early mornings and late nights

adjustment, change, life, meditation, morning person, schedule, school, The U

It's been a long time since I actually blogged first thing in the morning. I used to get up at 5:30 regularly for the express purpose of waking up slowly.  I enjoy a leisurly wake up padding around the house drinking my coffee and eating breakfast. To think that I would get up extra early to be able to do that makes me laugh a little.

The dogs wake me up pretty regularly at 6:00 a.m. I don't mind, I still like being up in the early morning. There's something peaceful about the dark hours that happen before the world rolls out of bed and greets me. It's because of these hours and waking-up habits that I would call myself a morning person.

Though I'm also a sleep person. Y'know, someone who can sleep for 10-12 hours in a stretch. Though those instances are less and less frequent since, well, the dogs wake me up. But they can be satisfied with a quick potty break outside and some breakfast and then I'm allowed to go back to sleep, usually for another couple hours or so.

And all this was working like a well-oiled machine. They wake me up at 6 a.m., eat, back to sleep for two hours, wake me up again for a walk and we start our day. It was a beautiful relationship that ran like clockwork. All of this worked so well beacause I was going to bed by 11 p.m. Ideally, I was in bed reading by 10 p.m. A solid eight hours of sleep has always been my best friend.

Until last week when I started school. Who knew that me waking up to an alarm could be so jarring? Or that because of the alarm, those dogs wake me up EARLIER than 6 a.m. BEFORE the alarm goes off? 

As with every school or work adjustment I've ever made, my schedule is wonky, my eating habits are not consistent and now I have crazy dreams and can't even sleep through the night! *big sigh* 

I find that I'm getting to bed later and later, last night was the earliest in two weeks when I finally decided to call it quits at almost 11 p.m. Even Sunday night was closer to 11:30 and most of last week I saw the terrifying hour of midnight. 

Lately I'm getting home from 12-hour days on campus to dig around for dinner and unwind from the newsroom only to have at least four hours of reading to do, for which it would be nearly impossible for me to stay awake for the entire thing. 

Lest you think I decided to stay awake this morning for the purpose of complaining, because that's just not my style, I am awake to get some reading done. One more chapter before class today. And then after class there are three more and about 10 law cases to brief and understand their impact on laws about my bible, the first amendment. 

But before that all begins again, I'm taking these few moments to morning snuggle with my little corn dog the way I used to. And while I've switched from coffee and oatmeal to tea and fruit, today begins the way I want it to: with quiet reflection, a short planning session for the rest of the day and a little pep talk to get me through it. 

Good morning early morning, it's nice to see you again.


comfort in rituals

auto-pilot, coffee, comfort in rituals, life, nuance, predetermined, present, routine, schedule, scheduled, shower, spontaneous, work, Yoga

Embrace rituals


I find comfort in rituals.  There are certain things I do a certain way that help to keep me focused and on track.  And before you go thinking I'm OCD, I'll tell you that it's ok if those rituals and routines get jumbled up.  I just might skip something.

You see, that's why I have them.  I find my thoughts so scattered that I can hardly keep track of what step I'm on.  In the morning I hit auto-pilot and check out.  Then I don't have to think about what's next or even what I'm doing.  

Every morning I follow the same routine.  Make a cup of coffee, sit at the computer, blog, read a blog or two, shower, leave for work.  

In the shower it's shampoo, conditioner, wash face, shave, soap, rinse, done.  It's happened many times that I get all jammed up and miss a step.  Like washing my face.  Or conditioner.  It's happened.

Work is set up too.  I know how long it takes to run my morning reports so when I get there it's turn on computer, start reports, email, assemble reports, voicemail, meeting.

I know there are folks out there more willing to fly by the seat of their pants and that works for them.  But I find comfort in my morning rituals.  By not having to think about what's next in the shower, I can think about other things.  Prepare for the day, ponder on a dream from that night, or just not think at all and let the hot water wash everything away.

Sometimes I find I'm very attached to the routine of it all.  It really is comforting to me.  But if I get so attached to the routine of it all, then is there some nuance that I'm missing?  If I'm keeping my head down and trudging along on a predetermined path, then certainly there are things being missed.  The happy medium for me? Where there are routines but also comfort and ability to make room for other things.  

There was a time last year that I was very present in my life.  Enjoying the right now, I noticed all sorts of things and learned many things about me and my personality and how I operate.  What's important to me. What doesn't matter at all.  

The point? While routines are comforting and good, I need to take more time and slow it all down. Stop worrying about the next thing and get back to where I enjoy just where I am at that very moment.