BRENT STOLLER

Writer. Advice giver. Peanut butter and chocolate enthusiast.

30 Days of Joy: A Routine Celebration

Morning cup of coffee and a spoon

Note: This article is the next step in my challenge to find joy in something — anything — every day for 30 days. Today’s entry is part 28.

Routine gets a bad rap.

Just look at some of its synonyms:

Ordinary. Unremarkable. Chronic.

When you read those words, does it not feel like your outlook for the day, and for life in general, has been doused in sedative?

Meanwhile, spontaneity gets all the glory.

(Synonyms: Inspiration. Improvisation. Whim. All of which embolden an enthralling, sky’s-the-limit awakening.)

And though I need to be more spontaneous, I need my routine even more.

Specifically, my morning routine.

My body and brain are my operating system, meaning they have to be booted up at the proper pace and in the proper sequence. This allows me to be as lucid possible, which (hopefully) allows me to be as productive as possible.

Today, as I was making my bed, my eye caught the clock on my nightstand. It read 7:25 a.m. And I couldn’t help smiling.

I was right on schedule.

That moment was two hours and five minutes in the making.

It all began with a 5:20 a.m. wake-up. By 6:20 a.m., I was in the kitchen, making my post-workout shake. Then it was back upstairs to shower, followed by 20 minutes of meditation.

From 7 to 7:15 a.m., I sat on the couch, drank my shake (which had perfectly chilled) and watched TV.

This is among my most treasured periods of the day — what could be better than chocolate and SportsCenter?

After brushing my teeth and getting dressed, I made the bed and wrote in my Five Minute Journal, which serves as a pregame motivational speech in the preparation for my day.

This morning, for instance, as I was filling out the section about what I’m grateful for, I was reminded of noticing the clock at 7:25 a.m. So one of my entries was that I’m grateful for my morning routine.

That was the seed that grew into this article.

And by 7:40 a.m., about as awake as I’ll ever be, I got in my car to start my commute.

Just like always.

*****

This originally appeared on 100 Naked Words.

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