Monday, March 27, 2017
Living at the Core 1: Setting the Tone for the Day
In this initial installment, I begin with how I start my day. Shortly after multiple transitions occurred within a 5 month period (our third daughter was born, we moved back to the county where I grew up, I transitioned from my K-12 career to teacher preparation, and we sold our house), I read Jessica Turner's book The Fringe Hours. The concepts resonated with me. I was able to reflect on how I was already able to carefully manage my time, while also considering room for growth. As the years passed, I couldn't remember all the details but the concept of maximizing the time we have and finding ways to creatively incorporate the self care we most need here and there into our day to day lives stuck with me.
Last year I discovered that in the juggle of my everyday life I really craved time for quiet reflection and prayer. While I had already begun to start my day with reading the daily readings, I realized that I wanted a more extended amount of time. Because I am often exhausted by the time everyone winds down at my house, I decided that in order to get my quiet time I needed to rise before everyone else.
These days my alarm goes off at 5 am 7 days a week. I quietly move onto the love seat in my living room, and pull out my Missal, Bible, and composition notebook. I begin with the daily readings, noting verses that especially capture my attention. Sometimes I write my thoughts about the readings and how they resonate with my life at this time. Then I shift into other books, a combination of books that are read short excerpts at a time, such as the daily reflection from The Catholic Mom's Prayer Companion, as well as longer sections from books I happen to be reading at the time. My notebook remains close as I shift between reading and writing.
Waking up at 5 am has allowed me to get about 45 minutes prior to my husband waking up on weekdays. On the weekends the time can sometimes stretch into multiple hours. Sometimes the rhythms of my 5 am fringe hours routine is shift momentarily when my baby wakes up, in which case, I rock her and nurse her in the darkness of my room while praying the Rosary. One way or another though, I have been able to consistently start my day with calm and peace. It sets the tone for the day and makes all the difference.