How Slow Mornings Changed My Life

How Slow Mornings Changed My Life

Testing, testing… is this thing on? :)

HI FRIENDS! Oops, let me try that again. Hi, friends! It’s been so long, I got a little excited and almost forgot how to write an appropriate introduction.

I can’t tell you how good it feels to be typing this post, and how much I’ve missed being here with you! January was a complete blur. I worked on the book for some amount of time every single day for 30 days straight. With the exception of a few breaks to go snowshoeing with friends, I was in complete solitude – and I think I had a touch of cabin fever, by the end of it. But coming up to Squamish was the best decision I could have made, because I finished the book! I submitted the first draft of The Year of Less earlier this week, and celebrated with a delicious piece of cake! And then I woke up the next morning and realized how behind I was on email/freelance work/the blog/regular life, haha.

There are so many things I want to share with you, like what the process taught me and how I think it improved my writing (not made evident by this blog post, but hey, cabin fever! I’m talking to real people again!). However, I’m acutely aware of the fact that I should start by giving you an update on how my month of slow mornings worked out…

If you remember, I entered 2017 feeling overwhelmed with the thought of everything the year was going to hold, and decided the only way to combat it would be to slow the heck down. I could sense that every part of my life needed a little more care and attention, but I also knew I couldn’t slow down all aspects at the same time – at least not if I wanted to get anything done! With that, I decided to slow down one part of my life each month and do 12 experiments throughout the year. Since I knew January might be one of the busiest months, in terms of how much time and energy I would be putting into one big project, I eased into the year by setting out to enjoy the first few minutes of each day.

Here were my intentions for the month.

Experiment #1: Slow Mornings

  • wake up naturally – done!
  • make the bed – done!
  • eat breakfast – done!
  • enjoy my coffee – done!
  • read a book (audiobooks work too) – done!

Waking up naturally is something I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to do since I became self-employed. It helps that I’m already a morning person, and typically wake up around 6-6:30am, so it wasn’t difficult for me to stick to this goal throughout the month. Instead, what became more obvious as the weeks went on is that your morning routine (and your entire day) gets thrown off if you’ve had a bad sleep the night before… and I did not sleep well in January. I quickly learned that a slow evening (or a good bedroom routine) is equally as important, and that will be an experiment for another month. I know my insomnia was stress-induced, and waking up with ideas for things I should add to the book didn’t help. Needless to say, when my sister told me I looked “bagged”, I wasn’t offended.

Depending on how my sleep went, I woke up anywhere from 4:30am-7:30am in January. Then, no matter how tired I was, the first thing I did was make my bed. I probably shouldn’t announce this so proudly, but I made my bed every single day for the entire month, and that truly felt like an accomplishment. I am one of the tidiest people you will probably ever meet, and have pretty intense OCD tendencies when it comes to how I like things organized, but I have never been someone who made my bed every day. We all have our quirks and that is one of mine.

After a week or so of doing this, I started to notice how much better it felt to crawl into a bed that had been made. My insomnia had me kicking the blankets all over the place and waking up in a heap of a mess. Walking into my bedroom and seeing that at night would have served as a reminder of what was likely about to happen again during the next 6-8 hours and only added more stress to my plate. Instead, my bed always looked like a safe place to retreat to. As you can imagine, I have been making the bed every morning since, and intend to continue doing so.

Now, onto the good stuff. After making the bed and getting dressed, I grabbed my phone and immediately started playing whatever audiobook I was listening to. This was the BEST part of my mornings. I read five books in January (usually read two), and I know that was only possible because three of them were audiobooks. I carried my phone into the kitchen, made coffee and breakfast, and drank and ate while I listened. What I ate was a little different every day: a smoothie, toast with peanut butter or an omelette. There were even a few days where I took the extra time to make eggs benedict, simply so I could listen a little longer before getting sucked into my work. I didn’t stop listening until I was done eating and had made my second cup of coffee, which I brought to my computer.

