A Day Done Differently

I don’t know about you guys, but this time of year usually finds me knee deep in a personal rut, whining with malcontent and mowing on processed carbs. An appealing picture, no? Over the past few weeks, I’ve attempted my usual malaise cures (joyful playlists, dressing my cat in a vest, travel) but none of them really cut it.So in an attempt to well and truly shake myself out of these doldrums, I decided to attempt a day in which I would do every possible thing in a different manner. Really! Every. single. thing. What follows is a dissection of this attempt at A Day Done Differently.

6:00 AM
I wake in the dark, to my alarm. I eat peanut butter/banana toast while listening to The Current, reading blogs and fending off my oddly needy cat.
Today: I rearranged my work schedule and attempted to sleep in until the truly decadent hour of 7 am. This mostly consisted of me tossing around and trying to force myself to sleep in – you’ll go back to sleep and you’ll enjoy it, missy! I then made a daring foray into the breakfast world of scrambled eggs and salsa which normally falls under my ‘gross and slimy’ heading. Not nearly as gross as I remember!7:30 AM
Usually: I’m at work, dressed in my personal uniform of dark wash skinny jeans/boots/button up shirt/scarf/messy bun.
Today: I was still at home, styling my hair (!) and applying red lipstick (!!) to coordinate with my vintage dress and sweater combo. I wandered into my office at the luxurious hour of 8 am and all my students shrieked at me and told me I looked like an actress. I promptly melted into the floor.

12:00 PM
: I’m eating a Lean Cuisine in front of the computer during a 40 minute break between classes. Sexy, right?
Today: After switching classes with my colleague, I had an hour and a half to do as my little heart desired. My first proper lunch break in months! So I headed Grand Avenue for boutique browsing, coffee sipping and bagel nibbling. Truly, it was entirely too cold for me to be paddling about in my dress/leggings/sweater combo, but we Minnesotans get so excited once the temperature’s above 40! I felt so.damn.smug being out and about in the middle of the day.3:30 PM
Usually: I’ve walked home, checked the mail and am 10 minutes into my post-work nap. Yes.
Today: I’m still at work. Wait, what? Eff this whole ‘change’ thing!6:00 PM
I’m eating a Chik’n fillet and some microwaved peas as I read a magazine/check email/attend to the oddly needy cat/put in a load of laundry. Simultaneously.
Today: I braved the aisles of a new and swanky grocery store to hunt down the ingredients to try a new recipe. $12 worth of produce later (never again, Kowalski’s) I started in on a version of coconut milk vichyssoise and a red pepper/papaya/avocado salad. I ate it while doing … nothing.

7:30 PM
I’m drinking vodka gimlets with a date. Or meeting friends for dinner. Or working out. Or plotting world domination with various bloggers. Or generally fussing over my apartment and painting/sanding/fancy-fi-ing it.
Today: I wandered over to Garrison Keillor’s very own book store, and spent a good hour paging through obscure collections of poems, Indian cookbooks, books with funny pictures of cats. I resisted the urge to make mental lists of things I should be doing or to worry that my red lipstick was too ostentatious.We all know that trying new things will help jolt us out of a boring routine, but ever the one to embrace a theme and a challenge, this Day Done Differently worked really well for me. It forced me to examine the ruts that I’d fallen into and think about how I could climb out of them. No makeup and jeans? I’ll show you a wiggle dress and red lipstick! Microwaved dinner? I’ll raise you a homemade meal! I like this idea so much I might just make it a monthly routine!Oh, the irony.

Would you ever partake in A Day Done Differently? What would yours look like?

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  1. Chrissy

    Oh, Lordy, lol. just reading yours makes me tired…. I get in those moods too. I change up the meals, started adding a walk in w/my regular workout at the gym… oh, i hired extra maintenance help in the yard so that my back will not give out on me in the next month..started hitting that pile of books from last year so that i can add more books to the pile…

  2. Eva

    Such a fun idea, and the best thing about it is that it's SO easy to pull off. I say YES to making it your monthly routine!

  3. Ashley Rieflin

    Oh this sounds wonderful! I really should do this sometime soon as well. I think days that break you out of zombie mode are the most inspiring.

  4. Ebony

    Totally in one of those ruts right now.
    I am doing this tomorrow.
    Thanks for inspiring me, could not stop reading 🙂
    As usual.

  5. Miss Peregrin

    This sounds like a great idea! I think I'm going to give it a shot.

  6. Ashley+Brittany

    I love it! I've gotta try this sometime. Btw, I really love the look of that book store. I want to be there.


  7. xoxotara

    I think it is a marvelous idea. I'm not sure how I could accomplish something like that as a college student, but maybe I'll try!

    ps – I eat peanut butter banana sandwiches every day. I know how you feel!

  8. Darcie

    This made me laugh SO HARD:

    "I like this idea so much I might just make it a monthly routine!
    Oh, the irony."

  9. Darcie

    also, where is our photo of you in red lipstick?? WHERE, MS. VON?!

  10. drummbellina

    Do you ever have a great blog idea and sleep on it then the next day find someone else has just posted that very same idea? Because that just happened!! LOL. But you did from a way better angle than I would have so I forgive you 😉 But that is freaky.

  11. brlracincwgrl

    I love this! :). I love when my routine is shook up, in a positive light that is. Change is good…

    I may give this a whirl. Need to plan it out!

  12. colleen e

    i completely sympathize xoxotara- im in school too, but really want to try this! i think just something as simple as waking up an hour earlier to read before class, or taking a different route to lectures might help. or sitting in a different spot in the library (that girl in the back desk of the obscure east asian studies section? yeah, thats me) and picking out different things from the dining hall. or even actually making it to the gym, instead of just planning that i'll go

    that last one will take some work, obv.

