I am not a morning person in any way, shape, or form. I actually look at morning people with large amounts of suspicion. Anyone who can jump into the day with both feet running can't be trusted.
I wake up grumpy. It doesn't matter what kind of mood I was in when I fell asleep. It doesn't matter how many hours of uninterupted sleep I've managed through the night. It doesn't matter what kind of cool things the day has in store for me. I will be the grumpiest, nastiest, foulest person you've ever met when I awake.
It doesn't help that I often have to deal with some crisis or another upon waking. Inevitably there will be some ringing phone, some screaming child, some barking dog.
So I have a morning ritual.
I roll out of bed. I lace up my sneakers. I stumble to the kitchen for a drink of water. I start the coffee pot. Then I leave the house.
Every morning, rain or shine, I go for a walk. It's the only way for me to ease into the day. I walk away from the children. I walk away from the stack of bills and list of errands. I walk away from the household chores that pester me because they aren't done, and I walk.
I'm still grumpy, but a walk gives me time to focus. I make it a point to metally list things for which I am grateful. Sometimes they are big things, but most often I have to start with stupid things like, "I'm thankful for coffee." or "I'm thankful the dog didn't drink out of the toilet this morning." or "I'm thankful I haven't strangled any of my children yet."
Starting the day with a good healthy dose of gratitude helps put things into perspective. It makes dealing with the to-do list my children's demands so much easier.
I end my walk with a few personal affirmations. It helps set me up for a successful day. As much as I want to be a positive, loving, forgiving person, there is an awful lot of old programming swirling around up there in my brain. Little by little I'm afirming myself into a state of zen awareness. I might just make it someday...(But only thanks to my daily walks.)
The walks are just my way of stepping outside my busy, crazy, hectic life and focusing on what matters. It's so easy to get bogged down...to just walk around grumpy all stinking day long. But to step outside...and even outside myself for just a few minutes. To breathe fresh air and basically talk myself into a good mood...that is what my morning ritual is all about. In a way, I suppose it's kind of like prayer.
And the bonus is the pot of fresh hot coffee waiting for me when I get back to the house.