Okay, I got distracted by the Ben Franklin thing. My point is, I woke up this morning, checked e-mail and blogs, and then spent an hour cleaning the first floor. It's almost clean now -- I stopped only because it's past time for Anand to get up. But I kept thinking that this wasn't the way I wanted to start the day. I mean, it's great to start the day with a clean house -- it feels fresh and orderly and like everyone will enjoy themselves more in it. I'll be able to cook with ease (instead of having a clutter of stuff on the counter and dirty dishes in the sink). The kids will play better, because their toys will be neatly organized in stations, and they'll actually see them and be interested and engaged. That's all good. But I only have about an hour free most mornings before the kids get up, and I think it probably ought to go to either exercise or writing -- the two things I feel like I'm never doing enough of.
My office is set up now, finally. I have a clean desk, a chair, a soft rug from IKEA, and a lamp. I could wake up and just start writing. I think I probably should. I think even five minutes of checking e-mail is an interruption, a distraction. After all, the e-mail checking can happen after the kids wake up; I can do e-mail while watching them, and I can't write then. Similarly, while it's more pleasant and easier to clean while they're not around, cleaning certainly is something that can happen around them. Writing I just can't do while I'm on kid-duty. Exercise is a little less clear, because when the weather's nice, they'd be thrilled to go for long walks, and it's just my inertia that keeps me from taking them. So I can combine exercise and kid-watching if I want.
It'd help if Kev can do some straightening up / dishes at night -- he was doing that for a while at the condo, but we've lost that in the move. If it's not overwhelmingly messy in the morning, it'll be easier for everyone to face the day.
I'm mostly thinking out loud here. But my vacation is officially ending tomorrow, and along with starting teaching, I want to start writing regularly again. The house (and unpacking) isn't done, but it's in good enough order that house-finishing things are now a daily task or two, rather than all-encompassing. I think my conclusion to all this is that I need to make it easy to write first thing, and a priority. So a sequence on waking @ 5:30:
- brush teeth, shower, dress
- go downstairs and make tea, take meds
- write for an hour
- wake the kids @ 7:00
- check e-mail while they have a half hour of tv and milk
- get them dressed and fed
- either take them to school and then prep for class (MWF) or (TTHSatSun) clean up while they play or take them for a walk
Do you ritualize your morning? Any tips or suggestions? Frustrations and complaints also welcome. :-)