This morning I begin writing without a title. Usually I start from the title and build from there. I only mention it because this morning I also begin without any particular thought on what to say or where to go. I listen to the rain awhile. I trim my cuticles. I meditate. I sip my coffee and scroll through my Facebook feed, noticing there is little to catch up on since the night before. I listen to the rain against the window pane awhile longer, aware of my arthritis pain, too. The weekend is over… I’m not sure I’m ready for that.

I enjoy these quiet hours I’ve set aside for me in the early morning. I smile thinking back on conversations with my traveling partner about ‘not being a morning person’ and how much I disliked the early rising hour of active duty life as a much younger woman. I would happily ‘sleep in’ every day, and wake without an alarm clock…knowing myself as I do, I’d still be up by 7:00 am most mornings. The choice to get up earlier than necessary in order to begin each day with time that is really my own was originally made with such reluctance and skepticism (it was my traveling partner’s suggestion); I expected it would not suit me to ‘deprive myself of sleep’ in that way ‘just to have some time to myself’. How many times in life have my assumptions been incorrect, or my expectations a poor fit for real life? (Let’s not count them all.) The idea of getting up very early to enjoy a leisurely morning each day didn’t seem to be an obvious win for me going into it, and I am still just a bit surprised when I consider how well it does work for me. Instead of ‘depriving me of sleep’ it became a practice that I can also rely on to help stabilize my sleep cycle; I now regularly crash out at about the same time every night, in part because I am up at the same early hour every morning. I sleep better, more often. I think a quiet thank you at the human being asleep in another room – uncountable “best practices” that I find to be practical, delightful, and useful have sourced with this partnership we share, and the exchange of good ideas in a context of openness and respect.

My thoughts move on. It’s that sort of morning. There are other practices to practice this morning, other opportunities to experience a moment, to grow, to enjoy the woman in the mirror. I sip my coffee, make choices, and organize my thoughts regarding the day and week to come. I try to do so without investing in untested assumptions, or building a plan on a foundation of implicit expectations.

And still (again?) my thoughts move on. It’s a less than ideal morning for this sort of writing. I smile as I recognize it, and I move on, too, thoughts and all. 🙂 Today is a good day for more practice, and fewer words.