I’ve subscribed to a fantastic blog, Zen Habits, by Leo Babauta. He recommends getting up a little earlier each day, until one has enough unfettered time in the morning for exercise, writing and/or a spiritual practice. Because he seems like a really cool guy, I decided to take his advice. Plus I’ve been lately, as in the last few months, steeped in some dangerously ungrateful, free-floating feelings of dissatisfaction, chronic hurriedness and Luftwaffe-strafing-take-no-prisoners-irritability. Good times.
On my new schedule, I am showered and dressed for work, minus work shoes, by 5:45 a.m. That way I have a leisurely 45 minutes to wallk and run with the dog. It’s too cold to sweat and although my hair is often smashed down by a hat, it seems to make more sense, for now, for me to be ready for work before I exercise. I tried it the other way and due to some sort of morning time warp, I found myself constantly in a hurry, trying to simply make it to work on time. I suppose if I start running more than walking I will have to try the reverse again.
With daylight savings time I was sure I would ease into this new routine with minimal effect. Instead of waking up a little earlier each day as Leo Babauta suggests, I naturally just set the alarm for an hour earlier and got up like I joined the military. The ole “Buck Up” approach. And it’s not working all that well.
But today I had a fun walk-run with the dog as the sun rose in the first November mist. Granted I looked a little odd in a wool skirt, tights and running shoes, with a wool blazer topped off by a ball cap, but it was dark, then barely dawn. Maybe my inner Babushka needs to come out to play. At any rate I came home in plenty of time to drink coffee, eat some oats cut with quinoa and a tablespoon of almond butter, and drive off to work so early I was stress-free. But it was in my blissed out Zen state that I misplaced my cell phone, drove back home, still couldn’t find it and drove off to work, barely making it, all the while saying the F word repeatedly. Not very Zen of me.
Now I just need to figure out how to incorporate writing into this new schedule. Leo Babauta has advice on that too. He is a writer who never copyrights anything he writes-not his blog posts nor his his books. And yet people are buying his books by the thousands, taking his seminars and signing up for his blogging bootcamps. This is a man with, if I read the numbers correctly, over 200,000 people subscribing to his blog, Zen Habits. I don’t understand. And he appears to sail through all of this with what I perceive to be astounding serenity.
Back to my new habit of arising long before dawn. It’s not working all that well because I seem to need to go to sleep around 8 p.m., which is not practical given my burgeoning holiday social schedule. And I am fatigued much of the time, but that might be because I recently started eating about a pound of organic kale every day. Superfoods can make you detoxify and detoxification can make you feel tired. Then you become Super Food Girl. While I’m only on day 4 of my delicious kale plan, I already feel better. I am also so full of kale I don’t have an appetite for things that aren’t good for me.
My fatigue starts to set in just after 10 a.m. now that I am trying to be like Leo Babauta. And as a 6’1″ woman, it is difficult trying to be a short, bald man from Guam. Plus fatigue early in the day is not practical since there is an expectation by my employers that I will work at least seven hours past 10 a.m. Maybe it will just take a few weeks to get in the swing of this new schedule and the kale munching, but I am determined to build these small changes into habits.
Also, if Super Food Girl keeps eating kale every day and getting up early, she will become an incredibly prolific writer, or at least get that damn book proposal finished and off to the very important person who was interested back in August. So tomorrow I will rise a little earlier and write a little more.