Thursday, April 14, 2016

My Sort-Of Morning Routine

Lone deck chair at sunrise.
I've talked before about how I am NOT a morning person.  In the same way that "morning people" feel the day ahead of them brings new possibilities, I feel that way about night time. I even prefer dinner foods over breakfast foods.  But staying up late every night doesn't really jive with my work life or my personal life.  So slowly, very very slowly, I've gotten into the habit of *gasp* waking up early, and shaking a fist to the sky every time I do it.  

Some people have a morning routine.  Routines are comforting and give you some feeling of control over your day.  I have a couple of routines in my life, but a morning routine isn't one of them.  Sometimes I have events to go to for work that start really early. And sometimes I have doctor's appointments, or I have to get lab work done at the hospital.  As a sick person, you learn that things can go from good to bad to worse in just a few minutes. And all of sudden that routine you had turns into "that set of things I did really well in a timely fashion one morning back in November 2014."   

What I have now is a list of things that I have to do every morning, along with a list of things I want to do some mornings. So these are the things that get me up.  

Every Morning
Most hated device in the house.

Hydration, Medicating, and Blood Pressure: As a person with one kidney and as a human of the world, I take my hydrating practices very seriously.  So when I wake up, I take my blood pressure, record it, and I fill a 500 ml mason jar with water.  Then as I'm taking my first pee of the morning (yes) I drink that entire glass. Yep. Right there on the toilet.  It's kind of funny to me actually. I'm chuckling as I type. Water going in, right as water is coming out.  You want to hear this. You're here aren't you?  So, laugh with me.  Anyway, an hour later I take about 13 pills with another 500 ml of water.

Breakfast: Like many people, I went through a phrase where I didn't eat breakfast in the morning. But I read somewhere that if you don't eat breakfast your metabolism slows down. And before I started working out on a semi-regular basis, my metabolism was pretty much all that was keeping me from ballooning into a walrus, since I refuse to cut ANYTHING out of my diet.  So I trained myself to eat breakfast every morning, and now I NEED breakfast or I'm starving.  Eight times out of ten, I make a smoothie that I can drink during the eight minute walk to catch my train to work.

I love how the morning sun hits my pills just right.

Some Mornings

Exercise:  The elliptical that I bought years ago after graduating from college has finally made it to Ben's and my new house! It was living with my parents, unused, because we didn't have room for it in our apartment. Now, it's in our basement. If i'm not taking a fitness class in the evening, I hop on the elliptical for 25-30 minutes after hydrating.  If the weather's nice enough, I'll walk outside instead. Or sometimes I'll do an internet-based work out.  

Mediation: I loved how great meditating made me feel back in the day. I discovered it maybe two years ago and it's been a while since I've done it. I picked it up again recently.  It's just a really great way to reset your mind and thoughts, and get on the right track.  I usually feel more peaceful and optimistic about my day, and even my life, when I'm done meditating.

Writing:  My friend Christina told me about this writing exercise where you write three pages a day of the first things that come to your mind. You simply take out the paper and just write. And it doesn't have to make sense or be grammatically correct, but it's a great way to fire up your creativity.  And I don't always do this at home. The great thing about my train commute is not having to focus on driving down the highway. This frees up my hands to do other things, like finishing my smoothie, doing my make-up, reading, and writing my three pages.

Chores:  I don't like cleaning much. I'm not a neat freak and I don't find joy in mopping.  But I do love the look, feel and smell of a clean house.  I know this idea isn't as sexy as working out, or drinking a bunch of water while you pee, but the morning hours before work can be a great time for doing simple chores. I'm actually OK with taking five to 10 minutes in the morning to throw in ONE load of laundry, vacuum a room, or wipe down one or two things.   

Burton begging for his morning serving of  "cat treats." 

And that's my list!  I love the idea of routines, but if I'm being honest, they're kind of intimidating! I feel like routines are based on the assumption that every day is going to start off the same way and be exactly like the last.  And sick people know all too well that that's just not how life works.  One great thing about my list, is that I don't feel guilty about not "accomplishing everything" because I don't have to!  I view my mornings as a  "choose your own adventure" game.  And there's so much freedom in that.