Mornings can be so Routine – Isn’t it Awesome?!?

Sometimes routines get old. They suck the life out of living, you know? Other routines, though, help you thrive. This September I am embracing getting back into my morning routine. Whether you are in school or you have kids in school or your life these days has nothing to do with the school year (except for the new awareness of school zone lights flashing), the transition from the summer months to September brings a shift in our energy as we experience the cooler mornings and feel summer slowly slip away. September extends the invitation to refresh your wardrobe, buy new pens and notebooks, and take on new routines. Or in some cases re-connect to ones that were working great last spring. That’s where I am at.

Here’s what my mornings looked like last spring: I woke up between 5:30 and 5:45, drank water from my water bottle on my bedside table, headed to the kitchen with my journal to make coffee or tea. Sometimes I would have a small glass of water with freshly squeezed lemon juice. I wish that was a more firmly established habit – depends on the week for me! Then I would sit at my kitchen table and set my timer for 15 minutes to write in my journal. On most days, my son would sleep through this time. Other mornings, just as I wrote the date at the top of the page, I’d hear his footsteps coming down the stairs.

We went through a brief, horrible period where he would come downstairs as quietly as possible and yell, “Boo!” as he rounded the corner into the kitchen. Thankfully, that was a short phase.

Even if Henry did wake up before I got my 15 minutes in, I’d manage to sit and keep going as he climbed on my lap for a morning snuggle. This was the start of my day. Just perfect.

Wake – Water – Write.journal writing1

After that, I began the business of getting ready for school – a sometimes rushed breakfast, getting dressed, teeth brushing, chaotic gathering items and running out the door – but that 30 minutes of easing into the day, clearing my mind through journaling really made it all so much better.

With the summer, life slowed down or sped up, depending on the week. My journal writing was more sporadic, sometimes happening at 10am. Sometimes not at all. Once this routine was missing, I realized how much it grounds me.

Journal writing has been a regular part of my life since college. Before that I had my share of hardcover diaries with the little golden lock. My writing has certainly evolved through the years. I’m not sure I want anyone reading my journals from my 20s with pages and pages of speculating about different relationships and maybe a line or two of insight in the whole volume. Whatever I get on paper each day needed to come out, and I feel calmer and satisfied with myself when it’s done. Then I can wake my son and start the day centered in me.

This September I am still figuring it out. Throw a new puppy in the mix and now I’m monitoring for about-to-pee behavior and getting my toes licked and nipped at while I try to write. It is a process. We are getting better each day.

What does your morning look like these days? Is it purposeful or a default routine you’ve fallen into? What would your ideal morning look like? I’d love to hear how you start your days and what works for you.

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