Artsy Fartsy image of Il Primo Espresso Caffe Coffee cup and setting

New Schedule, New Opportunities

So, I feel I’ve reached a new level of cliche. I’m sitting in a coffee shop with my little Chromebook, writing and drinking a coffee that I hate (it’s no knock on Il Primo Cafe, it’s just that I hate coffee). I’m undecided on how I feel about this – I mean, years ago, I went for a completely different cliche, sitting in a bar and writing. Both share a common theme – getting out of the house and writing. I’ve never been sure why leaving the house helps writing, but it does.

I miss the smell of hamburgers and beer while I write, and there’s no one here stopping by to quietly fill up my tea, flash me a quick smile to quietly check if I need anything, and move on. Well, and the music was better at the bar. I suppose eventually I’d end up being ‘that guy’ who has his headphones in at the coffee shop. And given the religious conversation going on in the background at the moment, it’s a good indicator I’m going to eventually have to drown out the people.

Along with the smells and people, there’s also a second major change: the time. Usually, I’d hit the bar around 1-ish. Right now, it’s 6:30. Yes, that’s AM. How the heck did the guy who normally goes to bed at 2 or 3 AM start being an ultra-early person? Well, it was a phone call that changed it.

I got a phone call one Friday morning: “Could you take me to the ER?” I was already scheduled to help them get to the doctor on Monday, so this was a fairly large health change for them. This ended up with a hospital stay for them, then getting out of the hospital for a short bit, then back in the hospital for a second stay. A relative came down to help him get his life arranged and I became, well, a driver 3 days a week. I get them to dialysis at holy-shit-there’s-no-sun o’clock.

Then Fall Ren Fest rolled around and I blew out my shoulder again. This is far from being a new situation – I had recently bought myself a new shoulder brace because it was getting worse again, and had just barely started using it when I did something. The original injury is from back when I was 20, 21, somewhere in that range, and I’ve had surgery on it before. Age and playing hard is catching up with me, and during setup I did something stupid to it (no idea what) and eventually at ren fest I had to improvise a sling for it to reduce how much I used it (it helped that I had someone following me around telling me not to use it. Much appreciated, Minion.)

With that level of damage, I needed to do something more than just wear my shoulder brace: I need to do Physical Therapy on it. Then, after that, I need to solidify the muscle mass in front of my shoulder – that’s part of the reason I’ve avoided having more problems than I did with the shoulder.

I, of course, don’t have the money for fancy things like PT, but I know how it works (since I had to do it more than once already) and the routines are available online. And, I’ve fallen off the workout wagon (ironically, I decided to go vegetarian and eat healthier, but did ended up not working out and gaining weight on a vegetarian diet).

Dialysis takes 3 or 4 hours. This is where the opportunities start. Yes, I have to wake up earlier, but I also have to wake up on a schedule – for health and weight loss, a consistent sleep schedule (as long as you get enough sleep) is a good idea. I bit the bullet and got myself a Planet Fitness membership – more equipment and better equipment for rebuilding that shoulder (Sorry, trusty Bowflex, but this needs a bit more than I can do with you.)

Along with leaving the house to workout, I’m actually going to be working out with a partner. I haven’t done that in a very long time.

Of course, I’m not going to work out for 3 or 4 hours. Which brings me to Il Primo, which is in the same shopping center as Planet Fitness: I drop him off at dialysis, come to the coffee shop, have a tea or coffee (I have to keep it cheap – I can’t pay Starbucks coffee prices, but Il Primo has a cup of coffee for $2, so that doesn’t kill the budget much), and write. Then, around 7:30, I meet up with my workout partner and handle the workout portion of the day.

Dialysis is Monday, Wednesday, Friday, so the first set of scheduled opportunities are those days. I’ll mess around with the non-dialysis schedule days next, but one success at a time. I’ll be working out on those other days, but I don’t have to hang out in a coffee shop as part of the process – which means I may not write those days. It’s hard to tell for sure what my longer term plan may include at this point, it’s early in the process.

But, hell, 3 days a week of writing is better than no days a week writing. It’s nowhere as good as my writer friends who do it daily, and it may not smell of beer & hamburgers, but it’s something.

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