Weekday mornings in the New Beginnings household unfold according to a very precise and particular schedule. I leave the house before sunrise to meet my first client of the day while my husband gets himself and the babe ready. We swap roles an hour and a half later and move forward with our respective days.
The time leading up to my departure is also very consistent: I take time to physically prepare myself for the day and spend time reading, reflecting, and praying. I can't say this rhythm always results in remaining calm and measured as the day unfolds, but it does help me establish an appropriate perspective for whatever lies ahead.
Occasionally, I will find myself with a "free" morning on which a client is unable to meet. In these cases, I find joy in heading out the door for an early morning run. I love these pre-dawn jaunts around my city. Passing beside eerily empty downtown streets before the office lights are on. Navigating sleepy neighborhoods whose residents are only beginning to stir. Nodding a greeting to the monuments in their stately silence.
But too often, I find that when I walk back in the door I begin immediately scrambling to catch up. The morning responsibilities and timelines haven't changed, but all of a sudden, I am laser focused on speed and efficiency - usually at the expense of relationships. I caught myself in one of these mornings last week. Instead of slowing down to sit with my daughter and really listen as she expressed anxiety about being left with a babysitter later in the day, I quickly assured her all would be well and encouraged her to finish her breakfast. Rather than stop to hear what my husband was sharing about his upcoming day, I nodded assent and kept right on clearing and washing the breakfast dishes. I transitioned immediately from a runners high to a wound-too-tight ball of stress, and it was nobody's fault but my own.
When I don't start my morning with intention, I lose my grounding, and my day suffers. Rather than allow this trend to continue at the expense of the life I want to lead, I am recommitting to starting my day wisely and well. Next time I find myself with a free morning, I will still go for a run. But not before I pause to prioritize what is truly important.
How do you start your day? Does it leave you settled and ready for what lies ahead or do you need to revisit and reboot?