You may think from the title, that I’m referencing the dreary browns of winter, but no. Bug’s high school (can you believe she’s a senior?!) has alternating class days: brown days and gold days. On gold days, classes officially start at 8:45 am, although the teachers are available at 7:45 if the kids need to come in for help, or make up a test. But not brown days. Brown days start at 7:45.
Which means I have to get this tired body into some clothes—I never just throw a coat on over my pjs and go because the day I do that would be the day my car would break down or someone would hit me—and my teeth brushed by 6:15. On brown days, I need to snap to it right away. Make lunch and breakfast for Bug—yes, I still do that for her, even though she can handle it herself—and drive her to school because with her recent health issues, she still hasn’t had a chance to get her license yet.
So when the alarm goes off, I hit snooze and flip the day’s plans through my head while trying to lift myself out from under a cat and the warm blankets before the alarm sounds again. I’ve done that without too much trouble over the years, but lately, I find myself really struggling. I’ve been dragging myself out of bed with a big groan.
Perhaps it’s because I’m not much of a morning person, although in the past 10 years or so, I’ve discovered that I don’t mind the early hours so much. It’s quiet in the house, in the world, even. I feel I have a little time to myself before everyone needs me to do something. My mother always got up around 5:00 am. She’d have her toast, coffee and newspaper, and let the dog out before she had to pry us kids out of bed. Smart lady.
But recently, thinking of all the things I’m planning to get done that day seem overwhelming instead of inspiring me to get a move on. It’s been harder than ever to push myself out of bed and get going, and I couldn’t figure out what to do to make it easier. I tried going to bed earlier, not using the computer right before I went to bed, even drinking some Sleepy Time Tea so I’d get a better night’s sleep. Still, early morning would come, that alarm would go off, and I’d cringe.
Then last night, while I was in the midst of my nightly prayer of gratitude, a funny old memory snuck into my thoughts.
My mom and I had been having coffee during the early morning hours of one of my summer visits home. We were chatting when we heard my dad moving around upstairs and then pretty clearly heard him swear; my mom laughed a little and told me that’s the first thing he’d been saying every morning lately. Now I don’t know if he said what he said because he hadn’t been feeling well, or if there was some other reason for a swear to be the first thing he said in the morning. But it occurred to me then that the first thing out of your mouth, or even in your mind, shouldn’t be so negative. How could that be healthy?
I’ve always felt words have energy and power; words are a prayer.
So as I fell asleep last night, I decided to figure out a positive word I could think/say when I woke up this morning. “Welcome” was the winner, and as I woke this morning and stretched and whispered the word into the darkness, it felt soothing.
I have to admit that the rest of this morning seemed to flow with more ease and I had more patience than usual. We’ll see how the busy day ahead shakes out. Meanwhile I think I’ll continue this morning word experiment, for at least the next few months.