It’s All About the Tweak



I am a big believer in tweaking rather than radically changing things up (although I did move to Japan on short notice and dropped everything to spend three months in Spain, and quit university to become a dancer).

At this stage of the game when we are inundated by stuff telling us how to live our lives moment by moment, from the time we put down our phone to the time we rise, and those most crucial waking hours, we are flooded with shoulds!

No one asked us about our life. We all seem to fit into a mold that is capable of forsaking our comfortable if not completely healthy morning routine to meditate, exercise, journal have a cold shower, discuss something in depth with a wise person, go for a walk to ponder the universe and then make a multi-ingredient smoothie to sip while still avoiding our emails and news feed.

Some of my clients take five minutes to dash from bed to mascara to lip gloss to the car!

I had a routine that got scrunched the busier I got. My routine had originally allowed for plenty of time for coffee and chat with my partner, meditation, work on my novel, some working out on a cross-trainer and then that cold shower.

This all lasted for a bit until my schedule filled up and I had to be out the door by 8:30. (I understand many of you have days that start way earlier.) Anyway the dog walk got shoved to the end of the routine, news feed took over and we still had our coffee together since it has been an ongoing tradition for about 18 years now.

With best of intentions I could not shift my ass out of coffee time into get ready for work and walk the dog time. Dog got ripped off and I was invariable just-on-time for my first client of the day.

I did a little self reflection and came to realize novel writing-cold shower-cross trainer-meditating time had become check the weather network and then get completely distracted down the internet rabbit-hole-until-coffee time.

I tweaked. My dog needs his walk; I signed that contract when he came to live with us. He slammed it down on the floor and made me leave my paw print. Now I get up early and we are out for our leisurely walky-joggy thing by six thirty. This covers dog, exercise, meditation, happy thoughts, lungs full of fresh air and time enough to arrive home for coffee, treats and no guilty mad dash out the door.

I’m hoping I can somehow inspire you to tweak if you are in a rut right now. The answer might be less complicated than you think!

Published by: Andrew Binks

I am a writer living in rural Ontario, 2 hours east of Toronto. I was born and raised in Ottawa but spent the last 15 years in BC. Glad to be back. My first novel, The Summer Between, was published in 2009 by Nightwood Editions. My website is My fiction and non-fiction have been published in Joyland, Galleon, Fugue, Prism International, Harrington Gay Men's Literary Quarterly (U.S.), Bent-magazine, The Globe and Mail, and Xtra, among others. I am a past honorable mention of the Writer's Union of Canada's short prose contest, Glimmertrain’s Family Matters contest, finalist in the Queen's University Alumni Review poetry contest, and This Magazine’s “Great Canadian Literary Hunt.” My poetry has also appeared in Quill's “Lust” issue and Velvet Avalanche Anthology. Harvard Square Editions will be publishing a chapter from one of my novels in their upcoming anthology "A Voice from the Planet," this fall. My satirical play, Reconciliation, about Native land claims, Japanese internment, and political corruption, was read this spring in Toronto as part of the Foundry play-reading series. My play Pink Blood received a public reading, from Screaming Weenie Productions in Vancouver this June. I spoke at the AWP conference in New York City in 2008 on the merits and challenges of multi-genre writing programs.

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