November 9, 2015  • Musings

Chocolate Cafe, Grandview Heights, Ohio

Lately the articles I’ve been consuming are filled with “starting your day” tips that successful/happy/fulfilled/professional people do to be more successful/happy/fulfilled/professional.


I dream of being one of those people who start every day with intention, possibly a moment of reflection or planning, or even a bit of physical activity. I just can’t figure out how to do it.


There seem to be lots of tasks missing from the lists of tasks these magical, happy people do each morning. But maybe it’s me… So today I recorded everything I did in an effort to identify when I could fit in a moment of reflection, planning, meditation, or exercise.



November 9, 2015

4:40 a.m. Awakened by daughter who had nightmare.
5:40 a.m. Awakened by dog who thought he saw a squirrel. (He didn’t. Reason with dog about futility of waking me up while it is still dark.)
6:30 a.m. Husband’s alarm goes off. Shower starts.
6:40 a.m. Awakened by daughter who wants to tell me about nightmare.
6:50 a.m. My alarm goes off. Shower starts.
6:51 a.m. Dog desperately crossing legs to avoid accident in the house. Let dog outside.
6:52 a.m. Shower starts again.
6:56 a.m. Shower interrupted by daughter who needs help zipping fancy dress. Explain why fancy dress isn’t appropriate for school. Rinse shampoo from eyes.
6:59 a.m. Shower ends. Don robe to let dog back inside. (Dog whimpers from 32-degree temperature. Wimp.)
7:04 a.m. Continue getting ready.
7:06 a.m. Tell daughter she may not have candy for breakfast.
7:20 a.m. Check in with daughter who has changed mind about outfit. Again. Explain that 32 degrees is too cold to wear sleeveless dress. Acknowledge eye roll from five-year-old.
7:30 a.m. Realize will not have time to dry hair because, life.
7:35 a.m. Find clothes from laundry basket. Make mental note to actually fold clothes and put them away next week. (Mental note will be ignored.)
7:40 a.m. Remind daughter to brush teeth. Engage in conversation about futility of mint toothpaste. Momentarily wish daughter were less talkative in the morning; remember that her curiosity is good for life. Take deep breath to balance good parenting with desire for quiet in the mornings.
7:42 a.m. Wonder where coffee went.
7:45 a.m. Feed dog. Dog prefers treats. Ignore dog’s pleas for treats. Ignore daughter’s pleas for candy for breakfast.
7:46 a.m. Make lunch for daughter. Remember how much easier it is when I make lunches the night before. Commit to making lunches the night before. Remember that I spent last night hosting Women’s Leadership Institute for college students instead of making lunches. Because balance. Forgive self for not making lunch the night before. And also re-commit to making lunches the night before.
7:50 a.m. Help daughter find fleece. Remind her about importance of putting things away where they go so it is easier to find them in the mornings.
7:51 a.m. Let dog outside again to chase non-existent squirrel.
7:52 a.m. Let dog back inside because it is still 32 degrees.
7:53 a.m. Notice daughter’s hair hasn’t been brushed. Brush hair. Notice own hair hasn’t been brushed. Decide “messy bun” is a chic look for a Monday.
7:55 a.m. Remind daughter to put on shoes. Underscore importance of wearing two shoes that match.
7:56 a.m. Answer phone call from client about rescheduling morning meeting. Change calendar. Help daughter untwist backpack straps. Remind her to get her fleece.
7:58 a.m. Pet dog.
7:59 a.m. Get into car. Notice daughter forgot her fleece. Run inside to grab it. Pet dog again.
8:00 a.m. Confirm daughter is buckled in car seat.
8:01 a.m. Leave home. Assure daughter we will not be late for school.
8:02 a.m. Wonder where time goes.   Listen to daughter’s new idea for fantastic playground game. It involves magical powers.
8:05 a.m. Wish for candy for breakfast. Wonder where coffee went.



In reviewing this, I noticed a few things.

  • I didn’t go to the bathroom. (Be right back.)
  • I’m surrounded by demanding beings, all of whom I love dearly.
  • 4:00 a.m. is the perfect time to start my day with intention. During that first hour, I have plenty of time for reflection/meditation/exercise/planning.
  • There is no way I’m going to get up at 4:00 a.m. to reflect/meditate/exercise/plan.


Enjoy the madness!  I’m certainly going to enjoy mine. (Oh, and I found my coffee.)


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