When people find out that I wake up super early, they usually can't understand it. First, I am a morning person, so that just messes everyone up, but that's not why I get up early. Heck, even though I'm a morning person, I'd rather be getting up at 9:00 every day. Yet, I get up no later than 6:15 every weekday morning. I don't do it because I'm overly ambitious or a work-aholic. I do it to get my life together. It's a coping mechanism so that I don't get overwhelmed and consumed by the shear amount of things that need to be done during the day.
A lot of people were complaining on how their mornings always feel so crazy trying to get the kids off to school. It prompted me to write about our morning routine. The thing is, without me getting up early, the morning routine would not go as well. When Husband stays home, he views the mornings as a crazy chaotic mad rush. What he doesn't know is that it's actually a very well choreographed, frenzied dance that runs so smoothly because I wake up early.
If any of you knew my kids and my house, you would know that my kids are light sleepers and my house is tiny. This limits the work I can actually do first thing in the morning. I don't get up and do dishes unless I want kids up at 6am, which I definitely do not. I can't go work out in the basement where my treadmill is because if Sunshine does get up early, she yells for me and I don't want her waking up Monster to have two kids up early. So, what exactly is it that I DO with my early morning time? Well, I find Elsa's shoes, of course.
Each morning, I make a list of things to accomplish during the day. It's a very specific list. I have learned that if I'm not extremely specific, I'm less likely to accomplish the tasks because they seem too large. Therefore, I have a crazy long, but very detailed list. I need lists because these clear the clutter from my brain and help me focus. Once it's down on paper, because, yes, I use paper and not an electronic device, I can "forget" about it and make room in my head for other things (not sure yet if that's good or bad, but it's working for now). I try not to put things on my list that I know are out of reach or too broad. For example, I no longer write "laundry" on my list. Instead, I write, "wash darks". That is much more attainable than 1700 loads of laundry piled up waiting for me. I have to take each day step by step or I can't breathe. I don't write down the crazy stuff that I must do 100 times a day like "take out recycling" or "wash dishes", though I do have to write down when I have to take the recycling up to actually be recycled or to take the bread machine back down the basement after it's cleaned.
Every so often, I have something on my list that doesn't get done. It's rare, but it happens. When it does happen, I move it over to the next day's tasks. However, sometimes there's just something on the list the bugs me so much that I can' t focus until it's done. That was Elsa's shoe. A while back, Sunshine went through her toys and decided to get rid of some. One of the things she was ready to part with was an Elsa doll. The problem was, we couldn't find Elsa's one shoe. After about an hour of searching, Sunshine just gave up. I knew it would bug me, so it went on my list for the next day. The next day I searched. No shoe. How could there be no shoe? The next morning, bright and early, as I'm once again writing "find Elsa's shoe" on my list, I couldn't take it. I cleaned the entire play room. Top to bottom, perfectly cleaned. While most people are still sound asleep, I was frantically cleaning to find the Elsa shoe. Not only did I find the shoe, but the playroom was also cleaned and perfectly organized by 6:30 in the morning. And, I still had about an hour before the kids got up.
I can't tell you how much I wish that I had a bigger house or that my kids were better sleepers so that I could get more done in the mornings. I would be unstoppable. The moment my kids get up, all my motivation is sucked away. Like they somehow suck all the energy out of me just by waking up. From the moment the kids wake up to the moment I go to bed, I'm exhausted. But that morning time, that time when I'm the only person up in the house, I'm ready to tackle anything....including Elsa's damn shoe.