On work days, I have to stay on track. Out of bed by 6AM, start the coffee brewing, turn on the heater in the bathroom, and drink one large glass of water with two doctor-prescribed pills while checking the morning news.
With coffee in hand, I sit down to write in my journal. I always start with gratitude these days, and sometimes that’s as far as I get. On good days, I continue on with “Morning Pages,” which is simply stream-of-consciousness, no filter writing. Then, I move on to my bullet journal to plot out my “necessaries” for the day ahead.
I take my second glass of water and third cup of coffee upstairs to the exercise room. There, I listen to a short meditation tape, then do a daily yoga warm-up sequence. On odd-numbered days, I do strength training; on even-numbered days, I do a longer yoga routine, Pilates, or any other exercise I choose. Next I shower, and get ready for work. Dressed, the dogs and I head out for our morning walk.
In the warm weather, when I walk farther and faster, and often throw in a few sprints as well, I walk the dogs before I shower. In the winter, on slippery roads and paths deep with snow, our pace is slower. We walk a mile, sometimes farther, but I don’t work up a sweat.
Home, I grind up the various dog-medicines, and distribute them into their dishes. I add one tablespoon of canned food to each, and mix it up. Until this moment, the dogs all thought they’d hate to see me leave; now they wag their tails in anticipation. I pack my lunch bag with a thermos of coffee, and soup or leftovers already packaged up for that purpose. I blend my morning smoothie of greens, fiber, fat and protein, and pour it into a lidded glass.
I rinse the blender, and put the dishes down for the dogs, admonishing each of them to “Take good care of things.” I gather up my purse, lunch bag and smoothie, and leave the house. If all has gone well, I make it out the door by 9:30.
My days off are different. I don’t set the alarm, and wake up when sunlight through the window, or a dog needing to go outside, alerts me to the day. On work days, I choose my coffee cup from a selection of sturdy or chipped mugs that can withstand being knocked around in the car and the hardware store. On my day off, I use a small, delicate cup with an image of blackberries that makes me think of summer.
On days off, though I still try to fit in all of my daily habits plus a dozen other plans for personal growth, home and studio, I’m much more lax about my timetable. Today, for instance: at noon, I made oatmeal for my breakfast. I have not yet gotten in a walk or even climbed stairs to the exercise room. I checked the news, at length, then watched a Ted talk, listened to a podcast, read a couple blogs that I subscribe to, talked on the phone with a friend, and now am writing this. I have almost finished a pot of coffee, and have hardly moved from this chair. And, I don’t feel guilty! It’s okay to rest!