When I decided to do this year of monthly experiments, I didn’t really map out a plan for how I would track my progress, or what metric I would use to consider it a success or a failure. I don’t even know if I would want to track something like this. The thought of checking off a box to say I made my bed 31 days out of the month, as an example, feels unnecessary and meaningless. This challenge wasn’t meant to serve as a resolution or goal; it was simply a tool I felt would help me practice being more intentional and present. If that’s the only way to measure it, I would say January was a success.

As I said, the entire month was a complete blur. I honestly woke up on January 30th and felt like it was the first day of 2017 for me, because it was the first day where I was able to do something different. I don’t remember most of what all the days before it consisted of, but I do remember my slow mornings. Sometimes the routine only lasted for 15 minutes, and sometimes I listened to an audiobook for 45 minutes or more. I remember it because I was present for it. No email. No social media. No work. It was just me and my books, spending a little quality time together.

This month’s experiment also reminded me that things don’t always take as much time as you think they do. Like I said, my routine usually lasted for 15-45 minutes. But things like making the bed took only seconds to complete, and it made me instantly happier when I was done and happier again when I decided to go back to bed. It’s like the sink of dishes we let fill up, or the pile of mail we ignore or the companies we put off calling to ask a question. It always feels like it’s going to take an exorbitant amount of energy to complete the task, but it can usually be done in a few minutes and we feel so much better after. That particular lesson is something I’m going to bring forward and keep thinking about during the rest of the experiments I do this year.

That, and making the bed. I’m a bedmaker for life.

Now, tell me something new about you! And how were your mornings in January?

PS – Some of you might remember that I am a huge fan of Real Talk Radio with Nicole Antoinette. I’ve been a proud Patreon supporter of her podcast for months, because I love what she’s doing and believe it’s important work. And I’m so excited to share that I’m a guest on season 9! We talked for a full two hours, so don’t say I didn’t warn you. But this was one of the best interviews I’ve ever done, and I’m so grateful we had a chance to connect on so many different topics.

PPS – For those who are curious, I read: Scrappy Little Nobody, Talking As Fast As I Can, Blackout, Eat Pray Love and Big Magic – four memoirs and the bible for creatives.

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  • Yes!!! I love this! Sleep is SO important and so are your sleep related routines. I still work for the (wo)man, but have adopted a similar morning routine. I wake up around 5:30, and spend time cleaning the kitchen from dinner the night before, doing laundry, working on our budget, drinking lots of coffee and writing or reading others’ blog posts. I don’t even start to get ready for work until 7ish, and even then I take my leasurely time. I’ve found I go into the office so much more relaxed and with some momentum from having already been productive at home.

    Great blog post!!

    • Sounds like a very productive morning, Amy! I’m sure it also feels better to go home at the end of the day knowing all of that’s been taken care of :)

  • Your January mornings sound wonderful. Mine were…the exact opposite. As a self-diagnosed fellow OCD person, I can definitely understand how an unmade bed makes you feel. That is one of the things that, if it isn’t done, I feel like the entire house is a mess. Congrats on making such extreme progress on the book! I look forward to it :)

    I don’t listen to audiobooks, but I do listen to podcasts in the morning when I’m getting ready for work. It’s nice “me” time as my husband and daughter and the pets are bustling about the house. Thanks for this. It was definitely a calming read this morning. I needed that!

    • My OCD stuff is about things like books being perfectly lined up and remotes having to be side-by-side. Notebooks having to be facing a certain way and even at a specific angle. Oh gosh, it feels so ridiculous sometimes, but I just can’t help it!

  • Hi Cait!
    Nice to “have you back”! I really enjoy reading your posts!
    I was one of the many people who commented on your post about slow mornings, stating that as a mom of 2 young kids, with 2 different drop-off and a full time job, slow mornings are just not happening at my house. Well, you know what? Your blog post had me think and I decided to change one little thing that made a world of difference : now, instead of getting up at 5h45-6h (we have to leave the house at 6h45), we all get up around 5h30. And it’s crazy how this little change makes a difference! It’s just 15-30 more minutes but everyone is so much more relaxed and I don’t feel like I have to rush (myself or the kids) so much. Also, I am just working on being more relaxed in general. Not rush so much, not stress the kids and myself so much. I prepare everything the night before, pack it in the car, put their coat and stuff at the door and it’s usually smooth sailing. Many mornings they even have time to relax in front of a Tv show for 10-15 minutes before we leave, imagine that! (they don’t watch much TV, maybe 30 min per day. It’s a treat). So it’s doable, I just had to get into the right mindset. Thanks Cait!
    Ps : I do my bed every day, and the kids too. It makes me feel… I don’t know… better? It’s just necessary for me. My daughter’s room is messy, but the bed is made, ahah!

