I’ve been coming across a lot of posts lately about the morning routines that people have.
Here’s a few interesting ones I’ve spotted on my surfing travels:
Thankful Homemaker “The joy of a morning routine.”
A life of Perfect Days “create an amazing morning routine”
Down to Earth “Mornings”
Sarah Wilson “How to have a better morning routine”
I used to have a relaxed and peaceful morning routine when I was 100% freelance. I would see Martin off to work at 5:30am, then sit down with tea and plan my day. I would write my to-do lists, sometimes if I was working through a thorny problem I would do some ‘morning pages’, a habit I picked up from Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way. Three A4 sides of freehand writing every day as a form of cathartic release. I didn’t do it every morning as Julia suggested, some days I had nothing to put in there or I had to start freelance work early and didn’t have time. But a few times a week it was a very helpful brain dump. By 7am I would be showering, dressing and tidying the kitchen and house. Around 9am I would sit down to begin freelance work, or if I had none booked in on that day I would try and advance a project in the house or garden. At the weekend I would lie in bed from about 7am while Martin slept and follow pretty much the same routine, just 90 minutes later.
Fast forward to today, five years since I went back to part-employment.
Three days a week I wake at 5:15am, snooze until 5:35am, leap from bed swearing and dash to the shower, dress, grab my lunch, and I’m out the door to the office by 6:15am. I’m in work by 6:50am, where I unload the dishwasher (and reload it if my colleagues have been naughty and left a crockery surplus piled in the sink), then while drinking my tea I’ll put on my make-up and do my hair. By 7:15am I am sat at my desk having a small breakfast and checking my emails and attending to any little jobs that need doing, like bill paying or, as I was this morning, buying tickets for The Chelsea Flower Show in May! However, the firm’s cleaner comes in at 7:20am then my editing colleague at 8am, and then the whole office in one great big ‘flump’ at about 8:45am. From 7:20am it is a steadily increasing level of people, activity and noise and I am disturbed frequently. I have few scant minutes of peace and quiet to enjoy, not even at lunchtime as we are out in the country and there is nowhere to go. I can’t wait to get away from people at the end of the day because I feel like I’ve had no time since I woke to prepare myself adequately for the day.
Two days a week I’m doing my own thing and sometimes I have freelance work to do on those days. Being honest, since last August I have been sleeping in very late in the morning due to feeling off colour (which is how I knew something wasn’t right). Now I’m gluten-free I feel a lot more energetic and Martin usually brings me a cup of tea by 6:30am, but I often forget and end up dozing until 8am! Naughty and disorientating. I wake up feeling behind and then run to catch up with the day.
At the weekend, we’re often woken at 5:30am by the furballs concerned that the alarm has not gone off, so we MUST have slept in. No amount of persuasion, shouting, ignoring etc makes any difference until we shove them out. They can keep up the racket indefinitely. I’m sure you know that feeling of being rudely awoken and how it can throw you off in the morning. More often than not, I go back to sleep after as I’m dog-tired and I end up feeling dreadful when I do wake up. That lovely relaxed peaceful morning state I want has long passed.
So that’s where I am. I’m Steel the employee, Steel the contractor and Steel the Wife, and each Steel has a different morning routine.
I’m trying to figure out how to reconcile the three, because I’m feeling pretty frazzled.
This is what I think would give me what I need to get through a day feeling calm and centred:
- Wake up easily
- Have something caffeine free + vitamins
- Plan my day and write
- Do 20 minutes of yoga
- Get on with the rest of morning
To do this however, means I would have to get up at around 4:45am on the days I work in the office. I’m not sure I can. I know it’s only 30 minutes earlier than the alarm already goes off, but at that time of the morning it might as well be two hours it feels that horrendous.
Getting. Up. At. 4:45am.