July 31, 2012


Above: My trusty tea kettle. A powerful word.

A little over a week ago, I changed my morning routine, and it's making a world of difference.

Previously (for about the last 6 months), I would get up at 7am. Pee, brush my teeth, rinse my face, put my make-up and clothes on, grab whatever food I had made myself for the day, kiss Micah goodbye, and walk out the door by 7:30am.

(This started because Micah wakes up at 7:30am and is usually out the door by 7:45am. I used to wake up when he left, to leave by 8am, but felt hurried. So I started waking up and getting ready before him, because I am more of a morning person.)

That puts me in my office at about 7:45am, which is about 45 minutes early. I told myself I was using this time for scheduling and organizing blog posts (I don't have an internet connection at home), or to just enjoy the silence before the tidal pull of the workday began. And yet. I would inevitably check my work email, and feel compelled to start work early. At first it was nice - being able to whip out a few small jobs before the day began, so that I could focus on larger/more interesting jobs during the day. But it became a burden over time - the extra effort going seemingly unnoticed, feeling the need to stay until the end of regular office hours even though I was basically getting there an hour early, feeling like work was just plain taking up too much of my time. Which, of course, it was, because I was letting it.

I think my vacation reset my clock. Or rather - it reset my priorities about time, and how I deserve to spend it. So. Now, I still wake up at 7am. I get ready, but stay in my pajamas. And at 7:30am, I wander into the kitchen, and prepare my tiny (12 oz.) Bodum french press (given to me while I was still single by Jeremy and Kathleen - along with a set of two demitasse cups and saucers - for the sole purpose of seducing boys that I had deemed worthy of visiting my house). Then I open the blinds in the dining nook and get cozy.

From 7:30 - 8am, I read.

Right now I'm revisiting Geek Love, by Katherine Dunn. And last week it was The Gastronomical Me, by MFK Fisher. But really, it doesn't matter what I'm reading - just that I am reading (which I love to do, and until now have had trouble working into my schedule), and that I've reclaimed that time for myself. Micah is still on his same schedule, and comes in to kiss me goodbye before he leaves. At 8am, I start to clean up after myself, and put on my (non-pajama) clothes. I'm out the door at 8:05am, and still at the office 10 minutes early. Yet it's had a powerful effect on my schedule, my productivity (I'm still getting the same amount of stuff done), and my perspective.

I also no longer drink coffee at work - just tea, and plenty of water. Every day in Michigan started with at least an hour of leisurely coffee-drinking and waking up, and this new routine is reminiscent of that. It's creating a positive connotation around coffee-drinking. It's no longer something I have to do to jumpstart my brain for the workday, it's something I get to do for myself every morning.