Getting into a Summer ’12 Routine

Summer is here and that means it’s time to get serious about a new routine. Oh it’s not quite summer — the calendar says that begins on June 20, and my kids are still in school — but the college’s spring semester ended a week ago and The Avengers proved that the first big summer movie is here.

The big thing is getting back to the gym. Longtime readers know this refrain: get back to the gym, get back into a routine, and keep it for as long as possible before something derails it. I’ve been particularly bad about getting the gym over the last year — too much work, too little sleep, too many excuses.

My goal with gym is simple enough — get back into a morning routine, and stick to it. Going to the gym in the afternoon is a non-starter; if I try really, really hard I can make it a week or two, but real life (soccer, softball, work, whatever) inevitably dooms the schedule. If I can get to the gym in the morning, then my workout is done. Nothing can derail it … as long as I actually get to the gym.

That’s the other part of my schedule — actually getting up in the morning. I have to admit, when your day job is only a 15 minute walk away, it’s easy to sleep in. It’s even easier when insomnia strikes and you don’t get to sleep until 4 a.m. My summer goal is to get up between 6:30 and 7 a.m., grab some coffee and breakfast and knock out some early morning writing and code work for Nuketown, maybe tackle a few work emails, or do a little reading. The big thing isn’t so much what I do in the morning, as it is getting out of bed and doing something.

It’s not all work and early morning rising. I’ve got a nice digital stack of books set aside for my Summer 2012 reading list, starting with Neal Stephenson’s Reamde (hardcover), Peter F. Hamilton’s Reality Dysfunction (digital), and Patric O’Brian’s The Truelove (audio). It’s a respectable list totally two books. I’m hopeful I’ll be able to get through all of them thanks to two two weeks of summer vacation and a work roadtrip. Last summer I read 10 out of 11 books, so it seems achievable.

Putting down the books I’m looking forward to hanging out with my family. We’ve got a family membership to Eddyside Pool this summer, and I’m hoping I can get out of work early enough to grab a swim with the kids. Ideally it’d be great do that once a week — nothing says summer like chlorine! We’ve got two vacations planned — we don’t know exactly what we’re doing, but I’m anticipating at least one trip to the Jersey Shore (one of my favorite haunts as a kid) and our traditional week-long stretch on Lake Champlain.

It wouldn’t be summer without baseball, and I’ve got a lot of games planned. I’ve already got 16+ IronPigs games lined up. I’m also going to a Pirates game in Pittsburgh later this month, and with any luck (and time) I’ll get to Citi Field to see a Mets game.

The big thing though, is simply this: don’t go crazy. Last summer was a blur because there was so much going on at work. This summer, with most of the major projects finished, and the ones we have reasonably under control, I want to focus on really enjoying the summer, my family, … and a good book or three.

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