This was before DVR, kids. I'm old.
But then I became a mom. I somehow gave birth to a morning person. An early riser erupted from my loins and I got into the rhythm of being up before the sun. I also learned how to exist on no sleep, and cold dinners, but that's another story.
Now my kids are older and finally sleep in, so of course my dumbass went and adopted animals who are also early risers.
The lesson here is...I'm an idiot. Or at least, a glutton for punishment.
I have tried to make the best of the fact that I am up in the mornings if I want to be or not. I even, for a good portion of time, had myself convinced it was a choice. I fell down the Miracle Morning rabbit hole. (You can find my Miracle Morning Posts HERE.) I did get a LOT done. I was using my planner and checking off all the boxes. I discovered something about myself. If I don't get shit done before Noon, it doesn't happen.
The creatures both big and small, wake me up, or rely on me to wake them up for school. I will be up and at 'em before the sun no matter what. Because of that early morning, lunch time is when I crash. Anything that requires brain power or motivation needs to happen before lunch, or it's getting bumped to tomorrow.
I also learned something about myself during this extended quarantine. I was running on a combination of caffeine and guilt before. I had a severe complex about getting absolutely everything done, and even when I found myself adding to my To Do list in the middle of the day, I felt guilty when I didn't get absolutely everything checked off. Quarantine forced me to stop. Literally. I couldn't go anywhere to get anything done. And my entire day was spent scrubbing shit down and going in search of toilet paper.
Were there days before the great bleach shortage when I did get everything done on my list? Absolutely. But guess what...I still felt guilty, because there were things from yesterday's list, or last week's list, or last month's list, that I still hadn't done. No matter what I accomplished, it was never good enough.
I always set myself up to fail, and that was the only thing I accomplished like clockwork. Because when I put way too much on my list, I guaranteed I wouldn't get it all done.
I was exhausted, and I was sad. A lot.
This year I turned 40. If my family history has anything to say about it, I am most likely middle-aged. Half of my life is over. That fact hit me harder than I expected it to.
Sure I accomplished a lot that many people don't ever do. But I wasn't finding my happiness on a daily basis.
My word of the year this year was "Joy". And who knew in January what a fucking challenge finding joy would be in 2020. But at this point in my year, and in my life, I think I am finally taking steps towards finding "Joy" each day. I'm not getting everything done, and I am not always super productive, but I am working on the negative pressure I put on myself first.
I have been using my time awake before my family again. But I'm not using it to be a #bossbabe or #hustle, or any of the other hashtags that are emblazoned in glitter on some network marketing coffee mug. I'm using my morning time to reconnect with myself. I'm pulling tarot, I'm journaling, I'm blogging. (See?)
Taking time for myself that is actually for myself and not a business move is new territory for me. I lit a candle today and let my family sleep later than usual. We are all on a staycation and while they got the joy of sleeping in I had coffee and video games. I had tarot and stickers in my journal. I had an online class that I bought myself with my birthday money.
Happiness isn't about who has accomplished the most, and it's all about the journey. It has to be. Because I'll tell you what. I wanted nothing more in my life than to get a book published, but then I did it, and it became...Okay...what now? If I don't stop and enjoy moments in my everyday, I am missing the point.
I'm using my time in the #5amclub for me now. It's my time. Maybe it always was, but now my time is all about what brings me joy.
What are you doing for yourself on a daily basis? I'd love to hear about it.