch for the day, usually while watching “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” so I can start the day off with some humor.

7:50am: I’m out the door and on my way to work. I’m fortunate enough to live within walking distance of working — so close, in fact, that it takes me about ten minutes, if I don’t time the lights properly.

8:00am: Yay, work! I usually spend the first hour catching up on emails, drafting a to-do list for the day, and greeting my coworkers as they come in. After that, I’m either working on projects alone at my desk or in meetings until lunch.

I work as a computer programmer and data analyst for a small software company. We work on projects around the world so I’m occasionally have to work on datasets (like the one at right) with variables that aren’t in a language I know.

11:30pm: Today’s lunch is homemade chicken curry and rice! I try to avoid going out for lunch as much as possible, and I eat pretty early in the day so I can (a) avoid lines in the break room for the microwave and (b) spend thirty to forty-five minutes of my lunch break getting some exercise. A couple laps around the mall near my office gets me to the halfway point (about 2.5 miles) of my mileage goal for the day.

12:30pm: Back to work. More meetings, more emails, and more independent work at my desk. Depending on the project I’m working on, I can usually listen to about four or five hours of an audiobook in a day. Right now, I’m listening to my book club’s selection for next week’s meeting, We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.

5:00pm: Leave work. It takes me about 15 minutes to get home because I stop to check my mailbox and pick up a package from the front desk. The package doesn’t hold anything special — a few household items and a cookbook I ordered from Amazon. I dump everything on the counter in my kitchen and head off to change into my workout clothes.

5:37pm: I’ve tried the Couch to 5K program several times before and never finished it, but lately I’ve taken to running along the river and enjoying the scenery. The path is pretty crowded — everyone in this town seems to be a runner — but I listen to my audiobook and try not to focus on how much faster and more suave of a runner everyone else is for the next thirty minutes.

6:15pm: I usually cook two or three meals in my cockpot on the weekends so dinner is just a matter of pulling something out of the fridge and heating it up. Tonight, I’m having chicken curry with rice and a side of pineapple. I tend to eat dinner in front of my computer while I check the day’s headlines, my RSS reader, and social media sites. When I’m done, I clean up my few dishes, unpack my lunchbox, and load the dishwasher.

6:50pm: One of the items on my wishlist for an apartment was a bathtub because I love unwinding after a long day with a bubble bath. Sometimes I’ll listen to an audiobook played via the iHome in my bedroom; sometimes I’ll soak and enjoy the silence. Tonight, I decided to enjoy a few more chapters of We Were Liars.

7:15pm: I start preparing for bed when I’m done with my bath because I’m twenty-three going on sixty. Taking out my contacts a few hours before I go to bed gives my eyes a break and seems to help me wind down in the evenings.

7:20pm: I settle in on the couch to watch an episode of “Scandal”. I can never stay up late enough to watch the show live on Thursdays, and I usually watch sometime in the following week. I contemplate watching last night’s “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore” before deciding to head off to bed and read, instead.

8:37pm: I’m tucked into bed with a mug of (caffeine-free) tea and Outlander by Diana Gabaldon on my iPad. The second half of the television series based on this book airs beginning a week from tomorrow so I’m trying to finish the novel before then.

9:09pm: Lights out, glasses off, and I’m asleep in a matter of minutes. Seems early, no? It’s a running joke in my family that nine o’clock is my bedtime because I struggle to stay up past then and have since I was a little girl. I’m one of the people who works best with nine to ten hours of sleep a night.



  1. First, love your sunset picture. So pretty. Your day sounds very full and I’m an early to bed person as well. I haven’t watched Outlander yet, but I have read the book maybe 3 times. And then I get stuck and never go on to book #2. Ah well. Maybe watching will give me a nudge. Have a good weekend!


    1. Thank you! I’ve been treated to some really lovely sunsets lately. Or, maybe they’ve always been there and I’ve just been to busy hibernating from all the cold weather to notice.

      I’m planning on reading the second book, but I can see how you’d stop at the first. It ends in such a nice place that it’s hard to move on when you know deep down things won’t stay perfect for long.


  2. I like that you go to bed at a decent hour. I try to but I can’t turn it off easily and I get up way too early so I end up exhausted. It’s wonderful that you work so close to home.


