November 19: Morning Routine
As I mentioned in a previous gratitude post, I thrive on routine. I like to know what to expect and when to expect it. I do not find repetition boring but instead liberating and relaxing.
But I particularly adore my morning routine.
I have not always been a morning person. In fact in high school and college, I could not imagine voluntarily waking up before noon. But something happened between middle-of-the-night feedings and full-time employment. I no longer hoot with the owls (unless of course the owls go to bed around 10:30pm) but it has been a wonderful trade-off.
I typically get up around 6:30am now that I am retired (although I gladly set my alarm for 5:00am when I was teaching – just so I could enjoy the morning ritual). I pour myself a hot cup of coffee and go downstairs to let the dogs out of their kennels.
I turn on the morning news for background noise and start the day by checking email and Facebook. This is good for about twenty minutes and one cup of coffee. After pouring myself another (the only two cups I drink all day), I complete my “morning pages”
For those who might be unfamiliar with this practice, it is the brainchild of Julia Cameron who advocates handwriting three pages (or in my case, typing 750 words) each and every morning. This is to clear the mind of excess baggage and free the brain for creativity. I have been faithful to this practice since April, 2010, and cannot imagine life without it.
At this point I am ready for my daily time with the Lord. Sometimes I read a devotional and a few scriptures – sometimes I work on a Bible study – sometimes I creatively journal using His word – but all the time I write my prayers. While I am ashamed to admit this has not always been a part of my routine – I falsely assumed I did not have enough time when I worked – I now anticipate this special time from the moment I wake up.
At this point I am energized. If I do not have a morning appointment, I go for a brisk walk. I love walking outside for the change of scenery, but given our early taste of winter this year, a 5k on the treadmill will be more likely. A healthy breakfast of yogurt and granola, a quick shower, and I am more than ready to continue the day.