Scrolling through my overcrowded inbox today, I saw a message from by Madisyn Taylor of Daily Om. She wrote about starting your day well. I expected an admonishment on how I should rise an hour early for one of those perky pre-dawn exercise classes, or take a cold shower, or some other walking-over-hot-coals kind of motivational technique. Instead, the words were a warm wave that washed over me with validation and relief.
The choices you make upon waking can have a profound impact on your day. If, still drowsy, you hit the ground running, rushing to prepare yourself to face your worldly obligations, you will likely feel fatigued and overwhelmed for most of your day. A leisurely and relaxing morning, on the other hand, can energize and excite you, as well as give you the courage to meet the challenges waiting for you. By beginning your day in a focused and centered fashion, you make it your own. You set the tone of your expectations and choose the mood you will use to respond to your circumstances. A gentle, reflective, and thoughtful morning will prepare you to create a gentle, conscious, and thoughtful day.
It is so true. Even though we have no pressing engagement, Bill sets the alarm for 6:30. I’m a night owl by nature, so I’ve had to adjust, but even so, I look forward to that time.
I roll out of bed and pull on my bathrobe while Bill makes coffee. We spend about a half an hour together, quietly drinking our coffee, each engaged in our own activity. Bill sits in the high-backed rocker and reads the news. I curl up in the corner of the sofa with my dog by my side, and I knit. It is the best half hour of my day. Do you remember those MasterCard commercials, Coffee $2, Yarn $12, bathrobe $40, half an hour of quiet time: priceless.
That time is critical to how our day goes. We make it a priority to build that half an hour into whatever crazy schedule awaits.
The knitting project for that time is important too. It must be something calm and soothing. If my current project is at a critical point, it’s not the one for that time. Mornings need smooth and easy knitting. It’s eithers something mindful with a stitch pattern I can repeat silently, or something meditative that allows me to clear my thoughts. It doesn’t matter which. It’s the time spent knitting and centering ourselves that’s important.
Getting up early and being ready for the day is not a new idea. I think every success guru out there encourages it. What was new, to me anyway, is that it’s not only okay to ease into our day, it’s profoundly positive for our life and our health. It’s self care which helps us be better to ourselves and better to others. It’s part f the knitting life.
Is knitting part of your self care? I would love to hear in the comments.