Thoughts from the Editor

Jan 07, 2015

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One of my favorite daily work week rituals is to rise in the morning earlier than necessary, giving myself nearly two hours before I need to get out the door. Part of the reason I can get going at such an early hour is because I’ve come to claim my old soul which also means I go to bed earlier most nights than most people my age deem “normal”. I used to feel hideous about turning in at 8:30 or nine, but now I bask in it. Why? The extra time in the morning to putz around aimlessly.

Indeed, I tend to the have-tos in the morning: shower, make-up, breakfast, making lunch, etc, but I truly revel in the perusing of the early hour treasures. The latest news delivered on the radio or my favorite news show, playing with the dogs as they wake up and beg for attention, reading an extra op-ed that catches my eye or catching up on my favorite blogs.

To rush the morning is to rush the entire day. I’ve found that when I rush out the door, my day has a much harder time catching its breath as well, and so now I proudly say, yes, I turn in before many people get home at night from a long day at work, but that also means I’m well rested for those occasional treats during the week that require a long night, and those are just as fun as well.

The reason I bring up my beloved morning ritual is a recent article in The New York Times, “Healthy Body, Unhealthy Mind” caught my attention earlier this week. The idea of perfecting our physical health and physique without tending to the health of our minds is to neglect the very motor that can bring into our lives the tranquility which we seek.

As the article points out, choosing to be an internalist, rather than an externalist is to choose to look inward, to be aware of our thoughts, to master them and not be controlled by them. To live a life that is full not because of the excess (stuff, a full itinerary, travel plans, etc), but rather because we can find harmony in the everyday without exhausting ourselves endlessly is to live a life of quality. Finding time to enjoy our own company, to celebrate and revel in the simple, yet extraordinary life we get the opportunity to live each day is something to celebrate. Because when we finally realize that living well doesn’t require exorbitant amounts of money but rather a healthy, hopeful attitude and appreciation, life immediately looks rosier.

So whether you find yourself carving out time each day in the morning, in the evening or in the middle of the day to slow everything else down and just be, I encourage you to do it. Disregard those who laugh or snicker because your daily routine is different and know that the life you live will invite or discourage the peace and tranquility you seek.

Treasure and cultivate more moments in which the clock is ignored, and when by chance you do look at the hands on the clock, you are amazed how more than a few hours have flown by. Get lost in your life, in the best way possible.

Have a beautiful Wednesday everyone. Bonjour.



~Why Not . . . Jump Start Your Day?

~Why Not . . . Try Yoga?

~Why Not . . . Meditate?


24 thoughts on “Thoughts from the Editor

  1. Thanks, I love this! I too have made a habit of rising early to spend a few wonderful, quiet hours to myself each morning. It sets the day up so beautifully. I also love reading about others ‘morning rituals’ – mine includes meditation, making my list of Important Things to accomplish that day, reading, sipping tea. I would love to hear about other reader’s morning rituals.

  2. I love my early morning quiet hours. I was forced to start them when my son began 4:30 am swim practices and grew to love the quiet time in the house. Even though he is now at college, I still love getting up early and doing my thing before I have to talk to anyone. It’s often the best part of my day.

  3. I love, love, love going to bed early! I consider it an absolute luxury to turn in at 9:30 p.m. I wake up a little more than 3 hours before I leave the house so I have time to read, meditate, sip my coffee slowly, and generally enjoy a little alone time. Being a single, working mom, it’s really my only opportunity to relax by myself. My daughter (13) is now appreciating getting up and ready without rushing as well, as she’s been to others’ households where they sleep as long as possible and then hurry to get ready. At our house, we need 2 hours minimum to get ready with care, listening to our favorite music, stopping to chat with each other about the outfits we’re wearing that day, etc. Mornings are typically fun and leisurely, which sets a great tone for the entire day.

  4. I have been casting about for a new ritual to implement in 2015 and falling short until reading this post. I am a morning person and do my best thinking and daydreaming (also good for the health of the mind) in the morning. I usually take an hour but love the idea of subtracting one from the night and adding one in the morning. I am thinking about ways to make my time more luxurious and might make some additions to my workspace. As a person who relishes solitude and is sometimes chided for it these encouraging words are a balm for my soul.
    Accidental Icon

  5. Yes, Yes, Yes! This is me to a T.

    I wake up about 4 hours before I need to be into work to do all of the following: meditate, practice yoga, dogwalk, read the paper, make a hot breakfast and see the sunrise. I wouldn’t give it up for the world and I don’t care who makes fun of my 9pm bedtime. I am as happy as a clam in those hours and it means that no matter what happens for the rest of the day, at least I’ve enjoyed that time.
    Morning rituals are the best!
    – Marie

  6. Terrific read! I couldn’t agree with you more. This routine is one of my simple pleasures that adds unexpected depth to my day and sets the tone for calm as the day progresses. As always, thank you.

  7. Hi there,
    I just wanted to add my name to the list of kindred spirits here. Going to bed early – and getting up early to start the day in a positive, fulfilling manner – is one of the greatest pleasures I know. I live in Ireland, where a ‘typical’ bedtime is several hours after my own, but the benefits of early to bed, early to rise are too wonderful for me to ignore. I agree that it makes life less stressful – and is truly one of the best simple luxuries I know.
    Happy New Year, Shannon!

