Elizabeth Willis Barrett………….January 13, 2015
I love mornings. Not that I have gotten up early enough lately to claim their full benefits. When I’ve had to catch a very early flight to Seattle or Salt Lake or take someone to a 5:00 am job appointment, I realize how much I am missing by not getting up at 5:00 every morning. Getting to bed in a timely manner to allow a 5:00 am reveille hasn’t happened for a while. But it really is a shame to miss those early hours when the sun is beginning to stretch and blaze its promise across the sky. It is so beautiful and renewing. To me, morning is when the vital doings of the day must be done. As the day moves along toward sunset, it seems to collapse and press down on all the remaining minutes leaving them rather unproductive.
If I had my way, I would wake up to an empty house with all other occupants hard at work somewhere else. I wouldn’t need to help anyone find a missing phone or satchel or point out that the peanut butter is right where it has been for at least the last 10 years. I wouldn’t hear the radio blaring out heart deflating accounts of kidnappings and murders and political sniveling. My psyche is so fragile that an overheard bit of bad news acts like a stiff scrubbing brush to my good humor and sense of well being. And although I really love to hear new insights on religion and the way of the country gained by deep spousal study, morning is not the time to pour any new found truths into my brain. In the morning, the mixer of my cerebrum is whirring with other ingredients and extra bits and pieces are likely to get flung aside, my congeniality with them.
In the morning, I’m trying to concentrate on my weekly list. It is a very long to-do list that I usually write out during Church on Sunday. I want to get on with the day and that list without any interruptions. That is probably a very selfish desire. But I’m just trying to put on my own breathing mask first so I can help others put on their breathing masks, so to speak. And to me, that means getting certain things done in the morning.
For instance, if I don’t “stretch with Jane” before 8:00 am, the opportunity for that particular get-it-done item will be gone for the day. Without this stretching (which I have tried to do every morning for about 30 years since I discovered the wonderful DVD of Jane Fonda called “Start Up”) my aging body will just quit moving all together, and what help would I be to anyone then?
Next, I need to be totally ready for the day—showered, dressed, blown, curled, contacted, made up. It is very deflating to look in the mirror at mid-day and realize that several of these points didn’t get addressed. Of course, by then even the addressed items must be re-addressed. If someone wants me to do something—after my morning, of course—I want to be ready.
There are about ten things I really want to get done each day and morning is the best time to do them. Without distractions, I could easily get them all done by ten or eleven and then I would be eager to get on with the interaction and saving of others. Not that anyone will need saving by then or want to interact either.
Again I find that I am not only thinking outside the box but outside the universe of my family and friends who are ready to engage way before I am. Maybe they’ve already secured their own breathing masks and they are trying to help me with mine. As usual, I could use some help. That universe has tried for years to teach me that warm, wonderful people are far more important than crossing items off my lists. So, come back into my mornings and my days and my nights and I will try to be more discreet as I’m making a list and checking it twice.