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Early Mornings, Growing Things

I’ve been thinking a lot about habits lately. It’s probably because I’m trying to come back to some of my old ones, namely, getting up at the crack of dawn and running every morning.

If I’m honest, I haven’t done too well this week.

All through high school and college I woke up around 5 am on most weekdays. I would have coffee and write for an hour (sometimes working on school assignments, mostly journaling) and then go for a morning run. This sounds sooo leisurely to write about now!

beach picnic in santa monica
A little moment of leisure during a beach dinner picnic this week, that really has nothing to do with this post.

Then, I would start my day – centered.

Those habits went out the window during the past couple of years for a few reasons. There was a period of time while I lived in Chile when I absolutely could not get myself out of bed in the morning, and only wanted to sleep (or drink wine…) even during the rest of the day, and my morning writing and running routine suffered. I realize in hindsight I was depressed.

Then, last summer once I was back in the states, I fell into a good routine until I strained my plantar fascia during a trail race and was pretty much unable to run for the rest of 2015.

While my workout routine in general didn’t suffer (I got a gym membership and worked out on my lunch breaks), my morning routine did. I would wake up 30 minutes, sometimes only 15 minutes before I needed to be out the door. A lot of people don’t have a problem operating this way in the mornings, but for me it just doesn’t work. It makes me start my day stressed out and frazzled.

As I began to be able to run again, I started getting up early to do so – but only about 10 or 15 minutes before I planned to start my run. I would just scroll through Instagram and then be on my way.

For the past week or so, I’ve been trying to slowly ease myself back into the routine of getting up very early and spending some time doing some writing before my run. So far my success rate isn’t great, but I did manage to do it for two days this week.

There is just something I love about the morning. It’s so quiet, even in our neighborhood of tightly-packed apartment buildings with paper-thin walls. The light is clean. I am alone, unrushed, peaceful. It’s my time. I just need to keep reminding myself how much I love it when my alarm goes off at 5 am and I shut it off with a groan.

I just miss those quiet, clean mornings. I miss feeling svelte. I miss being able to take the morning slowly, instead of rushing to throw on clothes and run out the door. The other morning as I made some tea at 5:30, I imagined trees rustling outside my future window when I wake up early early, maybe the soft padding of the dog I don’t have yet to come out and see what’s going on. Right now there is no dog and the view out the window is just the next apartment building’s outer wall, but a girl can dream.

I know it’s unhealthy not to live in the present, but sometimes I find my way of living in the present is to notice its minute details by changing them in my mind. Does that sound crazy?

Anyway, during my few early mornings lately, besides writing I’ve been tending to my little balcony garden. I picked my first ripe cherry tomato the other day, and many more are on the way. Even such a small measure of self-sufficiency feels so good!

cherry tomatoes ripening cherry tomato ripening cucumber growing


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