    • Wow, that’s incredible, Isabelle! It’s funny, I would never push anyone to wake up earlier, because I do know how important sleep is… but when you see how big of a difference even 15 minutes can be, it doesn’t seem so hard, does it? :)

  • Hi Cait!

    I had to grin as I read the beginning of your blog post today. :-)

    Just wanted to say that we missed you here too during this past month but I’m glad that you were super productive in finishing off your book. Congratulations! And, being a cake addict, I was envious when I saw that piece of cake that you (probably) “wolfed down” in celebration! :-)

    As to making one’s bed, that’s a habit that I’ve always been into since I was a kid. Our parents were strict in that way.

    In reading the rest of your post I see that you’ve been discovering more and more the benefits of time management. Having conducted a course in that topic at work some years ago I’m well aware of all that stuff. Trust me, that skill is a real productivity enabler, regardless of whatever you’re into and how challenging or complex it might seem at the time.

    Have a great day, my friend.
    (Note to self: go search out a piece of cake later today)

    • Haha, glad it made you smile, Rob! I thought about editing it out, but have been learning to let my stream of consciousness flow out and just say what’s on my mind. Definitely search out a piece of cake! :)

  • CONGRATULATIONS on finishing your book!! Hopefully that made the sleepless nights worth it!

    So, a couple years ago I gave myself a challenge of making the bed every day for a month. And you’re right – it’s awesome!! It’s amazing how a made bed can transform a room. I marveled at how my made bed made my room look so pulled-together even if the rest of it was kinda messy! Sadly it’s a habit I did not keep, maybe I’ll have to do another monthly challenge.

    Mornings are so hard for me this time of year. Well, they’re always hard, because I’m not a morning person, but during the winter with the cold darkness it’s just rough. I’ve stopped setting expectations for myself in the morning and it feels like a weight off my shoulders. I dream that one day I will magically transform into an early bird, but perhaps I will be a night owl for life. That said, I love the idea of a slow evening/bedtime the way you love slow mornings so maybe I will look into that!

    • Oh, it sure did! I also don’t think anyone would be surprised to know that the first thing I noticed when I submitted it was how EXHAUSTED I was. It was like I’d been running a marathon and finally crossed the finish line. I had a nice dinner and that piece of cake and then went to bed at like 7pm, haha.
      And letting go of the expectation that you should become something you aren’t is so healthy, Hanna! Not only does it take the weight off your shoulders, it also helps you accept who you are and build a life around that instead. :)

  • My morning routine is so important for me. Even with 5 little kids running amuck, and trying to get everyone ready and out the door, I have to carve out a few minutes to take care of myself. A little food, a little something to drink, a bit of exercises, some reading, a moment to mediate/pray and a couple minutes to look at my planner/habits/goals.

      • Ha! If I could do that, I would have a best selling book on my hands. =) But I think the two pitfalls moms fall into are 1. Thinking it’s impossible, so don’t even try. or 2. Thinking it has to be perfect to be worth while.
        It’s not impossible, and it won’t be perfect. The trick is finding the sweet spot between those.

  • I really missing being able to wake up naturally – one of the reasons I’d love to be able to get back into freelancing full-time. There’s really so much to be gained from letting your body set your schedule!

    • There really is, Polly! I will admit though, that even more than 1.5 years into this, I still look at the clock around 8am and feel like I’m “late” if I haven’t started work yet, haha. But waking up without an alarm clock is nice :)

  • I’m glad you touched on the fact that not everything we do that is valuable to us can be a check mark on our to-do lists.

