07 August 2014

waking up


When my alarm went off this morning, I was tired. I slept in for another ten minutes or so and then had my usual debate about whether or not to get out of bed or to just keep sleeping. It's frequently a tough call. I can make a really convincing case for needing more sleep. I'll think, "Well Christine, you have a tough day ahead and you'll feel more prepared if you sleep another 20 minutes." I'll use this excuse regardless of how much sleep I already got that night. Flimsy excuse, I'll admit.

“Morning is an important time of day, because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have.”
— Lemony Snicket 

Here's the thing:  I like the morning time. I love being awake early, whether to get a start on my day or to just sit and stare out the window for a few minutes. Mornings are great! But, so is sleeping. I'd really rather wake up early and get going than toss and turn in bed until my snooze alarm goes off. Without seeking to add another element of stress to the day, here are some ways I'd like to spend my mornings.

Running. There's no better time to run. The air is crisp, the streets are quiet and you can get a few miles in before your brain even realizes what your body is doing. At the risk of sounding like a women's fitness magazine writer, squeezing in a run or walk or workout in the morning sets up your whole day for greatness. It helps me shake out, stretch, breathe deeper and get the blood flowing. I feel accomplished and badass when I run in the morning. After I run, I tend to choose healthier foods, because on those mornings I've convinced myself I am a mega wellness warrior so I smugly make my smoothie and put together my veggie-loaded lunch. And then when I get home from a long day? I've already ran. I can just relax! Maybe make a fancy cocktail! Endless non-running possibilities.

Newspaper-reading. We don't subscribe to a newspaper, so I mostly catch up on goings-ons on my computer at work. I would hate all of the paper waste if we had one delivered each morning, but I do like the romantic idea of settling down at the breakfast counter with my paper and mug of coffee. In lieu of flipping through a daily paper, maybe I should catch up on some magazine reading? (If you're a longtime reader, you may remember how The Economist magazine tried to kill me? Yes? Well I still haven't re-subscribed for fear of being buried alive by pile of unread mags, but maybe now is the time? Or maybe I'll just get the New Yorker and call it a day.)

Coffee-drinking. I don't drink coffee every day. Most days, I guess, but then there will be a week or two where I don't touch the stuff. In the winter, I suspect I drink more coffee because I like the ritual and the smell and the warmth. When I do have morning coffee, I usually take it with me to work, with the idea that it's a nice slice of comfort to bring to the office. But wouldn't it be nicer to actually focus on that mug of java at home, while it's still warm and not just an afterthought? I think so. Here's to drinking coffee out of beautiful clay mugs at home instead of out of a travel tumbler under fluorescent lights.

Meditating. So far, this hasn't seemed a compelling enough reason to get out of bed for me. I have the best intentions. I have my meditation pillow and altar set up, waiting for me to get with the program. But it's too close to sleeping. I want to be a morning meditator, I really do. But I always think, "Ok, I'll just lie here and meditate in bed. Under the covers. In the dark. With my eyes closed." And, well, you can imagine how well that goes. Any tips? Maybe if I combine this with something else... a cup of coffee then 10 minutes on the meditation cushion. Running meditation. Quick fridge pickling up my CSA cucumbers and meditation. Make it a combo deal.

Some mornings, I take care of business. Maybe I'll tinker around on our deck to see what harm the squirrels have done, or prep ingredients for that night's dinner, or bake something. These mornings usually start out wonderfully and end up with me being late to work. I'm not quite organized enough to be that productive in the mornings and I usually take on more than I should. So I'm looking for good uses of the early hours that don't add to the busy-ness of the day.

Are you a morning person? Is waking up easy for you? Do you even use an alarm? What do you do all morning? I'm lucky because I usually don't arrive to work until 8:30 and I have a six-minute commute! So I have plenty of time to wake up early, but I don't absolutely have to. Let's talk about morning routines, shall we?

Photo by Ali Harper via Once Wed. (Note: This looks nothing like our bedroom. Ours is a dark, dark dungeon that makes it an epic struggle of willpower to wake up at all.)

1 comment:

  1. Hey Christine, I came for the pixie cut series (chopped mine last week and love it! Thanks for giving me the courage), staying for everything else. I'm an early riser in the summer, but the winter is always a challenge. Try yoga in the morning, its more energizing as you get everything flowing, but still gives you that mindfulness. Its hard to multitask while meditating, if you figure that out let me know!

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