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Lazy Sunday

I'm not reading many books. I haven't for many years. I read a lot of long-form articles. Most of the articles are about "how to do something". I have The Hacker Playbook 2 sitting here, but I haven't the motivation to read it. Being in learning mode all the time is exhausting.

I may sit in bed after breakfast on a Sunday morning and read a novel. Instead of patching my servers, following up on leads on LinkedIn, or pruning the email tree, I could pick up a sci-fi novel and lose myself in another time and place for a few hours. I haven't done that since I was single.

I read it slowly. Getting the words from just a flow of characters to images takes me a while. But once I get there, I don't want it to stop until the story ends. Stopping before the end of the story is like watching a movie over several days. That flow doesn't work for me. I like to read the same way I watch movies.

I have a lot of books on my iPad in iBooks and Kindle. I have a lot of partially read books. The issue isn't the medium.

When I was single and living alone, I would visit the local bookstore and buy one or two cyberpunk novels on Saturday morning after completing my weekend to-do list. Sunday was my reading day. After breakfast, I would lie in bed and read, and I wouldn't stop except for a quick lunch. Then, back into bed for more reading. I could easily finish two and sometimes three paperbacks.

My excuse for not reading more is that there are too many interruptions. I have a wife and kids, and lying in bed all day, focused on reading, isn't possible.

So… I stopped reading anything that takes longer than 15 minutes. How do I get back to that reading space? Is reading for no more than 15 minutes damaging my ability to focus?

After writing this, I have a solution. My wife likes to sleep in on Sunday. She usually gets up around 10:30 AM. My daughter, as well. My son tends to get up a bit earlier.

On Saturday, I will visit the local Barnes & Noble. I'll spend some time perusing the shelves. I won't set a time limit. I'll just let myself wander until I find a paperback I want to take home. Then, on Sunday morning, after I've had my breakfast, I'll climb back into bed next to my sleeping wife and just read.

Note: I wrote this in response to the February 1, 2016 writing prompt for the Written with Desk Google+ Community.

Morning Routine

What is your daily morning routine? Does it change on the weekend?

Photographer, Brian Matiash, considers some of his morning routines and asks his readers to play along.

During the work week, the alarm rings at 6 AM, and I reluctantly exit my bed and the warmth of the electric blanket. I shower the night before so after a quick shave, brushing of the teeth, and refresh of deodorant, I dress and head downstairs to make the coffee. Showering the night before saves me some time in the morning.

Other than the timing, I like this part of my morning. I would prefer to sleep in until 7 AM. I think that's my natural "wake up" time. I almost always feel more tired when I awake at 6 AM even when I go to bed earlier. But very rarely when I awake at 7 AM if I go to sleep later.

I head downstairs and decide on breakfast, count the carbohydrates, test my blood glucose and bolus for my meal. Sometimes I may stop and login to my Mac and launch my feed reader. I tell myself I just want it to be ready for later. But sometimes I get caught up in it and time will pass and then I have to rush the rest of my morning. I could do without this.

I make coffee from freshly ground beans. I have a choice of Chemex or French Press. These days I prefer the Chemex. Unlike the French Press, pouring water in the Chemex requires focus and technique. Making the coffee is the best part of the morning. Perhaps because I get to enjoy what I made or perhaps it's that I made something.

After the coffee is ready, I sit at the computer to catch up on the "news." I read a lot of security news early in the morning. I work in an industry where it is expected that you stay on top of the latest potential threats and vulnerabilities.

I tend to avoid reading email in the morning. It feels too much like work. I feel that almost everything I get in email is a demand for me to take some action; solve some problem. I put off reading personal email as much as possible. Sometimes for days. It backs up. I tend to leave personal email responses for the end of the day. That's when I'm least able to respond cogently, but my snark is higher.

My daughter is usually up and getting ready for school at this time. I feel guilty most mornings that I am reading the news instead of using the opportunity for some one-on-one father-daughter conversations. That's the part of the morning routine that sucks. That's the part I want to work on changing.

What about you?