Last Hope.

It’s just a spark but, it’s enough to keep me going
And when it’s dark out, no one’s around
It keeps glowing.

We’ve all heard the experts say time and again that a routine will keep you going. That it will keep you sane. Routine will make sure you get up in the morning and feel okay. I’ve personally never prescribed to that notion. In my mind, routine means stagnation and boredom and it always felt like a life I wanted to run from. Then I was forced to face routine.

When I started my programme this year, my schedule consisted of 9:30-5 days with a solid one hour break in the middle of the day. Typical routine. So I started waking up early. Three hours early to be exact. Now I’ve never been one for 6:30am mornings, especially in the Winter when I am rising before the sun. There’s something calming about it, though. Having the time to do whatever I please in the mornings.

You see, after a full day, you’re exhausted. Not just physically but, mentally. I learned that when I worked summers at my dad’s office. Despite sitting at a desk all day, your energy is drained and you just want to get home, eat dinner and sleep. That’s why I’ve come to realise that mornings are so important.

We talk a lot about self-care in my classes. That means doing things for yourself, making yourself happy and making sure you are as mentally prepared for life as you can be. Those three hours in the morning are my self-care mornings. My routine consists of waking up and doing the usual: brushing my teeth, washing my face, maybe taking a shower. I then walk to the kitchen, turn on the kettle and bask in the quietness while waiting for my tea to steep. If it’s a nice morning, I’ll take my tea outside to the front steps of my apartment building and breathe.

Breathing is important, too, I’ve noticed (I know, I sound insane). But not just because it keeps us alive and functioning but, it clears the head. When you think about taking that breath in through the nose and out through the mouth, you forget about the things that were bothering you last night or last week or last month. You focus. In and out. Easy and simple. Innate.

Like I said, mornings have never been my thing. I do know however, that I hate feeling rushed getting to the bus or the metro. I hate not having time to make a smoothie. I hate not being able to peruse my social media. I hate leaving half a cup of tea sitting in the kitchen. Those are my necessities in the morning. Routine allows me these small self-care habits.

So those so-called experts I was talking about? Well they’re right. At least for me. And that spark that keeps me going? My routine.

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