Thursday, 2 February 2012

Morning routines

By Aurora @ Island Dreaming

Keeping house doesn't come naturally to me. There are aspects of it I love - gardening springs to mind. There are aspects I despise - washing up in particular. The rest of domestic life falls somewhere in between theses extremes, more often than not skewed towards the negative end of the scale. My natural inclination is to spend a lot of my time living in my own head pondering other matters unrelated to the reality in front of me, whilst those very real things build up, topple over and cause an even bigger mess.

Then I became a parent and the time I had to just live in my own head and ponder 'things' pretty much evaporated, along with the mental energy that went with it. That is when I really began to focus on my day to day life, my surroundings. I saw the ugly reality of the two day old washing up pile, the laundry still waiting to be folded, the stuffed to bursting cupboards of 'stuff'. I had been brought down to earth with a bump and actually had to live in my physical environment - and it appalled me. I began to change.

The decluttering commenced, the housework was manageable, time had been freed up for baking and gardening and crafting. Life was good and getting better. Just when I thought I had 'got' it, it was gone again in a whirl of sleepless nights and the chaos of integrating a new baby's preferred routine with the one that was already established. More chaos ensued, though a more manageable one.

Routines are grounding, I get that now.  The more chaotic and time constrained life is, the more important it is to integrate a little bit of routine. A morning routine is especially grounding, it sets you up for the rest of the day. Get the first hour right and the rest should follow. And so I am trying to begin again, to get off on the right foot. I wake up, come downstairs and put the coffee on. I put in a load of laundry and I wash up last nights dishes (both of which can be done with a foggy just woken up state of mind) getting my least favourite jobs over and done with. We sit and eat breakfast and drink our coffee and get ready for the day. The most productive hour of my day, unchanging, regardless of the rest of my schedule. A little normality has been restored.

Other routines will follow and routines will also evolve over time if they no longer suit. If like me you are disinclined towards routine, a simple plan for the first hour of the day is perhaps the best place to begin. Set several things going all at once - the coffee, the laundry, the washing up - and let each thing flow into the other, stirring you to life gradually.

So, how was your morning?