We read so much about morning routines and not much of that has sunk in for me – except for a couple of things. Who are these cray-cray get up at 5am for a cup of calming herbal tea, bum on cushion for meditation, then out for energising run types? I’ve never met one.
But I am really interested in other people’s routines, what works, what doesn’t – and I’m just a bit of a sticky beak for details really. I get my fix of other peoples routines through Madeleine Dore’s ‘Extraordinary Routines’ blog. She writes about all sorts of people’s routines and rituals – perfect for a sticky-nose like me.
This week she wrote about Ken Done’s routine, for The Design Files. I just find these tiny details about other people really fascinating. Who would have thought that Ken Done swims every day? Or that he has a gnome in his studio that farts when the door closes? I love that I know this about him.
But, if the truth be known, I get a bit depressed about other people’s routines because mine is just all over the shop. I have actually implemented a couple of lovely things that have made a significant difference to the way my day is framed. I’m going to share my morning routine, warts and all, so you know for sure that I am not one of those ommm-ing while the sun rises.
5.30 – My husbands alarm goes off, snooze button goes on.
5.39 – repeat
5.45ish – my husband gets up. I roll over and go back to sleep (unless a particular small child crawls in with me)
6.20ish – my love brings me a cup of tea in bed. Well, it’s more like a bowl of tea. I need a lot of tea to face the world with a smile. He hops back in with his rather large cup of tea also, and he brings in his breakfast. We chat about the day ahead, or the day before, or just stuff. It’s a nice quiet time to connect.
6.45 – 7.00 – My son usually wakes up and my husband leaves for work. My son and daughter have some sort of wrestle on the bed, I get annoyed so leave the bed and offer food to lure them away. (It works every time – boys are always hungry!)
7.15 – I do my Morning Pages. I’ve written about these before (you can read that here). But since writing about them a while ago, I’ve added something to it. I now write three things that I am thankful for at the very start. It can be so general, or so small (often I am just thankful that my three year old slept the whole night) but it doesn’t matter how small it is, because it sets the mood for the day. When I close that computer at the end of my Morning Pages, I close it knowing that I have at least three things to be thankful for in my life.
The other thing Morning Pages does for me is clear my mind of niggles. It irons out the creases in my head, if something has been bothering me it usually ends up on the page; and I usually walk away from it feeling it’s resolved. Sometimes, of course, it’s not that simple but more often than not, it is.
The final BIG thing that Morning Pages has helped me see is that I could possibly, if I wanted to (and I do want to) write a book. I used to use the website 750words but if I missed a day I would get all angsty and felt like I was letting someone down – it just felt a bit too ‘Big Brother’ to me.
So now I just write in a word document with the date at the start of each entry. You are actually meant to write long-hand, but I’m too impatient for that. I started a new file for 2016 and I have written just under 29,000 words! In half a year, just ten or fifteen minutes a day – and not even everyday (kids’ weekend sport has killed Morning Pages on Saturdays and Sundays).
Imagine if I had a plan, and dedicated a bit more time than 10 or 15 minutes, four or five mornings a week. Imagine if I really committed to the idea of producing a book. Morning Pages showed me that this is entirely possible. I think that this is pretty powerful.
So my massive cup (bowl) of tea in bed with the love of my life, and my Morning Pages are the two things that make all the difference to my morning routine. Somewhere in amongst that my nine-year old wakes and (bless her) gets herself some food. After my Morning Pages are done – all I can say about the routine is that somehow all those who are present are fed, clean (mostly) and delivered to school or creche or playgroup, or wherever they need to be.
I want to wake earlier so I can fit other things in to the morning (like a bit of yoga or some time on my exercise bike). I just downloaded an app which is an alarm that goes off with birds singing and it emits a light that is meant to mimic the sun rising. Queensland readers wouldn’t need this because the sun really does rise so early there.
When I visited my brother in Currumbin the sun woke me up between five and half five, and even though I was on holiday (so didn’t have children to get off to school, or work looming) by 10am it felt like lunch time and I glimpsed the possibilities that a little extra time in the morning would afford.
So Madeline Dore’s work is most definitely having a positive impact on my life, but it’s still very much a work in progress. I’d love to hear about some of your morning routines. Is there something you do every morning that makes your life better?