  3. Your comment about your bedtime being a family joke made me laugh. We always tease our oldest about her early bedtime and refer to it as her needing her solid 16. It’s gotten a bit better now that she’s in college but in high school she was in bed by 8:30. I’m a bath junkie too. I sleep about a 100 times better with one. Sounds like a great but busy day! Good luck with the Couch to 5K. I’m curious about how We Were Liars is in audio. I read and enjoyed the book and have been wanting to revisit and have been thinking that audio may be the way to go.


  4. My first career was in computer programming and I also walked to work! I wish I had written a day in the life to look back on from that time. It was very different than my day now.

    Of course, back then, audio books were on approximately a gazillion casette tapes and there was no internet to explore at night (although I did go through a phase of checking BBS boards over a dial-up modem).

    I read Outlander at that time! But, in print, of course — I remember hauling that heavy book around in a backpack so I could read it at lunch time.

    Thanks. It was fun to have my memories triggered and to see how different my life would be now if I were born 30 years later!


    1. Oh, wow, how interesting that my day in the life trigger so many memories for you! I’m fortunate I don’t have to deal with cassette tapes, but it’s still no fun burning all 40 disks for the Outlander series from CD. At least, I only have to carry them back and forth from the library once!


  5. Beautiful photos! I check email and social media right away in the morning too. Just my personal email though, I wait on work email until I get to work because there’s more of a chance of some anxiety in that inbox. I wish I was a person who got to sleep at 9 p.m., but I’m closer to 10 or 10:30 most nights.


    1. Thanks!

      I used to check my work email in the morning but stopped after a few weeks. I run several computer scripts at night that send me emails when they fail that, inevitably, I end up logging into my work computer remotely instead of getting ready to actually go to work. Better to wait until I get to work before I check for bad news.


  6. I think I read that same article about checking e-mails and your phone first thing in the morning. I’m trying to avoid it, but it is so hard and I haven’t been very successful. I bet the view on your run is very nice. My husband did the Couch to 5K and struggled with it, but it was a good motivator for him to get out and exercise. We’ve both been lagging the last few months and need to get back into working out. Thank you for sharing your day! I am enjoying seeing into the lives of my fellow bloggers. 🙂


    1. I’ve never actually finished the Couch to 5K program. But, like you said, I find it a good motivator. It gives me something to do and a schedule to follow. Otherwise, I would totally fall into the trap of “I’ll exercise tomorrow”. Thank you for stopping by!


    1. I finally managed to break the habit of checking Facebook but only because so many of my friends stopped using the site. I need them all to drop twitter, snapchat, tumblr, and instragram and I’d be set free, lol!


  7. Three book groups!! I’m jealous. I haven’t even managed to find one I want to be in, heh. I didn’t realize you were a programmer! And yeah…I think I read that same article (or its twin), and I still start the morning off with phone time. Ideally, I suppose, I would use an alarm that’s not on my phone to wake me up…but the pretty ringtone I use is so much nicer than the harsh BEEP BEEP of my old-school clock! Finally…yaaaaaay, someone else who goes to bed early! 9 would be ideal; it’s often a little later, but pretty much always before 10.


    1. I’m in three because I haven’t found one that fits everything I want in a book group. I kind of bounce around picking and choosing which meetups to attend.

      I need the harsh BEEP BEEP. Otherwise, I’ll never get out of bed. Music slips right into my dreams unnoticed. And, yay for early bedtimes! I honestly thought I’d be the only one and was embarrassed to admit how early I go to bed.


  8. I LOVE that you go to bed so early. I went to bed at 9pm last night…and it was Saturday. I’m not always that good, but it felt so good to get all that sleep! And your lunch looks delicious!!


  9. I do think that you win the award for earliest bedtime. I always shoot for 10 but it usually ends up being a little later (watching Alias right now and it’s hard to stop at one episode!). And so smart to cook a few recipes in the crockpot over the weekend. I keep meaning to be this organized. Which cookbook did you get?

    thanks for participating Christina! LOVE that snowy picture you shared…even if I wouldn’t be brave enough to run in it. 😉


    1. I’ve watched more than a few shows that were hard to stop after just one and I’d end up blowing right past my self-imposed bedtime. I got Slow Cooker Revolution. I’s actually where I got the chicken curry recipe from. I had used the library’s copy and decided I liked enough of the recipes to want my own.

      Thank you for hosting this great event, Trish! So interesting to hear about others’ daily lives!


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