By Liz, loving the hot weather that’s finally arrived in CT!
For one of our recent Wicked Wednesdays, we talked about what we are usually doing at eight in the morning. I actually really liked this question, and once I started my list of the things I’ve done by then, I was sort of impressed.
It included cleaning (my cats are messy overnight), journaling, meditating, walking and feeding dogs, and sometimes even getting some words in on my latest book. And mind you, I don’t like to get up super early, so in most cases this doesn’t start before 6:30.
I’ve been working through my relationship with mornings most of my life. I used to think I was more of a night person. Then again, I also used to think I was an extrovert. One thing I knew with certainty was that I was not like my parents, who both got up at the crack of dawn regardless of the day of the week. My mother was famous for getting up at four a.m. to clean the house before everyone else got up. Shoot me now, I used to think about that.
I was a typical teenager who liked to sleep late, and even if I wasn’t sleeping, I would stay in bed for as long as I could get away with on the weekends. In college and early working days I’d drag myself out of bed at some ungodly hour, usually waking up to a really terrible, buzzing alarm clock, and drag myself into the day. I remember usually feeling tired before I even got started going anywhere or doing anything.
Then I heard of a phenomenal thing called the zen alarm clock. The whole idea of it was that you woke up to soft chimes that would become more consistent the longer you ignored it, rather than being blasted out of bed by a buzzing noise that sounded like a SWAT team was invading your bedroom. That was my first taste of a more peaceful start to the day.
Then I did Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and began doing morning pages consistently, which added a whole new level of centering to my day. While I fell in and out of that consistency for a while depending on circumstances, this is now a non-negotiable part of my day. If I don’t journal, I feel incredibly off.
Still, when I was rushing out of the house to get to some office or another, that zen still eluded me. For a while I managed it with a routine of journal, green smoothie, lots of coffee, and positive affirmations in the car, but I realized that rushing around and out the door in the morning is really just not for me. Especially with traffic and all those other joyful commuting nuisances.
Then I manifested the opportunity to work fully remote – which I knew was the way to go for me. Long before COVID sent everyone to their home offices, I was happily ensconced in mine with a commute of two steps from my bedroom. My transition from my day job to my writing job (or vice versa) was simply a matter of closing one computer and turning to the other. My furries are the best office mates and I get to be with them all day. And best of all, I don’t have to rush into the morning. It helps that I don’t have to do my hair and makeup anymore until I felt like it (if at all), but overall it’s lovely to be able to ease into the day, do my routine, get some word count in to make me feel successful before I start my other work, and still show up on time for my nine-thirty meetings.
If one has to “day job” while writing books, this is definitely the way to do it. And I’ve come to the realization that yes, I am a morning person.
Readers, what do you like best (or least) about mornings? Leave a comment below.