1. Q: How many years young are you and what is your living situation? 1. I am going to be 56 years old on February 5th.
2. Q: What's the biggest challenge you faced in changing your morning routine? How have you dealt with it/got over it/are still dealing with it? 2. My biggest challenge was my night-times. Having twin ten year old girls, it quickly became obvious that I needed to get them to bed early/ on-time or I could not wind down and get myself to bed early. Previous to The Morning Side-kick, I looked at my post kids bed-time as my time. Because I felt it was my quiet time, the day was done, everyone fed, some errands attended to, essentially my feeling was I had gotten through one more day. This attitude caused me to drag out my evenings scanning Instagram or playing Solitaire or reading or sometimes watching Netflix. Not really life changing stuff there. This routine ate into my bedtime. My bedtime wasn’t awful. I went to bed by 10pm or 10:30, 11pm at the latest. This bedtime was essential because I already woke up at 6am so that I could make the lunches, make breakfast and get the kids going and off to school. The biggest challenge was to get the kids to bed and to switch my thinking about my evenings. I pushed my bedtime up so that I could change my “me” time to the mornings which are a thousand times more fulfilling than my evenings of Instagram and texts and Solitaire ever were.
3. Q: What time did you wake up and go to sleep before you started using the Morning Sidekick Journal, and what time do you wake up and sleep now? 3. Before The Moring Sidekick I went to bed between 10pm-11pm. I woke up on weekdays and some Sundays at 6am. On Saturdays I might sleep until 9am having gone to sleep more around 11:30pm on Friday night. Now I go to sleep between 9pm- 10pm, with 9:30 being the most common. I wake up at 5:30am and I did do one 5am this last week because I found that getting the kids up & going by 7am was not giving me the morning experience that I think The Journal intended.
This brings me to my other challenge as a parent: I have family oriented work that I do early in the day. Being a stay-at-home mom in this season, I adjusted my Morning Ritual. Immediately upon rising I would make my tea, do my stretches, pray, read. On weekdays at the end of this my family is already on the move. So I take a break, feeling satisfied that the first hour of my day was just for me.
Between 8:30-9:30 after the kids are at school, husband to work and the dog is walked, then I go back to what I wrote down for my ritual. Maybe my next promise to myself was to write or read my next writing assignment or take a shower. In this second half of my me time if the day allows, I accomplish these possibilities.
Also being at home, allows me to refer to my Journal throughout the day. This keeps me on track. Maybe I want to do my 1% now or my most important task or maybe I am on fire and there’s a whole lot of things I accomplish which I did not write down which is often the case. On the one 5am morning I was able to do more of my ritual which included writing time. Also I found that weekend mornings are more satisfying and I am able to do my most important task during my ritual time because my family is sleeping in.
4. Q: What did your mornings look like before you started using the Morning Sidekick Journal? What do your mornings look like now? 4. Before doing the journal my morning was get up at 6am every weekday and jump into getting breakfast ready, make 3 lunches, feed the dog , make a pot of tea, get the paper but not read it because I was doing all the other bits. Eat breakfast. Walk the kids to school or drive them. If I drove then I came back & walked the dog. Nowhere in my routine besides making the pot of tea was I taking care of myself. Well, yes I did need to eat but odds are I made something my kids preferred rather than what I would have eaten given a choice. By 8:30 though I had done nothing really, I was listless. I would give myself until 10am to “get started” on whatever I hAd to do. Before 10am I would have another cup of tea with honey and milk & read the paper. Generally, I ran out of time to take a shower & I stayed in whatever I threw on to take the kids to school. At 10am I launched onto laundry, groceries or some project/ appointment or friend visit, maybe I read my current book. This routine was depressing. I was cognizant that I had copious amounts of time and that people with much less time during their days had created so much more with their lives, had expressed their God-given talents so that the world took notice. And me? I was stuck in a cycle of food prep, errands and laundry with a smattering of social visits. The stuff of clouds and sand. Some days I would have energy and feel bright but mostly I slugged along and felt dreary. On rare days I just felt sleepy all day.
5. Q: In one sentence, what's your favorite thing about the Morning Sidekick Journal? 5. The Journal gives the start of my day structure in such a way that to my total surprise, my energy has increased, my low-grade depression has disappeared; I am enjoying my life and with my new found time and energy I have hope for the first time in my life of using my talents to their full ability.
6. What is your living situation? Do you live with a significant other? Family? Alone? 6. I am married for 14 years this April and I have twin 10 year old daughters and a sweet dog. We have a large house and went rent two rooms to foreign students. We are self-employed (we grew our business, Husky Senior Care, in our house) and so though I don’t have a formal job I work as a consultant, visiting job sites and attending employee functions.
7. Q: How has using the Morning Sidekick Journal and doing your morning routine impacted your life overall? 7. I am very grateful for my Morning Sidekick Journal. For all my adult life I have felt like I could do better. My general feeling about my life is I knew what I was supposed to do and I got up and I did it because that’s what people do. I went to college. I went to work. I functioned in my relationships. Don’t get me wrong I had fun. I was passionate in different seasons about social dancing or reading or hiking or snowboarding. I was passionate about the activities that put me together with my friends or my current community especially before I was married with kids. But nowhere in my childhood or early adult life did I allow myself to dream, to create. I
grew up the only child of a single mom who worked full time and drank too much. In her own life she was a painter. In her maternal life, she was a city engineer. I watched her bitter life get sipped away. As a young adult I did not grasp my talents because there was no one able to encourage me. I did not understand careers, plans, dreams. I did not risk putting myself out there much and I allowed my social life to drift me from one year to the next. Now, I am married and I have a loving, encouraging husband and two really super kids. Life is really good. My kids are 10 and I can see the budding independent road ahead and I don’t want to be that parent who makes their kids their life. Though I love my husband and I love our work with seniors I don’t want to (just) fall back into work as an Activity Director. I want to write something. I have always wanted to write something but I would never just sit and DO IT. The Journal has given me the structure I have needed to write. I am grateful. The surprise is that if you told me that I would wake up at 5am and feel more energized and happy throughout my day, I would have said, “No way!”. So I feel a little like a melting ice burg. Bit by bit, the old story of failure is melting away and great possibilities are manifesting. At the same time that I bought the Journal, I signed up for an on-line writing class that I am enjoying. Honestly, without the Journal to structure my day I would most likely have missed my writing assignments by now and would have disappointed myself again. Through the Journal process I am dreaming, creating, hoping and I am learning to take better care of my Self. I have discovered that my low energy was depression, a depression over not doing anything in my day for myself that sparked my imagination, stimulated my dreams or took care of my body and soul. Sorry. Went long there :-0 ;-)