Early To Bed, Early To Rise

Every morning I have an epiphany and every evening I seem to forget that old adage “early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy wealthy and wise”.

Why is it so hard for me to get that?! It has been drummed into me since I was in primary/elementary school, but I have always been a night owl.

Unfortunately night owls don’t always get to sleep in. In fact, for most of our lives we are caught up in the global working world’s timetable – which means a bright and early start to the day. No chance to catch up on that lost sleep.

Doctors have said for years that we need a certain amount of sleep to repair and restore our bodies… Our mental health depends upon it, our healthy weight range depends upon it, our brain function depends upon it, our skin, health and youthfulness depend upon it, our vitality… The list goes on & on! Yet, why do I not get it?!

I always have an excuse – I still have jobs to get done before bed. I can’t get to sleep.

Our simple physical make up dictates that we are designed to function between dawn and dusk. We don’t have nightvision. We need sunshine to nourish our bodies. Our natural inclination is to sleep after sunset (whether we actually realise it or not).

Yet, with a booming caffeine industry, it is quite obvious that I am not the only one who doesn’t seem to get the message. Do you struggle with early mornings? Do you need that cup of coffee to function? Do you often feel grumpy or down? Are you struggling with a healthy weight? Do you lack energy to do your normal daily activities? Do you struggle with clarity of mind and productivity?

Something Is Different Today.

It is an early spring morning. The sky is an incredible azure … But something is not quite right. The breeze is light and cool… But something is not quite right. The birds are twittering, today in a different tone… Something is not quite right.

Treelopping services are like busy termites everywhere – The buzz of chainsaws chewing through wood interrupts the tune of nature. The air is so dry when I breathe that I can only begin to imagine what the parched earth must be enduring. A fine grainy dust coats every surface. I can even feel it like sandpaper underfoot as I walk through the house.

We began our day just like any other. The morning chaos was as it usually is. The flurry of hugs, kisses and rushed goodbyes at the school gate were as frantic and enthusiastic as always.

Now that I have a moment to enjoy my morning coffee, I glance up again to notice that the incredible azure of that clear sky is tinged at the horizon with a suspicious beige haze.

I inhale deeply, expecting the rich aroma of those beans to be the perfect accompaniment to my musings… But there is something acrid in the background. Something more than just dust. Something is not quite right…

I can smell smoke!

Musing over Reminiscing

Today I find myself having a morning coffee musing about an afternoon’s reminisce over a Reisling… Well not quite, it was actually a very tasty Sauvignon Blanc.

Catching up with friends is like a sprinkle of sugar on a doughnut, like the proverbial icing on the cake. We might still otherwise enjoy that doughnut or piece of cake, but it is the dusting of sugar or lick of icing that makes it extra special. Just as moments with friends can be the spice of life.

I feel so incredibly fortunate to know that I have pinches of the “spice of life” scattered all over this spectacular country – literally north to south, and east to west.

It is truly comforting to know that regardless of my location or situation, I will always be able to take a moment and enjoy the company – either from a distance or face-to-face – of someone who really gets me. A family member or longtime friend. A recent association or “mother in arms”. A colleague or casual acquaintance.

Significant (if not always long-lived) friendships come unexpectedly and from all walks of life. Somehow at that moment, something connects you… A common purpose, a common need, a common interest.

Never ignore an opportunity to positively interact with someone. It feeds the soul, and becomes the spice of life!

Make Time To Take Time.

Finally, a moment to muse – It has been a while.

School holidays, visitors coming and going, a family member recovering from an operation… Not much time amongst the chaos for musing.

Life is starting to settle back into a routine and it made me realise how long it has been since I made time to take time. Just that ten minutes here and there for my own mental R and R.

My ten minute brisk walk around the block (my friend and I call it our “twirl”) – I didn’t realise how much I missed it. Especially at this time of year when the air is fresh, and on a fine day such as this, the sunshine is warm on my back. It can be so invigorating!

Working for myself, helping out a friend in their business, and being a full-time parent can be exhilarating and exhausting all at once, so those couple of self imposed “time outs” can be crucial to well-being.

When the house is empty and quiet, it is so nice to throw open the windows and doors, inviting our beautiful garden in. To sit quietly, sip my warming brew, and indulge in one of my favourite ten minute pastimes… A morning coffee musing.

The Next Chapter Begins…

Anticipation, apprehension, excitement, nervousness and a little worry. What a mixed bag of feelings I carry around with me this morning as I go about my usual routine. These feelings are not for myself, but for another special person as they undergo a long awaited surgery… I can’t even begin to imagine how he must be feeling.

Today marks the end of this first long and painful “leg” in his unique triathlon. The next will be the operation and recovery, and then, hopefully six months later the third and final stage… years of pain-free activity.

The family are looking forward to having a dad who will be able to play with them again.

As I watch the sun shining brightly through the leaves in the trees – illuminating them from within – I get a good feeling… Today marks the first day of our next chapter…

A Perfect Day For A Great Day

The lorikeets are twittering, the air is cool, the sun is warm and the sky is clear… what a perfect day to have a great day!

Anticipation is in the air… Anticipation of good things to come.

A family member will be having a long awaited medical procedure, our international “daughter” will be embarking on the adventure of a lifetime, beloved family members are arriving for a visit, the weekend is not too far away, a family gathering is planned, and the school holidays are just around the corner!

Every day we still have to deal with the mundane – necessary chores, a home and garden to maintain, meals to prepare, bills to be paid and work to be done – but the anticipation of all the positive in our lives makes life worth looking forward to.

Sometimes we have to convince ourselves to look forward with positivity. Sometimes things happen that rip the fragile tapestry of life to shreds… but it is that incredible unshakable human quality of hope that allows us to weave those threads together again into a more beautiful, rich and ever evolving tapestry. Our own unique work of art coloured with the light and dark, highs and lows of life experience.

As I sip my morning coffee, I muse about where these next few threads I weave will take me…

Brrrrr!

It is different this morning… The sky is a brilliant blue with just a sprinkle of iridescent white flecks of cloud. A light breeze dances through the tops of the tall gums. The sounds of cars and workmen have a slightly brittle ring to them this morning. I can hear a twitter here and there, but even the birds are huddling quietly for warmth. It is a chilly morning indeed!

It may not be snowing where I am right now, but you can definitely feel a flurry in the air. My jacket warms my back beneath the brilliant morning sunshine, but the tip of my nose and tops of my ears still feel the sting.

As I walk, the cerise and scarlet of the bougainvillea are startlingly vivid in the crisp morning air. The shiny white of the gumtree trunks is almost silvery as if with a sheen of ice. It is not quite cold enough for ice, but I definitely need the warmth of my morning coffee to infuse some life into my chilly limbs!

As I warm my hands around my mug, I inhale the aroma in anticipation of my first sip… Aaaahhhh