    You might like these quotes that I use often to remind me of that:

    “Not everything that be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted.” – Einstein
    “Don’t count the things you do, do the things that count.” – Zig Ziglar

  • Cait, I wish I made my bed everyday, most days I get up first and am out the door before the wife is even up so hard for me to do it. That being said I have started reading and relaxing before doing anything else in the day that has been really nice.

    New with me would be I officially have regular clients, plural. It’s crazy that I have work like this especially since it doesn’t feel that long ago I emailed you asking how to start freelancing.

    Last thing, how was the talking as fast as you can? I want to read it.

    • Congrats, Tyler! That’s so inspiring :) and oh my gosh, read it now! Although I would highly suggest the audiobook, because she reads it herself which makes it extra hilarious!

  • I’m the complete opposite and not a morning person but I like to get up early so I tend to set up my alarm extra early as I really enjoy leisurely morning with no rush and that kind of makes getting out of bed early worth it. Makes me appreciate my mornings, I especially enjoy having and cooking a breakfast something about it just sets me for a better day! 😊

  • Yeahhh (happy dance), congrats on finishing the first draft of your book – great to get it done and dusted at the beginning of the year! Hope you savoured every bit of that cake. :) Insomnia is no fun!! I hope things will start more getting back to normality for you this month and the brain will quieten down a bit. I’m with you on diving into a bed that has been made, even if I did just make it a few minutes earlier – one of my odd quirks :P. Really is the little things that make a difference though. I loved listening to your interview on Real Talk Radio – honestly the 2 hours flew by! I was nodding my head along with a lot of things you said, especially with minimalism and it being a privilege. It’s something I have been thinking long and hard about and even tried to write a piece on what minimalism means to me, but barely scratched the surface. I came across a quote by Jon Kabat Zinn about voluntary simplicity and it really resonated with me. Rather than call myself a minimalist, I would say I am a trainee voluntary simplicist – tweaking and editing some of the principles of minimalism to make it my own. I truly believe there should be no “Keeping up with the minimalists” mentality, like there should be no “Keeping up with the Joneses” mentality. Anyways, sorry ran off on a little ramble. Enjoy getting back to a form of normality and looking forward to hearing about your next experiment :)

    • No no no, never apologize for rambling! That wasn’t a ramble at all, by the way :) I could talk about this subject all day, every day! I like your phrase: voluntary simplicist. I’ve been thinking there needs to be a new term for people who embrace intentional living, but am not sure what I would call myself. An intentionalist? That sounds weird, haha. I’ll have to keep my thinking cap on for that one. Thank you so much for listening to the interview and for sharing some feedback on it, Sharon! :)

  • Hi Cait,
    I really enjoyed this post. Are you familiar with Jess Lively? She has a podcast called The Lively Show and for the past few months she’s been learning/teaching about flow and alignment. Slow mornings are a huge part of that so all of this was clicking together in my mind. I’m really glad that you’re sharing these experiments as you go!

    • I’ve heard of her podcast so many times but still haven’t listened! Thanks for another reminder, I’ll go download a couple now :)

  • Hey,
    It seems awesome to wake up naturally but with a kid and a job I guess it’s impossible to do.
    To answer your question, in January I had start to blog again and make my budget again to save more money.

  • “It always feels like it’s going to take an exorbitant amount of energy to complete the task, but it can usually be done in a few minutes and we feel so much better after.”

    This is so, so true, and something I’ve noticed lately as well. I’ve also started making my bed in the morning before I leave, and straightening the kitchen at night before I go to bed. Both of these tasks are ones I typically put off because they seemed like they would take too much time (something I have in abundance, by the way). But after completing them repeatedly over the last several weeks, I realize how little time they actually take and how much better I feel.

    Welcome back, Cait. I very much look forward to hearing (reading) what this year brings you, and know it will continue to inspire me and others.

    • Cleaning up the kitchen before bed is a big one for me too! I don’t mind if there’s a mug or glass in the sink, but a sink full of dirty dishes or any kind of mess would drive me crazy. Also, it’s nice to wake up and be able to enjoy coffee/breakfast without first having to clean up :) and thanks, Kendal! It’s good to be back!

