My morning routine

by Lauren McCabe on June 14, 2013


When I was 15, I started to feel like I didn’t have enough time. It was a strange leaky feeling, the seconds trickling by appearing so insignificant, but they started adding up to a lot: a general feeling of loss. A feeling as if things were leaving me that I could never get back.

This, I suppose, was the first premonition of what it feels like to get older.

What it feels like to understand that the future in front of us is not so wide and not so endless, that the amorphous person that we will someday become no longer defines us, and that as we age we become the person that we are, right now. The seconds stack up. History tells its story. Your past defines you, and the time to reinvent yourself becomes slimmer and slimmer.

This is what I was discovering at 15, and I couldn’t bear it. I wrote about it in a story, in the second person, the universal “you” as if it was happening to someone else:

Lose time. Watch it seep into things that need it more than you do. The starving at homeless shelters, sports practices, hours of homework. Every night, neatly nestle four hours between notebook pages. Feel thirteen minutes and eighteen seconds burn from your body into the late midday sun when you run two miles on race days.

I think we battle with this every day, the feeling that our seconds have a limit on them, will always have a limit on them as the world changes, as we age, as we start seeing our own reflection in the old and tired around us.

But then, there is hope.

There is the morning.

There is this specific fuzzy dawn morning, at 5:49 AM on Friday as I write this. I should be asleep; in fact, every cell in my body wants to crawl back into bed, but I don’t; I want these seconds, I want these minutes, I want this time right now that I will never have again to define me in a way that the future me will nod back at and say, yes, yes, those seconds have made me into who I am now.

What this amounts to is this: my morning routine. I wake up at 5:45 AM every day to do things that are important to me, that I can’t live without, and I write about that process on MyMorningRoutine.com, a blog dedicated to documenting those morning routines.

Do you have a morning routine? What do you do before everyone wakes? Tell me in the comments below.

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