managing the morning

I used to be much more of a night owl.  I still go out and have plenty of nights that don’t end until the wee hours of the morning but those are usually gig nights and that’s how they go. I wouldn’t change it at all. But on the nights when we’re just at home, I find it hard to go to my laptop and do stuff I probably should do: answer emails, update websites, write blog posts. I’d much rather sleep. So I tell myself I’ll do it in the morning. I go to bed with the best intentions of rising early and getting shit done.  I tried this concept for working out. I wanted to walk/jog in the mornings before I left for work. I think I stuck to it only two or three days.

This morning, I woke up early and did the dishes.  This has become pretty routine. And I enjoy it. Our kitchen sink has a window right above it and I can look outside and ponder the day while I have NPR or the local sports talk station on. I actually like this part of my morning. But the rest of it, I’m never able to manage well.  I sit at my computer and it always takes longer than I think it will.  Or I’ll get sucked in to some movie on cable (yesterday it was “King Kong”), or push myself to finish just one more chapter in the book I’m reading (currently “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan”).  And through all this, I’ll still need to shower, get dressed, put my lunch together if I’m taking it that day, water the plants outside, etc.

The truth is I’m really good at doing nothing.  And I’m pretty good at getting stuff done. I live by lists. I have a to-do list every day, a monthly list of goals and goals for the year. If I don’t write something down, it’s likely that I will forget to do it.  I imagine myself to be very efficient and overall am happy with the results I get when I do the work I need to do and check off all those things on my list.  So I feel guilty when I watch that movie, or read that book, or write this post, or stare out that window.  I didn’t used to feel this way.  So why do I now?  It used to be so easy to be balanced.

I do have to acknowledge that my life is good. I make things happen and I do a good job.  I forget stuff sometimes but I make up for it or I ask for help.  I need to allow myself the joyful abandon of doing nothing sometimes. To go off the list. And maybe sleep in now and again.

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