  8. I, too, get up much earlier than necessity dictates. I love having the time to myself, and can get so much more accomplished in these early hours. I make a cup of tea, and peruse my favorite blogs and check my e-mail. I do some exercises, meditate, and do a few chores. I get dressed, including makeup — even if I am staying home. This leisurely pace sets the tone for the entire day. I am less apt to rush around or try to multi-task. I compensate for my early rising by taking a short nap after lunch. But I must admit — I, too, find myself conking out earlier than most people. The post-lunch nap used to enable me to burn the candle at both ends, but this no longer seems to be the case.

  9. I love this! My absolute favorite thing about weekends is the slow mornings, making tea or espresso, reading while the morning light pours into my tiny apartment, carefully choosing an outfit that I feel confident in and getting ready to present myself to the world. I am in the midst of an incredibly stressful project right now, and my rushed weekday mornings are not helping. Unfortunately my work day starts about 6 am…I have not figured how to wake up extra early for that!

  10. I find the early morning hours to be such a magical time of day–It’s quiet, the sun is not yet up–I find I do my best thinking and feel my most centered at that time. Everyone knows I cannot be reached after 8. I’m down for the night. Thanks to Shannon, as well as all those who commented, for allowing me to see that I am not the only 34 year old woman in the world who keeps this schedule!

  11. I really enjoyed this! Like you, I rise early and go to be early. I love the magic and quiet of the morning hours and the peace it allows me as I begin busy days. I love sipping a cup of coffee and puttering. When the weather cooperates, a stroll around the neighborhood feels like a luxury.

    Great post!

  12. I am precisely the same. I go to bed at 8:30 or 9 because I LOVE it and feel no shame whatsoever! That early morning “me” time is everything a girl could hope for. I love my ritual of a hot cup of coffee while I pause to actually think my own thoughts and let my body & mind wake up. It’s lovely hearing about your morning ritual!

    I don’t know any successful people who sleep in, so there’s that nugget of wisdom to bolster our lifestyle choices. 😉

  13. I am new to your page and have to say I love reading it. This post especially hit home for me. As a single mama of a 5 year old the me time seems to always be just out of reach unless it is early in the morning. I too enjoy the quiet cuddle time with my fur babies before the day kicks off. And 830 or 9pm bedtime? Always a plus. Someone once told me that nothing good happens after 9. Most of the time I am inclined to agree!

  14. I usually turn in around 10 allowing for some time to read before falling asleep. However your post and everyone else’s comments have intrigued me to turn in even earlier. I love my morning time and why not add an extra hour. I love waking early on the weekends as well (sleep in, pfft!) before the house starts to stir.

  15. Oh it’s so nice to see to many others who enjoy the quiet morning solitude! It’s such a great way to start the day, but I don’t think anyone in my immediate circle understands the quality such a ritual can bring to the day. I love the thought now that so many others are enjoying similar mornings to my own! Thank you all for sharing.

  16. This is such a great post! I realised at the age of 27 that the time I was awake after 9.30pm usually involved nothing really of substance – usually sitting in front of the T.V aimlessly channel surfing. So, I made it my bed-time and now enjoy the ability to get up in the morning with enough time to sit and enjoy my breakfast on the step of my back door, listening to the birds in the early morning, contemplating life before getting ready for work. Meanwhile, my flatmates are at peak stress levels only minutes after waking as they stay up so late and chronically oversleep their alarms!

  17. I was up early this morning and read this post. I love these peaceful morning hours. The world is quiet and I have more energy then than at any other part of the day. But I love my sleep so I too go to bed very early. Nice to know I’m not just a freak of nature.

    And one more thing, I just finished reading your book and have submitted a review to Amazon. As I said in my review, I wish I’d had this when I was a young woman. It’s a sweet and lovely book of both practical advice and the truly important advice: “be yourself-it really is that simple.”

  18. I love the morning! It’s such an opportunity to bask in the possibilities of the new day. All my friends think I am nuts because I won’t stay late at their houses. Sure, sometimes I do but normally I like to enjoy them fully then get on home and enjoy “going to bed” meaning time with my ending the day ritual and reading in bed.

    My favorite part of my morning is the 15-20 min walk with the dog. To be outside first thing moving a bit and getting fresh air is sheer heaven! I started following Tony Robbins suggestions of breathing deeply, gratitude and daily intention. It is a such a positive way to start my day!

  19. Oh, can I identify! My husband and I get up at 4:50 a.m. so we can walk together. Yes, now it’s dark out, but I find that very peaceful. It’s a quiet way to slip into the day, and when we return, I have a cup of tea before I head for my workout. You’re so right when you say that if the morning is rushed, the day follows suit. The flip side, as you mentioned, is that by the time 9:00 p.m. rolls around, I’m quite ready for bed! The kids tease me, but I don’t mind – having the morning to myself is a treat I treasure.

  20. While not an early riser, I appreciate the part about making some time in the day to not watch the clock. For me, it’s the afternoon. I find that I’m not very productive come 2:30PM and relish in sitting outside enjoying a nice coffee or going to and afternoon yoga class. I always come back to work feeling refreshed. Luckily, I’ve chosen to work for myself and can indulge in this luxury.

    Lovely post, I especially love this quote.
    “Get lost in your life, in the best way possible.”

  21. I also rise early and always have. I really value the calm organized tone it sets to the day for myself and my family. Time to meditate, walk, eat a warm nutritious breakfast AND arrive at work on time. Also, I really appreciate your mention of growing into the acceptance of being an old soul. Its only recently that I’ve accepted this aspect of my personality and, more importantly appreciate the benefits to my life.

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