A Day In The Life: Last Friday

It’s been forever since I did one of these posts detailing the minutia of my day. I love reading other people’s schedules and thoughts and opinions, so here it goes. A Day in The Life of Harriet:

9:45 pm: Plow through sorely neglected feed reader, see Lacey’s post, consider doing “A Day in the Life.” Also manage to reduce unread posts from 769 to a more respectable 13 unread. Yes, entire categories were marked “read all”….which is precisely why I put my blogs into categories: Favorites/Comments; Cooking; Fashion; Design; Not Girly Blogs; Trial Run; Travel; Mildly Entertaining; Family. (That first category is the one that gets 95% of my attention, always, the others are often skimmed for titles and then marked as read.)

10:30 pm: Shower, brush teeth, pick out clothes and shoes for tomorrow like a 7-year-old all excited for the first day of school (all three of these things are a must every night or my mornings are shot).

11:15 pm: Sleep.

6:15 am: pssst. alarm, here, time to wake up
6:20 am: Ahem. Alarm.
6:23 am: Alarm!
6:30 am: ALARM!

6:35 am: ALRIGHT I GET IT I’M AWAKE YOU ALARM MONSTER! Scroll Twitter with only one eye open, internally fighting with myself to simultaneously get out of bed already and just curl up and go back to sleep.

6:47 am: Sync my Magic Bracelet (ahem, Fitbit) (I swear I’m not 7 years old!) which tells me that I was awake 6 times and restless 32 times, which is a pretty typical night for me. (I know.)

6:50 am: Out of bed, get ready, use curling iron to de-wrinkle the collar and placket of my button-up shirt. I don’t remember the last time I used an iron for this task. (Judgey eyebrows down, please.)

7:17 am: Make bed before heading downstairs. I am constantly surprised at how much easier this is when your room is large enough to allow more than 18″ on ONE side of the mattress…but I still miss my Salt Lake apartment, tiny rooms and all.

7:20 am: Leave for work. It’s a “late morning” because Friday traffic is so much lighter than the rest of the week (I usually leave between 7:05 and 7:10 am).
Commute: Finish listening to audiobook I Know How She Does It by Laura Vanderkam and decide a Day in the Life post is definitely in order. Also, decide Laura Vanderkam probably has no idea how most women live and work and “do it all.” Roll my eyes a bit. Or a lot.

8:00 am: Arrive at work. Order my usual Friday breakfast burrito from the cafe in my building (ham, egg and cheese, no potato) go up to my office while they make it, boot up computer, find address and stamp for a snail-mail card to my niece, walk back downstairs to mail letter and pick up breakfast.

Day in the Life_feistyharriet_Nov 2016 (3)

8:10 am: Scroll email, no fires to put out, so that’s good. Categorize and prioritize what needs attention first, color-code for reference.

8:15 am: Conversation with co-worker about upcoming annual report…blergh.

8:30 am: Start notes for this log, also first caffeine of the day. Diet Dr. Pepper 4EVAH! Also, it goes swimmingly with a morning breakfast burrito. Don’t judge.

8:35 am: Water plants in my office, I love having live plants AND a big sunny window to keep them happy.

8:40 am: Prep for weekly one-on-one with boss.

9:00 am: …twiddling my thumbs, boss is on phone call…answer a few emails.

9:15 am: FINALLY! Meeting with boss.

10:10 am: Ack! My meeting went long (was supposed to be only 30 mins) AND was delayed and now I’m late for my next thing. Rush out to XYZ High School where I’m volunteering at an event for the program I manage. Check in with site coordinator and get assigned to a computer lab where I will be helping students with college and FAFSA applications. The vast majority of students at this school live below the poverty line, which in Arizona means a family of 4 surviving on less than $22,000 per year.  I had a good conversation and experience with one girl in particular, her Mom never reached 9th grade and is a single parent who supports herself and 4 kids on $17,689/year. (!!!!) This girl has a 3.65 and wants to become a nurse, she’s got the grades to get into any program she wants, and she has the determination to finish it.

12:20 pm: Leave high school, still thinking about this girl and her family. Five people on less than $18k per year total! There are thousands like her in Phoenix. THOUSANDS! And hundreds of thousands more like her around the country. I wish I could help them all! (This is the part of my job that I love the most, btw. Seeing the program I administer make a difference in a student’s life trajectory.)

Day in the Life_feistyharriet_Nov 2016 (1)

12:30 pm: Lunch and a book–a full lunch break is essential for me to be productive at all during the afternoon. Veggie burger, sweet potato fries, and a giant Diet Coke (don’t judge). I’m reading The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson and am learning so much about the Great Migration of black families from the South to industrial cities in the North and West and some of the historical situations that current racial tensions are based on throughout the United States. (*I tend to only order veggie-versions of burgers these days, unless I’m making it myself.) (Make mental note to bring lunches more often next week, even veggie burgers are expensive.)

1:30 pm: Back at the office: churn out a draft agenda for a huge Commission meeting next week; emails to all high school counselors who work on our programs; 30 minute conversation with brand new high school, getting them up to speed; figure out some storage and spacing issues with our Executive Assistant; finalize press release for my program; approve scheduled social media for the next 2 weeks.

