Good mornings are the catalyst to good days.
Let me elaborate.
In saying good I don’t mean the birds are chirping, the sun in shining, your clothes are magically laid out, Mary P is serving you a pour over and your kid doesn’t shit their pants while getting in their car seat (Hi!)
I’m talking about fluidity
Routine without strict schedules.
Something I have experienced this year was a morning routine that shifted.
Initially the shift felt “wrong” and I spent some time clawing the walls to regain control.
Knock, knock? It’s not always about you.
Shocking, I know.
Shifts are not wrong, they are part of life and for a control-freak like me, hardly come easy.
Same for you? Continue.
A possible scenario:
You wake up to the sound of your kid (your dog, your cat, the UPS man, whatever) asking for something.
You have 1 hour to get everyone fed, brushed, watered, planned, packed, buckled.
“I forgot to make my overnight oats! FUCK”!
“Where’s my bra”?
“No, you cannot eat mayonnaise for breakfast.”
“Ugh, I left my lunchbox at the office.”
It’s cool, you’ll skip breakfast this one time (c’mon)
You don’t need a clean shirt.
You’ll just get lunch out today.
When’s the last time I drank water?
Fuck, I have a meeting.
I guess I’ll wait to cook and eat when I get home at 8 pm.
(Plot Twist: by the time you get home you’re so ravenous that the laminate flooring oddly resembles a hoagie.
You stare into the open refrigerator, fingering the bag of shredded cheese while simultaneously managing to fit in some Triscuits.
You grab a Diet Coke on your way to bed where your spend the next two hours caffeinating and falling into the Pinterest abyss.
Then, somehow you’ll eventually fall asleep around midnight.
A possible scenario:
Scarlett wakes up between 6:30-7:00 am.
In order to not feel like I am waking to an earthquake happening, it suits me to set my alarm for 5 am.
I open my eyes and immediately grab my notebook on my nightstand.
I really love writing (playing video games, scrapbooking, bird-watching, whatever you’re into).
I spend 20 minutes just writing. Sometimes for work, sometimes I plan out our day if I haven’t already. Sometimes I write what I dreamt about, sometimes I make a grocery list.
I drink water before I have any coffee or tea.
“Fuck. I forgot to make my overnight oats”!
That’s cool, I have plenty of time to get breakfast for her and I together.
I wash my face, find my clothes, grab an outfit for Moonie.
I assess the damage from yesterday. Did I get those clothes put away? That’s cool, I can do that really quick. Am I about to step on a truck or tiara? It’s cool, I have time to pick up.
I check our schedule.
If I know we’re going to be on the road for lunch, I grab our lunches I assembled the night before. Didn’t assemble lunches the night before? No bigs, I still have about 45 minutes before my kid wakes.
I pack our belongings.
I make our breakfast.
Then, I open my computer and begin working while I wait for her to wake.
Do I still sometimes press snooze? Sometimes. Do I still stub my toe on the side of the bed? Occasionally. Do I still spill coffee on my notebook? Absolutely.
This is not a cure all but it’s also not rocket science.
If you start your day off a SHAMBLES, consistently, every single day.
Frazzled, tired, dehydrated, pissed off, no plan
What is going to be the voice that STOPS you when you say, “Ah, Fuck It.”
On that note, HOW MANY TIMES A WEEK ARE YOU SAYING AH, FUCK IT?
I have written about this before and I will continue doing so until friends, family, clients, ANYONE doesn’t continue asking themselves why it is they continue to fall short.
Or, resort to binge eating. Again.
Or, hate the morning with their kids, as usual.
Or, become so overwhelmed by all the shit that’s everywhere that they can’t even enjoy their own home.
This isn’t some fad or movement.
This is about handling your business so that you don’t fall to pieces before 9 am.
This is so you actually enjoy the breakfast table with the people you share it with.
This is about having a plan so that even when things come up (because they will) you don’t feel screwed or defeated.
Taking time for yourself does not make you selfish, it makes you A. Human B. A better partner/parent/employee/friend.
If I rise from bed all hair-brained, or I’m jolted awake or I don’t have my life pieces inside my life box, I AM SHAMBLEY.
I am quick to frustration.
I am quick to eat like a knucklehead.
And I’m quick to be an asshole to myself.
AND THEN, when your career changes, you move, you suddenly have a toddler, you XYZ (I did all of that in 4 months) your world doesn’t comes shattering down around you because you’ve been there, done that.
Does my life and routine look the same as when I ran a one-man-show meal prep and delivery service? No.
Does is look the same as when I had a newborn? Not even close.
Does it look the same as when I lived in a bubble and had everything I did/wanted/needed in a 5 block radius?
And to be honest, that was hard for me to cope with initially because I kept trying to force the puzzle pieces together instead of
The magic word.
I adapted. I shifted with my life.
I made a routine that works for us in the here and now.
And we survived.
From the depths of my guts, I believe that this is where is starts.
No longer feeling weighed down.
Creating momentum in your day.
Consistency with nutrition.
Finally reading that book you’ve wanted to.
Moving your body.
Not screaming at your kids.
Setting the tone.
What is the worst that could happen?
You wake up 30 minutes to sit there and stare down at your hands? WHO CARES! Those are YOUR 30 minutes that you spent doing what YOU wanted to do.
Set the tone (a tone you thrive in) for your day and let it be the catalyst.