A Day In the Life of the Ardent Reader (2016 Edition)

A-Day-in-the-LifeFor the second year in a row, 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 participated last year and, honestly, didn’t think my typical weekday would change too much from 2015 to 2016 — same job, same apartment, same book clubs. Turns out, there are some subtle differences between Wednesday, March 11, 2015 and Wednesday, March 16, 2016.

5:43am: I’m one of those nutty people who wakes up before their alarm goes off. No matter how early it is or how tired I am. Because I can’t see a thing without my glasses, I ended up fumbling for my phone to check the time and then fall down the rabbit hole of email, Twitter, tumblr, and Instagram.

IMG_11936:00am: Alarm goes off. I’m feeling lazy this morning so I hit snooze, roll over, pull the covers up, and try to pretend this never happened. I end up hitting the snooze button on my phone two more times.

6:30am: Alarm goes off, again, and I tell myself that I really do have to get up. I drag myself out of bed and head into the bathroom to pop in my contacts, wash my face, etc. Since I usually think about — if not pick out — my clothes the night before, it doesn’t take me very long to get dressed.

6:48am: In the kitchen to prepare breakfast. Because of my fluctuating blood sugar and protein levels, I have to eat something more substantial than cereal. Today’s breakfast is scrambled eggs, which I eat on the couch while watching “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore”.

7:15am: Second alarm sounds. I use this alarm as a reminder to take my vitamins and as a 15 minute warning that I need to leave for work soon. Usually when I go to turn this alarm off, I’ll place my order at Starbucks via the app so it’ll be waiting for me at Starbucks by the time I get there.

7:28am: Out the door. I’m fortunate enough to live within walking distance of working — so close that I could leave ten minutes before 8 and still get there on time. But stopping at Starbucks adds a few minutes. I never used to be a coffee drinker, but I’ve sort of become addicted to Starbucks’ cappuccinos over the past few months.

IMG_34877:52am: Arrive at work. Typically, I’m the first one to arrive at the office for my group, and I appreciate having an uninterrupted hour or so in the morning to check emails as well clean up and organize my group’s new task management system so we’re all on the same page about the priorities for the day.

I work as a computer programmer and data analyst for a small software company. While there are a lot of exciting proof-of-concept projects coming down the pipeline and responsibilities I’ll be picking up with my recent promotion, I’m currently in between projects so I spend most of my day doing more “grunt work” than anything else. The silver lining in this is I am back to having time to listen to audiobooks. Right now, I’m making my way through The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman.

11:00am: Every two weeks, the group I work in gets together to have our “boring” meeting — we all go around in a circle and say what we’re working on — and our “fun” meeting — we participate in an activity to foster team bonding. As the leader of today’s meeting, I found a logic puzzle online for all of us to work through. Which sort of backfired in the team bonding department because we all ended up sitting in silence trying to solve the puzzle. Whoops.

IMG_359412:00pm: I normally try to eat lunch around 11am 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. With the meeting, though, I’m relegated to waiting in line to heat up my asparagus and shrimp risotto.

I like to tell people that I’m not a bad cook, I’m just not an inspired one. Using a service like HelloFresh or BlueApron, which were gifted to me by two friends back in October when I was too sick to walk to the grocery store, has really helped me spice up my lunches and avoid visiting the fast food places near my office on a daily basis.

12:30pm: I skipped a walk around the mall near my office today because two of my coworkers want to take me out for ice cream later to celebrate my promotion. So it’s back to work and back to my audiobook.

IMG_34532:15pm: Ice cream time! My two coworkers and I hit up Ben & Jerry’s — I love their Americone Dream flavor — and take a brief walk as we eat in order to enjoy the nice weather.

3:00pm: The three of us return to work, and as soon as I sit down at my desk, I end up getting pulled into a conference call with one of our clients to discuss how we trend the former currencies of Euro Zone members to the 2015 US Dollar. This is a question the economic geography nerd in me loves to geek out over and one that seems to stump a lot of people.

4:45pm: Alarm goes off. (I’m starting to sound like a broken record here.) This is my reminder alarm to go change into my work out clothes. On Wendesdays, I leave work the slightest bit early so I can get to my 5:30pm yoga class on time.