3:45 pm: Holy crap! Where did the afternoon go! Quick break to walk around the block while I scroll Twitter and Instagram.

Day in the Life_feistyharriet_Nov 2016 (4)

4:00 pm: Back to the grind. A little more follow-up and planning for next week. When I started at this job I inherited two full-time interns when I really only have work for one part-time intern…it’s been a struggle to keep them busy and engaged in meaningful work. Wrap up my last “To Do’s” for the week, tidy up my desk (meaning: stack the piles of papers nicely), and spend 10 minutes with the interns being social, not their boss (asking about their weekend, his class and project, her boyfriend coming home from Iraq, etc).

5:00 pm: OUTTA HERE! Starting a new book for my drive home, Nefertiti by Michelle Moran. I’m on a “women who rule” kick lately, I thought this would fit the bill nicely. A few minutes in I can’t help but feel a little disappointed that it is clearly historical fiction and not an actual biography. Sigh.

5:50 pm: Arrive home. Mr Blue Eyes and I have decided to have an “at home” date night, dinner is grilled salmon and a big salad made out of fresh-picked lettuce from the backyard garden.

6:00 pm: Lettuce picking! I have 12 little lettuce plants (variety of types), 9 spinach blobs, and 1 overabundant kale plant. I pick leaves from everything to keep it producing. I also trim the basil (heaps of it!), oregano, cilantro, and thyme, by the time I am done my largest bowl is a tower of carefully balanced greenery.

Day in the Life_feistyharriet_Nov 2016 (2)

6:15 pm: Carefully wash all the leaves and pat them dry, send Blue Eyes to the store for a tomato and an avocado.

6:25 pm: Chop the rest of the salad stuffs: green onion, tomato, bell pepper, mushrooms, almonds.

6:30 pm: Blue Eyes puts the salmon on the grill (mine with sliced lemon, his without), I start chopping and tearing up the now-dry lettuce leaves.

6:40 pm: Dinner! Seriously, this is delicious. Hello, SALAD! Big Bang Theory reruns are playing in the background.

7:00 pm: Dishes, including the pans, turn on the dishwasher (I do all the dishes every night, no matter what. I loathe a dirty kitchen in the morning!).

7:15 pm: We have decided to go camping tomorrow night, he’s researching some hikes, beautiful vistas, and campgrounds while I’m making cooking plans and packing lists. Flagstaff and Sedona both promise cooler weather (like, in the 30’s overnight!) and possibly some leaf colors! Swoooon!

8:00 pm: Netflix movie Tallulah which is…not a light-hearted comedy. What the what!?

10:00 pm: Get ready for bed. (Tomorrow is Saturday so I don’t have to lay out my clothes, but you better believe I have considered which of my favorite comfy t-shirts will be gracing my body in the morning.) (Please, stop judging me!)

10:20 pm: I have an unexplained and unexpected major emotional thing and panic/anxiety attack…trying to measure my breathing and count my heart beats….

10:45 pm: Still feeling shaky, I won’t be sleeping anytime soon. Blue Eyes is snoring (his day starts WAY earlier than mine, and he is patting my hand while he snores), so I carefully ninja my way out of bed so not to disturb him and go into my little studio/former office to use my oil paints while listening to that Nefertiti book.

Day in the Life_feistyharriet_Nov 2016 (5)

1:05 am: Painting is done, time to wash out my brushes. I carefully sneak down the stairs so Blue Eyes doesn’t wake up and think I’m a burglar.

1:18 am: Upstairs and crawl into bed; finally exhausted enough to sleep.


10 thoughts on “A Day In The Life: Last Friday

    1. Feisty Harriet Post author

      A few years ago I took an airbag to the face (literally, my face was about 4″ from it when it exploded) which put a split in my brain, and have had panic attacks ever since. During my recovery I wasn’t allowed to exercise, watch TV, listen to music, read, or be on the computer. My Dad gave me some oil paints and that’s what I did most of the time while I was cooped up waiting for my brain to do it’s healing thing. Painting something has been the most therapeutic thing for me the last few years, and I have loved learning how to make the image in my head show up on the canvas.


  1. Saskia

    So I am already amazed and you haven’t even left the house yet. I never thought to use a curling iron for that. Am so copying it.

    Okay, now I made it through the rest of the post. I love your job so much I might want it myself. And I’m so sorry you had a panic attack–been there, done that, did not buy the t-shirt. Big hug.

    1. Feisty Harriet Post author

      The program I run is national, and most high schools could use some volunteers to help their students fill out the appropriate documentation. Honestly, it might be right up your alley. 😉

      Also? Curling Iron 4EVAH!!!


    1. Feisty Harriet Post author

      I love them too, I love seeing the minutia of how people live their lives. I’m sure there’s some kind of complex or diagnoses for that….ha!


  2. Lacey Bean

    I LOL’d at reading twitter with one eye open because I do that! Also because I’m blind without glasses/contacts and I can’t see. Loved living through your day! (Minus the panic attack…. just got meds to hep me through my own stuff!) <3 to you


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *