I am working through Tsh Oxenrider’s One Bite At A Time. Her book takes the seeming elephant-sized list of ideas and projects that can be part running your household and brakes them down into bite-sized projects you can read and start to do in a few minutes. The posts in this series are the recording of my journey through her book and the recommended projects.
This Project almost seems as if it should come before last month’s project of establishing a morning routine. For me, as I guess for most other people whether we realize it or not, morning starts the night before. The things we do in the evening and early night hours have a tremendous impact on the following morning. Often the ending of the day finds me physically worn out and emotionally spent from activities and people interactions. I am often tempted to go, go, go until I can’t stay awake any longer, and then I stumble to bed for sleep.
A week or so of this behavior and I am no longer a pleasant or effective person. Grumpiness quickly settles in as the normal, and I am pretty miserable (which obviously as wife and mom affects my family greatly!). So, spurred to action by this project I have taken steps to be more intentional in the way I spend my evening.
Tsh suggests as you consider what to make a part of your evening routine include those things that you will wish in the morning you had done or be glad you did do. For me, those things include taking a shower, clearing my desk, loading and running the dishwasher, doing a general pick up of our living space, having some time with my family.
Showering, taking time to enjoy a cup of tea and read for a bit before lights out is part of helping my mind and body know it is time to be getting ready to sleep.
Having a generally picked up living/dining room and a sink clear of dishes is just a mental boost in my morning. Actually, it is more not being mentally and emotionally sucker punched by the clutter first thing in the morning.
Clearing my desk and considering my clothes for the next day are ways of prepping for the day. I also ideally take time to gather things for any errand running I might be doing the next or gathering things for a project we might be doing.
I have enjoyed the difference in my mornings since I have begun a more consistent evening routine. I appreciate and enjoy being proactive and preparing for the next day in the evening hours is definitely being proactive. Honestly, I have not done as well as I could with this project. The timing of when to do my routine has been difficult. If I start after the kids are in the bed, it usually does not get done. By then, I am done for the day!! I am experimenting with pulling aspects of my evening routine into the late afternoon hours. Tasks such as getting out my clothes, clearing my desk, and even starting the general pick up of the house can all be worked on before we even have supper. Once the kiddos are in bed, the moments seem too few to spend them doing things I can easily do when they are still “roaming free.” Overall, I am happy with the progress this project has helped me make, but definitely feel that more work is necessary to make it work well for me and to become a more natural part of my life.
What about you? Do you have an evening routine? If so, do you see that the things you do help to get your ready for tomorrow? If not, consider trying it for a couple of weeks. You never know what little thing you do might make the biggest difference in how you greet your morning.