Photo: Arlington Pond in Salem, NH #myview #lakelife #nofilter
Recently, someone in the She Built This Facebook group asked about morning routines. The post got such a fun reaction, I thought I'd run with it. In theory, I should be connecting this topic to sales strategy; ensuring it contains relevant sales keywords, anchor text, headers, and all that. Having just read Andy Crestodina's excellent article (with video) on How to Write a Blog that Ranks High, I feel the compulsion. Andy is completely inspiring and makes me want to be a better blogger. If Andy is the Bob Ross of content, I'm the typing cat meme.
Ah well. Like my diet, we can start the more diligent stuff on Monday. Let's go with a random morning routine blog post. Why not?
If you've read my newly published book, you'll see that the introduction (aka "In Memoriam") includes a story about my childhood. That's always a good cry, so let's start there.
My mom was chronically ill and not an early riser. Some days, not even a riser. Morning success for me was getting myself up on time and seeing how much lunch money I could find in dirty pants pockets or couch cushions. I didn't dare turn lights on, let alone figure out breakfast. Walking next door to meet my best friend Lisa before the school bus was like walking into a Disney movie. Maybe more like an episode of The Brady Bunch with less kids, more singing, and a little magic. Even beyond the typical 70's decor, Lisa's home felt bright and cheery. There was toast with fresh jam, and "monster water" which was tap water chilled in the fridge. It tasted like love. Lisa's mother always fixed Lisa's hair and helped her get seasonally-appropriate outerwear over distinctly clean clothes. Right before we walked out the door, there was always one last inspection and lots of affection. I was in Lisa's house for all of 15 minutes, and it was probably the best part of my whole day.
To all the people who commented on my Facebook post about how "inspiring" I am with my morning routine, take comfort in knowing it's rooted in deep dysfunction. It, no doubt, also explains why I almost ripped my poor husband's head off when he once suggested that I let our kids get themselves up and ready for school so we could sleep in. Sorry, babe.
These days, only my 14-year old is still living at home. Still, I like to think that my offspring will remember their childhood mornings as more similar to Lisa's house than what I experienced.
Typical Morning Routine
Now for the Facebook post that started this fun little trip down memory lane: Here's a play-by-play of the first three and a half hours of my typical morning routine in way more detail than you want or need. Literally every one of these bullets could be its own blog post.
4:00 AM | Ohm.
Take out earplugs and add them to the growing collection scattered behind, under, and next to my bed.
Roll over, grab whichever headphones or earbuds my hands stumble upon. Wake my husband up as I knock stuff over.
Listen to morning affirmations or whatever Insight Timer meditation I happened to click on while the light of my phone was burning my pupils.
Self-healing body scan and other "woo woo" stuff that sometimes elicits a slow-motion "oh... kay..." Hey, it works. With my gene pool, I need all the help I can get.
5:00 AM | Procaffeinating
Get the sh*t scratched out of my arm by a pouncing, hungry rescue cat.
Make my special gano coffee. It has reishi mushrooms in it. Again, because immunity.
Finally feed the cat. (Sorry Jett, mommy has priorities.)
Scroll through phone. Delete 90% of emails. Some of them go into my "Future Clients" folder.
Confirm my plan for the day, written out hour by hour with colors for categories and codes for prioritization. It's a ridiculous OCD process that saves my life.
Indulge inner debate about whether or not I have time to workout now. I know, I'm adorable.
Drink half cup lukewarm coffee while scrolling social media. Hit "like" and "love" a lot. Thanks to diligent filtering, it reinforces my gratitude for a truly stellar personal and professional social circle.
6:00 AM | Good Mom, Bad Mom
Gently wake up my son, sometimes with a song that he enjoyed when he was about a decade younger. Say, "Do you want 5 more minutes?" then tell his Alexa to set the timer for 7 minutes.
Make sure the boy actually got out of bed, and didn't just tell Alexa to shut up.
