New morning routine: writing, coffee, and…cheese?

Good morning everyone. I am here with my coffee and cheese. Oh, you don’t drink coffee with cheese? You must not live with a three-year-old. I inherit all the snacks that are deemed unsuitable (“I DO NOT LIKE THIS KIND OF CHEESE” says the girl who 99.999% of the time likes this kind of cheese. Cheddar, if you were wondering). Yes, I could take the half-eaten cheese and throw it away or put it in the fridge…but mmmm…cheese!

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Egret sketch with watercolor. (c) mourning dove motherhood.com

I am going to try to write regularly again. Always with coffee. Sometimes with cheese. You see, I was in this great groove for a while with my blog, pouncing out of bed early and writing nearly daily, and then something odd happened. I discovered that I was drawn to do art work, a long ago buried gift. Now, don’t get me wrong, this was exciting. But suddenly I was faced with the question, do I write or do art? And what about exercise??? (Remember, I live with a three-year-old, so my spare time is limited. And sometimes I freeze when faced with all the possibilities of how to use my spare time. Endless scrolling on Facebook anyone?)

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birds…of course! (c) mourning dove motherhood.com

Well, I chose art for a while. I’m sharing some sketches with you all in the interest of practicing vulnerability! Guess what: I like to sketch BIRDS. I know, you are stunned.

Anyway, doing art was well and good for a while. But sometimes getting all the art stuff out and going at 6:30 am—especially around the preschooler who also loves art and wants to join in, and also drinking the coffee, which is a spill-able thing—well it wasn’t working out so well.

Plus I realized that while art is very good for my soul, and connects me to source in a different way, I really, really need my writing. I mean, I don’t even know what I am thinking until I write. And I connect to source in another but different way. Both are good. In an ideal world I would do this stuff all day—write a little, art a little, write a little, art a little more—but until my wealthy patron shows up, I will need to create my art in stolen time.

So duh duh duh duuuuuuh (that was a trumpet if you were wondering), henceforth I shall commence a daily morning writing, with coffee and assorted rejected dairy-products. And at night, watching VEEP (oh my goddess is Julia Louis Dreyfus funny), doing sketches and watercolors and eating popcorn. But not at the same time because hello, grease stains. And exercise will happen…in my sleep, I guess? (Hey, there is such a thing as dream yoga. Maybe I’ll practice that.)

Onward!

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tri-color heron. (also known as the Louisiana Heron.) (C) mourning dove motherhood.

If you too share my passion for coffee and cheese, I invite you to join me on Twitter or Facebook.

 

 

Sleep. Writing. Time alone. What’s on your list?

Last night I found this list tucked away in my journal:

  • Sleep.
  • writing.
  • time alone.

It took me a moment to realize what I was looking at. Then I remembered it was from a journaling workshop I participated in before Christmas.

The question that was asked on the call was:

What is essential to your self-care?

Ah, yes. The universe is wise. I wrote that list two months ago not knowing I would need to see it again yesterday. And there it was, tucked away in my journal. An unwrapped fortune written for my future-self, by my past-self.

I needed this self-care reminder today because the last several weeks have been hard. I’ll spare the details right now, but anyone who runs a household that includes a small child plus two parents who work full-time will understand how easily routines can be thrown into disarray by illness and other unexpected events. Why, even my last blog post was about this exact issue.

Which brings me back to the list of essentials.

What is essential to your self-care?

I don’t easily abandon my writing time, and I certainly had good reason for doing it the last few weeks. (Namely, the first item on the list: SLEEP). But as days dragged on to weeks, it became clear to me that sleep alone is not enough for my self-care.

Why is that the case? Writing is not a mere joy (though it often is) but more like the anchor that keeps me grounded.  I’ll defer to Flannery O’Connor who said it best:

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” – Flannery O’Connor

Yes Flannery, exactly! Without my time for writing I don’t have a full grasp on all the thoughts rattling around in my head. I get twitchy. Off balance.

This morning, I woke up before everyone else and I sat down and wrote. It felt so good. And, it doesn’t hurt that writing time is also time alone with myself, the third item on my list.

Just call it the introvert’s guide to self-care: sleep, writing, and time alone.

(I’m a blast at parties! No, really—as long as they are small intimate affairs where I don’t have to talk to strangers.)

What’s on your self-care essential list, friends and fellow bloggers? Something tells me your list might include writing-time, too.