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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.
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