Firebirdlifecoach's Blog

Pursuing a Passionate Life

Morning Sunshine February 15, 2010

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I am not a morning person, well not really. When I was a kid, my mother used to wake us in the morning by cheerfully singing, “It’s time to wake up!” (To the tune of: The Farmer in the Dell) as she came into our rooms, clapping her hands and opening the shades on the windows. When I finally emerged from my covers dragging myself into the shower and down stairs for breakfast I was ever so slightly more alert but definitely not ready for conversation. That didn’t stop my mom from enthusiastic chatter however – which didn’t quite work for me. (Note: though the singing has abated – my mother is still full steam ahead chatterbox when I go to visit her. At this point she is able to at least attempt to give me a few minutes to come to life before launching in – due to my years of continually reminding her that I am not ready to talk yet. But she might as well be singing.)

These days I am the first to arise in the morning after about 30 minutes of hitting the “snooze button”. No one is around to sing or talk to me as I make my tea, check my emails and start my day, and that’s just fine with me. In my half awake stupor I have found that I am incredibly efficient at simple household tasks as long as no one is trying to engage with me. Laundry done, dishwasher emptied, lunches made and so on are performed without consciousness quickly and efficiently. By the time my kids emerge from their slumber, bleary eyed and sleep-walking, I can handle the company. Fortunately, they aren’t big talkers in the morning either, and seem perfectly happy to go about their morning routines in relative quiet.

I know that provided I don’t overdo it with the snooze alarm, I can always throw an extra task or two on my plate several days a week. Paying the bills, answering emails, writing my blog, fit easily and quietly into these early morning hours. But for me, this quiet efficiency seems like more than just a simple morning routine. It is my waking meditation, of sorts. The simple focus on the mundane tasks of daily living and reflective quiet of writing are incredibly calming to me. My mind, body and soul seem to need this time to prepare for the day ahead. It is not the exercise routine or intentional meditation which I often dream of squeezing into my morning but is a healthful necessity all the same. Reframing my wish for a slow and quiet start to my day may not seem like an epiphany to you, but for me recognizing it as a simple form of self-care is helpful for me. Though I shall restrain myself from reframing everything I do under this lens I do think it is important to really think about what works for us in our own lives and to value the process we each bring to our unique situations. You never know what you may find.

 

Freezing temperatures, backaches and a little bit o’ magic January 3, 2010

Snow Day!!!

When we were kids, those two words meant a kind of excitement and glee that was usually reserved for holidays and amusement parks. It combined with a curious sense of victory, as if nature’s elements were “in cahoots  with” the wishes and will of kids to thwart the school system and its grown-up demands. For those of us who grew up in climates where winter meant; blizzards and ice – the memories of snow days are a part of our childhood.  As a mother of two school-aged sons I can say – that hasn’t changed. My younger son, (having learned this little bit of childhood magic from a friend), will also occasionally put a spoon in the freezer on the eve of a possible snow storm to appease the snow gods and to encourage them to bury us in the white fluffy stuff.

As an adult, unless you are a skier, and I am not, it seems many of us look out the window as the flakes pile up and can almost feel the beginnings of the backache which is sure to follow. The shoveling, snow blowing, salting, and the financial outlay for having your driveway plowed – definitely sets up a different set of expectations when the meteorologists start talking about an impending snow storm. It has been snowing here on and off since the 31st and though the accumulation is not significant – it is still enough to have to deal with in one way or another. I just came in from my ritual “sweeping off of the porch”, (as it is too soon to start any actual shoveling) and the snow still falling steadily.

It’s coming down a little more enthusiastically then earlier and the wind is whipping the flakes around so that each one stings as it hits your face. But, after I finished cleaning the porch, I went inside grabbed my coffee and came back out to sit and watch and admire. The still quiet that fills the air when it snows combined with the smooth softness of the drifts and the swirl of the flakes is always so wonderful. Yep, there is no getting around it – no matter how inconvenient and exhausting a snow storm can be – there is an undeniably magical beauty to it. Even when you are indoors looking out – there is a special feeling of warmth and calm to know that your day will be spent at home and maybe you’ll even get inspired to make a bread or a nice soup (if you are lucky enough to have the ingredients). Then again maybe you’ll get some chores done, or maybe you will relax with a book or movie or board-game, heck maybe you’ll even consider going outside and romping around in it a bit – but whatever you will do will be touched by the sense that it is not just any old day – it is a SNOW DAY! And it is magic….