Friday, December 19, 2008

Great Beginnings

A few days ago, I began my day by surfing the internet for several hours while my children watched mind-numbing television. Yesterday, there was no TV, but I still spent a significant portion of my morning surfing on the internet or puttering around the house. You know puttering, right? For me, it involves a round trip from my bedroom to the kitchen, whereupon I open the fridge, close the fridge, tell the kids to go play and meander back to the bedroom, climb in and pop the computer back on. Lest you begin to think that I am recommending this style of life as a “great beginning” let me reassure you. The afore-mentioned scenario is not the ideal or goal or is in any way to be emulated by anyone, ever.

I am fond of telling anyone that I am not a morning person, which is true. I frequently remind my husband that I just have trouble getting started in the morning and that I don’t really get going until the late afternoon, which is happily for me, when my husband gets home and I can therefore justify the cessation of all objectionable activities straightaway. And I wonder why the housework doesn’t get done.

Ironically, though perhaps that it a misuse of the word, I am able to function in the morning. I was in the military and they are known to say, “we get more work done before 9 am than most people do all day” and I have attended for a bunch of years, a school system which still, for reasons unbeknownst to me, prefers the morning hours as the most preferable for instruction. Yet in both instances, I was able to perform tolerably well in both these cases over a significant number of years. The fact that I don’t prefer it really ought not to make much of a big deal, but it does.

So far, I have developed two coping mechanisms. One, copious amounts of coffee, pre-programmed so all I have to do it roll out of bed and pour a cup. I’ve even considered moving the coffeemaker to my nightstand so I won’t even having the trouble of getting out of bed before consuming caffeine (yes, that was a joke…). The other, perhaps slightly more sustainable approach is to shower as soon as I wake up. Generally, I start a brewing cycle of coffee, then get in the shower, but the actual sprinkling of water upon my body in the morning seems to do the trick.

Of course, I am trying to work out more and as always, the morning hours get the best prize. My husband and I have just started a morning routine working out together which does get you up and going, but then I end up completing my day in sweaty clothes because I never showered. The idea of showering at the gym is a possibility... but have you ever been to a gym with all these women running around naked with no shame? I mean, it’s one thing to doff the towel to rub lotion on your legs at home, but at the gym??? Please, cover up already!!! [Okay, ranting aside] The possibility here is good, plus it gets me out of the house which means I can run errands in the morning on days that I need to do that….Hmm, possibilities.

The key to having a great beginning is to have a purposeful evening. Set yourself up for success and don’t stay up until 1:15am writing a blog post (oops), get to bed early. Instead of plunging into piles of clean laundry on the floor in the morning, at least remove one outfit per person to hang on a hook for the morning. The few (and I mean very few) times that I have done that, I have been amazed at how much easier it is to accomplish what I want out of the day. Usually by the time my kids get ready for bed, I am desperately ready for them to go to bed too and picking out an outfit is just not on the list. Gradually, though, I think they will get used to the idea of picking out clothes and getting dressed when you wake up….or at least that is what I am trying this week.

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