Most days I happily wake up when it is still very dark outside and I look forward to the alarm clock ringing at a time in the morning which my husband describes as painful.
The other week we miscommunicated about him getting up early with me to get some work together for a big day ahead. He made the request thinking I was still on my vacation wake up time, which is 6:00 in the morning. I had made the switch back to 4:15 am four days previous, but since he sleeps deeper than a bear in winter hibernation he hadn’t noticed.
DL – “Good morning Jon! It is time to get up. Hooray! We both get to be productive this morning. Awesome. I will go start breakfast. You need food to function.”
Jon – *slight movement under the sheets*
DL – (noticing the lack of moment) “Love! Time to get up. Here let me help you.” With a heart full of determination and help, I ripped all the blankets off of him and put his feet on the floor. “There. Let’s roll.”
Jon – Sitting up, “What time is it? What are you doing?”
DL – “It is morning time. Time to get up. Time to get to work. Breakfast here we come.”
Drinking my first cup of coffee and making him peanut butter, honey, and banana toast as a passive-aggressive tactic to encourage the early mornings was done with a smile.
I walked over to my husband’s office to deliver the toast only to find he was MIA. Meandering around the condo with toast in hand, I called his name quietly. Office, bathroom, laundry room, my office, living room…he was nowhere to be found.
I noticed a husband shaped lump of blankets on the bed.
His eyes squinted shut in protest as I peeled the blankets back with one hand, the other firmly gripping the plate of toast.
DL – “Jon. What are you doing? I thought you were getting up with me today.” The plate of drippy honey and peanut butter toast loomed threateningly over his head.
Jon – “Sure, that was when I thought you were getting up at a normal time. This is painful. Are you going on an international flight this morning? No one else gets up this early on purpose. You’re ridiculous.”
DL – “But I made you toast…”
Most days when I wake up, I am happy, heck excited, to be alive – even if I am not going on an international flight.
This morning happiness did not greet me.
Feelings of despondency, frustration, and shame found me before I had finished pouring my first cup of coffee.
After nearly breaking my blender, biting my husband’s head off, and listening to ridiculous internal stories about all my inadequacies, I took a breath. A deep breath.
Pausing to reflect instead of pushing past, forcing through, or going around the feelings I mused on them while I trained chest and biceps before facing the rest of my day. While my body pushed the limits, my heart quieted and I remembered what is true.
Sometimes you don’t have to do anything more or push yourself harder.
Some days you have to be gracious and compassionate with yourself and remember of all the fabulous and good things that are already true about you.
You and I are more than enough.
Choosing your thoughts takes a conscious effort. It is like learning to walk normally after being in cast for months. It takes mindful concentration to retrain your body to work in it’s most optimal state, then suddenly mindfulness is no longer required. You are running and jumping without thought.
It is time to become mindful about mindless internal chatter.
Intentionally hear what you are telling yourself. With intention and mindful discipline, retrain your brain to think helpful, beneficial, and true mindless thoughts.
Somehow I think tomorrow’s 4:15 am alarm is going to be anything but painful.
- And just for the record, my husband is correct. I am rather ridiculous.