I wouldn’t say I don’t do mornings. I do mornings. I just prefer to take my mornings slowly. I like to lie in bed awhile and greet the morning. Not a long time, but maybe twenty minutes or so. Notice the softness of the sheets, the sun breaking over the field, the cat lying on my legs. I don’t want to rush to get dressed and run through the cold to the car and then be accosted by bright fluorescent lights and the complaints of my co-workers first thing in the morning.
I like to come downstairs and put the kettle on. Feed the birds. Feed the cats. Enjoy a morning walk before the rest of the world wakes up. Have a hot cup of tea and watch an old television show, peruse my social networks. Then I am ready to start the day.
Up at dawn, the dewy freshness of the hour, the morning rapture of the birds, the daily miracle of sunrise, set her heart in tune, and gave her Nature’s most healing balm.
~Louisa May Alcott
I am a much happier person when I have my slow mornings. Simple acts to welcome the new day such as putting the kettle on or stepping outside into the morning sunlight can make a remarkable difference to our approach to the day. In the month before I quit my job, when I was at my most stressed and unhappy I carved out 20 minutes to read my book before I got dressed. There was something about sitting in my robe with a cup of tea and my book that let me put aside the worries that bombarded me upon waking just a little bit longer.
Slow living is one of my goals during this next stage of my life. I am frankly just exhausted from running around for the past twenty years. Years that included being a married mother of two little girls and a single mother of two growing girls. I wish that I had listened to my body sooner all those times it was screaming for me to just rest awhile. Mornings for me are the best time to give myself this gift. Even if it is just for fifteen minutes.
Do you take time for some stillness in the mornings? What is that one small thing that you give to yourself? And if you don’t what will you do to give a gift to yourself?
I would love to hear! Please leave a comment by clicking under the title of this post.
We all know that old saying that when you shut one door another one opens. But sometimes shutting that door can be really, really hard. Two weeks ago I quit my job of nine years and I was terrified. You see, I did not have a new job. I was putting my faith to the test that everything would work out. Now we aren’t destitute; I have a good bit of money tucked aside. But more than anything I was terrified of what my family would think. Surprisingly, but not at all once I thought about it, they were supportive. They knew what the change in my job over the last nine months had done to me. And here now, after forcing the break, I am seeing those other doors at the end of the hall open just a crack to let some light shine through.
Here is what I lost when I quit my job besides my paycheck. The pains in my chest everyday that I thought were panic attacks/heart attacks and the actual panic attacks as well. The negativity of a customer service environment. The evening drain of energy. Eating cheap fast food for emotional comfort and convenience. Trying to reconcile my morals with the changed ethics of my employer.
Here is what I gained. Sleeping soundly at night. Waking up at 5:30 am and not wanting to hit the snooze button. More time to write. The opportunity to go back to school and learn how to care for animals. More time with my homeschooling daughter. More time to care for my grandmother. The ability to watch the deer in the back lot and the birds in the hemlock tree in the morning. Wearing comfortable clothes. Saving money. Losing weight. Cooking real dinners for my family. The house being clean.
I had a week of mourning. Realizing I would no longer see the members of our credit union that I had grown to love and who felt like family. Faced with a new routine, or lack thereof, I felt really lost that first week when I thought I would feel welcome relief. That stunning realization of what I had done, the second guessing myself in the darkness at night.
Now though I am enjoying this freedom and the gains it has brought. I am at peace with my decision, welcoming this time of reflection and freedom to explore what comes next. Most importantly besides what I have have gained and what I have lost there is what I have learned.
Sometimes it is okay to quit if what you are doing no longer serves you. Sometimes quitting is winning. And sometimes even in the midst of fear, faith wins.