A Day in the Life

A Day in the Life: Kelsey Arends

6:30 a.m. – My puppy, Willa, nuzzles my face until I wake up to take her outside. I try to get her to lay down for a few extra minutes by rubbing her belly before I decide it’s time to start the day. Who needs an alarm when you have a Willa?

My pup, Willa

Every morning is the exact same —

  • Take Willa outside
  • Fill up her food & water bowl
  • Brush teeth, take meds, skincare routine
  • Heat up some Brownie Baked Squash Oats and pile on a little too much sugar-free cool whip
  • Eat breakfast & do my morning wordle
  • Complete my morning “One Question a Day” journal which is actually really cool — there are 365 questions, but you answer the same question on the same day each year for five years. Today’s question was “What was the last commitment you made?” to which I *lovingly* wrote “planning my sister’s bridal shower.” 
  • Throw in a load of laundry
  • Take Willa for a stroll around Dogtown
Videoshoot in the OR — first time in scrubs!

If I’m going into the office, mornings are a bit more rushed but I try to leave by 7:45 a.m. I live about seven minutes away from the hospital, but I have to make sure I have enough time to get lost in the Link before finally finding my way to the Northwest Tower.

8 a.m. – 12 p.m. – Morning work. I usually separate my days into pre-lunch and post-lunch work to-dos. Today I started by combing through my inbox and looking at “My Tasks” in Asana — the greatest project management tool you’ll ever use. I monitored engagement on WUDA’s social media platforms and created/scheduled content for the next week. Depending on the day, I’ll have a meeting with my boss, Patrick, about the status of various projects. If anything on the website needs to be modified or updated, or if I’m working on a division page or lab page revamp, I’ll do it during the morning chuck of time.  

12 p.m. – Lunch time! I heat up whatever I made for dinner last night – today it was buffalo chicken pasta. I’ll check the grass to see if it needs to be watered… maybe water my indoor plants or change a light or vacuum up Willa’s food because she doesn’t know how to eat normally — I’m always walking by something in my house that needs attention so I put it on my “lunchtime” list. The other day I did a lunchtime paddleboard which was lovely!

1 p.m. – 5 p.m. — My “afternoon work” block of time. I’m usually most productive in this window of time because there are fewer distractions. Willa is fast asleep for her afternoon nap, and it’s just me, the couch, and my laptop. This is the time I write —stories for the website, the Well-being Word Newsletter, etc. If I’m working on an article, like the one I’m working on right now for the Perioperative Innovation Center, it’s great to have a large chunk of blocked-off time to do nothing but write. I’ll also use this time to do any one-off requests that come in via email – like updating my spreadsheet for the monthly WUDA featured members spotlight or following up with folks about an upcoming deadline.

Workout time!

5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. – Kelsey time! This is when I workout (I use the Madeline Moves app for strength training and would 100% recommend if you don’t like creating your own programming) or I’ll go for a run, always followed by good stretch. I am training to run 50 half/full marathons in all 50 states — I’ve only done 10, but I’m looking forward to my next one in Philadelphia in November!

If it’s not too hot, I’ll take Willa on another walk with my neighbor and her dog to the school up the street to run around in the fenced playground. Or I’ll just throw balls around the house for her to chase.

My family visiting my grandparents in Florida!

Evenings — I am in the PMBA program at WashU, so I have class on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 6:15-9:15 p.m. On Wednesdays I go to “Dinner Club” at my parent’s condo in Clayton, which is just a time for our family to get together to eat & catch up. (Side note: Maureen is not my mom, but she is the best great aunt a girl could ask for!)

If I’m not in class or with my family, I’ll make dinner (Lillie Eats & Tells is where I get ALL my recipes) and then settle in to prep readings for my next class or work on any projects. Sometimes friends will come over and we’ll prep homework together while watching the Bachelorette or any other fake reality TV show we can find. I barely have any free time in the evenings because of class, and I do a lot of housework and travel on weekends (I just got back from hiking Angels Landing in Zion!), so I try to hang out with other humans as often as I can even if we’re just studying or watching a show.

Hiking Angels Landing in Zion

If I’m not studying, I’m likely doing maid of honor or bridesmaid tasks for upcoming weddings, bachelorette parties, and showers — my family jokes that I’m gonna give Katherine Heigel a run for her money and be “28 dresses” which is funny until it’s true. My next trip is to Laguna Beach next week for my college roommate’s wedding, and then I’ll head to Indianapolis for my older sister’s wedding later this summer!

9:30 p.m. — I’m in bed, reading Colleen Hoover and attempting to escape my never-ending to-do list before the melatonin kicks in and I’m conked out.