Goals: April Mornings

I have 2 goals that I’m working on. One is just getting rid of the weight I gained while pregnant (which is going well) and the other is figuring out how to streamline my mornings so I wake up like a Disney princess (you know exactly what I mean).

I think people obsess about morning routines because of the long held sanctity of “early birds getting worms” and agricultural culture and all that. But I do think that having an active, fulfilling morning feels much more satisfying than anything else…because, it saves the rest of the day for relaxation. Or, if the rest of the day is terrible, I feel like I’ve gotten my “goods” taken care of: a good night rest, a good breakfast, good morning fresh hair, a good hot cup of coffee, and so on. And honestly, getting dressed and cleaned up and out of the house? That’s MAJOR. It is something you really take for granted when you’re young and your parents are shouting at you to hurry up and get to school. When you’re older and either depressed, unemployed, or a grad student (=DEPRESSED UNEMPLOYED COMBO LOLOLOL cry), you can easily spend the entire day in your yoga pants still covered with cheezit crumbs. Then you just feel like shit the rest of the day.

I always feel like if things are pretty good at 10 am, I’ve won the rest of the day. If I took care of things between 7-8am, then I can slide for the next 14 hours more or less.This is why I have a weird love of morning scenes in anime (or any media I guess). Here are two examples.

The first is from one of my favorite Studio Ghibli films: Whisper of the Heart (Mimi wo sumaseba, 耳をすませば).

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It is a hot summer morning and Shizuku rolls out of bed to see the morning chores all mostly done by her responsible older sister. She is the stereotypically lazy shojo heroine at the start of the film until her dream to write a short story propels her to action for the rest of the summer. At the start of the movie, she wakes up and laundry is already hanging under the bright sun. She eats breakfast and walks to meet her best friend.

Here is Princess Tutu (プリンセスチュチュ), one of the greatest and underrated shojo anime of all time, imo.

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This scene, a typical iconic opening of the clumsy and bumbling heroine, is how the series opens. After a strange dream, Ahiru wakes up near dawn and opens the window wide to welcome in the birds and morning fog. She runs out of her dorm, thinking she is late for class when in fact she is an hour early!

Shizuku (and Kiki from Kiki’s Delivery Service) are almost always on my mind when the summer hits. Ahiru is almost always on my mind when the mornings are cold and foggy. I was trying to understand why I love these scenes so much and this is my conclusion:

When you wake up and get out of the house, you’re putting yourself on the start of an adventure.

This might seem stupidly obvious but, again, I spent the last few years in yoga pants and generally never left my apartment. Like, never. Anyhow, let’s get to the point.

April Goal: Wake up at 6 am before the baby.

I have a pretty good morning routine ironed out from the last 2 months of experimenting and we run our household like a Japanese train (precisely on schedule, packed like sardines, polite and orderly on the surface but everyone is screaming a little inside. Also occasional perverts). I’m scared to change the morning routine because it is working well for the most part. I’m terrified to wake up at 6 am (instead of 7) because I’ve ONLY been sleeping “in” to 7 for the last 2-3 weeks because we’re Those Parents with That Baby that NEVER Slept (official title). But I need to get the day started on my own terms.

Ideally I will use this hour to do some work. Or I can go for a run (doubtful but just throwing it out there). I will have to figure out how to do this without waking up my spouse. But, I think it will help me in the long run.

FYI: If you want the science behind productivity and establishing habit chains, you can read these 2 posts on my old blog for the details.

Ps. the stupidly easy reality of losing the last 10lbs of baby weight has made me cautiously optimistic about this new goal. We shall see.


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