Tuesday, September 01, 2015

New Habits

I got my proofreading done. I then celebrated by going to the dentist this morning, where I brainstormed titles while having my teeth cleaned. Yeah, I really know how to live it up.

Now I just have to remember where my life was before it was interrupted by books and travel. I need to get back to doing more promo stuff. I need to clean my house. I need to get back into my routines, which have changed.

It's funny how little changes have big ripple effects. Take my ballet class. For years, it's been on Tuesday nights. This year, it's on Thursday. That's changing my laundry schedule. I used to do my laundry on Mondays because I needed my ballet stuff Tuesday night and it has to air dry, so I needed to give it an overnight for drying. Then I washed my sheets and towels on Tuesdays because I knew I'd be washing my hair that night after ballet class (I have this weird thing about not liking to go to bed on clean sheets without having washed my hair). The move to Thursdays shouldn't affect my laundry schedule that much. There's no reason I can't still do my regular laundry on Mondays. I think I'll move my sheets and towels day to Thursday, though, and remaking the bed can be part of a general spiffing-up before the weekend. It's also going to affect the way I view the weekend. I often felt like the hard part of the week was over after choir on Wednesday night, so Thursday was like the pre-weekend, but having something to do on Thursday pushes that back.

The new phone is also changing some habits, mostly because it's a lot more useful as a music player than my old phone was. I can plug it into my living room stereo and have all my playlists, which means I'm listening to a lot more music while I cook , work, or eat because I don't have to grab my computer and plug it in or pick a single CD. I need a different kind of adaptor to plug the phone into the stereo in my office because its line in requires stereo audio cables. I thought I had one of those adaptors from my old DVD player, but I can't think of where it is. Yes, I can play the same music on my computer, but I keep my computer sound off so I don't hear stuff like e-mail and Facebook alerts.

I realized how big an effect a habit change can have while I was listening to the piped-in music at the dentist's office. My awareness of popular music tapers off starting at about 2000, when I quit commuting, and comes to an abrupt stop in 2008. That's because I learned about pop music by listening to the radio on my way to and from work, and I still listened to the radio in the car unless I was on a long road trip and brought along my cassette collection. I got a new car in 2008 that played MP3 CDs, and after just a few weeks of having the car, I took a road trip. For that trip, I made an MP3 CD with at least ten hours of music, and it was like listening to the radio but getting to choose all the songs. I ended up just leaving the CD in the car. Since then, I occasionally switch out CDs -- I make new "road trip" mixes every so often, and I do book "soundtracks" -- but I completely stopped listening to the radio. I don't even have any stations set on my car radio. At the dentist, I was perking up when something from the 80s or 90s came on, but then there was stuff that was entirely unfamiliar, and I knew it had to be newer. So, yeah, getting a new car totally changed my awareness of music. Now I'm looking forward to taking a road trip with my new phone, where I can make up a playlist without having to burn a CD, or I can just set the whole library on shuffle, or I can change playlists to fit mood or scenery.

Meanwhile, using the phone for music means I have it out more and have discovered the other tools on it, so I'm making a lot more use of it than I did my old phone (which also didn't have all the same tools). Now if only it would organize my life.

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