IMG_36025:30pm: Yoga class. This particular teacher, Emily, was recommended to me by a woman in my book club, but I’m not one for Zumba so I was thrilled to find out she also teaches yoga. Her class is an interesting hybrid with an hour of yoga followed by a roughly 30 minute cooking demonstration.

Emily is dairy-free and glutten-free so she uses products — quinoa, protein powders, chai seeds — in her cooking that I’ve never, ever used in my life. Tonight, we learned how to make pancakes using oats, banana, an egg, and protein powder, which was quite a different experience for my taste buds. (I ended up smothering mine in sweetened cacao nips and honey.)

7:15pm: I usually call my parents at the same time on weekdays — exactly three minutes after five when I’ve left the office — and my mom has said they start to wonder what’s up on the days the phone doesn’t ring at this time. Today, I was in a rush to get to yoga so I end up calling them after-class as I wait for the bus. We chat about our days, how I’m going to see Colm Tóibín speak tomorrow, and other plans for the weekend.

8:00pm: I’m finally home and ready to unwind with a book and a bath. Tonight, I’m reading bell hooks’ All About Love, which is the March selection for the feminist book club Our Shared Shelf started by Emma Watson.

8:45pm: Since I already ate at my yoga-cooking class, I don’t really do much for dinner tonight — a smoothie made out of blueberry yogurt, fresh strawberries, and milk. I eat this while watching an episode of “House of Cards” and catching up on all my social media sites.

10:00pm: Normally, I will push to stay up another hour so I can watch and live-tweet my favorite show, “Chicago P.D.”, with my friends and the cast. But show is on hiatus this month so I’m off to bed. Probably for the best because I run better on more sleep and I’ll probably wake up before my alarm again tomorrow morning.


  1. Fascinating! I’ve been travelling for work and once again missed this activity (maybe next time!). One thing I notice i general is that American wake up and go to bed much earlier than Europeans. I get out of bed at 8 and don’t turn out the lights before 12 most day.


    • I run into this problem every time I travel to Europe — I’m ready to explore starting at 6 am, but nothing opens until 10am. And then I’m ready for bed by 9pm, and the city is just coming alive.


  2. Kay

    OK, I’ll ask the important question – what is in Ben & Jerry’s Americone Dream? I love their Cherry Garcia flavor. Don’t let myself have it very often, but they make these little 1/2 cup servings now. Lovely. Yoga is wonderful and how interesting to have a cooking demonstration afterwards. Nice day!


    • Americon Dream is vanilla ice cream with fudge-covered waffle cone pieces and a caramel swirl. I’m normally a chocolate or bust kind of person, but this one is so, so good.

      I’d eat the whole carton, if I let myself. Good thing the store has the “kiddie-size”.


  3. I love Ben & Jerry’s! I can’t eat it like I used to though. 😦 Your yoga-cooking class sounds like a lot of fun. What a great combination!

    I enjoyed reading about your day! Thank you for sharing!


    • I shouldn’t eat Ben & Jerry’s like I do! Haha.

      I love the class. Was a little apprehensive about it since I’m not an adventurous person, but it’s turned out to be a wonderful addition to my day.


  4. I can’t imagine being dairy free and gluten free. I recently cut out dairy from my diet and I’m mourning all of my favorite snacks. Without gluten I think I’d starve. 😉 But fun that there was that little cooking demonstration after your yoga!

    Congrats on your promotion. 🙂


  5. Jenny

    I’m so impressed with your healthy eating and exercise! I’m pathetically unhealthy currently. Stress and all. Fun reading about your day.


    • My goal for this year was to get my health under control after being so sick for most of last year. Hence all the exercise and healthy eating. But, trust me, I have my cheat days. Especially when I’m feeling stressed out (like today!).


  6. So many of the bloggers I’m reading listen to audio books while they work. I have a hard time concentrating on work while listening to a book. I’m fascinated by that type of multi-tasking! LOL! Thanks for sharing a glimpse of your day!


  7. I wish I had embraced audiobooks more when I was working … they would’ve worked so well with my job! And your food sounds amazing … even if I can’t live without my dairy!


    • I never liked audiobooks until this job. There are some days I don’t think I could get through it without the audiobook.

      I can’t live without diary, either. But I am trying to limit my intake due to some lingering stomach issues. So, so hard.


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