For those of you unfamiliar with Hannah Marcotti, she is the writer behind the scenes at the Mama Space blog. I find her writing to be stylistically appealing. I find the things she sets out as goals for her readers to be inspiring and doable, something that is not always true of organizing/self-improvement blogs. The New Moon, New Year, New Space post really struck a chord with me.
First of all, sitting in stillness is something I rarely, if ever, do. In all honesty, the thought of it kind of terrifies me. I guess I am afraid of what might come into my mind - what might I have to deal with popping up as far as disappointing things about my life. I purposely keep reading or watching TV or surfing the internet until I can barely keep my eyes open just so I don't have to deal with laying there thinking about my life. So, for now, I am passing on the sitting in stillness part of the blog post. I'm not home right now anyways, so I could not do it in my own space even if I wanted to. But, even when I get back home, I will have to wait and see about this sitting in stillness.
But, the next part of the post is what really inspired me - morning routines. I have had a morning routine in the past, but I have always lost doing it in the rush of life. It is the story of my life and one of the reasons I have found myself in this almost mid-life "crisis" - I can't keep a routine. My life is the antithesis of a routine. I don't feel like life just gets in the way - it runs me over. I am trampled by life. I am smothered by life. That is sad. Really, really sad. So, let's move on to the more positive, optimistic part of this post!
When I have done morning routines in the past, they have always been a list of to-do's. Make bed, start laundry, eat breakfast, feed animals, etc., etc. I have always given up on them because they have become too long and too arduous and life got in the way of accomplishing all that needed to be done. But, in the post, I get a different idea of a morning routine. Currently, I've done a pretty good job of keeping my sink clean and empty, so I can at least make a pot of coffee without having to deal with a pile of dirty dishes each morning. And because I love coffee, I do often enjoy that first cup and savor it. But, more often than not, the cup sits getting cold as I rush around the house or the internet to "get things done". I have morning chaos instead of a morning routine. Sometimes I wake up earlier than everyone else and go downstairs to try to get some things accomplished before the chaos of my day begins. Sometimes my daughter wakes me up and I immediately have to start fulfilling her needs. Sometimes my husband takes my daughter downstairs and leaves me to sleep in a bit (notice I do not say he immediately fulfills her needs, because usually he does the bare minimum - but, at least it allows me to sleep). There is no pattern to the morning other than feeling worn out, always firing up my laptop almost immediately and not feeling in control of things. But, the one thing each morning usually includes is coffee! So, the focus of this post was a good place to start for me.
I have a ton of coffee cups, which is silly because my husband does not drink coffee. So, even if I didn't do dishes for a few days, I would at most only need four or five cups. None of the cups match. None of them are particularly attractive. The only one that gives me any joy at all is the one my Mother In Law got for me from my daughter for Valentine's Day that says "Super Mom". But, that one is chipped, which is talked about in the post. These cups are representative of what happens in my life. Things come in, I don't take control, and they end up hanging around, not giving me any satisfaction but just being there.
So, this post has inspired me to take control of my life in a small way - my morning routine. In order to make my morning routine what I want here is what I will do:
1) Clear out my coffee mugs.
2) Shop for four or five mugs that I LOVE. I want them to bring me joy each morning.
3) Make sure I have good, quality flavored coffee in my house at all times. I am usually pretty good about this, but for the past two weeks I've been drinking a coffee that I got off Amazon - Community brand 5-Star Hotel Blend - that was AWFUL. The price is very good...the coffee is very bad. Don't do it!
4) Declutter my front porch area so as to enjoy my coffee and breakfast on my new-to-me patio set that I got for a great price on Craig's List and have really neglected since. This will be computer-free. I may read a favorite magazine from my large pile of neglected magazines...or maybe the newspaper sometimes...or, even better, a book I'm reading to keep up with my goal of one book a week for the summer (I am already a book and a half behind).
5) Have a plan for breakfast each morning. I have wanted to get better about meal planning but am often overwhelmed (starting to sound like a theme in my life, no?). So, starting with something simple like breakfast should be doable and then I can work on expanding from there.
I look forward to reading more of Hannah Marcotti's posts from way back in January and going forward! I am hoping that my new morning routine will bring me some relief from the chaos. Thank you for the inspiration to try and the guidance to think about routines in a different way that makes them something you want to do, not something you HAVE to do.