I’ve been enjoying the posts on apartmenttherapy.com about morning rituals. No one would ever accuse me of being a morning person. I don’t like waking up. I don’t like getting out of bed. I don’t like trying to function before 9 AM. But I do like the perceived peace of other people’s morning rituals. I love the way that people find their own ways to ease into the day, slipping through the first morning hours, and settling into their own daily routines, duties, chaos and whatever else awaits us.
I can’t say that I have a ritual that is routine. Every morning in our house looks different. Some mornings I can roll out of bed, get everyone going, fed, clothed, prepped and out the door at a reasonable hour so that the mamas get to work at a respectable time and we haven’t pulled our hair out due to traffic or other morning menaces. Other mornings, it is a true miracle if the mamas get into our offices and shortstack is in his classroom seat when school begins. But there is one morning puzzle piece that is consistent for me. COFFEE!
<hmmmmm> I love my coffee. I think my coffee addiction is past the point in which caffeine has any noticeable impact on my alertness. I think that caffeine effect ended in my late teens. But the cup of coffee that I have each morning is a precious reprieve from the daily downpour of scheduled duties, gotta-do’s, don’t-want-to-do’s and the like. Every night, before we go to bed, my wife grinds coffee beans and sets the coffee maker for 6:10ish AM. Every morning, just before my alarm insistently buzzes for one of us to get our butts out of bed, the water starts warming and the coffee starts dripping. By the time all of us are moving around the house, coffee is made. But I don’t have my fix just yet. While she’s getting dressed, I’ll get Panda’s coffee ready for her to enjoy (well, at least consume) before she leaves the house. Right before I walk out the door one of us pours my coffee in a to-go mug and then we all start our days. As I fight Honolulu traffic the 6-ish miles from home to work, my coffee sits in the center console, untouched. Making my way into my office, getting settled at my desk, opening email, going through my daily appointments, I finally pour my coffee into my at-work-coffee-cup and heat it up for a couple of minutes so that the coffee and the mug are thoroughly hot and comforting in my hand. At that point, I usually have about 15 or 20 minutes to enjoy what, I suppose, is my morning ritual: strong, hot, black coffee in my at-work-coffee-cup while browsing through my favorite blogs and jotting random thoughts down in my journal.
I don’t think I can say that this little ritual of mine eases me into the day … the daily morning chaos is sure to cancel out any hope of “easing” any of us into our daily routine … but I will say, that my coffee ritual comforts me. I love that I know my wife prepared our coffee for the day, “made with love” as she says. I love the strong, tart and smooth flavor of black coffee as I sit in my office taking these precious minutes to myself. I enjoy the dramatic contrast between the fudge-chocolate color of the coffee against the creamy white of my at-work-coffee-cup. So, maybe I do have a morning ritual … one that stays as fluid as it needs to be to get done what we need to in the mornings. But I find peace in that and, when it comes down to it, that is what personal rituals are all about, aren’t they?