I mentioned in my last post that I had recently read the book, Miracle Mornings by Hal Elrod. It was a useful, although not earth shattering, book. The premise is that you take command of each day by waking up very early and immediately doing a few things that further your personal development. This sets you up to have the right frame of mind for the day. This is hardly a new idea but his practical ideas about how to actually accomplish this when you have been a (ahem) lazy slugabed for years is very good advice.
When my children were much younger there was no such thing as getting up earlier than they did. I was plagued with non sleeping children. There was a solid seventeen years whereby if I caught three consecutive hours of sleep I was golden. Whenever I made an attempt to rise and grab a quick and quiet cup of coffee I was joined by the screaming masses before the first perk happened. It was a long period of almost psychotic exhaustion and had anyone told me I should just get up an hour before they did when I was already up nine times a night, well I would not have responded in a ladylike manner. So should you be in that state of life just disregard the getting up early part of this routine and do what you can when you can and know that you will someday sleep. I promise.
The advice Mr. Elrod gives is both practical and helpful. Turning your phone off early, putting your alarm clock (not your phone but an alarm clock) across the room forcing you to get up to turn it off. Immediately going to the bathroom and brushing your teeth. This, surprisingly, is an effective wake-up tool. Drinking water right away to rehydrate is also good advice.
So taking what would work for me (getting up as soon as the alarm goes off) and casting aside what would not (reciting affirmations to myself, nope) I have carved out my own little Miracle Morning routine.
The alarm goes off a 5:00 a.m. and I immediately put my feet on the floor and try to remember to thank God for the day. I don’t always because I’m not a person who thinks very well early but hopefully this will improve. I’d like my first thought to be one of gratitude.
To the bathroom to take care of things and brush my teeth, comb my hair and drink a glass of water.
Don some yoga pants and a sweater.
Go downstairs. I should mention that at 5:00 a.m. my husband has already left to do his daily workout at the gym. He is a very disciplined person. Me, not so much.
I fetch my rosary, which should be next to my corner of the couch but never is, and pray the rosary and whatever novena or devotional I’m doing at that time. Right now it’s a novena to St. John Bosco for my children’s education. It was the suggestion of a friend and I love the idea of dedicating the month of January to praying for our homeschool and my kid’s education.
After prayers I pull out my journal and write for 10 minutes.
Then I fire up a stretching video and stretch for 10 minutes. My walk happens later in the day.
After the stretch another glass of water and by then Dave is usually home and making coffee.
While Dave showers I’ll read the paper or a few pages from a novel.
When he is done getting ready for the day we have a cup of coffee together. Once he leaves I check my planners for the day and then I go shower. In between there the adult child gets ready and leaves for work and the other gets ready and leaves for school (college – she commutes).
That’s really it. Sounds simple doesn’t it? However it’s kind of amazing how sticking to this routine has improved things around here. I’m not spending all day playing catch up because I’ve checked my planners and I know what’s coming. I’m ready to get to work full on when I wake the kids so I can some office time in while they get ready for the day. I’ve prayed so my heart and soul are more settled. I’ve spent time with Dave so we’ve connected and caught up. I’ve said a quick hello to adult children before the go off into the world, which makes us all happy and I’ve done a little light reading to relax.
My days are running smoothly now, I have more time to accomplish my work and am a happier mom to my kids. Who knew the simple act of putting my feet on the floor at an unholy hour of the morning could accomplish so much?
The book is worth reading/listening to but it veers toward the new-agey with lots of meditation advice and those affirmations. I could never wrap my head around affirmations, it seems weird to me. I’m sure it helps many people but I’d rather pray my rosary and quietly contemplate the life of Christ than to tell myself out loud how great I am. I’d also be laughed out of the house if anyone heard me, which is not a small consideration. So there’s that.
Do you have a morning routine that refreshes you? If not I highly recommend trying it. Unless you have a baby who is up all night, then I highly suggest you sleep as much as you can and take care of your physical needs which will help with your emotional and mental state of mind. You should also remember that someday those kids are going to want to sleep in, and then you get to wake THEM up. I recommend buying a big bell or some kind of horn. If they complain remind them of them many times you were awakened rudely and point out that as Catholics we get to offer up our suffering.
Who says we can’t have a little fun early in the day?