The perfection of early mornings

Coffee. Silence. Being awake at a time the rest of the house (and probably most of the rest of the city) is still sleeping.

It’s my favorite.

When I wrote about my ideal day a few weeks ago, I mentioned that I wanted to get up early, do some focused work before everyone else gets up, then get on with my day.

It’s happening, now.

I’ve been up before 6am every day this week. At first, I thought it was just the nervous energy of a 1500-mile-in-three-days road trip. “Let’s get an early start” was our mantra, and the only time we left at 9am was when we had breakfast at our friends’ house in LA. The rest of the trip found us stopping around 9, after being on the road for at least a hundred miles by then.

But the tradition continued.

And Brent gets up early too.

We’re at his parents’ house for a while, until our things arrive. (They’re hanging out in Portland, waiting for the truck.)

There’s a lot to do, even without our things.

Replace the essentials we left behind.

Get a set of patio furniture.

Paint the living room and the office (easier when there’s nothing in there!).

Get organized with Arizona.

Our house (“new house!” Clara calls it) is a 30-minute drive from my in-laws. And our dog doesn’t get along with theirs. So we pile into the car early (“we should have gotten an earlier start!”), drop Stanley off at the new house, then do whatever task du jour before swinging by again to pick him up and drive back to Penny and Lat’s in time for Clara’s nap.

Getting up early means having space to do work, before I have to do necessary-but-not-fun errands.

It means I can start the day at my own pace.

Having Brent awake with me is nice, but not something I expect to continue once we’re sleeping in our own bed.

Not that we talk.

He makes coffee (since we finally bought coffee beans!). We say hello. But we mostly sit, alone together. He reads the news. I write this, or read emails.

The fact that I’m expected to do something or be somewhere away from my keyboard by 8am is an excellent deadline. Because in marketing, there are few tasks that need more than a couple of dedicated hours. And my focus exists in the quiet of an early morning.

So I blow through my to-do list.

I’m not keeping up with client work very well, right now, but I know this is a season, and it will change, so I’m able to give myself grace. My clients will be happy with the significantly smaller April bills, and I will be able to ramp things up in the summer months.

Anne, who is an hour ahead and works from 7am to 3pm, teases me. “It’s stupid o’clock,” she chats. “Do you know where your Kathleen is?”

Being in someone else’s space, even someone who tries so hard to make this transition period as easy as possible, is a challenge. We don’t have a home, and I’m finding that home, the sense of “in this place, I know where the knives are, and I know what’s in the fridge, and here’s how to let the dog out,” matters a great deal.

Yesterday, after a full week of seriously getting stuff done, I wanted to sit, alone, at home, and not talk to anyone.

Even extroverts need their alone time.

Being in control of my day — What am I going to do? Who will I talk to? Which project will be my top priority? — is something I really miss.

So instead of getting upset about the chaos that is not knowing the pace of my days and weeks, I am embracing my body’s proclivities to wake up at 4:40, 5:05, 5:15. Getting one or two things done. Then doing my best to go with the flow for the remainder of the day.

It’s a season, and this too shall pass, but I’m in love with mornings, and I’ll do my best to make sure that piece of it continues well into my life in the desert.

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