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.

 

 

How I learned to embrace 6AM and write in stolen time

My grandfather Karl woke up every day at 5:30 am. Voluntarily.

I am not normally a Karl. Not by a long shot. I’m more of a watch-Gilmore Girls-Reruns-until-1am kind of gal.

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Sunrises. Something new to me. (photo my own.)
That is, until recently.

My toddler wakes up early. Like 6am early.

I used to dread these mornings. I would barter with my husband in an attempt to weasel out of 6am childcare duty. And when I did get stuck with the morning shift, I would drag my blurry-eyed self to the couch, plop the child in front of the tv (no shame amiright?), let  Peg + Cat do its thing while I mindlessly scrolled through Facebook, sipped coffee and pined for more sleep.

I’ve had a recent change of heart about these mornings. Now I eagerly get up with the kiddo and I’m not ashamed to admit there is even a little spring in my step.

I’ve embraced these early mornings as my stolen time to write.

I was inspired after hearing Tara Mohr encourage women (and men) with care-taking responsibilities  to  embrace stolen time as a way to create art.  Yes, I know it sounds crazy. You say, but Sarah, I don’t have the time, or energy, or caffeinated beverages necessary for this task. This is the thing: it doesn’t matter.

By showing up anyway, you join a long tradition of creative fore-mothers who had no choice but to create in their own stolen time.

It makes sense. Great-Great-Aunt Mabel, you want to be an artist? Better stitch a quilt while the baby sleeps. Oh, and you want to work with fancy textiles? Fat chance. Here, why don’t you turn these *actual rags* into gorgeous quilts.  And quick, now.  That butter isn’t going to churn itself!

Adopting this new perspective was the swift kick on the butt that I needed. No more whining, no more wringing of hands. Time to sit down and write. In my stolen time, with stolen materials. (Well the stolen time thing is accurate. I promise I’m not writing on a boosted laptop.)

Which brings me back to my decision to embrace my inner early-bird. (With coffee though—let’s not get too crazy OK?)

I have created a new routine, my friends. As I type this, it is barely light out. I make my coffee and settle into my desk with my official Skunk Ape Headquarters coffee mug on my left and children’s programming proceeding on my right.

And here’s the thing. The more I write, the more I’m hooked. I now look forward to my morning writing sessions. And I swear my muse knows the new drill and shows up pretty regularly. It’s pretty cool.

Now, I rise at 6am, voluntarily.

Just call me Karl.

P.s. Share your own successes (or failures) of writing with stolen time. Feel free to comment below or on the Facebook page!)