I'm in finals this month and am pulling 8-14 hour days, drawing, drafting, writing, designing, and photoshopping. I sit in my office to do all this; my world feels very small right now. KQED on the radio, oatmeal for breakfast, slippers on my feet, colored pencils cover every surface. Every day is predictable and interchangeable with the next. I kind of love this.
The only time I get out of the office is on my daily walk to my local grocery store to get my lunch. I intentionally leave our refrigerator empty in order to get myself out into the perpetually shining sun (when I think a guilty New England-style "I really should get out, it's so beautiful" thought it is immediately followed by a California-style shrug and, "There will be another one, probably tomorrow.").
On this brief walk of 5 minutes and 6 seconds (yes, I have timed it) I try to notice something new every day. Luckily, my neighborhood makes it easy. My hill is covered in mid century apartment buildings whose facades are objectively stunning, but made more stunning by my New England-trained aesthetic comfort zone, all clapboards and shutters, beautiful in an under-stated, slightly Puritanical way.
The trees and bushes and flowers (and herbs! Rosemary and lavendar are basically weeds here) have all been planted in layers that create depth and height to every yard, even the smallest ones. If I wanted to, I could steal my daily intake of citrus and fruit, gather bouquets of gorgeous flowers, and harvest clippings for a variety of house plants all from my neighbor's yards.
So here is a little bit of my daily walk: