That Early Morning Calm

Looking for a job is obviously a process filled with stress. Stress is also what many currently employed people talk about when they describe their days. And around Christmas time, it increases as many organizations have work requiring completion prior to closing down for the Christmas break.

Finding some relief from that hustle and bustle is not only a good idea; it’s downright critical. The reason of course is you – yes you the reader – have to have some balance, some control over your schedule and your day, and some time to just relax and exhale.

So I thought I’d share a morning routine of mine that accomplishes this for me, and perhaps if you will, you might either try it yourself or find a way to build something similar into your own day. I usually leave around 6:30a.m. each day for the 1 hour drive to work. Although I don’t start until 8:00a.m., that half an hour cushion on the way, gives me time to get to work without rushing, risking a ticket, getting annoyed with delays, or being shocked and stressed by traffic, detours or bad weather. Ah but my body generally wakes me up just prior to 5:00a.m. on a regular basis.

So from 5:00a.m. to 6:00a.m. I’ve got this hour…and it’s all mine! Now I could lie there wide awake and think of all the things I’ve got to do in a day, or I could try to sleep again, and then worry that I might sleep in past 6:00a.m. but I don’t. Up I get and usually make myself a nice cup of tea. It’s warm, wet and ever so gently removes that toothpaste coating that happens when you brush your teeth and then sleep for 6 or 7 hours! Then out I go to the living room.

Now usually I turn on a small lamp, but now at Christmas why not just turn on the tree lights? So here I sit looking up at that 11 foot pinnacle of soft white light; each casting a refection off any shiny surface in the room, like CD cases, the entertainment unit glass, the windows, the clock, the snow globes on the coffee table. Hit a button on a snow globe and it illuminates and snow swirls around and on the ceiling there are images cast that defy the need for any lamp. And I breathe and exhale. My moment. My wife is still chasing another hour or so in the land of lullaby’s and the clock is no enemy as it says I’ve still got twenty-five minutes or so of me-time.

Now on my laptop, I’ve been browsing the net since just after 5:00a.m., checking my blog history, LinkedIn, home email, sports updates, Facebook maybe…the usual suspects. After fifteen minutes of that, I turn myself to the blog. Hmmm what to write about today? If inspiration doesn’t come, I know that half hour I usually get to myself as soon as I get to work will be blog time. I can usually count on the news or the drive in to spark a thought or two, or three!

That warm cup of tea is just now drained, my neighbour is up, lights on, and will soon warm up his truck and be on his way just as I turn off that laptop and head for the shower. Something else to look forward to as the morning shower scrubs away the grunge from lying inert under flannel sheets and the duvet for hours on end. It invigorates the skin, wakes up the little grey cells, and today I’ve even got a new pair of pants to look forward to wearing to work. Small things in my personal time to look forward to.

Now this morning hour from 5:00a.m. to 6:00a.m. is the calm transition period that fits nicely between just waking up and having to get going to start my day. Some might wave off this time as wasted when other things could have been done, like dishes from the night before, or tidying up the living room, or cleaning a bathroom, replying to work email or well…more work….that’s not transitioning into one’s day, that’s just starting work early.

Finding some moment for yourself is all about whatever works for you personally. My routine isn’t necessarily going to work for you personally, but it’s my routine and it works for me. Sure sometimes I vary it, or manage to wake up just before 6:00a.m. so I get another hour sleep. But then I miss the time to slip peacefully into my day.

This period of time allows the mind the opportunity to feel replenished, and instead of having to react to things all day long brought about by the actions of others, I get this time totally to do whatever I want myself and I’m free to initiate whatever I want. In short, I’m in control to start every day. You might be surprised at the power of that feeling.

I would strongly suggest that you find some time each day to recharge your batteries and relax. Avoid the television in my opinion as it decides what you will experience and again, react to. Choose some activity that is pleasurable however, not a job that must be done. Read a book, write a journal or blog, sit and stare at the Christmas tree, think of all the things you do have to be thankful for, pull out a sketch book, enjoy a warm tea, coffee or hot chocolate. Maybe just do nothing at all but pause and reflect…like the lights on the shiny surfaces here in my living room.

Have yourself a smooth transition into your day with whatever you have planned. I have to go now and take that shower…sorry…you’re not invited into that experience!


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