As someone much wiser than I once said, “It’s not only the scenery you miss by living fast – you also lose the sense of where you are going and why.”
I am constantly rediscovering and reminding myself of this truth – today more than ever, because these days I'm balancing a full-time corporate job with many, many hours of required overtime, a house renovation, blogging, various freelancing projects, a dwindling social life (which is to be expected, considering this exhausting list), along with occasional cleaning, cooking and tending to other household chores – I say occasional, because I'm just now coming to terms with the fact that, try as I might, I simply cannot do it all.
They say that when things aren't adding up, to start subtracting – and that's exactly what I'm hoping to do in these next few weeks in order to regain some calm in my life. First, I'm focusing on slowing down my morning routine, and today, thanks to Wayfair, we're going to talk about doing just that.
I wanted to write a ‘my morning routine’ post for a long time – partly because I’m always so curious how other people’s lives work – especially people balancing a million and one things at any given time – and partly because, as I'm sure you've noticed by now, I tend to treat this blog as my personal diary, where, for better or worse, I write down my deepest and darkest struggles.
The more I thought about this idea of a morning routine, however, the more I realized my complete lack of one. Most mornings I am rushing out of the door like a madwoman, frantically grabbing my keys, phone, purse, coat, my work laptop, my personal laptop and my ID badge as I yell good-bye to my still-sleeping husband upstairs (his commute is half of mine, and his workday starts half an hour later than mine – lucky, right?) If I have a few minutes – no, seconds – to spare, I sometimes grab the first item I see in the fridge for breakfast, which for the past few days happened to be some sort of cake because it has been THE ONLY item in the fridge.
Quite the riveting morning routine, wouldn't you agree?
So today we're going to re-enact an ideal morning routine – a rare event when you have no place to rush to, no work to do, no projects to work on, no errands to run, no house to clean – basically, if you lived in a delusional, imaginary world, here's how mornings would go.
You wake up early – preferably at least two hours before having to leave the house, or if you're a work-at-home type, two hours before the kiddos wake up.
As an aside, this moment right here is where this fantasy ends for me. I consider it a major achievement if I get up early enough to brush my teeth, let alone take a shower in the mornings – partly because I am the farthest thing from a morning person, and partly because I don't go to bed until midnight or later.
Okay, enough with the disclaimers, let's get on with our ideal, slow paced morning routine.
Let's take this party downstairs – into the kitchen, to be exact – to brew your favorite coffee.
My current favorite is the Dallmayr Classic. Although the Dallmayr store, with its expansive array of gourmet cheeses, meats, coffee and wine is, in fact, quite mesmerizing and very much worth the visit if you just happen to be in Munich, Germany, but you can also find this goodness at a local TJ Maxx in the gourmet dry foods section.
Back to our perfect morning: You pull back the curtains, throw open a window and feel the crisp morning air.
Still in your silk robe or cozy knit sweater, you turn on your favorite tunes as you start your morning routine, which includes whipping up a delicious (and healthy) breakfast, taking time to savour every sip of coffee as you browse a favorite novel, devotional, or whatever it is you like to read when you're not reading the things you HAVE to read – i.e. email.
Now, doesn’t that morning routine sound infinitely better than the stuff-cake-in-your-mouth-as-you-bolt-out-the-door scenario?
To sum up, here are the five keys to a slow paced morning routine: 1) wake up early, 2) notice the details around you, whether it's the smell of coffee, the cold, crisp air, your silk robe against your bare skin 3) eat a healthy breakfast, 4) make the process of getting dressed more enjoyable with lots of natural light, your favorite music, fresh flowers on the dresser, and 5) spend a few moments doing something you enjoy – whether it's reading a book, doing a devotional, or simply daydreaming with coffee in hand.