  • Congrats on finishing your first draft, Cait, and welcome back to the real world! I love how you took time for slow mornings even (or especially) during such a busy period. It’s making me reconsider my own morning routine, I think I want to add more writing time to it. I don’t think I’ll be able to make my bed every day, though: my cats love to sleep with me during the night and I just can’t bear to wake them up in the morning just so I can make my bed… Ah well, priorities and all that.
    I listened to your interview on Real Talk Radio today and it was amazing! I definitely need to go listen to it again. Such great advice and a lovely conversation between you and Nicole.
    I’m curious about your next experiments with slow living :)
    Best,
    Manon

    PS – Elizabeth Gilbert is the BEST! Have you read ‘The Signature of All Things’ yet?

    • I have not read it yet! Did you love it? I’m guessing the answer is yes :) anyway, I’m thinking I’ll listen to the audiobook this year! And I love your idea of writing in the mornings. I actually picked up a journal a few times in January and wrote maybe 6-7 entires. I haven’t done that since the road trip, and would love to make it a daily (or at least almost-daily) practice.

      • Yes, I loved it! It’s completely different from Eat Pray Love and Big Magic, in that it’s a work of fiction, but it’s amazing fiction that made me see the world differently :)

  • First congrats on finishing the book. Second my recommendation is enjoy the slow mornings now. If you decide to have kids they will end for a time. I wake up every morning to a 40lb being jumping on me. Still I prefer woke up by em then woke up by stressing about work, so I get it.

  • Oh my gosh, a 4:30 am wakeup time sounds bad to me, ahahaha. Naturally I wake up around 7 am, but I do wish I needed less sleep so I could enjoy more of my day. :) I also make my bed each morning before I leave for work. There’s something about coming home to a tidy house that’s immensely satisfying.

    My January mornings were weird. I tried to wake up at 5 am to get in a 1-hour workout, but that stopped working after about a week. I was ABSOLUTELY EXHAUSTED, even when I went to bed at 9 pm. I’ve switched exercising to be an evening activity and it’s going all right. I’m still not keeping up with it regularly, but I’m a work in progress. :)

    • Ohhh there was nothing enjoyable about the 4:30am mornings. Those were at the peak of my insomnia :( I would just get sick of pretending I was going to get any sleep, and decide enough was enough. And we’re all a work in progress, my friend! I don’t workout daily, but go for a few long walks each week, as well as do a couple yoga videos or other workouts. You’re taking care of yourself and that’s what counts :)

  • It is true that some things take up less time than we thought, yet it takes only a few minutes to do some tasks. I used to put off emptying the dishwasher because of the amount of work. One day, I decided to start timing the task. Turns out, it rarely takes me more than five minutes and afterwards I feel great because it doesn’t linger in the back of my head! Something to keep in mind!
    Enjoy your weekend!

    • Oh yes, emptying the dishwasher is a great example! I am also someone who used to hate doing that task, but now try to do it while my coffee is brewing :)

  • I keep a regular sleep schedule 98% of the time as lack of sleep contributes to migraines for me. Slow evenings helped me sleep even better. It starts when I come home from work. I change into my pajamas and settle into supper with my husband. Then we relax and talk or read or just listen to music. We avoid turning on the TV except for the one or two shows we want to watch and to avoid all the panic-mongering news programs. (We catch the news online earlier in the day so we can stay informed.) I also don’t look at my phone after 8 p.m. unless it’s a true emergency. All of the rest of the electronics that were on are turned off an hour before bed. If I am still tense, ten minutes of meditation or breathing exercises followed by a cup of camomile or valerian tea helps.

    • You’re giving me a lot to think about for my own slow evenings, Annie! I barely watch TV anymore, so I’m good there too… but there is still some work to be done, namely around not looking at social media or my phone.

