But First...Morning Routines | Illustration by Wondershins

But First…

The kettle is on the stove, and before the sun has even peered out from behind the clouds, I am embracing a warming mug of hot water. No fragrant tea leaves swirling in the midst, no rich coffee grounds permeating the atmosphere. My Chinese body yearns for hot water only at the rise of each new morning.

I never wake with grace, but stumble and grumble until I have that cup of hot water in my hands. My muscles are woven together with worries and tensions from yesterday and days before, so I settle on the floor and gently tug their strings and tell them to give the day a chance.

It’s a new day after all, with shiny thoughts waiting under rugs to be uncovered, and crisp dreams planning their most exuberant grand entrances.

My rigid bones and taut muscles slowly give in to my gentle pushes and pulls, but they know better than to give it all away so soon. They share and smile only a smidge each day, but I will take hold of it anyhow and say, “Thank you very much,” because a little is always better than none.

But First...Morning Routines | Illustration by Wondershins

Perhaps it is what happens next that has them steeped with skepticism. My limbs are prodded into place as I begin a pilates routine that will most likely torture every fiber of my being, but I do it anyway despite the protests. My shoulders cry out in unmentionable pain, my whole center shudders with terror, and my thighs threaten to disown me. It ends sooner than it begins, and even they nod with approval at the thin veins of strength now coursing through their stuttering selves.

While my muscles and bones are busily congratulating themselves, I make my way to the rabbit hole that no one knows about and step through to the other side. I float down endless, bright hallways, passing by doors that open to inspiration and creativity, and escape through the door that beckons to me most. Paint! Sketch! Write! – whatever my heart so wishes to do that day, and I follow her because she speaks loudly and gently, and always seems to make sense in all the best ways.

These mornings are laced with perfection and secrecy, and though the clock ticks unbearable and quick during these few hours, I pretend time has stepped out for a cup of coffee. She will be back with a forgotten croissant crumb on her cheek, and I will turn my paint brushes over to her – the one time I ignore my heart’s dissents – and withdraw from my rabbit hole to a rigid day whose muscles are squeaky with worries and tensions from an absence of oiling.

But for now…this moment is all there is and tomorrow will come too soon.

Inspired by the weekly creative prompt from ArtStew52


PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS:

I find that morning routines can help set the day for productivity and positivity. Do you have a morning ritual? What do you do to get your day started on the right foot? Let me know in the comments!

Comments

  1. So many golden nuggets, Jackie.

    “My muscles are woven together with worries and tensions from yesterday and days before, so I settle on the floor and gently tug their strings and tell them to give the day a chance.”

    “Paint! Sketch! Write! – whatever my heart so wishes to do that day, and I follow her because she speaks loudly and gently, and always seems to make sense in all the best ways.”

    As for morning rituals, I’m afraid I’m in desperate need of one. I feel I’m always in a rush, always determined to soak in those last few minutes beneath covers before forcing myself to up-and-at’em in order to make it in to work on time. The only ritual I have is to kiss my sleep kitty, wishing I was a stay-at-home cat mom / artist (of course!), and wake up to a shower’s warming waters. Other than that, it’s dash dash dash, and if I’m lucky, I’ll have enough time to drive through the Coffee Bean en route. ^.^

    • To be honest, that is one of the benefits of working from home. I don’t have to worry about that mad dash to get from place to place. If ever I need to go into the office, I either have to wake up very early to get in a workout or skip it entirely. But if it is possible, I do think not rushing into the office first thing in the morning can make a big difference. Perhaps 5 extra minutes to allow yourself to slow down just a bit or a whole half an hour earlier to enjoy a calming stroll around the block. Of course, easier said than done, and it is still something I am constantly working on myself! Once you switch to Lacelit full-time, I’m sure you’ll have a morning ritual that will be so wonderful and inspiring!

      • Your words ring true (as they always do). 🙂 I’ve been contemplating rising earlier to enjoy a walk and coffee before my commute. I even asked Jason to wake me when he leaves the house at 5:45-6 a.m. Yet, every morning, I’m so plumb-tuckered, that I can’t seem to pull myself from cozy bedcovers and do it. I suspect that the key is to go to sleep earlier the night prior… which is always a challenge for me. ^.~

        • Yes, that is definitely a challenge for me as well! I have actually been waking up late recently and I suspect it is because I try to fit in some time for Wondershins in the evenings and end up sleeping very late. Even my persistent alarm can’t budge me from under my covers!

          I know you like cloudy days, but I have found that when sunshine is peeking through my bedroom, I am more likely to wake up than linger in bed. So during the cold seasons, I have SO much trouble getting out of bed. Is this the same for you?

          • I have trouble getting up on weekdays- probably because weekday mornings require early rising and I’m going to work rather than my studio. But, on weekends, I’m actually more prone to wake reasonably early (between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m.) and be rearing to go. 🙂

  2. I have trouble getting up on weekdays- probably because weekday mornings require early rising and I’m going to work rather than my studio. But, on weekends, I’m actually more prone to wake reasonably early (between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m.) and be rearing to go. 🙂

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