A year ago at this time, I was dealing with a major health issue and surgery, which thankfully corrected, is seems so far, the issue. It was in that week, and the weeks after before I returned to my 60 hour work week that I knew a change needed to be made. I was getting up before 5:00, cramming any last work that was still lingering, or setting something up for when I got in the office. I would then be in the office, or about town in meetings from 8:00 until 5:00 or 5;30, followed by a long commute home, lugging additional work home most nights, starting up again about 9:00 until I collapsed with exhaustion. Weekends were better, but I found myself being e-mailed frequently, particularly the weekends after my boss had been out of the office, as her catch-up became my catch up. I changed jobs in March, and while I still have a completely crazy busy work day, it for the most part stays there. From 8:00-5:00, nine out of every 10 days in the pay period, I give it my all, and the remaining time is mine and my families.
However, I feel like I spent the first several months wondering what to do with those extra hours. I realized in hindsight, I was a bit of an adrenaline junky, getting my fix from the hurry hurry go go, and my mind wasn't yet making the change. I settled into appreciating more down time, more attention to hobbies, but I still was missing something. What I think I miss is the morning jump start that set my day in motion. While a year ago, the jump out of bed was forced to make sure one more load of laundry, three more e-mails, and a report were dealt with, I now have the luxury of using that same early morning time, that routine, to focus on my transition to the new day. I was doing this regularly this summer when participating in the Rise and Write facilitated at Out of the Writers Closet. I'd look for those prompts, reflect a few minutes, and dive in. It felt good, and it gave the spaces in my mind a tenant. While I may not write each morning, and those of you reading might be thinking, "thank you", I am reclaiming the 5:00 a.m. spot for me. Who else has dealt with major change in time, in a good way, and how did you reframe the way you shaped your days?