The AM ritual

Posted by kdow on Feb 7, 2015 1:28:17 PM

This post was inspired by this one by @iwearyourshirt.


My morning ritual is probably relatively mundane, but the post I linked above comes at a fortuitous time. This week, weirdly, I’ve had three separate conversations with three separate colleagues about morning rituals.

One conversation was inspired by the fact that I was in the office at 7.30am, a full two-and-a-half hours before my first scheduled ‘thing’ to do in my calendar.

The second was inspired by the fact that, at 9.30am I was more chipper than people who had already been in full work mode for a full hour already (which assumes they’ve gotten up, had breakfast, etc. etc.).

The third was simply a conversation where a colleague was bemoaning her morning ritual because she knows it’s unhealthy & in itself means she has to take painkillers or energy boost pills during the day.

So what’s my secret?

I don’t know if there’s a particular secret hidden here. I think I just have a decent grasp on the morning. It most likely stems from years of training in school. I was never late to school, partly because of an innate fear of what my parents would do if I was to be late. But also because I quite enjoy the morning. The sunrise over the city is a nice time to be awake. It’s also a time when most other humans who happen to be around are quietly doing what they need to do. It’s prime time for reading, for me, when I commute because the bus is calm.

My ritual over the last few years has been very samey. I try to get to sleep at 10 or 11pm having spent a few hours not drinking or eating. I also try to get a chapter of a fiction book done before hitting the hay (my morning commute is usually non-fiction Kindle time). The night before is a big part of the whole deal here. Once I’ve hit the hay, I plug in my iPhone (which has a recurring alarm) & put on a podcast. Often times I’ve to go back and re-listen to podcasts because, predictably, I’ve fallen asleep before the end.

Once 6.30am hits, my iPhone begins vibrating & making noises. I have a second ‘safety’ alarm set for 6.45am, but I’ve managed to involve an innate fear of seeing that alarm while still in bed. Much like my fear of what my parents might do if I were late to school all those years ago.

I’ll get up, shower, iron whatever I’m going to wear, fix my hair, etc., and by 7am I’m good to go. My breakfast includes some very heavy fibre cereal & a few pills, both medicinal & vitamins (this is because I’ve recently had some bizarre stomach health issues — but that’s another blog post altogether). I also have a glass of water, and some tea (usually matcha, occasionally peppermint or something else). After this ritual I’ll brush my teeth & get the hell out of the door by 7.30am to catch the last early bus before the school kids begin using the service — which turns the calm bus atmosphere (perfect for reading) into a nuthouse for 2 kilometers.

Once I hit the city centre I’ll walk about 10/15mins to work, but not without stopping off at a coffee place. I’m a bit of a coffee snob so I wouldn’t degrade my body with Starbucks. I usually go to one of the Coffee Angel street vendors. I go so often that the guys will begin brewing my morning cappuccino as I cross the road. Then they’ll discuss world politics with me (they’re Ukrainian, so they’ve a lot to talk about!).

And then I’m in work to begin my day.

And so that’s my morning ritual. Nothing overly drastic. Nothing special. No secret sauce. Just some regularity, healthy intake of food/liquid & a bit of exercise!