morning routine


for the majority of my life, mornings weren't my favorite. i liked to stay up and sleep late. it was like staying up late was some kind of cool, rebellious act. you "got to" stay up late. it was akin to a reward or splurge. and then, somewhere around high school/college, staying up late (at least for me) morphed into something i did because i was working on a project for a class or cramming for an exam. not exactly as luxurious as when you are a kid. and sleeping-in happened out of necessity. you know, to "catch up" on lost sleep. i am tired just thinking about it. this kind of living works when you are young and bulletproof and only have to worry about making it to class (a thing which you could schedule to accommodate night owl ways) but it is tough to maintain.

enter, adulthood.

you know, that thing that happens to you somewhere around 20-21-22. that illusive thing that you have longed for since childhood. that magical status which grants you the ability to stay up as long as you want and no one can tell you what to do. you can eat whatever you want and wear whatever you want and do whatever you want.

yup. sure. right. so, you become an adult.

you are an adult. congratulations! it is way better than being a young, carefree kid! that's the pits. NOW, you have brand new things that dictate bedtime and actions and nutrition and style. but, you are older now so there's that...

goodbye eating all the candy that my stomach could hold. turns out, you can't just eat whatever you want. bummer. toodle-oo late nights. and by "late night", i mean anything past 10pm. farewell shredded, low-rise abercrombie jeans and spaghetti straps and flip flops on the daily. adios to my only job being reading and learning and studying and going to class and spending time with fellow pupils and friends. adieu to all that youngster nonsense.

adulthood. i mean, i don't want to be too down on adulthood. it really is way better here. more rich and fulfilling and fun, in so many ways. you get to spend your days cultivating a career and using the things that you gained and learned in your younger years. you get to be married and share a life with someone. you don't have all that formative year drama - you can settle in and just, be you. you can grow your family. and silly but wonderful things like decorating your own house! that's pretty great.

but adulthood can do a number on your priorities and expectations and schedule. for me, my twenties meant getting married and having to learn how to share a space and a life with someone else. someone with his own set of needs and experiences and preferences. and it meant graduating with a fancy business degree getting a job! plus all the responsibilities that come with that. and the expectations and requirements and schedule, et cetera. it also meant that i had to start paying attention more. you know, to everything. mortgage. paychecks. IRS. food. calories. car maintenance. my laundry. his ironing. our dishes.

so obviously, the old ways wouldn't work. time for a new plan. a plan that involved going to bed earlier and waking earlier. starting my day with intention instead of rolling out of bed and slowly easing into things. my mornings have evolved since the early days of marriage and have gotten earlier and earlier with each year. they have also gotten better and more efficient. we rock mornings around here. they have become my favorite time of day. especially since having children. i now find myself waking earlier (even on the weekends!) so that i can have more time with the Lord, with my man, with my thoughts, with my work before the kiddos are awake. these are precious moments to me. and i guard my morning routine fiercely. and i am not using the word "routine" cavalierly. i mean a legit routine. something that you do without fail. actions that are engrained and essential.

a few years ago, i read one of those articles that list things that all successful people have in common and one of those things was a morning routine. i figure that the world's most high-powered people might know a thing or two about efficiency and efficacy so, i should take some cues from them. there is a reason why steve jobs wore pretty much the same thing every day. a primary reason for having a morning routine is to avoid mental fatigue. i mean, days are full and busy. i wear a lot of hats. i juggle. ben and i have lots going on. and we only have a certain amount of available energy to expend. why waste precious gray cells making a bunch of tiny decisions in the morning? that's why we aim to have the first 90 minutes of the day vary as little as possible. knowing what to expect reduces anxiety and stress. it helps me feel calm and controlled and helps set the tone for the day...and definitely helps me in the productivity department.

just for funsies, i thought i would share the first 90 minutes of my day.

> wake up and drink at least 12 ounces of ice cold water
> pump (a new addition to the routine)
> 30 minute workout
> take a cold shower (while oil pulling)
> get ready/dressed (while oil pulling) then brush teeth
> drink more water and make replenishing/nourishing tea
> quiet time with the Lord (prayer, reading, journaling) while listening to music
> morning catchup (email reading and organizing while listening to NPR)
> daily goals + schedule planning

do you have a morning routine? what does it look like for you? are you a night owl or early bird? how has your schedule changed since school, marriage, kids? do share.