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  • Edie Montreux

Time Sucks Suck.

I slept in until 9AM this morning. That’s five hours later than I usually wake up, and after the thunderstorm, it was perfect. Lying in bed, listening to the rain fall, and releasing the week’s stress.

Sleep is a time suck, but a necessary one. Anyone who’s seen me on four hours of sleep knows. I look like Cruella De Vil and let my inner demon say whatever he wants. (Yes, he. Another story for another time.) Sleep is a time suck I don’t get to enjoy as often as I want, or probably need. I get seven hours of sleep on average during the week. There’s no way I’m going to bed at eight when it’s still light outside. Nine is still pushing it, and I wake up at 4 so I can force some food down my throat before I shower and commute to work at 6.

Work is a huge time suck. I’m a perfectionist, so I must do work things at work. I have every excuse to slack off and do personal things (write), but I don’t. I happen to like my work friends, so I make it a point to take a lunch break and sit and talk with them at least three times a week. I don’t get to see them outside of work, and I enjoy spending time with them.

When I get home, the first thing I do is have a snack with Lemur, which usually results in watching Dr. Phil. Well, it did when he was on our favorite channel. The trouble with syndication is that he is now on a different station, competing against Dr. Oz. I know I should probably go back to watching Dr. Oz all the time, but I just can’t. One week eggs are bad for your heart, the next week they’re good for your brain. I’m going to eat what I want and work out as much as I can. Watching Dr. Oz will only make me feel guilty for not exercising enough, which is also bad for my heart.

Exercise is a necessary time suck, and one I don’t indulge enough. I have a treadmill and a recumbent bike. You’d think I was an exerciseholic. Not so much. I can ride the bike and read. I can walk and watch Netflix, or play a video game. Regardless what I do while I work out, one would think the media overlay would make me want to do it. No. My preference is to go for a walk with Lemur, but he has a more physical job where he’s on his feet all day. He will walk with me on nice days when we don’t have to mow the lawn or do laundry, only because he knows his cholesterol and triglycerides need it. This happens maybe twice a week. The rest of the time? No walk for me. I should get on the treadmill every time we play a video game, or sit on the recumbent bike every time I read a book. I should, but I don’t.

Reading is a necessary time suck for all writers. Reading is learning through osmosis: absorbing sentence structure, paragraph formats, how to structure dialogue. I’m not the best at learning by seeing because I get sucked into the story and it’s no longer words on a page, but I know I’m a better writer because I read. Reading is an escape, yes, but it’s also a great way to focus on plot and character when I’m developing a new story idea. I probably don’t read enough, though. Something else takes more of my time, and it has absolutely no benefit on my writing, unless I want to write a war epic, or steal Baird’s sarcastic lines.

My number one time suck: the XBox, and  not even a variety of games. We’re still stuck on Gears of War. I love this game franchise. LOVE IT. It has everything a girl could want. Beefy dudes. Lancers: hybrid guns with chainsaws. Sarcasm. (“Why don’t you join us? It’s a fucking party down here,” Baird says to Marcus and Dom as he and Cole are inspecting the sewers in Gears 1.) A story so powerful that Gears 2 and 3 both made me fucking cry. And yes, I love Damon Baird so much that I consider Judgment to be just as good as the other three games, even though the game-play is different to the point of being annoying. I still love the franchise. I own several other games, like Diablo 3, Skyrim, and Assassin’s Creed 1&2, but have I touched them? No. (Well, yes. I forgot. I played a short stint on Diablo 3. I fell asleep mid-map, and decided to go back to Gears.)

 My goal for the next thirty days is to spend more time on my necessary time sucks (exercise and reading) than on my guilty pleasure time suck (playing Gears). I’ll keep track of it in my Google calendar and let you know how I did on October 27.

Until then, I’m going to keep blogging on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Consistency: I haz it!

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