22 March 2011

Rise and Shine

I am not a morning person. No, let me clarify: I am not a sociable early morning person. I do like to get up early and you'll often find me at my desk or tucked up in my favourite chair reading or sewing at 4 am.

I love the peace and quiet of the house in the early morning. I can hear the kitchen clock ticking and the trucks rumbling down the highway 2 kilometres away. I know which neighbours leave for work early and I know when the garbage truck is coming and can run to put the bin out if we've forgotten.

The old saying "early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise" is true. When I'm up early I can take my time getting my day arranged, getting the jobs that need concentration out of the way before the usual day-to-day chores and routine kick in.

Back in the olden days, it was normal to up at daybreak. There were chores to be done before the business of the day began. Chickens had to be fed, cows had to be milked, bread had to be made.  With modern life and conveniences the need to be up with the roosters disappeared. There was no need to be out of bed so early, and I think it's a shame, because with that we lost the joy of early mornings.

Please don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you should be up at 4am, working flat chat. But so often I hear the complaint that there's no time to bake or tidy the house or get the ironing done, when in fact if you were to get up just 30 minutes earlier each day, how much could you accomplish.

When the boys were little and Hannah just a tiny baby Wayne was working at a feedlot. He would be up at 3am and leave at 3.30am to start work at 4am. I'd get up when he left and feed the baby. Then once she was asleep again I would start my chores. I could dust and polish and sweep and wash the floors without little boys running in and out. It was the perfect time to bake too. Much as I loved baking with the boys sometimes it was nice to be able to get it all done in a fraction of the time and without the mess. I'd even do the ironing if there was any.

I especially loved getting dinner ready. Meat would come out of the freezer and if there were any veggies to peel or wash I'd do them and put them into the fridge. As those of you who have had little ones in the house know, dinner time is not the time to be peeling potatoes and thawing meat.  Getting it prepped and out of the way early in the day saved us from takeaway many nights, especially if Wayne was working late. 

By around 5am I was finished - my household chores for the day were all done, bar making the boys' beds.  The rest of the day was mine, mine, mine!

That's when I'd boil the kettle and make a cuppa and sit and relax until I heard the patter of little feet as they bounded down the hallway looking for their breakfast.  And our day began.

I still love getting up early and getting the day underway.  Having the beds made, dishes done and floors swept early in the morning keeps the house respectable. Getting a load of washing on the line saves me from spending the whole weekend washing, drying and ironing (or supervising the troops as they do it).  It only takes a minute to check the meal plan and pull the meat from the freezer and scrub some veggies.

Actually none of these chores takes more than a few minutes each but they all have a huge impact on our home and the way I feel about it. When our home is clean and orderly our days are too.  If I can walk out the door at 8:15am, knowing the basics have been done, the rest of the day is a breeze.

If you don't believe me, try it. Get up earlier. Try getting up just an hour earlier and see how much easier your day is. It may take you a while to get into the swing of things and really enjoy those 60 minutes, but remember it takes 21 days to create a habit. Once you've done it, you'll be amazed by how much stress one quiet, early morning hour can eliminate from your life.

1 comment:

  1. While I could happily spend the whole day in bed I have children and house to look after, (My fella pretty much takes care of himself in the mornings), and have found that getting up just 15 mins earlier on school days takes all the stress out of getting the morning routine done and my son to school on time.We sometimes even have time for a few pages of book before calmly leaving the house for the school run. Sooo much nicer than rushing around, yelling and forgetting things needed for school.


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