I have noted before I’ve never been an early riser. For much of my professional career I was a computer geek, so I would often be up all hours of the night working when my users were asleep and out of the system. As a result, if I got up before 8:00am I either had an early meeting or the house was on fire. Even though I’m no longer a “practicing” techie, until recently I still refused to get up early. I just didn’t see the point. But in the past year I decided I needed to shake some things up in my life. My day was just too static and monotonous. It didn’t seem like I challenging myself in any meaningful way. I was in a rut.
I decided that a new routine to start my day might be a great way to break the monotony, to start the day in a fresh and productive way. My plan was to first exercise my body with a short brisk walk with my dogs. Next, I would exercise my brain and soul with a little journaling and some meditation. I wanted to focus on me before I focused on the events of the day.
In order to accomplish these goals, I needed to get up an hour earlier than I had in the past. But in the process of developing this routine, I discovered something else I wasn’t expecting.
I discovered the morning.
Not the morning of doing, the morning of being. I discovered the morning that people always write about; first light breaking over the horizon, an early morning fog in the trees, a light frost crunching under my feet on my morning walk.
I discovered things I would have made fun of 10 years before, but now were desperately missing from my life. Up to now, I had missed all of these things; I had simply slept right through them.
Now I am addicted to the morning. I require the experience of the new day. I enjoy the time when I am up but most people aren’t. During my walk, I enjoy seeing the few people that share my addiction. We rarely talk outside of a short greeting. Instead, we smile knowingly at each other because this time is our little secret, unknown to most everyone else. It is our special club.
I love the quiet of the house when I come back from my walk, the time before others in my home begin to stir. During this quiet time, I have my thoughts, a cup of coffee and the dogs resting at my feet. It is the best part of my day.
There is a contemplative calm to the morning. It is meditation with my eyes open, a leisurely pace I can enjoy before the controlled chaos of the day. By taking this quiet time for ME, I set a soothing tone that often stays with me the rest of my day. And no matter what the next day may bring, I look forward to the next morning.
And that makes all the difference…