On morning routines...

What is normal, anyway?

There's a strong network of people I know from my early morning life in Charlotte. For years now, I've been an early bird - up with the sunrise in the summertime, and a bit later in the winter. Generally speaking, I pop out of bed, get ready for the day, and am out the door in 15 minutes or so.

Somewhere along the line, I figured out that my most productive hours are first thing in the morning. Along that time, I also developed a taste for good espresso. Lucky for me, Charlotte has had something of a coffee renaissance over the past few years, which enabled my habit. I quickly became a regular at my favorite shop in town, Not Just Coffee.

I was -- on many days -- the very first customer to darken the doorway at NJC. This meant that I could chat with the baristas for a couple minutes while they made my coffee, often joking about shaking off the morning grog with them. They would cheerily make my drink while I took my usual seat, at the bar facing the window.

I spent many lovely mornings and many many hours sitting behind my laptop looking out that window, burning with productive energy, watching the glimmer of the sun in the windows of the cars that drove by while I clattered away on my keyboard. It's funny and more than a little bit scary to think that I may not be back for quite some time.

Fast forward to today. In this moment, there's a strong chance that we'll be put on mandatory lockdown in the coming days. Businesses are closing their doors left and right, for the good of the community. Personally, my routine has changed significantly. I no longer visit my local coffee shops first thing in the morning - just ask the caffeine headache I've had for the past three days.

I guess that brings me to I am writing today.

If you're at all like me, you probably have some routine in your day that's been disrupted by your newfound work protocols -- and that's okay. That's going to be a part of all of our future for the next few weeks, at least. The important thing is to find a routine that will work for you.

I've already changed mine pretty significantly. I wake up early in the morning, and still leave the house within 15 minutes or so, but instead of going to a coffee shop where I get a dose of caffeine and wake up rapidly, I've been going for about an hour long walk, and waking up a little more slowly. I've been walking on route that leads me away from the more populated parts of my neighborhood, as to not endanger the people in my community or myself.

To be completely honest with you, it's been a really nice way to start the day. I find that after I come home I take a quick shower and get in front of my desk in my office I'm still just about as productive as I would have been at a coffee shop.

So, I think that's the idea here. Things are changing, but it doesn't mean that you can't have a routine. It doesn't mean you can't find something that'll work for you.

Maybe for you it's not going for a walk but it’s doing some meditation at home, or some yoga, or waking up with your kids and reading them a book. Maybe it's listening to music, or playing your ukulele. Maybe it's making yourself an omelet every morning and while reading the newspaper whatever it may be -- find some routine which will set some normalcy in your life.

We're entering uncertain times, but it doesn't mean that you have to have an uncertain lifestyle. Try and find a way to give yourself something to anchor your days to, so that normal feels normal -- even if normal is now different.

❤️ We’re in this together.

Knowledge is power

  • 🌍 Did you know that the World Health Organization published a document outlining best practices for communication during an outbreak? It’s worth a read, and sharing with your local representatives

  • 👩‍🏫 If there are any educators in your life, Khan Academy has made daily schedules for students aged 4-18 to keep them learning (for free!).

  • 👨‍🏫Even more good news for teachers! If you’re a teacher who uses Microsoft Teams, they’ve provided some great guidelines on how to use Microsoft Teams for remote learning.

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