This image describes me perfectly. I’m not an early bird or a night owl. Since being married the fact that I am neither and need a lot of sleep has caused some frustration between us. Willy always wants to set his alarm to a time that involves a 6 in the front. This idea has infuriated me because I’m the girl who sleeps until the very last possible minute and doesn’t snooze the alarm because if-i-don’t-get-out-of-bed-this-second-I-will-be-seriously-late. It’s hard to be late when on mat leave, though. And it’s hard to sleep in with kids, too. But because my husband insists on getting up early in the morning, I told him the early bird gets the worm and the worm is our toddler! I don’t even remember when it was that he started letting me sleep in a bit extra and he manages the morning with our first. This was especially wonderful when I was up in the night a few times with the baby.
But guess what! I now wake up before him! With an alarm! And I look forward to it!
Eww, why? How?
A couple weeks ago I saw a friend post on Instagram about Morning Pages. I did a quick google and realized: I needed to try this. I wouldn’t describe myself as an artist and I feel too shy to call myself a writer, but I could relate to the issues the Morning Pages are said to address.
Almost every day starts with this: Morning Pages. The exercise of emptying, dumping, scrawling, stretching on paper. I had never really kept a consistent journal ever and when I started the Artist’s Way last year, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to do it. Just the opposite happened, Morning Pages have become a kind of safe place for me to air out all my shit and be able to put it away for the day and move on. It’s like the original Brain Dump. The only downside is that I have lost the drive to blog, since I get all this stuff down on paper. So curious to hear you out on writing: what’s your relationship to journaling?
What are morning pages? They’re 3 pages of scribbles done first thing in the morning by hand. Before you look at your phone, before you read your Scriptures or even pray, before your mind gets revved up, before everything. I decided to give it a shot. I wanted to take the time in the morning to get my head on straight before I started the day, anyway, and so this seemed like the best way for me to start. So this is what my morning looks like now:
- Wake up at 6AM with my quiet birds chirping alarm on my phone.
- Quietly roll out of bed an start the kettle IN MY ROOM (because with toddlers and squeaky floors, you gotta keep hidden!)
- Start my morning pages, while hovering over the kettle so it doesn’t whistle or click and wake Willy up by the light of my iPhone haha (it’s not as tedious as it sounds).
- Make my coffee in the french press because I’m still trying to not wake anyone up.
- Finish my 3 morning pages. This means I write everything that comes to mind. The random to-dos that pop up are written down and starred. I write them down as they come – often it’s in the middle of a sentence I’m writing. I write about all the dumb things that are in my head or come into my head until 3 pages is finished. By this point I’ve mostly guzzled my first coffee and I’m awake.
- Transfer my to-dos that have come into my mind over to my planner so they don’t get lost.
- Open up my devotional and read it. I write out the quote that most stuck out to me into my planner.
- It isn’t until I’m done all of this that I get on my phone and check my messages etc.
Guys, it’s been life changing! It’s changed my devotional time because I don’t have all those brain interruptions happening. I’ve already cleaned out the cobwebs of my head and I’ve gotten into a head space that does not involve my phone. I have Do Not Disturb mode on my phone anyway so I’m not notified of any messages or any activity happening that would take my attention.
When I finally leave the room, I’m ready for the day. I’m awake and human again! I don’t find that I’m swept away by the day, living as much in reaction to everything.