  • I found recently that slow mornings are very powerful for me, even if I only get them on the weekends. Right after the slowness is my most mentally productive time, so I don’t waste it – I jump writebin if I have writing to do even if it means I don’t shower or dress until the afternoon! :D We did a Dry January and I’m now moving to focus on Fit February. I am excited to see what works best for building a habit out of fitness. A friend of mine is reading a book called “Chasing Slow” (Erin Loechner) and has really been enjoying it if you’re seeking out inspiration.

    • Yes, I just got the audiobook, Melanie! So glad to hear your friend is enjoying it. And I’m with you re: being most productive in the mornings. I do my best writing between 8am-noon, then leave administrative tasks for afternoon/evening.

  • Congrats on finishing your book Cait! So proud of you and can’t wait till it is in published form and we can all read it :)

    Fellow OCDer down here in California :) Yes to books and notebooks being lined up a certain way!

  • Loving your chat with Nicole!

    It sounds like slowing down has been a huge positive change for you.

    I’m very curious to see how I adapt next month living in an unfamiliar place.

    • I’m curious for you too, TJ! I would guess there will be a transition period, and I can vouch that there is some loneliness on the road. But the best is finding yourself in a town where people actually smile, say hello and chat with you for a bit. I can’t wait to read about your experiences :)

  • I have slow mornings, too. Mine are like this:
    1. Wake up naturally
    2. Make my bed
    3. Shower
    4. Eat breakfast and have a couple of cups of coffee.

    Then I go to the gym, take my dog for a walk, and after lunch, settle down with a good book.
    How can I do this?
    I am retired.
    Life has never been so good, or so relaxed.

  • As an introvert, I must confess that I was a bit envious of your alone time. LOL I am not a good sleeper and as much as I want to get up earlier in the morning, it’s probably not going to happen. I am a very light sleeper and my husband’s winter work schedule doesn’t help. When he is on shift, he gets up before 3:30 am, and I wake up a few times a night usually. My slow time is usually in the evening when I can get some reading done, or television watching with my husband. Although I do have time to relax after the girls go to school and before I go to work, so there’s that. ☺ I’m reading book #4 of 2017 (Inferno by Dan Brown) and will have it finished tonight. I also have Phil Collin’s memoir half read. AND I am going to reread Big Magic this year. I plan on reading 50 books in the 50 Book Pledge this year! Last year I read 26. Your book will be on my list to read for 2018!! ☺

    • Aww, that put a huge smile on my face, Shelly! Also congrats on being done your fourth book of the year! I just started my sixth. I don’t know if I can keep this pace going all year, but it’s been a great start :)

  • We have similar routines. Starting January 1, I resolved each morning to wake up (after 8 hours of sleep), shower, eat breakfast, and take a cup of coffee into my office to read the Bible and pray. I may sit for 30 minutes, an hour, or maybe longer. But this slow-paced, intentional routine has made a world of difference.

  • Cait this is so great to hear! I’ve tried to get into a morning routine, but I always end up quitting after a couple of weeks. I think I start off too ambitious… Starting with a slow morning routine just might be the ticket. I need to see what I can do, to incorporate this…. The morning routine is something I’ve wanted to get a hold of for awhile, but haven’t yet been able to crack the code.

    As far as my January, it wasn’t as nearly productive on the business side as I wanted it to be, but lot’s of exciting things on the personal life side like buying a truck, moving out of the apartment, and getting the airstream ready for full-time living soon.
    Thanks for sharing Cait, and I hope your Feb. is just as grand!

    • Woo hoooooo! Oh my gosh, I’m so excited for you guys, Nick! Can’t wait to see where the Airstream takes you :)

  • Hi Cait! I want to make you aware of the January 2017 issue of Happinez magazine. I believe it’s a UK publication. The issue is dedicated to slow living, and it has some great articles in it. Thought I would give you a heads up about it.

    Love your blog! :)

    • Oh my goodness, that sounds lovely! I followed them on Instagram and will see if/where I can find some of the articles. Thanks for telling me about it! :)

  • haha I love how proud you are of making the bed – that’s amazing! I would be too! I actually just committed to making that a habit too because it really does feel SO much better when you get in it at night! I love a slow morning, especially taking my time to sip tea as part of a meditation. It’s luxurious! I’m glad you’re enjoying your slow mornings!
    xx
    Ali (punchdrunksoul.com)
    P.S. congrats on the book and the podcast! Making big waves girl!

