Johnny Laird lives in Oxted, Surrey, UK.
It’s a tough gig to focus on one day, because there’s a fair amount of variation and some changes are afoot, so here’s a snapshot of one day:
My day usually starts when the iPhone’s alarm starts to chirp away sometime around 5.40 AM. On the whole I tend to ignore it. It’s not so much my mind that ignores it...it’s my body. That said, on the days that I just get moving early it’s a better start to the day. An early start often makes for a good one.
The good news is that the iPhone is not my only ally in the fight to enter the day. Often my kids are already up and about, with a display of the kind of energy that left me decades ago, and continues to evade me during those early moments of any given morning.
However, the brains & beauty of the outfit – my wife – seems to have an uncanny ability to get up at this unearthly hour without any massive stress. In fact, I’m amazed at her discipline. She will have risen before any of us, had a tea or coffee and spent some time reading the Bible and praying.
By the time I stumble down the stairs, having quickly scanned emails, Facebook and Twitter on the iPhone (usually I look out for one particular email called “Morning Bell”, which is a short thought based on Scripture from an online buddy of mine who blogs at “In the belly of the big fish”) Janet’s already switching to “let’s get everybody moving” mode and I do my best to keep up.
I’ll drink a tea to assist waking me from my stupor and start to get on with the business of preparing a lunch for my young daughter, dressing the kids, fixing a little breakfast for them and keeping the pace moving along so that hopefully we can collectively get to the places we need to be without having to deal with the spectre of lateness that often hovers around us. Somewhere in all of that mad rush I will have found a few seconds to fire up the Dell desktop PC that is my main workhorse. I don’t mind admitting I’m jonesin’ for a Mac, but I haven’t got there yet.
Eventually after cross checking that we have the requisite book bags, lunchboxes, coats and all that other stuff, we bundle out of the door and I walk my two kids to their respective and adjacent schools. We walk fast, often leaving others in our wake. Thankfully, each school is only a short walk away from home, so within 10 minutes I’m back at the house.
I savour the silence, and more often than not this is time I hook myself up with a coffee. I favour Taylors of Harrogate Organic, so I make a pot for the day...which usually means a fresh one to start the morning, then I may nuke a couple more cups in the microwave as it progresses.
Then I nail down on the PC – emails, follow-ups on projects, the odd phone call, some writing – and try and get some solid work for a couple of hours before I have to head out and collect my youngest (who at the time of writing this is so young that he only does mornings at school)
When my boy is back home I prepare a lunch for him, and try and get back to work. Then the challenges of Workshifting really kick in. He loves company, and I love to concentrate on work.
Normally I can do certain things, but sometimes it’s the less focussed, less demanding work. We are getting there, though. He’s starting to understand that I have to work, and he has to do his thing.
My eldest is involved with after school clubs and stuff, so her pick-up time, and the way we deal with that as parents varies from day to day, but largely the family is back together sometime around 6.00. If the logistics work well we eat together (Which is barely passable if I’ve cooked, and wonderful if Janet has cooked) and we’re shortly into packing the kids off upstairs. We bathe them, read with them and pray together with responsibilities shared between my wife and I depending on where our evenings are taking us. That could mean shared time at home, meetings for Church or work, plus the occasional night out.
On those evenings when I’m at home I will often return to the Dell, doing more of the same stuff I will have done earlier in the day, blended with some random noodling on the web.
I’m kind of a night owl, which probably explains my difficulty getting up in the morning. I’ll occasionally get drawn into a Social Media vortex and find that the hours have sped by, and I’m at my desk a lot later than is sensible.
Then it’s time to hit the sack, watch a little late night TV (CSI is a favourite) to relax and wind down, and drift away with the box fizzing quietly away in the background, thanking God for the fact that the people I love the most are still under the same roof as me.
Johnny Laird is a Blogger, connector, communicator, change agent & social activist…friend of the geek & radical. He blogs at johnnylaird.net, and also at the embryonic Blogging Dojo with cohort, Chris Hinton.