The past two months have been very significant months for me; after so many years of being one role or another – mother, wife, daughter, sister, breadwinner, friend – I finally asked myself, really asked myself, who do I want to be?
This one question has lead to a lot of interesting revelations.
I’ve discovered, for example, that despite my self-identification as an indoorsy type, I actually like being outdoors (which might explain why I suddenly went nuts and booked that week-long camping trip the other day).
We’re lucky enough to live on a beautiful piece of property. When we first viewed this place, I stood at the top of the stairs leading down to the house, and I said to Ward, “If the house itself is only half as gorgeous as the outside, I want it!” The house turned out to be a quirky little place, and we ended up putting in an offer that very day.
Despite this first impression, though, I’ve spent most of my time inside the house the past ten years we’ve been here.
Inside. Working, usually.
And while I can’t do that much about the “working” part of things, since bills have to be paid, I decided I could do something about the “staying inside” part of things, especially now that spring is here and the weather is simply beautiful.
It’s funny how one thing leads to another, isn’t it?
Because, armed with my discovery that I like being outdoors, I’ve somehow managed to change my entire sleep cycle around.
I used to be a night owl. I’d get my second wind at around 11:00 pm and 2:00 am usually found me at my desk, working on a deadline.
But in the past two weeks, this cycle has slowly shifted. I’ve been going to bed earlier, and waking up earlier. And I’ve done this armed with only a light, loving intention to enjoy my mornings out of doors. There’s been no need for self-discipline or alarm clocks, no 30-day plan to break the late night habit.
I’ve been able to wake up earlier because I now have a morning ritual I enjoy immensely. I wake up, slip on my headphones and listen to a meditation CD for a while, and then get up, brew myself a cup of coffee, and sit outside on our side deck. Even though most of our trees are still relatively bare, waiting as they are for their leaf buds to unfurl themselves, our side deck is very private, very calm, very beautiful.
This is my morning view. I took the picture today, when the sun was out, but even in gray, cloudy weather, it’s beautiful.
I sit on the deck, still in my bathrobe, sipping my coffee, feeling the soft breeze against my face. I don’t read or listen to an audiobook. I don’t write. I just sit there, enjoying every moment.
When I go in to get my second cup of coffee, I grab my journal, and as I savor that second cup, I write. Sometimes I’ll play instrumental music on my iPhone, but more often then not, I’m content to just listen to the birds and the wind.
It is the most amazing way to start the day. So far, it hasn’t rained during my morning ritual, but I’ve already decided a little rain won’t keep me inside.
I’ve never had a ritual quite like this before, where I set aside the time to do nothing but sit and be still. And when I’m done, my day already feels different, before it’s really started.
I’ve discovered this morning ritual so unexpectedly, it still feels like such a wonderful surprise. Do you have a morning ritual? Or maybe an evening ritual? Do you create time for yourself each day? If your days are too hectic, what kind of you-time would you love to have in your ideal world?