Many people living extraordinary lives say they have a morning routine that sets them up for success. Here’s the one I have been striving toward.
- Meditate for 30 minutes.
- Yin poses.
- Journal, including a prayer. I focus better when I write my prayers. Often brainstorms are natural at this time. While I try to hold them off in my meditation, they can come on strong during the yin session.
- Push-ups. I have recently added this one. Strength is important for physical longevity as well as daily fortitude to stick to one’s commitments.
- Blog – if I do not get this creative time in first thing in the morning, there is no room for it in the bustle of the day.
What time do I need to get up to accomplish all of the above? Around 4. It’s not as hard as it sounds. It also doesn’t happen every day. If I get up at 5:30, I may only fit in meditation and a quick prayer. If I get up past 6, all bets are off. It’s time to make the donuts.
When I go on a streak of accomplishing above, I feel alive and true to my higher purpose.
My dad delivered mail for 30 years, and during the long hot Georgia summers, he would come home and immediately take a dip in our swimmig pool. He would say, “it gets the first layer off.”
Lately that phrase has been coming to my mind after several days of work where I haven’t had time to spend a full morning with my son. It usually seems to take a day or at least a few hours to relax, reconnect, and re-establish that rhythmic, harmonic feeling. This time can feel distressing, like I’ve lost something, but then I think, “it’s like we are getting the first layer off.”
I wonder how many parents ever get past that first layer, when the weekday never ends until 6:30, and weekends are filled with karate, soccer, and trips to Target.
Grateful I am for the number of peaceful mornings we have spent co-existing in our home and connecting with each other and with the creative parts of ourselves. Somehow I feel if I can cultivate that gentle feeling at least a morning or two a week, then we will have a much better time living together the rest of his growing up years.
“If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” ~ Henry Ford
I am not where I want to be when it comes to the balance between the time I work and the time I spend “homeschooling” my four-year-old son. But I persevere.
To try to take one or two full days during the week with him sounds wonderful, but is not usually realistic. So I have experimented in shifting our time together to the mornings rather than mid-afternoons. A day where spend the morning together and go our separate ways from 1-5 is almost as good as a full day together. It is immensely better than when our separation occurs from 8-1, and certainly from 8-3 or 4. Why? Because the mornings are such a precious, open time for creating and connecting.
We both seem to flourish when we have our “yin” time at home together in the morning. Our rhythm leans toward the “yang” – being in the outer world – in the afternoon, so it lends itself to connecting with the nanny, with clients, etc. then. Even delaying the start of my work day to 10 a.m. is an improvement over rushing to get to the office by 8:30, and postponing family time ’til the day’s tasks are through.
Many days, I cannot make it happen. Not even the 10 a.m. start. But I think I am on to something, and awareness is the best way I know to work toward an ideal.
“What you are is what you have been.
What you’ll be is what you do now.” Buddha
I feel my dream of being a part-time homeschool mom catching a spark. Following the “act as if” principle, I had a day off this week and “tried on” how it would feel if it were a regular homeschool day.
We had our breakfast shake in the bead room as we usually do when I have the time, and eased into the morning. After some time playing “cable wire man,” (where he takes my jewelry wire and connects it from a lamp to a nail hole in the wall) and trains, we got into a fun little animal unit study.
We have been talking a lot lately about reptiles (especially alligators), and this week he has been interested in fish and sharks. Using Modeling Clay Animals by Bernadette Cuxart, we got out our Stockmar Beeswax and fashioned a couple of sharks, complete with counting beads to use for teeth and eyes.
In the midst of our creating the animals and playing with them, we talked about how fish, reptiles and birds lay eggs, while whales and other mammals have babies. The fact-finding broke down when he insisted that Shirley and Shrek (the married sharks) have an octopus baby hatch from their egg … his name is Rex.
Not only did we have a lesson in animal taxonomy, but we had a speech breakthrough to boot. For a four-year-old still having trouble with his “s” sounds (he usually skips over the sound completely), a morning spent with sharks proved to be fruitful. He voluntarily practiced pairing “sh” with “irley” for Shirley the Shark. And he did it! Now he is practicing “Shirley” and “Shrek” regularly, usually saying “Sh — irley” and “Sh — rek” with long pauses between his new sound and the rest of the word, but he will smooth it out in no time.
These sweet and natural learning moments are why I am grateful to keep my child at home for a few more years. Mornings are such a peaceful, fun and creative time, and it seems so apparent that some of the best learning can happen then.
“One of the basic rules of the universe is that nothing is perfect. Perfection simply doesn’t exist…..Without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist.”
Dah nu nu nu nuh
Oh where does the week go, Monday to Friday?
I had so many big plans, but they all fell away
Got out the Waldorf handbook, for ideas for my boy
But the demands of 9-5, they broke in and stole my joy
That book sat on the floor, reminding me of bread I haven’t baked
Of rhymes I haven’t sung, of crafts I haven’t made
Most of all it reminded me, of time I can’t spend
Mornings I have to leave him, with our next of kin
How can I build that shake shake bridge between work and home
How can ever I have it all, show it can be done?
Maybe answers will come, or maybe they won’t
Sometimes I feel it’s possible, and sometimes I don’t
Oh I’ve got the workin’, workin’ mama Waldorf blues.
It wouldn’t be so hard, if I didn’t have so much to lose ….