Morning Routines

a motley assortment

My morning routines are so sacred to me, now, that I feel utterly unhinged if I can’t have those hours to ease into my day. In Michigan, I’d sleep till 1 PM on a regular basis — my nights were fueled by coffee, dirty gin and tonics, and marathon writing sessions with H. in her studio apartment or my too-big one-bedroom, haunted apartment. But since taking this day job last September, I’ve been waking up at around 5 or 6 AM, sometimes 7 if I’ve had a later night.

I get up to the obnoxious ringing of my phone’s alarm. I admire the view of Sutro Tower and assess the quality of light. I nuzzle my sleeping partner, who is now on summer break (he works at a school) and has no reason to wake up early except to give me the occasional generous ride to the office. He falls back asleep. I go and wash up, and then I pad into the kitchen to make coffee.

We have a view of the city and the bay from the window above the sink. If I’m awake at the right time, the light is impeccably golden.

I make coffee with the French press we received from our wedding. I drink two cups in the morning in my Dean & Deluca mug, which I bought on a thrifting adventure with dear, darling Francesca (the mug was $1).

I sit on the couch, facing the window, beneath the electric throw. I get out my laptop and scan my email and Twitter feed. If I’m feeling anxious, which I often do in the mornings, I try to do some deep breathing and listen to white noise or an album of ocean sounds.

I set SelfControl for one hour or one and a half hour so that I can write without having the Internet to distract me. Then I log on to Adium so that I can chat with my faraway friends, like Anna and H. and Miriam, all of whom I miss terribly. Sometimes, I read blogs. I’m bad about breakfast; sometimes I’ll eat a salad if it’s around, or if I’m really inspired, I’ll make some oatmeal with raspberries and whipped cream.

Later, I have another go at writing. If I’ve hit 500 words, I consider it a good writing day. 1000 words is an excellent writing day.

At 9:30 I commute to work. But it’s that quiet time in the morning that I truly treasure.

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