My Very Anal Daily Routine – Just in Case You’re Interested

Every so often I get a letter asking about my daily routine. As if, I suppose, it would be useful to others. Everyone must find his own routine, but I do understand why someone would ask. I love reading about the daily routines of business magnates, accomplished writers, artists, etc.

So, for what it’s worth, here’s mine:

I wake up at 6:00 or 6:30. If I’m feeling tired, I stay in bed for 30 to 60 minutes. Along with my morning ablutions, I force myself to smile foolishly at my reflection in the bathroom mirror. I do this because I hope it will improve my mood. Then I do a minute or two of stretching, squats, pushups — something to get the creaks out and the blood moving.

Then I weigh myself. Drum roll. Euphoria or despair. I remind myself that I’m 68 and this is vanity.

My morning shower takes about 90 seconds. I lather up and rinse off twice. I once wrote an essay saying that I thought it was wasteful to spend more than 2 minutes in the shower. I got more hate mail from that than anything else I’ve ever written. Like I said then, I’m just telling you what I do and what I think. I’m not your role model. Do and think what you want.

I spend more than 90 seconds dressing because I want to look good. If K tells me that the outfit I’ve put on doesn’t look good, I am nonplussed. But I defer to her.

I’m at my desk 30 minutes after I get out of bed. I spend two minutes reciting a morning prayer and about 10 or 15 minutes updating my “goaltending” journal. Then I get to work writing. Writing is difficult but important to me. I want to tackle it when I have my morning energy. I set a 28-minute timer. When it goes off, I get up from my computer and move around for 2 minutes. Then it’s back to work.

Breakfast is the same every day: half of an egg-salad sandwich. After breakfast, I usually take a 40-minute walk across the street, along the beach, listening to an audiobook or a TED Talk or the like. Then I try to get to work on the next most important thing after writing. (It’s usually some sort of project – business or personal.)

At 11:00 or 12:00 (depending on the day), I drive to my office (a mile away) and train in Jiu Jitsu for an hour. After Jiu Jitsu, I spend a half-hour doing yoga and Pilates. Then I weigh myself again. I weigh myself a second time because I usually weigh between 3 and 5 pounds lighter than I did in the morning. So why not? Then I take another 90-second shower.

Lunch is a cup of tuna salad, eaten at my desk. I spend the next several hours working on routine business objectives, having meetings, critiquing advertising copy, answering questions. I work like this till about 5:00 or 5:30.

I go home and spend an hour reading in the pavilion in our backyard. Then I set the table, select a wine for dinner, and spend an hour with K, trying to get out of my head and be in the moment. After dinner, I sit on the front porch and smoke a cigar and sip cognac and do a crossword or play solitaire.

Then it’s upstairs for yet another 90-second shower and a couple of hours of reading or watching something on YouTube or Netflix. Before I turn out the lights, I spend another 10 or 15 minutes on my goaltending journal.

That is my routine on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Wednesday and Friday daytimes are the same, but the evenings are spent at my cigar club, writing and/or having meetings and/or talking with friends. I spend Sundays at what K calls our “swamp house” – a second home that’s about 20 minutes west of our main house on the beach. Friends and family members drop by to chat or take a tour. The swamp house sits on a small lake in 20 acres of what is becoming a pretty cool palm tree botanical garden that I will one day be opening to the public.

So that’s it.

Now you may be thinking, “How anal! How boring! I’d rather be in prison!” But keep in mind that I travel an average of 12 days a month – Baltimore, New York, L.A., and lots of foreign cities. I have a different routine (also anal) when I travel, which keeps things interesting. And like I said, you should have your own. This one works for me.

Continue Reading

“The Papa Connection” in Taki’s Magazine

Taki’s Magazine is a regular of mine. It’s extreme in some ways… racist and misogynist. But its writers are smart and its editor, Taki, could be the most interesting man in the world. When he writes, I’m always delighted. Here is an example: a review of Autumn in Venice: Ernest Hemingway and His Last Muse, which I have yet to read.

Continue Reading

galumph (verb) 

To galumph (guh-LUMF) – may be a blend of “gallop” and “triumph” – is to prance about in a clumsy, self-satisfied manner. This is one of many words coined by Lewis Carroll in the nonsense poem “Jabberwocky.” Here it is in the 5thstanza: “One, two! One, two! And through and through / The vorpal blade went snicker-snack! / He left it dead, and with its head / He went galumphing back.”

Continue Reading