Well beyond my current ability to remember, I have been a morning person. I awake and most mornings, desiring to bound out of bed, mostly bright eye-eyed.
I say beyond my ability to remember because, of course, there are the stories told by my mother of my ability as an infant to wake early and simply be happy for it. My internal body clock drives me to wake early, ready for the adventures of the day ahead.
As I’ve gotten older, though, a few moments of lingering in bed have become welcome.
On weekends, I still wake early, but now I may lay there and listen to the quiet rise and fall of John’s breathing or on a cold morning, snuggle into his warmth. Sometimes, I reach for my Kindle and read a bit or listen to a podcast on my iPod.
Weekdays are different as we usually wake to an alarm, set sometime between 5 AM and 6 AM. These mornings can be a little harder to bound out of bed, yet once my feet hit the floor, it isn’t long before my morning-person tendencies surface. A good thing, considering I often begin my workdays by coaching clients as early as 7 AM.
I hum or dance as I wait for the coffee to brew and anticipate particular moments on my to-do list. Yet, mornings can feel challenging to even this morning person . It’s the pressure of that time crunch, a particular number of tasks necessary before the day can begin in earnest – John getting out the door for work or me preparing for an early morning coaching call.
The secret to loving mornings after all these years lies in my evening routine. Seemingly small details can make the difference between a fabulous flowing and productive day instead of a crappy and chaotic one.
The number one piece of my evening routine is the coffee pot. Yes, the coffee pot must be ready to go at the push of a button. We have ones of those wonderful “grind and brew” pots, which requires the loading of coffee beans in the little grinder, a filter in the basket, and fresh filtered water in the reservoir.
In the last seven years, I have failed to set up the coffee pot before bed about a dozen times and have had what Alexander would call “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day”. Well, maybe that’s exaggerating a bit, but it hasn’t been pretty. It just sets a tone of unpreparedness for the day, the need to measure water and scoop out coffee beans whilst my eyes are trying to open wider than a squint.
As if the smell of brewing coffee has become a necessity for my middle-aged self to be that bright-eyed morning person.
I’ve always longed to live a peaceful and beautiful life. As with every part of creative living, I’ve discovered that the little things do matter.
There are other little actions that filter into my evening routines, all serving to make my mornings feel more like welcome and ease.
Like the dishes. I hate getting up to a sink full of dishes and I’ve found that I can get the dishwasher unloaded in about the same amount of time it takes that coffee to brew. Maybe stemming from the memories of breaking a glass on the kitchen floor and the way slivers of glass find their way everywhere. Or maybe it’s in response to no longer living with teenagers who would empty a hoard of hidden and food encrusted dishes into the sink whilst I slept. Just the memory of that makes me cringe.
Mostly, though, dishes in the sink make me feel as if my ability to keep a home that’s organized and beautiful is just out of my reach.
Sometimes, these evening routines take an inordinate amount of effort, especially on a Friday evening as we close a busy week. I want to crawl into bed instead of doing dishes or counting out the ten scoops of coffee beans into the grinder.
But I do it because when I don’t, I suffer.
And purposely causing myself to suffer doesn’t feel like a beautiful way to live.
“What we do today, right now, will have an accumulated effect on all our tomorrows.”
About the Author: Debra Smouse
Debra Smouse is a self-admitted Tarnished Southern Belle, life coach, and author of Clearing Brain Clutter: Discovering Your Heart’s Desire and Clearing Soul Clutter: Creating Your Vision. When she’s not vacuuming her couch, you’ll find her reading or plotting when she can play her next round of golf. She’s the Editor in Chief here at Modern Creative Life. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.