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On Daily Life

Logan on the PCT; taken with iPhone 5s

Last week, I brainstormed article topics to write about during the month of September. I also crowdsourced topics by asking folks on Facebook and Twitter what they needed help with and what types of posts they wanted to read on RowdyKittens.

One reader requested:

Maybe a week’s worth of “daily diary”? I think it would be interesting to know how you spend your days. But then I’m probably just nosy!

I won’t be sharing a detailed daily dairy with you because that would be boring! If you only looked at my Instagram photos, you might assume that all I do is drink coffee, play with my cats, and hike in the forest. However, my life isn’t that exciting. Mundane tasks like laundry, grocery shopping, and cleaning the toilet are part of my daily life. Plus, I have to work too.

My Morning View; taken with iPhone 5s

Today, I’m going to share a very rough snapshot of how I spend my days:

  • Since Logan and I share a car — and live 12 miles outside town — we have to coordinate our daily schedules. My routine looks slightly different if I work at home or in town.
  • Typically, I wake-up between 5.30 and 7 a.m., make coffee, water the garden, and take a photograph of my morning view. Then I start working on writing projects (like blog posts and e-courses). I try to do most of my writing in the morning when I’m fresh and less distracted.
  • In the afternoons, I focus on administrative tasks (like email, bookkeeping, etc.). I also read, research topics for work projects, and go for another walk.
  • In the evenings, Logan and I cook dinner at home, talk about our workday, and do chores. I also spend time taking photos, reading, and sitting on the front porch watching the birds and clouds.
  • I meditate before I go to sleep around 9 p.m.

You’ve probably noticed a theme in the bullet points above. I love to walk. When I walk everyday, I feel healthy and productive. If I spend too much time inside, I get cabin fever and that isn’t good for me, my loved ones, or my work.

Day hike on the PCT; taken with iPhone 5s

When I’m outside walking, I take lots of photographs with my iPhone 5s and my best writing ideas surface. Recently, I’ve been using the dictation feature in my iPhone. When I have an idea on the trail — or on the treadmill — I open the Evernote app and record my thoughts. When I’m done walking, I edit my draft in Evernote. I can do this on my iPhone or laptop because Evernote syncs across devices. It’s a sweet tool to capture ideas on the go.

I’m incredibly fortunate and I love my job. However, it isn’t easy or picture perfect. I worry about money, the long-term viability of my business, and if my work helps readers and students. On the other hand, I love setting my own schedule. It makes my daily life interesting, even when I do mundane chores.

Be well,

P.S. If you have article suggestions for the blog, please leave your topic requests in the comments section.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Linda Schmickle September 7, 2014, 3:44 pm

    Great post! Thanks! I have noticed you drink a lot of coffee. 🙂 Me too — love the stuff! I also love the cats in your life. Hopefully they and Big Red will come to a peace pact.

  • Sandra Pawula September 7, 2014, 3:47 pm

    Hey Tammy,

    We live about the same distance from town, which makes life quiet and sweet for me. I’m glad you highlighted your love of walking. I spend time outside gardening, but could definitely walk more. Lately we’ve been walking to the pond for our almost daily swim and it’s been lovely. Thanks for sharing your day!

  • Linda Long September 7, 2014, 4:09 pm

    Thank you Tammy for another insightful blog. I always enjoy receiving them. I would like to suggest you compare and contrast being in Portland vs the countryside. I have returned from a stay at The Caravan (trying out Tiny House) and fell in love with both. I’m an east coaster, though, and if I were to take the leap it would be from a city to the country. I’m an ol’ hippie but have mainly been a city mouse even though my daughters, now in their 40’s are still complaining that they couldn’t trade sandwiches in school sine I put sprouts on them. So if you could address possible isolation and other things to watch for in country living I would appreciate it very much.
    Best regards,

  • joanna September 7, 2014, 6:24 pm

    The header to your blog looks new. I like it a lot!

  • Martina September 8, 2014, 12:25 am

    I smiled when I read that your best writing ideas surface while walking – it’s the same with me. And I know it from experience – yet I often “forget” it or neglect it until I feel really stucked.
    You already wrote about it, but I would be interested in articles about your writing process anyway (and some encouragement to take writing so important that I stick to it, even if there is no remuneration or even readers – to write just for the sake of writing, you know? Often I think there are more important mundane things to do before I allow myself to spend time writing, but I fear that’s the wrong priority).
    I would also be interested in how you organise groceries and cook in a tiny house – I guess you buy vegetables etc. fresh when you need them because there is not much storage? You wrote about that also, I guess, but maybe you could explain it with a typical evening meal.

  • JMC September 8, 2014, 9:02 am

    Tammy, thanks for the daily snapshot. I am in my 50’s, and on the verge of a jump into radical simplicity, so it helps to see how someone as brave as you goes about her days. And if you want an unsolicited tip, here’s one to internalize: worry is pointless (read Gary Zukav’s “Soul Stories” for more on this). We’ve been conditioned to “think” it isn’t, but it is without merit, because if we are dedicated to our true path, we will always find ways to make it work out. BTW, if you haven’t already checked out this gentleman, his site – http://www.mrmoneymustache.com – is a wealth of information on so many topics related to the simple life, including passive income; one of his best posts is “50 Jobs Over $50,000 Without A College Degree.” Even though I have a few of those, I am going to use some of his ideas. Best to you both. Enjoy visiting your site often.

    • Tammy Strobel September 8, 2014, 10:27 am

      So true, JMC! Thanks for the tips and links. I’m going to check them out.

  • Anne-Marie September 8, 2014, 9:39 am

    Thanks for sharing your daily “snapshot.”
    I think it is important to be fairly focused if you do not have job you go to.
    It sounds though as if you have a really balanced “schedule” of fun and work. 🙂

  • KC Cupp September 8, 2014, 10:53 am

    Tammy- Thanks for sharing! I am a pastor and also work in the corporate world as a CEO. I am also working to become more and more minimalistic in my approach to life. I watch the tiny house movement, read about minimalism and read the words of Jesus in the sermon on the mount in Matthew 5-7 and realize how jacked up my priorities can be. I love to write but suck at grammar (I’m working on this) and I long to simplify my life for me and my family. I have three wonderful children and have been married for 18 years. I wanted to say thank you for the life you model and what you write about. Reading your work is like taking a deep breath outside on a cool morning. Refreshing. Have a wonderful week.

  • michelle September 8, 2014, 12:40 pm

    Hi Tammy,
    I am wwondering how living in a tiny house affects cooking and what types of foods you eat. Thanks, Michelle

  • Marsha September 8, 2014, 10:05 pm

    Tammy, Was it a big decision for you and your hubby to buy a car and move to the country? Did you both decide that’s what you wanted to do at the same time?

    • Tammy Strobel September 9, 2014, 6:51 am

      It was a big decision. I’ve written about that topic previously. You can learn more about that here.

      Also, I’d suggest reading this post. It explains why we moved away from Portland.

  • Heather September 10, 2014, 8:02 am

    Paperwork management would be a topic I’d be interested in. What to keep and for how long and what to recycle or shred? Thanks for any input on this subject!! God bless you and yours!!!

  • Kif September 12, 2014, 3:49 pm

    so true about the benefits of going for walks! really need to kick start my creative process.

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