I rolled out of bed this morning, slowly, like I have been for weeks. Our alarms had been singing harmonies for over an hour — us tapping each other to press our respective snooze buttons one more time, one more time, one more time, before falling back asleep.
Maybe it’s the rapid-fire change that’s been shaking our lives and making us so tired. Maybe it’s a new city, and new jobs, and the fact that someone is now sharing my bed. Yep, it’s probably just that—the cute guy lying next to me all cozy and warm. But whatever it is, getting out of bed lately has been the battle of a lifetime—a battle I’m losing. No contest.
“It’s time,” Carl muttered into his pillow a few minutes later, giving me a small push. So turning off my relentless alarm, I kicked off the comforter and padded down the hallway, heading straight for our Keurig. I filled up two mugs of coffee – one took just cream, and the other cream and sugar. I then padded back down the hallway, setting the mug on the nightstand right next to Carl’s head. Coffee seems to be the only thing that can get us up these days.
For the next fifteen minutes, I zipped around my bathroom. Grabbing the most decent outfit I could scrounge up with one hand, and twisting my hair into a topknot with the other, I got ready as fast as I could—after all, we were already late.
For the record, this is not how I like to start my mornings.
I used to be really good at mornings — waking up early, preparing for the day. I’d make some coffee, and settle in with my Bible and journal. It was the time when I got to pour out all my thoughts from the day before, and fill up on new ones that would sustain me for yet another. It was my favorite part of my day—the quiet moments that seemed to return me back to my best self.
In other seasons of my life, my mornings have been reserved for workouts. A good sweat-sesh was my favorite way to wake up, giving me a feeling of accomplishment that wouldn’t quit all day.
I also like spending more than 15 minutes getting ready each morning. I feel more confident, awake, and ready when I put in a bit of effort. Topknots are great, but I prefer to do a bit better.
But none of those things have been happening lately.
I’ve been late, groggy, haven’t worked out in ages, and my journal has been gathering dust. My hair has been in a permanent topknot, and nothing about my mornings has been restful or intentional like I prefer it to be.
And in some ways it’s driving me crazy.
I need intentional mornings like I need my Keurig. I need to greet the day with a few peaceful moments to myself. I need to be working out, and journaling, and reading the Bible. I’m a better version of myself when I do those things, and I know that soon I need to get back to them.
But I’m learning something from my messy mornings, something that’s unraveling an expectation I’ve always had for myself.
When I don’t have it all together, I’m disappointed in myself, because I truly believe that with enough discipline, it’s possible.
I’ve always thought that if I worked hard enough, woke up early enough, or scheduled my day down to the minute, that I could make everything happen all at once.
My home would be perfect, my hair would be perfect, my butt would be perfect, and my writing would be perfect. I would be the perfect wife, the perfect friend, the perfect daughter, and sister, and coworker, if only I could schedule my time perfectly enough. And when I fall short in any one of those categories, I’m disappointed in myself instantly.
But this season of mornings is showing me what I’d be sacrificing with that kind of perfection.
I may be sloppy, and out of shape, and my mornings may be rushed, but I’m spending an extra hour of my day next to my favorite person in the world—a person that hasn’t been there each morning for most of my life. I’m busy savoring this new time we have together, and perfection would force me to sacrifice that.
I may be temporarily giving up on something precious to me, my mornings, my peace and quiet, but I’m gaining something new, something different, something entirely better — time with my new husband.
Yes, I will get back to the gym, and I’ll make the time to journal in the morning like I used to.
But I’m learning that sometimes a healthy balance in life doesn’t look like doing everything all at once. Sometimes it looks like giving up something for one season in favor of something else, and continuing to let that seesaw happen in different seasons of life.
Do you let this seesaw happen in your life? Or are you like me, trying to do it all at once?