If “Morning Routines” Were Honest

In this house, lemon water ain’t enough.

Photo by Jess Bailey on Unsplash

Hey guys! Literally no one is asking, except to express shock and horror regarding the time I chose to wake up, but I wanted to go ahead and share my morning routine anyway, because part of my actual morning routine is writing something, and today I chose this. I’m not skipping the details, or sugar coating anything in affirmations. This is what I actually do when I wake up five days a week, and sometimes Saturdays if my anxiety’s bad. Here we go.

First, I wake naturally at 4am. That’s right. No alarm needed, no farm rooster required, just me and my natural circadian rhythm that I’ve had my whole life including when I was a kid and went to sleepovers and would have to lay there silently on a trundle bed for four hours until my goddamned friends would wake up. This is my truth. I love being an early riser, I don’t care how uncool that makes me or how weird, I love waking up before literally everyone else and enjoying the peaceful stillness of the day. I also love ending my workday at 2pm, suckers.

While never making direct eye contact with my phone screen because it hurts, I turn off my white noise app (I prefer an aggressive rain pattern), and tap the button on my phone that turns on the white Christmas lights strewn about my living room. I let my eyes adjust. Then I check everything on my phone that you’re probably not supposed to check before your feet hit the ground, but I like to know what I missed in terms of notifications and Citizen app warnings while I was dreaming.

I make my bed while I’m still in it. Fun fact, this is actually the best and easiest time to make your bed, because it’s SO much quicker and more effortless to use your legs as linen adjusters than to crawl back atop your bed later to reach the side that’s up against the wall. I shimmy out of my Target sheets and into my flip flops. I have to wear special flip flops around my own damned apartment because I have plantar fasciitis and am thus forbidden to be barefoot. I put on my pajamas (I sleep naked, I don’t need to wear fabric to crawl into more fabric, I’m sweaty, thx), and scoop up the cat who is singing me a song of her people next to my bed until I acknowledge her presence. I get one decent morning snuggle from her which will be followed by nothing but attitude until the sun rises the following day.

First, the shit. There is always a cat shit on my bathroom floor because that’s where she leaves it. Her litter box is nine inches away, but this spoiled Swiffer duster wants me to prove I love her every goddamned morning before I’ve had my coffee by cleaning up her leavings and disinfecting my bathroom floor. Every. Single. Morning. Then I wash my hands aggressively and begin my day.

These days, my stomach has the fortitude of wet notebook paper, so I water down my iced coffee by making coffee soda, which is half cold brew and half sparkling water. On the weekends, I add a splash of vanilla, for kicks. I usually have my first sip of this nectar of life while looking out the window at the sunrise. Sunrises are my reward for being an early waking lunatic. I take a photo of it which I post to my Instagram stories.

Next, I put on my back trainer because I have terrible scoliosis. I wear it anywhere from fifteen minutes to an hour while I’m sitting at my desk. Speaking of my desk, my first tasks include checking my email, my Medium earnings from the day before, and all my various channels and stats. Typically I’ll also hop over to LinkedIn to see who on that site is misusing it today. Honestly, everyone needs to learn how to actually use LinkedIn. Including LinkedIn.

My podcast’s Facebook group gets the most of my early morning attention, I’ll approve any pending posts or requests to join the group, then I’ll scroll through the posts and comments and try not to freak out about the fact that 2,500 people joined something I made. After I’ve checked and tended to everything in my bookmarks tab, then I can write.

The goal is to write something, either for Medium, my website, or some publication that’s promised to give me $300 in three months time if I give them some words. It happens most days, but when it doesn’t I’m mostly just checking out new arrivals from Sephora.

At some point while I’m writing I remember to take a probiotic, one that’s $14.99/month rather than $49.99/month, because I believe there’s a fine line between good branding and an outright swindle. I take off my back trainer, curse my genetics, and get on with my day.

If it’s a Monday or a Thursday I do a load of laundry that I complete prior to 8am to ensure I never have to encounter any of the other occupants of my apartment building. To be clear, I did this before we all had cooties. I don’t fold my laundry however until later in the afternoon, when I need a break from work. Yes, I am the sort of person who considers folding laundry a break from work. It’s a standing-up activity, you see, and it doesn’t involve a screen.

In between the wash and dry cycles, I wash my face and put in my contact lenses. My skincare routine consists of an Amore Pacific enzyme scrub which I am happy to report is actually worth the $60/bottle, followed by Sunday Riley’s CEO serum and Caudalie’s Vinosource Creme SOS. I then use an ice roller atop my skincare potions to try and reverse the very natural effects of gravity and age upon my skin. Hopefully at this point I also remember to apply my natural deodorant, as its effectiveness is extremely closely tied to consistency of use. At no point during my morning do I exert any effort whatsoever on my hair.

Somewhere around 7am I’ll have breakfast, which is typically a homemade, low-carb blueberry muffin that I’ve sliced in half horizontally and toasted in the oven for 13 minutes precisely. This is topped with vegan butter and consumed while I watch videos from my favorite astrologer and tarot reader or John Oliver. Following breakfast, I finish up anything I’m writing and conclude the part of the morning that is mine. At this point, I embark on any outstanding client work I have on the docket, and if there is none, I do podcasty shit.

Whenever it gets hot enough in the apartment from the direct beams of morning sunlight in August, I change from my pajamas into my house clothes, which in summertime consist of bike shorts and a tank top that can easily hide under a button-down in the event of a Zoom. If I so choose, around 8am I will walk the 1.5 miles each way to the grocery store for a morning walk. If I need no groceries, I buy a Hal’s sparkling water and drink it on the way home.

But maybe lemon water is nice, I don’t know.

NPR once called me a humor essayist, let’s go with that. Host of A Single Serving Podcast. shanisilver[at]gmail

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