What are your Morning Rituals

I tend to get up early, not by choice but from years of routine. When I worked in Corporate America I had to get up extra early and stay up extra late to not only get chores done, but also to put in some writing hours. There were days when I felt like I was meeting myself coming and going.

Retirement has helped to do away with those 18 hour days, but I can't shake off getting up early. It's in my blood now. It's also the most productive time of my day so I use it to get the really hard stuff done in the morning when I'm sharpest.

It got me to wondering how other people start out their days. Here's my routine:

• Read email.
• Browse blogs and Facebook
• Do a last minute check on my blog post (if any) scheduled for that day
• Write one new blog post for the future
• Feed dogs and kitten
• Get food out of the freezer for that night's meal
• Clean out the litter pan
• Empty Roomba's dust bin so it can start on its own later in the day
• Do research. (I keep a daily list of things I want to study, or expand my knowledge. It could be anything from how to pickle peppers, to finding the right plugin for my blog.) Generally, there are three or four topics. Every. Single. Day.
• Make a to do list for the day.

Once it's light outside...
• Feed outside animals
• Feed Greg
• Start laundry (if any)

Everything is done by 8am, if Greg gets up late, I'll snatch that time to go back to my computer.

My husband, dear as he is, is also loud. He tells me it's because he's Italian. LOL!

The moment he wakes up dogs bark, the ground shakes, and then he proceeds to tell me what he read on Facebook. I probably get more Facebook updates from him than I do from my own feed.  Once he's up there is no quiet in the house until he goes to his den at the FAR end of the house. Maybe that's why I get up early. :D

There's a second morning routine that occurs between 9am and 1pm. That's when we team up to do whatever chores need doing for the day. That could be anything from burning brush, to fixing a vehicle, to trimming goat hooves. There's always something.

Our schedule shifts during the really hot part of summer when we have to get all our outside work done before noon. After noon it's simply too hot to work outside. If it's only in the low 90s we usually keep working until we're too tired to go on.

After that it's a hot shower and we go our separate ways until dinner time. He usually takes a nap, and I get a little time to catch up on housework, pick veggies from the garden, or take inventory of my freezers and pantry.

I like this system because there's something to be said for having a little alone time. I love the quiet of early morning. Everything is dead still.

The dogs know I don't allow barking, but once daddy's up, all bets are off. It's play time and my iron rule melts with the rising sun. And so it should be. You can't be queen forever. Ha!

We make allowances for weather, sickness, injury, and friends visiting. (Friends and family always come first.) We know what needs to get done each day and we do our best to cross each task off our list.

How about you? What's your morning routine? If you have an outside job, do you find yourself burning the candle at both ends or have you found a good balance?


Stacy McKitrick said…
I used to have a routine. Get up at 6 and walk. Come home, have breakfast, read the paper, take a shower, then get settled on the computer and write. All that went away after my breast cancer diagnosis.

I SHOULD get up and walk each morning, but now other things always seem to distract me. Or I LET them distract me. Why is it so hard to get started? I could blame my foot (I apparently have plantar fasciitis on my left heel) or my right knee (going in for a MRI to determine what's going on there--they found a lesion in the x-ray), but I have a feeling they won't get better unless I USE them. Now I'll just wait and see what the doctor says.

In the meantime, I get up, make my coffee, and head to the computer. Wish I could say I write then, but... :) I'll get there, though. I've no doubt about that. Life is starting to slow down. Finally.
B.E. Sanderson said…
I get up early whether I need to or not - anytime between 4:30 and 5:30. Usually, Hubs and I get up at the same time. Get up, make coffee, hit the blog then gmail then FB to check for comments and mail. Check my sales to see if there's anything new to add to the spreadsheet. Do any spreadsheety stuff. Check the pay-job email. Back to FB to read stuff. Exercise. Call the office (M-TH) and then do whatever work needs doing for them. (Or if I'm running late, I call the office, then exercise.) Run errands and/or do housework. By lunchtime, I'm toast, so I take the afternoons to nap and veg. Any writerly work gets done after dinner most days.

And tada, there's an email from the office with work for me to do. Off I go.
Judy Hutt Thomas said…
Right now my routine is get up and work on Goddess Fish stuff until I wake Bob up around 7 (if he's working) or 8 (if he's not). Then we do breakfast and I have my "morning chores" (pet care, pool care). Then it's either work and chores (45 min/15 min) if Bob's working--- if not, the day is up for grabs - no telling what will happen. But, even then, a good portion of my time is working GF/LASR. As long as the computer work that needs to be done is finished before bedtime (normally 9-ish), I'm good.
Angela L Brown said…
Interestingly enough, I had a routine when I was burning the candle at both ends with early morning blog writing, kiddo to school, me to work, home after work to cook and clean, help the kiddo with homework, then write and prepare for any marketing efforts before passing out for the night That was before I stepped back and turned more of my focus on my kiddo as she was growing by leaps and bounds on me.

Now, I am sort of going with the flow.
Carole West, said…
I think I'm still trying to find balance but so ready for Fall to arrive with cooler temperatures. I just seem to navigate better when it's a tad cooler.