    • Thank you so much, Ali! And we’re a week into February and I’m still making it every day. We’ll see how long this lasts, hehe.

  • Okay, first of all, congrats on the book! I can’t wait to hear more about the transformational experience.
    Second of all, slow mornings changed my life. too. I’m suffering from some situational anxiety right now, and allowing my body to do its thing makes me so incredibly grateful for self-employment. I recognized how privileged I am for that! I’ll have to check out Nicole Antoinette now…

    • Thank you! And I’m sorry you’re dealing with some anxiety right now, but hope slowing down continues to help. I’m finding I really need a slower pace in the evenings, too, at least for an hour or so before bed.

  • Hey Cait, what app do you use to listen to your audio books? For the past month I started substantially reducing my use of social media and that has transformed my mornings not waking up to grab my phone. Listening to audiobooks with breakfast sounds like a lovely idea :)

    P.S. Congrats on finishing your book!

    • I tried Audible (get 1 book for free) and liked it so much I decided to get a subscription ($14.95 US/month gets you 1 book, or you can buy extra “credits” to get more books at a discounted cost). I typically look for books that are being sold for $20+ CAD to make it worth my money. You can also usually download them for free from the library, if your library has an app. :)

  • Hi!
    I am not a morning person, but it has been worth it for me to wake up 20 minutes earlier than needed to turn on YouTube for a morning yoga video (@yogawithadriene) to loosen up and start my day off right.
    Now – off to make my bed!

    • Oh my gosh, Stefany, you are the second person to recommend that YouTube channel and I LOVE IT! I’ve started one of the 30-day programs. I’m not doing it every single day, but instead do one video every few days. I feel so much better after. Thanks for sharing it here!

  • Cait, I love that you are now a bedmaker for life! I took this task seriously some years back and it really does jump start your motivation as well, I think. I love that I’ve accomplished something within 5 minutes of waking up!

    I also have adopted SLOW mornings. I get up, make the bed, put on yoga pants (it encourages me to stretch or do some kind of fitness before noon), have my tea, make breakfast. I listen to Podcasts now (including binge listening to yours this week) and then on cup-o-tea #2 I get to work on the computer. It feels good to have control over your own schedule, doesn’t it?

    Thanks for sharing your reading list. I just unsubscribed from Audible as I’m on a strict budget this year, so my reading has decreased. I’ve read 2 out of four of the books you mentioned. And .. I’ve never watched a single episode of Gilmore Girls (loved her on Parenthood)… so not sure I’d like the Talking As Fast As I Can?

  • Hi Cait,
    I just found your blog and it’s wonderful. I must say, I’m really envious because I am NOT a morning person at all, but I am certainly trying. It sounds like you made some awesome changes this year. It’s so important to do what feels right for you and make every moment count. Some new things I’ve done are to drink more water, be more routinely productive, force myself to go for walks when I know I need the air and the stretch, spend less money and value my family more. I will be following along. Check out my writings if you’d like :) xo

  • I loved reading your essay and then the comments. I too am a morning person and have a contemplative AM regime that keeps me grounded. I am commenting though to urge you to be open to options you couldn’t have considered before ….such as NOT being self employed. There is a freedom, yes freedom, from having an employer with regular hours, predictable pay and benefits. I say this as someone who was self-employed for about five years and then happily went back to a having a “normal” job.

    Both options were the right choices at the time I made them. The limitations of an employer are real but for me came with the enrichment of having colleagues, a creative environment and a reason to get up and moving on days I didn’t feel like it. As you go forward be aware that YOUR answer NOW might be something that wasn’t right earlier. Good luck in your journey to yourself.

  • I love slow mornings! Well done on being so intentional with it and your reading. I am so much happier when I am reading books as part of my routine. Shutting down the non-kindle electronics and ignoring the texts/internet and just becoming engrossed in a world or set of facts I never knew makes such a difference in my happiness and feelings of wholeness.