Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A New Appreciation for Early

I am a late bloomer... or a slow study.  My mom always extolled the value of early morning hours while we were growing up.  She did things like threw open the curtains, and chirped about lovely mornings being wasted away in bed...  I didn't buy it, and did my best to roll over and try to go back to sleep.  I was a night owl, and decidedly not a morning person.  Although, I believed, and still do, actually, that it wasn't a decision, but a genetic inheritance for night-owl-ism from my dad.

I just knew my mom, who had spent her life 'rising early to lay out my dad's clothes, cook his breakfast, and pack his and all of our lunches, would be, at the least, disappointed to know Hubby spent most of my stay-at-home-mom years arising early by himself, making his own breakfast, and grabbing whatever he could find to take for lunch.  When the older kids got to the point of taking a few classes at the high school, they did the same for themselves.  The younger, homeschooled kids and I got up and going later.   Pregnancies, and, more recently, perimenopause, made getting up early very difficult for me.  

I didn't realize how much I had been struggling until I started taking bio-identical hormone replacement, and got my sleep back, and with it, some ability to face mornings.

I haven't adjusted my nighttime routines well enough to get me a full night's sleep, but this year, I've been getting up to make sure all those leaving the house have breakfast, and a full lunch to take with them.  Often I think I'll fall back in bed after they leave.  But I never do.  Although tired, I'm pretty awake by that time, and I know it would probably make me feel worse, rather than better, to sleep more.  Plus, I no longer want to waste those mornings away in bed!

I admit that for several months, I mostly still wasted that time by sitting in a sleepy fog at the computer.  As soon as I sat down, it seemed to be over.  If there weren't any more emails to read, I'd find something to research or blogs to read.

Taste of Home Coconut Bread Recipe
The description said everyone would be begging
for the recipe, so how could I NOT make it?!
It certainly was a hit.  Since I didn't have
coconut extract, I used vanilla, and subbed
coconut oil for the vegetable oil.  I also used
unsweetened coconut.  
But last Tuesday, I got a new lease on mornings.  We were scheduled to host our church small group that night, and I wanted to bake for that.  We had bananas that were definitely ready to become banana bread.  As I searched out a recipe in our Taste of Home Baking Cookbook, my eyes landed on a recipe for Coconut Bread, so I made that, too.  As 3 loaves of banana bread, and 2 loaves of coconut baked away in the oven, I boiled a pot of eggs, and also cooked some chicken breast pieces to use in dinner, with enough for the next couple days of lunch salads and sandwiches.  I started laundry and studied our chapter for that night's discussion. By noon, I had a lot to show for my day, and was on a roll to accomplish more.  I was amazed at what starting early could mean.

Most days, I think that since I'm home all day, I have all day to get things done, so there's 'no hurry.'  But that rarely works.  I get busy, distracted... usually, both... and often things I'd intended move to the next day's to-do list.  I'm going to admit here that sometimes those things include basics, like taking a shower and getting dinner started!  Not that we don't eat dinner some nights, but I have often had to 'punt' at the last minute, instead of preparing what I'd planned, but didn't start early enough.

Yesterday, I got up out of this computer chair early, read my chapter for tonight, then with the rest of the morning dedicated to cutting, and the afternoon to sewing, I made a robe for my mom that I'd been
meaning to make for her birthday... In September.  It was supposed to be her cozy, winter robe...   I think it'll still be chilly enough here to make it useful for a couple of months, but I could've had it to her earlier, if I'd learned earlier to make use of my earlier hours in the day!

Many of you are probably shaking your head, having known this for years and years.  I confess, I've suffered the sins of selfishness, laziness, and indiscipline.  But I'm growing, and hope I'm coming out of it.  Over half my life is behind me, and I want to do as much as I can with what's left.  Today, I've cleaned our stove while my coffee brewed, and now I've written out this post.  Usually, I would commiserate, correct, and tailor, then play with photos until it was to a certain level of perfection I expect to present of myself to you.  

Today, though, I have another goal, so I'm done sitting here.  After I shift laundry, come up with a dinner plan, and probably start some bread, I want to see if I can get the wisp of an idea that's been floating in my head for an art-tile inspired quilt I might want to make for our living room wall to take form on paper... So I'm off to do so.  Have a great day!

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