March 18, 2011

A Great Start To the Day

Every morning the alarm clock goes off at 6:00. While the girls and David go through their morning routines, I will slowly wake myself up to greet the day. Once they’re off--and I’m working from home that day--I head downstairs to begin my morning routine. From 7:30-9:00 I check email, start/edit writing projects, and then it’s time for breakfast. My husband, who needs coffee before he can do anything, doesn’t understand this at all. But this is all part of "me time"--a chance to spend some time with myself. The coffee can wait.

I bought three wooden trays years ago. (I think they’re from Pottery Barn and I love them.) As the coffee brews, I methodically set up my tray for breakfast. I have a carafe for the coffee, a pretty blue and white “breakfast” plate, and depending on my mood, either a favorite mug or cup and saucer, all carefully arranged. Once breakfast is ready, I take my overflowing tray into my living room and enjoy my breakfast while I catch up with the news or, more likely, watch a recorded program.

I love my morning ritual, it comforts me; it keeps me from coming unglued in a world of who-knows-what’s-around-the-corner. The same restaurants, the same food, the same breakfast – sameness suits me. I look forward to marking time with events, people, even food that I can rely on to make me feel good. And studies have shown, just like children, adults can benefit greatly from ritual, too. Anything you do can be enjoyed more fully; all it takes is a little pre-planning. Instead of rushing through life, take some time to enjoy those little moments that can set the tone for the entire day.

“Living well is a habit, and rituals improve and reinforce good life habits.” – Alexandra Stoddard.