Kurt Vonnegut’s Daily Routine

I’ve always been a sucker for process, especially formulating a daily routine. This sense of order was first drilled in me by my grade 6 teacher, who was a force to be reckoned with, and an expert on the to-do list, a craze of which still seems unabated. Her desire for order and structure in her classroom pails in comparison to my experience in trumpet studio at Humber College where Don Johnson would etch out our daily routine, forbidding any contact with the opposite sex until after a rigorous regime of long tones and controlled blatts and squawks.

From an article by Maria Popova is a letter from Kurt Vonnegut to his wife where he outlines his daily routine.

Dearest Jane,

In an unmoored life like mine, sleep and hunger and work arrange themselves to suit themselves, without consulting me. I’m just as glad they haven’t consulted me about the tiresome details. What they have worked out is this: I awake at 5:30, work until 8:00, eat breakfast at home, work until 10:00, walk a few blocks into town, do errands, go to the nearby municipal swimming pool, which I have all to myself, and swim for half an hour, return home at 11:45, read the mail, eat lunch at noon. In the afternoon I do schoolwork, either teach of prepare. When I get home from school at about 5:30, I numb my twanging intellect with several belts of Scotch and water ($5.00/fifth at the State Liquor store, the only liquor store in town. There are loads of bars, though.), cook supper, read and listen to jazz (lots of good music on the radio here), slip off to sleep at ten. I do pushups and sit-ups all the time, and feel as though I am getting lean and sinewy, but maybe not. Last night, time and my body decided to take me to the movies. I saw The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, which I took very hard. To an unmoored, middle-aged man like myself, it was heart-breaking. That’s all right. I like to have my heart broken.

From Brain Pickings.