Monday, October 19, 2009

What it's like to be me in the mornings


A dear friend posted a poem on her blog about her morning walk, and it got me to thinking...perhaps my mornings are worth writing about, too...

The alarm goes off at 5:30, but most mornings I've already been awake for at least 15 or 20 minutes. It's my quiet time, my reflecting time. Problems that were tangled into a knot the night before begin to loosen in the mornings. New ideas come, and I see new ways to tackle what lies before me in the day.

Shower every other morning. Some weeks Mark and I are really coordinated--he takes a shower one day, and I take a shower the next. Other weeks we're on the same cycle, and we take quick turns. Every morning, floss, take vitamins, moisturize and put on makeup. (Not Saturdays)

One of us goes downstairs to start the cereal. We started eating steel-cut oats a couple of years ago, and we've been eating them every morning since. They take 20 minutes to simmer, so one of us goes down and gets the water boiling and adds the oats. Then that one can come back upstairs to get dressed.

Getting dressed: try to look professional, but I don't have to be overly fancy. I usually only wear jeans once a week or so (usually on Tuesdays, Cub Scout days), but most days I wear slacks and a nice shirt or sweater. I used to wear leather shoes more often, but the last couple of years I've gradually transitioned into wearing athletic shoes almost every day. It's just easier, and better for my feet, with the orthotics. Last month I bought some new shoes at REI (the ones I was wearing were two years old, and I had been wearing them almost every day). The ones that fit best were trail running shoes! Hah! I met up with a couple of trail-running gals when I went on my 50-mile hike in 2008, and I was pretty impressed with them. Now when Mark and I go for a walk, I joke that I just might take off trail running...hasn't happened yet...

Gather up the student papers I was grading the night before and put them plus the laptop into my teacher bag. A few quiet minutes for morning prayers, and then downstairs for breakfast. By this time the oats have finished cooking. One of us (usually Mark--he's better at it) scrambles a couple of eggs, and I cut up some fruit. Lately I've been eschewing sugar, so I add a little extra fruit to the oats, and maybe some slivered almonds.

Read the morning paper, check email while we eat. The grandkids are usually up by then, so we chat with them while we eat breakfast. Rinse the dishes, into the dishwasher, assemble the lunches: 1/2 turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread, fruit, plain yogurt or cottage cheese for me / sweetened yogurt for Mark, a few almonds, a small bag of homemade trail mix, string cheese. Toss the lunches into our lunch bags, find the employee ID badge for school.

Give the grandkids a hug, head for the door. It's 7:00 am, more or less. We have to be to school no later than 7:30, but we always try to get there before that so we can run off copies, set up lesson materials, chat with colleagues a bit before the day begins in earnest.

I actually enjoy my morning routine. I don't dread getting up and going to work. My mornings keep me healthy and ready to be on top of my day. The only things that would make it better would be to work in some exercise - a walk, or some yoga. I've tried, but I'm not consistent about that yet. Maybe next month!

(If you really read this post, please make a comment. This has got to be one of the driest topics I've posted here yet...most likely interesting only to me...)

7 comments:

Anna said...

Actually, this is one of my favorite posts. I'm not sure why. I guess, it just sounds like such a nice wholesome morning. My mornings are much more bleary eyed and resentful to light and a crying baby. I think I would like to try one of your mornings.

Dorothy said...

Yuck on the oatmeal*, but otherwise, it sounds like an orderly, peaceful way to get started on a work day!

(* I'm trying something new. For breakfast the last week or so I cook up a batch of brown rice and barley, then stir in nuts and dried fruit. Pretty good, actually...it's chewy, not gummy :)

Katie said...

Ditto Anna about the cring baby and resenting light, etc, etc. Reading about your steel cut oats, Mom, reminds me of that week Bryan and I visited a couple of summers ago. That was perhaps the best week of breakfasts I've ever had in my entire life. Yumm. Tell our teacher friends good morning for me tomorrow. :)

Polly said...

And I thought the kids waking us up around 6 every morning was early. I echo the resentful of light part...but at least my baby wakes up happy every morning and Seth usually does. (Of course we'll probably have to get up earlier when Eric starts teaching.) We eat oatmeal a lot too...what's the difference between regular and steel cut though? We eat regular, although for a while it was quick oats because we're trying to eat through our food storage.

Anyway, we read your posts. Love you, Mom!

Holly Mayer said...

It is interesting to know how people spend their mornings I think I will post on my morning later this week too!

Katie said...

Mom- I like the picture you added. I'm pretty sure that table cloth has been around my entire life. Also, Bryan and I thought you were eating chicken for breakfast until we enlarged the picture. Haha. I miss the breakfasts we had there last summer! Yummm... :)

Hillary said...

yes, I too actually really enjoyed this post! It's nice to see into other people's lives. Especially your mother-in-law's. :) It's fun to see how you get ready for the day, etc. I enjoyed it. haha. Thanks!