I do enjoy my early mornings - back in the day as a mom it was always my wake up time before the kids surfaced.

Now it's still my wake up time... Robert however doesn't need a wake up time, he just gets up and is awake.

So your husband is right, coming from another Italian yes we're loud. Because once I awake apparently I'm a bit of a chatter box.

However I do try to absorb my morning in work and checking emails as well. I'm looking forward to creating a better routine that involves just heading outdoors and embracing nature first.
Maria Zannini said…
Stacy: I miss walking. Maybe once it cools off we can go back to walking in the evenings.
Maria Zannini said…
BE: I generally wake up between 4 and 4:30 but I FORCE myself to stay in bed at least until 5am. It just seems wrong to be up and around at 4. If I get up at 4am, I won't make it to 10pm.
Maria Zannini said…
Judy: Hey, wait a minute. What about Marianne? Does she stiff you with LASR work while she tends butterflies? ;)

Don't tell her I said that. She'll probably hunt me down and make me tend butterflies. :D
Maria Zannini said…
Angela: I like my routines to stay flexible. While I'm a stickler for order, too much routine makes me antsy. You sound like you have your priorities straight.
Maria Zannini said…
Carole: You're a clarinet next to his tuba. LOL! I don't think you're a chatter box at all.

I'm with you on Fall. I cannot wait for cooler weather. With luck maybe it'll be mild this winter.
Betty said…
We get up at 5:30 since hubby has to hit the road around 6:30 for his about 1 hour or so commute. I don't start work until 9:30 so I use those hours to get in my exercise on the treadmill (hit the treadmill first thing to get it out of the way), chores around the house, my daily Bible reading and prayers, watching Netflix for a bit and then start my workday. I am an early bird so I couldn't even try to sleep in if I could once the alarm goes off to wake up hubby. Now that he's been getting up at 5:30 so consistently even on the weekends he'll get up then and can't go back to sleep. I usually will sleep in then, minus the alarm, until about 6:30 or so. Our local news channel does a 10 minute quick reporting of the day's news at 10 o'clock so we watch that then head back to bed. When he retires next year or so, everything will be changed and we'll have new routines I would imagine.

lynnviehl said…
I'm getting up at dawn these days. Usually the first hour of my morning belongs to tea and the dogs and meditation on the back porch. I've been writing letters, too, as my handwriting has been getting rusty, and I've been neglecting my friends. :) I think a quiet, peaceful morning clears out the cobwebs and sets the tone for the day.

It sometimes feels selfish to take that hour for myself, as there's always so much work waiting with the house and my job. But I've noticed that I get more done if I start out NOT trying to do it all first thing. Mood is a balancing act, too, and if I'm rushed in the morning I get very grumpy, which kind of ruins me for the day.

Betty, my guy retired in April, and it's been great having him home. He's much happier, too. I think it was harder for him the first month, because he had to get used to my daily housework/telecommuting job demands. I had to kick him out of my office a couple times until we agreed that when the door is shut he doesn't interrupt me unless the house is on fire. :)
Maria Zannini said…
Betty: One of the reasons I opted to retire early is because I absolutely hated my hour long commute into the big city. It was twice as long during November and December--I guess from people shopping.

I didn't want to retire but I found myself getting grumpier and grumpier every time I had to make that trip.

Lucky you not having to start your day until 9:30. That makes for a nice transition into the work day.
Maria Zannini said…
Lynn: I used to feel guilty too, but one day I was at yoga class and the instructor said, this is your hour. Use it for yourself. It got to the point where I really looked forward to yoga because it was the one place where it was all about me and my health. I still miss it.

re: retirement
It took Greg several months to get used to not being at work. Before all this took place, we had a pact that if he saw me in front of my computer working on a cover or writing my blog, he was not allowed to interrupt me unless it was important.

For the most part he's good about that and will even take care of dog meals if I'm busy on a job.
LD Masterson said…
Once upon a time I got up at 6:30 and ran 5K before showering and getting ready for work. Now I get up whenever Sophie's bladder demands we go downstairs, and I feed her and get my first mug of tea while checking to see if the Marine posted anything during the night. Very unimpressive.
Michael Keyton said…
A boring but essential routine. Usually awake by 6 am. Then its four strong cups of tea, radio news on low, rubbishy but addictive social networking activities FB and Twitter and newspapers online. Bernadette has her 8.30 call, bit of housework and then with no further distractions it's writerly activities. At the end of the day I ask myself have I done something 'good' that day - in any arena - and am in bed by ten, falling asleep to the radio news which Bernadette switches off when she comes to bed at midnight. God bless the routine.
Maria Zannini said…
Linda: The dogs are so used to getting up early with me that one time when I was sick, I stayed in bed.They were so upset that I wasn't getting up, they jumped on Greg so HE could get up. Greg was not happy.
Maria Zannini said…
Mike: Ah, but it's a routine that suits you both. I miss reading old fashioned newspapers. Reading it online just isn't the same. The articles seem summarized and slanted, just like tv news.