The January Experiment, Week 3: Quiet

One big difference I’ve noticed is that the apartment is now quiet. My computer fans were a siren call to go spend time there. Now, I’m reminded of my first trip home from college. I went from a dorm where it maybe, finally, got quiet at 2 AM, to the basement of my known, loved, familiar, home.

It was quiet.

Now, I haven’t mentioned it here, but my home is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. The neighbors are not terribly near, nor are they populous. So when I say it was quiet, it was quiet. It was a quiet I’d bet most people have never experienced. I could hear the air moving inside my ears.

I’ve heard some say there comes a point where you can hear your heart beat and your organs working. That’s never happened, so I suspect there is a greater level of quiet yet.

But what I’ve noticed is that I seem to rest a little easier now. There’s nothing calling for my attention. Or at least there’s one fewer thing. Or a dozen fewer things.

This year, I wish for you to experience the peace of silence.

Especially you parents of young children.


The January Experiment, Week 1: The Question

During the month of January, my wife and I are running an experiment:

Can I work 60 hours a week?

You see, I’ve worked 60 hour weeks before, and it sucked. I hated it. But that was several years ago, times were different, and I wasn’t driving myself around. I had maybe an hour at the end of each day to do with as I pleased, and that’s why it sucked.

This is the end of the first week. I have committed myself to working 60 hours a week for the month of January. I may continue longer if all goes well.

The method is simple. Beyond my 40 hour a week job at the college, I have been working an additional 10 at a second job, two evenings and half a day Saturday . To increase my second job hours, I simply work five evenings instead of two.

So in a sense, I’m only increasing a little bit. In fact, my schedule should become more consistent.

There are a few things I am doing to facilitate this change. The computer is shut down. I am using a tablet for much of my computing needs, and some things are just being set aside. I think I’m spending more time with my wife and kid. The wife no longer tells me to shut off the monitor because she wants to sleep and it’s too bright.

Tuesday, I was tired. Monday was nothing, really. It was just like a usual day with evening work. Tuesday, I could feel it a little bit, but that may also have something to do with the half hour of shoveling I did first thing that morning.

Wednesday and Thursday, I was kind of just grinding it out a bit. Friday wasn’t too bad. It helps when I can sleep in Saturday morning.

So far, I know I can do one week. I feel comfortable doing a second week, and in fact, my whole outlook for the month is pretty good. However, I’m not sure how I feel about continuing this long term. I think, in the end, my wife’s input will weight heavily in that matter.