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102: Starting the Day My Way

Monday Monday Monday. I almost forgot Monday's gratitude post. My three loyal readers would have been devastated.

A few months ago, our wise priest challenged us to include more silence in our days. "Oh, Father," thought a skeptical Ashley. "You are adorable. But you don't have little kids. What is silence?" But I took his advice to heart because he is wise and holy, and started incorporating more silence into my days. From mid-January through most of March, I was rising at 6 and starting my weekdays in silence, prayer, and relaxation. I also showered most days. You're welcome.  Since Advent, I'd also been incorporating 10-15 minutes of silence into the post-lunch hour when the kids were napping.

Then, two or three weeks ago, the baby toddler threw a wrench into my beautifully planned silence. He actually throws everything but this was, of course, a figurative wrench. He started rising somewhere between 5:00 and 5:45 a.m., which was extremely frustrating mildly annoying. It took me a couple days to realize that part of the reason I was a frazzled, grouchy mess was that I was starting my days with noise and unsafe amounts of coffee rather than quiet and prayer. Not only was my morning alone time compromised, but I was using the post-lunch hour to collapse on the couch and wallow in solidarity with my drooping eyelids, basically wasting all the precious quiet minutes.

I know the season of life I am in cannot be carefully planned, and I really need to lighten up when my schedule gets thrown of for any number of reasons. Number 3 has uncharacteristically started screaming at bedtime, exhausting both of his parents. Yesterday, though, he gifted me by sleeping until 7;45. The big kids get up at 7, so when my Heroic Minute* alarm rang at 6, I actually listened to the song I'd chosen for my alarm, greeted the day, and slowly but surely got out of bed.

I really named it Heroic Minute a few weeks ago.
It helps me not hit snooze on those rare days I actually open
my eyes upon hearing those first guitar strums.
The alarms below it are telling of what happens the other days. 

I so enjoyed my whole hour of silence: a long, hot shower; tea (which is really just water, apple cider vinegar, honey and lemon); daily readings and some prayer; and of course leisurely scrolling through Instagram and Facebook. When the kids came barreling upstairs, I actually felt ready to face the day, and it made such a difference in my outlook for the entire day. I am fully aware that this is not how every day will start, and I know I need to give myself a pep talk on those days when my plans are foiled. Last night I felt genuine gratitude and peace about how the day started and how it progressed.

Other, less-important-to-my-mental-stability gratitude items today:

  • Hootie and the Blowfish's "Let Her Cry" just came up on my Pandora station. I love you, Pandora. Oooh and now Stone Temple Pilots. Yes!
  • Internet wins: I gave up my fruitless search for the missing file cabinet key and ordered one online for $7, which is coincidentally three times what I paid for the actual file cabinet. I also found the manual for my malfunctioning-but-actually-just-dirty coffee pot. I love you, too, Internet. 
*Unlike Leah Darrow, I can absolutely not get behind a heroic minute when you have a newborn. Until baby sleeps at least most of the night, my policy is to strongly encourage every moment of sleep possible. 


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