Monday, February 2, 2015

Monday Morning Musings
When it comes to mornings, I'm a slow starter. On weekdays, I make sure that I'm up in time to make my daughter's lunch and see her off to school. She's seventeen. She doesn't need this. But, as I've told her, I feel like slacker mom if she heads off to begin her day before I'm even out of bed. And, as each day of her high school career unfolds into the next, I'm profoundly aware that these opportunities will vanish much sooner than I am ready for them to do so.

Once she leaves, I often nurture my slow start. On energetic mornings, I putter or tackle a household task that will offer me an immediate sense of accomplishment. Other days -- gray days or days that began sooner than I was ready for them -- I scroll through Facebook to see what my friends have to say, perhaps finding a photo or quote that inspires me. I read Scripture or inspirational morning messages or check my email. I make lists or do a puzzle or lie on the sofa, close my eyes and plan my day...or all of the above.

Sometimes, my thoughts are scattered and they need to be corralled. Quiet time does that. Other times, I'm seeking a seed -- the germ of an idea that I can plant on the page, that can only be accessed when I let my mind unwind. Quiet time helps with that, too.
I don't know why it works. Perhaps the creative part of my brain slowly unfolds in the silence when it's given free rein to allow its own tentative thoughts to rise above the cacophony of daily life. Perhaps closing my eyes and drifting off, even so soon after starting the day, allows my thoughts to drift off, too -- to places they wouldn't venture if I insisted on imposing structure on them so early after waking. Or perhaps I'm capturing bits of dreams.

On days when I don't take this time and instead, careen carelessly forward, I often hit a wall -- one erected by my own stubborn refusal to do what I know I need, but which somehow seems lazy or self-indulgent. And the harder I try to do what those niggling, judgmental voices tell me I'm supposed to do -- to leap into the day despite the fuzziness still lingering like a charcoal sketch around the edges of my brain -- the more difficult it becomes to actually accomplish anything.

It's a strange and quirky little process, one that leaves my no-nonsense, rise-and-shine morning people friends shaking their heads and chuckling a bit at my expense -- or at least this is how I imagine they'd respond, if I dared to tell them.

But it works. And for that, I am grateful.

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