Today’s slice of adulthood wisdom comes from my roommate and dear friend, Miss Anna Soco.
For the last 11 months, Anna, Katie (our third roommate) and I have been sharing a cute little house in Seattle, and being 23, we’ve spent most of the year helping each other avoid acting like noobs.
It’s a challenging, transitional time for us and we’re learning lots of big lessons. Love, racism, parenthood, grad school, the philosophical differences between “Star Wars” and “The Lord of the Rings” — these are all normal topics of conversation in our kitchen.
A few weeks ago, Anna was telling me that one of the biggest lessons she’s learned this year has to do with the way she structures her day, or more specifically, her morning. As you’ll read, choosing to rethink the way she enters the world every day has had a huge impact on her productivity, mood and energy.
But even more importantly (excuse the “woo woo” for a second), she’s realized that choosing to greet the day rather than roll into it has inspired a new mindset, and it’s starting to seriously change the way she approaches her life. Big stuff!
I’m super excited to let a little of Anna’s lovely light shine on you today. Take it away, Anna!
I’ve never thought of myself as a morning person. In my semi-recent past, I prided myself on being someone who could wake up at 8:40, put hot water on to boil, throw a granola bar in my bag, pour some coffee into my Thermos, and be at work at 9 with 30 seconds to spare. This was the life! I got everything done I needed to, while achieving maximum sleep time.
Somehow, miraculously, earlier this spring a good friend invited me to try out an early morning yoga series with her. Entranced by the romantic idea of “being up early,” I signed up. The first class ended at 7:30, and — who knows if it was post-yoga bliss, sleep deprivation, or something else entirely — as I was driving home, it hit me like a ton of bricks:
I had enough time. To do. ANYTHING.
I could do my hair! I could take a shower and have time to shave my legs! I could make a real breakfast! Hell, I could even go OUT for breakfast.
I grew to treasure my Tuesdays and Thursdays after yoga, because I started actually using those hours between class and work. I made breakfast. I enjoyed my coffee on the back porch, reading in the morning sun. (Dreamy, right!?) I spent time choosing an outfit that would make me feel good. I had the chance to prepare my mind for the day ahead of me.
Of course, as many good things must, my yoga series came to an end. I was faced with a question: do I keep my new morning routine or do I let it go? The answer came surprisingly easily.
I kept it. And I have not regretted my early morning wake-ups even one bit.
As a teacher, I spend 100% of my work day “on” — even during slow or quiet moments at work, I am constantly reflecting, planning or seeking out chances to connect with students. This work is extremely life-giving to me, but as an introvert, it can also be energetically draining.
Especially on days where it seems like my mantra is: “I’m sorry you feel that way,” and “Ooh, let’s get you a band-aid,” I come home ready for my glass of wine and time outside reading on the porch. I yearn to cultivate space in my life to reconnect, recharge, and decompress after each day with the kiddos.
My new morning routine has turned out to be the most beautiful solution. It has allowed me to take an active role in my wake-up, transitioning my morning mood from “Ugh— I have to wrench myself out of bed, go to work, and continue serving the Man” to “Good morning, me. What would you like to do first today? Work is a great thing, but it’s not your entire life!”
Now, I feel like I am in control of what I do with my morning, and by extension, my entire day. It gives me time to fill up my “tank” before my day even starts. I have even found it easier to get out of bed, knowing I have my morning to enjoy! It rocks.
Sometimes all it takes for a total mood and energy shift is the willingness to make the space. Make the time to do something you enjoy. Maybe it’s a new morning routine, or maybe it’s indulging in a 20 minute dance party alone in your office after work. Whatever it is, allow yourself some space each day to love on YOU. It feels good, I promise.
As our friend Grace says, be well!
About the Author:
Anna is an aspiring environmental educator who lives and works in the Pacific Northwest. She’s working on completing a master’s degree in science curriculum and instruction at the University of Washington (read more about her amazing program here). Anna loves quirky plants, thunderstorms and unearthing crazy mold from the fridge (fridge science!).