In the morning we think of the hours to come. Perhaps we think of our day’s work and the chances it may afford us to be useful and helpful, or of some special problem that it may bring. Possibly today will see a continuation of a serious and as yet unresolved problem left over from yesterday.
I don’t do this. I have a hard time waking up, always. My alarm goes off at something like 5:14 am (to be approximate). I hit snooze as many times as the alarm will allow and I get about of bed around 5:40. Each time the snooze wakes me, I have to force myself to open my eyes and keep them open for a minute. I rotate my ankles, because if I don’t, and I get out of bed without doing that, the stairs will give me pain. In the winter, I collect my pajamas from the night table and warm them up under the covers.
I think about how I always really feel fine once I’m up. I think about the animals begging to be fed and the lack of traffic outside at such an early hour. I stretch and think about all this, but not about the hours to come.
Each day that I go to work, and as long as it isn’t slippery or pouring rain out, I walk the dog. Sometimes then I start to ruminate on work problems that are to come. I have recently, within the past year, I guess, often noticed myself being negative in my thoughts about the day to come. At times I either project a problem (including my favorite problem, short staff) or think in otherwise negative ways. I’ve often been able to catch myself and to try to either stay in the moment, walking the dog, or project pleasant thoughts about the hours to come at work.
Driving to work used to be a problem time for me as well. I would often project negative situations into the coming day. This year, I’m trying to read 25 books, books on CD included. So since the beginning of the year, I’ve had a book to play, and I’ve done that. I used to listen to NPR news and music CDs exclusively. I find that lately, over the past year or so, the news is usually about Afghanistan or Iraq. I do think those topics are vital for me, as an American, to be informed about. I find that an hour or more of it each day, though, is too much. I hate both those situations and I often ache for the people who are directly suffering through them. So now I’ve listened to one book and I’ll start another tomorrow.
So I will try, in a more mindful fashion, to turn my thoughts to how I can be useful and helpful. I’m truly lucky in that endeavor. The nature of the work I do ensures I have practically unlimited opportunities to be useful and helpful.