  13. Jen

    What a great idea! I was sorta forced to do this when my boss asked me to come into the office(!) this week instead of working from home. Monday and Tuesday, I got up, dressed myself in business casual instead of sweatpants and hiked into work. I worked a full day then hit the gym afterwards. I got home later, at a quick-fix dinner (I usually plan meals and spend at least 30 minutes on them) and crashed on the couch. I didn't Tweet, I was forced to blog in 10 minutes. And, I feel better! I'm going to have to do this more often… I'm thinking once a week!

  14. Miss Jane

    I was just thinking about changing my work schedule for a couple of days next week. Thanks for this post, very motivating! I'm ready to get out of the Winter slump! 🙂

  15. jess

    wow, wherever that bookstore is in the last picture I need to get there now!

  16. The Maiden Metallurgist

    I very rarely get to do it, so far only once, but the day I worked from home, well, from a coffee shop in the city, sharing a table with my husband and grabbing a reuben for lunch downtown lives in my mempry as one of my favorite days of the last year.

  17. Colleen

    Ah, I JUST had a "Day Done Differently" and it was wonderful. The bf stayed overnight, so when the alarm went off way too early the next day and snooze had already been hit about 5 times, I decided it was a good day to call in sick. We lounged in bed until about noon, snoozing, chatting, looking up dream vacation destinations on the laptop, and other fun bedroom things. We made our way to a little upscale bar for lunch, where we had mid-day cocktails and super creamy/cheesy pasta with the sun shining through the windows. Lots of laughs and a little buzz. Returned home to continue lounging and laughing. I love love love playing hooky and making memories!

  18. Raggedy Sarah

    As a dutiful Canadian I was so excited that you mentioned The Current, until I realized you didn't mean our national radio show. But I'm sure your show is good too 🙂

    That picture of your bookstore is the hottest thing I've seen on the interweb in a long time!

  19. Renai

    Wow… thank you for this post! I am in a super mega serious grumpzilla rut at the moment and am having the hardest time breaking out of it. I think I'm going to try this over the weekend when my days are a bit more flexible.

    A sloppy idea of what I'd like to do- wake up EARLY- 7 or 7:30, make tea and eat breakfast with the bossy kitties, go on a nice, long, wonderful walk at my own pace, come home and shower right away, and then… do whatever else I want.

  20. Jennifer

    Living on campus, in college, makes every day a little different for me, but I would definitely do that if my routine wasn't so sporadic already.

  21. Nahl

    Such a great idea…how about waking up early, going for a walk, getting yourself groomed for the day, study, study and study instead of facebooking. Sounds different?

  22. daddylikeyblog

    Awwww Sarah I love this post!! I think a lot of times we forget how simple (and cheap, fun, etc) it can be to drastically change the shape of our days (and our lives!). So inspiring.

  23. Emily

    I loved reading this! If I had a set routine every day I would try to mix it up. Also, yes, where is the picture of movie star you?!

  24. Leia

    I love this! I don't have a set routine and try to mix things up every day 🙂

  25. Kate

    What a great post! Everyone needs a day different now and then!

  26. Whitters

    What a fantastic idea! I'm definitely going to try it! 🙂

  27. {Tara}

    This is a fantastic idea…I'm also in a huge rut right now. Maybe I will try this soon!

  28. Ali

    I can't stress enough to you what a great idea I think this is. You're brilliant!

  29. screwdestiny

    What a fantastic idea! I've got to do me a Day Done Differently quick. But I may just dress my cat in a vest 'cause that is friggin' hilarious.

    And girl, rock the red lipstick. I work at McDonald's but I still do a red lip like, three days a week. It's classy, not ostentatious.

  30. Michelle

    I really need to do this! I do the same thing every day, it's a little ridiculous.

  31. Cathryn

    This is a great idea! I think I'll try it out next week.

  32. j.lowe

    This sounds like an AWESOME idea! I could have used it back when I was still in school. Right now I don't need it – I've been having some big changes in my life so that every week is different. But now that I've finally settled on one job, and it's a job I can do from home, I think it'll become really necessary for me to do this regularly!

  33. kathryn-louisa

    Sounds like a wonderful day, and exactly what you needed! If life wasn't already slightly unpredictable and bizarre, I'd do a similar thing myself – I think maybe I need to get into a routine first before I start breaking it?!



  34. Zmaga

    This post is great! I am definitely going to try this one! I just have to pick a day and what I'll do differently. Thanks for inspiring me!

  35. Struggler

    Hi! My first time here, via Smiles Go With Everything. What a fascinating idea for climbing out of a rut – your telling of it really made me laugh, too. It just shows how much wiggle room we actually do have in our daily lives for shaking things up a bit. Thanks so much for the nudge!

  36. Clare

    This is such a great idea. My wheels are already turning about how I can do it, too.

  37. Lovers, Saints and Sailors

    Love it!
    I'm pretty stoked with everything right now and a whole lot of new things are happening or on their way to happening.
    Though tt's good to know that should I need, I can climb out of a rut with just a slick of red lipstick.
    I've always admired a girl who wears red lipstick…

  38. Nats

    That's a wonderful idea actually, a day done differently. I'm a Baha'i, and this Monday was the start of the Fast for me. It means waking up early, getting a proper breakfast before I go to work, and not eating until sunset, so I'm taking the opportunity to do things differently. Basketball in the morning, avoiding 7 Eleven like the plague.

    For me its really hard to just randomly start a change, but it you use something as an impetus, it really helps as a motivator.

    Kudos on the red lipstick though 🙂

  39. Suzanne

    Just found your blog and LOVED this post so much. Completely charming! 🙂

    Suzanne from DelysiaStyle.com

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