Find out which article of clothing he *has to* wear that day but isn't clean because it was hiding in the crevice between his wall and his bed. Wash it in the sink, spray it with some stuff and throw it in the dryer.
Throw a load of laundry in the washer thinking it will help the next day. Spoiler alert: It doesn't.
Sweep floors, put away dishes, clean the kitchen, etc. Wonder why the counter grime is invisible to everyone else except me.
Take photo of sunrise (such as the one above). Remind myself to be grateful and zen-like.
Listen for the teenage zombie clip-clop of sneakers down stairs.
If needed, help with hair. Apparently, the current style is called a "flow." 🤷♀️
Say, "Did you brush your teeth? Go brush your teeth. Are you wearing deodorant? Go put on deodorant." Literally. Every Day. (He's almost 15. I blame bad parenting.)
6:44 AM | Vicarious Childhood Rematch
Last ditch effort to get the kid to eat something. "No, not even toast? Are you sure? Here, have some monster water."
Mix my half cup of now completely cold coffee with a half cup of new, hot coffee so that I have a full cup of coffee for the road that is just warm enough to be cold again by the time I go to take a sip.
Say, "Are you sure you don't want to wear more than that? It's cold outside..." at least 17 times. The resistance to seasonably-appropriate outerwear hurts my soul.
Put my own scarf and puffy vest over my pajama shirt and joggers, plus boots and other accouterments so that I look as much like a homeless person as possible.
6:48 AM | Commute
Get in car to take son to his bus stop 15 minutes away instead of driving him 30 minutes all the way to school. (Note: sometimes hubby does the bus stop run.)
Resist the urge to complain about the weather. Grateful. Zen place. Right.
Pray I can make it back and forth without needing to stop for gas. (Which I do, but then later will be running late somewhere and only remember that I need gas as I am on the highway where all the gas stations are a "short detour" which is Google Maps technical term for "hahahahahahaha".)
6:50 AM | Why're Men Great la la Gotta Be Great 🎶 #Lizzo
Sing just enough random snippets of modern song lyrics to get a reaction from son ranging from eye roll to annoyance to total cringe.
Listen to the "Jam Scam" on Jam'n 94.5, and make loosely-related mom joke.
Ask the boy any question to be answered with a word that is neither yes or no. Maybe "word" is an exaggeration. More like a grunt.
More singing. Son sinks completely into Velocity hoodie.
7:05 AM | Gotta Catch 'Em All
Wait for bus.
Catch all the Pokémon in bus stop parking lot re: MistbornMom on Pokémon Go. Don't judge me. (Though, if this reference means nothing to you, that's probably a good thing.)
When the bus comes and the boy is exiting the car, say, "I love you! Have a great day!"
Actually get real words back, "Love you too!" He speaks!
7:10 AM | Sibling Support
Talk to my sister on the phone (hands-free of course) while I drive. Continue conversation in the driveway after I get home. Philosophize about work, life, parenting, health, and how wine is indeed the gateway drug to Twizzlers.
Side note: Both parents now deceased, there's a lot of unsaid comfort in this ritual
7:30 AM | Seize the Day
Time to start the day! Like, for real...
Catch glimpse of myself in entryway mirror. Yikes. Remove homeless person accoutrements.
Realize I left my coffee in the car, go back outside wearing much less footwear than the weather calls for, realise I locked the car, go inside, debate new footwear and decide to live on the edge. Get coffee from car; pour into sink. Debate putting new cup of hot coffee into one of the 72 coffee carafe cups that we have explicitly for this purpose. Decide to live on the edge. This is becoming my new mantra.
Chit chat with my husband, ask him if he wants coffee or breakfast knowing he will decline both. It only now occurs to me that he probably doesn't even know about monster water.
Pull out my detailed daily plan to remember what I have next. Determine when I will need to shower and/or dress like an adult and/or debate working out (again). Proceed accordingly.
Your turn! What's your morning routine? Please go to my Facebook page and share!
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