This world is just so different right now. Everything seems to be topsy turvy. As I write this, it’s almost 4AM and I can’t sleep, so I write. I’ve actually been sleeping amazingly well during quarantine (considering the fact that sleep and I have been near constant enemies my whole life), but not today. I just ate a chicken salad sandwich and I’m sitting on the floor looking out the window, hoping to get a glimpse of the meteor shower that was still happening as I write. If you can picture that image, it sums up quarantine. What is time? When do we sleep? When do we eat? Does it matter if it’s not “breakfast food” in the morning?

On the one hand, I’ve enjoyed the isolation to an extent. Obviously my heart goes out to every person affected, and I wouldn’t say this is at all a “blessing in disguise” or anything like that – it’s hard. It’s painful. People’s lives are in jeopardy. And so much more.

I have realized a few things throughout all of this, though.

1First, I don’t know how to actually DO a task. I know how to finish one. I am always looking for the next thing. Even as I’m enjoying a book, I skip to the back to see how many pages, just to know how long until I’m done. I feel like I have the same mentality with most things in my life, actually. I’m an optimistic person. I fill my life with adventure, gardening, hiking, running, cycling, being outside, but my mind is constantly wandering. I’ve noticed this the most in my mornings. My typical morning routine looks something like this:

8AM: wake up (water and snack)
5-15 minutes yoga + meditation
~20 minutes reading + devotional
first breakfast
1 hour writing
second breakfast + social media + email + phone break
30 min – 1 hour personal development (tasks, goals, reading)
workout of the day
recovery meal + tea + podcasts
head outside: gardening + puppies are awake

Before quarantine, I would pretty much wake up, workout and start my day. I felt that mornings were just a time to “get through” before I needed to head off to wherever my obligations lie for the day, namely work. But now, my morning routines are my day. Everything blurs together. There is no need for rushing because there is no pressing “thing” to rush to. Now, I’m realizing that all of those things that I have purposefully structured into my day really and truly mean something to me. They (reading, writing, tea, nutrition, training, the outdoors) are some of my biggest priorities.So I should be able to slow down and be present in the moment. The beautiful part I guess is that this should have been my morning routine all along.

I should have been filling the start of my day with things that fill my soul. But my brain still balks at the idea of slowing down. It still wants me to “hurry up and get it done so I can move on.” This isn’t what I want my world to be. This isn’t what I want my days to be. I genuinely love these parts of my world, and I placed them in my day for a reason. I don’t need to be that student that finishes first so I can sit in my chair and do nothing for the rest of class, when class, not the test, is the point of it all.

2As I’ve worked on slowing down, I’ve started noticing more random things, too. I’ve noticed that I shouldn’t have coffee. I do love it. Yes, I am in a committed relationship with tea, but sometimes I flirt with coffee. And it almost always ends badly. My brain on coffee is not a friend to most. I can sometimes handle”half-caff” but typically not the full strength magic.

3I’ve also noticed that I hate working out in the afternoon. I do still love first thing workouts, but for a couple reasons, I have pushed back my daily workout until after I’ve done a few things first. This may change; I’m still perfecting my perfect morning. But unless weather or some other reason mandates, I will not work out – especially run – in the afternoon. A lot of this has to do with my nutrition, but it’s also just preference.

4One of the most obvious things that I keep noticing is my need for fresh air. I’m so grateful that trails by have been open throughout everything, that the weather has been amazingly beautiful lately, and that I have so many projects in our garden to keep me outside, because I desperately need to be outdoors every day – most of the day.

5A not awesome realization is that I kind of suck at meal planning. I don’t know how I never knew this before. I love food. I need food. I feel like I am constantly eating, and I also feel like I am constantly hungry especially now that my training has ramped up. Breakfasts are easy, and usually pretty similar day to day. Lunches and snacks fluctuate so much right now and I can’t seem to get a grasp on it. Dinners seem to be perfectly fine, although we are eating hours before what we typically would in “real life.” Which is fine, but it means that I am usually hungry again once, if not twice before bed, and the second time is usually right when I’m laying down to sleep. Not cool. One of my intentions for the week is to work on this, and figure out how meal planning works in my world. So far, I haven’t made any steps that I’d consider progress, but I’m determined, so stay tuned 🙂

6Lastly, there is usually a period of every late afternoon that I have to wonder “what should I be doing right now?” I hate that feeling. Being able to peacefully be still is something that I am working on, and right now I usually am in pretty continuous motion until that point in the late afternoon where I could continue to “go-go-go” while simultaneously hiting a bit of a wall. It’s weird. It’s confusing. And I never know what the “answer” is. I’ve made a list of “quiet activities” and have decided to put them in a bowl, pick one every time I feel that emotion hit me, and I have to just do it. Here’s the list so far:

- Read a book
- Listen to podcasts + color
- Take a walk outside
- Make some tea + make some lists
- Call a friend/family member
- Write (a review for a favorite local company, a letter/card to a loved one, a letter to a politician)
- Meditate
- No judgement permission to watch a movie/documentary/YouTube video, or if its too nice outside, just sit in the garden

I have no idea if this will work, but I like the idea that I can hopefully tame the Anxiety and Panic Monsters that appear out of nowhere during those late afternoons. It’s okay, and in fact healthy, to not to always be doing. Rereading some old journals this week, I remembered that my word for 2020 is balance. But I also have written a lot about peace in so many entries. That says something to me, because in my hectic world full of activity, training, doing, it’s important to remember that peace and rest is usually what balances things out. All moments matter, both big and small, both moving and still.

Get fired up! What are some of your biggest realizations? What additions to your morning/day would help fill your soul? Do you also struggle with being in the moment? Take the finish-one-task-before-starting-another-one-challenge with me! I’m up for it if you are 🙂

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