I’ve gotten into a bad habit this semester of not putting myself first. It seems to be work, then me, then everything else, and often at least some elements of the everything else group come before me too. This has been most noticeable in the mornings. I’ve been waking up earlier than I’d like a lot of the time, and have generally popped awake worried about some element of my day. This usually meant that the first thing I’d do would be whatever was on my mind in the hopes that it would tone down the worry a bit. This usually mean things like dealing with student emails, grading, lecture prep, or paying bills.
As you can probably guess, this is not a great start to the day. Launching immediately into work set the tone for the day, and the tone wasn’t a good one. It was anxious, busy, and got be started far too early in the morning for someone who is also inclined to work all day and then some. The icing on top of this cake of unpleasantness? By starting work right off, I didn’t usually get around to a proper breakfast, which often left me gnawing on store-bought white bread by 11 am. Not healthy. Not healthy at all.
This morning I tried something new. I know there are emails to deal with and grading to do, but the first thing I did today was put myself (and my food) first. I made a real breakfast. It was simple – steel cut oats with grated apple, cinnamon, ground flax seed, and a bit of brown sugar – but I spent the first half hour a dark, grey day stirring a delicious-smelling bubbling pot while perched on a stool reading The Cider House Rules. It was really rather lovely.
Now, I’m sitting at the computer feeling a good bit calmer than I usually do by this point in the day. I haven’t checked my email. Instead, I’ve read a few blogs that I like and that put out thoughtful, uplifting, and motivating content. When I’m done here, I’m going to meditate. Only then will I start thinking about and actually dealing with setting out a list of tasks for today, and dealing with what needs to be done. There may be things that are tricky or somewhat unpleasant to deal with, but hopefully with a bit of downtime and a good meal behind me, they’ll feel easier to deal with.