Morning : A New Routine

I am not a morning person. When the alarm goes off at 6:15 my body feels like a dead weight. My ears don't really hear it until 6:30. And the purpose behind that annoying jingle doesn't really register in my brain until 6:45. And then the dread sets in : the effort of getting out of my warm bed, making myself presentable, going out in the cold, dealing with morning traffic, answering emails at work, doesn't make sense from the comfort of my fetal position beneath a pile of blankets. To my shame, I have been known to sleep until 8 a.m. 

The bright spot, the one motivating event of my every morning, was my phone chat with mom on the commute to work. I would climb into my car, put on my headset, dial her, pull out of my parking space, and before I reached the end of the lot and started on the road she would greet me with a cheerful, 

"Good morning, my Bethy." 

As the months of 2011 waned on and cancer took its toll on her body, this routine changed. The cheer in her voice lost its color and vibrancy. Conversations grew shorter. And there were many mornings when instead of that phone call, I received another one from my dad or my grandmother saying that they were taking her to the hospital again. I let the depression settle into me, keep me in bed a little longer each morning, away from the world, away from work, away from writing and everything "wrong" with my life. 

You can imagine how different my mornings feel now, to know that our routine is forever changed. No phone calls, no cheery chats. It would be all too easy to justify staying in bed permanently. 

Yesterday I pondered words for 2011. Today I ponder words for the first weeks of 2012. 

The one word that seems to fit for this time : 

C H A N G E . 

2012 is my year to accept that change. To live with it, work with it, respond to it. I figure that since my mornings are fundamentally different now, why not roll with it? I know what my mother would do to me if she knew I was sleeping in and arriving late to work every day. I can't dishonor her like that. 

So I'm getting up early, when my alarm actually goes off… Okay, here's a secret : I employed the help of my best friend, who has to be AT work at 7 a.m., to text me repeatedly until I answer her that I am out of bed. And I can't lie to her, so I might as well actually get up when I say I am going to. 

And from my bed I walk to the kitchen, where our shiny new french press awaits, and my bright yellow tea kettle sings hello, good morning, and I pour a mug for myself, mom's mug. 

From there the day begins. I've even allotted time to pack my lunch. And instead of dwelling in the silence of a morning commute without my mother, I call my grandmother; it doesn't do to dwell in the loneliness. 

So let the change I feel be the change I need in order to rise early and greet the day in a new way, with gratitude, with discipline, with determination.


Sarah said...

Honestly, I can't say I know how you feel but I can imagine.  As a mother myself, I would want all your mornings to start off beautifully. Perhaps you could dedicate a few minutes and talk outloud to her...telling her what your plans for the day are.  I believe she would hear you.  xo

Jessica K. Sullivan said...

Bethany I love your heart. I am not a morning person either so I understand that completely, lol!. I don't know what you are going through with the loss of your dear mom. I just want you to know you are so inspiring. Your walk is a good one and I am so grateful that you share with us, your readers. I encourage you in your changed routine, and I know you can do it:)

Droschae said...

I'm so glad you are calling your grandmother.  It's hard to loss your mom and very hard to lose a daughter.  You will be good for each other.  When I lost my daughter, my granddaughter was only 2 but she sure helped me deal with the pain of my loss.  Love you.

Brynna Lynea King said...

It's so good to read your writing again and see your heart. Mornings are hard for me, too, especially in winter...I pray for you whenever I think about you!

Rachel Hanson said...

This is wonderful Bethany. Know that I am cheering you on and joining in the waking-up-when-the-alarm-goes-off intention with you, even if it's for another reason. May you have the best of mornings that uplift your soul with your mom's mug. :)

Lisa said...

Your strength is inspiring :) 

Jim Woods said...

I'm just soaking this post up. I love the honesty and authenticity in your writing. I hope I am able to be as authentic as you are in your work. 

Melissa Tydell said...

What a fantastic post!  So glad you are back on the blog with your beautiful words.  I've been getting up at 5:15 am to head to nannying... it's been tough (really tough!), but there is something so wonderful about the quiet of morning... and the occasional mid-day nap while the baby sleeps.

TGL said...

New routine :) New traditions. I bet your grandmother loves loves loves hearing from you. Change is a good word for 2012. 
I've been pondering the words thing from yesterday and was trying to find mine for 2011, but I had too many that flew through my mind. I couldn't seem to decide. Perhaps I'll go with Indecision? 
Strangely enough, change has been on my mind. I've been feeling it too. Been feelin' it's time. Loves to you!

Moriah said...

My dad has said to me since I can remember "life is always changing".  a new haircut?- "well, life is always changing".  a baby? "wow, life is always changing".  i think it is because he didnt want me to be afraid of change, and you know what, he was spot on. 
 Bethany, i am so happy to read your words once more! I am a more recent follower, but now loyal none-the-less.  Thank you for making my morning with this post!

Alece said...

(i love the look of your blog. and your avatar pic. you are beautiful, bethany.)

as much of it as i've endured, i still find change difficult to embrace... here's to a great year, friend.

Joe Bunting said...

This is so beautiful and personal and hard and inspiring, Bethany.

Jas said...

You are very inspirational. I will treasure those morning chats with my mom. Whisper a few words to her, I'm sure she is smiling on you!

Judy Mosley said...

This post is bringing me to tears. I'm so sorry that you can't hear her anymore. I will pray with you that you can continue to welcome the change that has been brought into your life. I pray that your empty spaces will be filled with wonderful beautiful things.

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