It’s 7:15 when my alarm clock goes off. Some days it feels as if I’ve only slept for a couple of hours, but today it seems pretty okay. Yesterday was a particularly bad day overall, but we managed to pull through and somehow find the strength to get up. Never do I snooze, so I turn off the alarm as fast as Humanly possible. Then, I leave the bed, making sure that I don’t wake up my girlfriend. She always stays in bed just a little longer, except when it’s the weekend, then we both like to sleep in. Sadly it’s just another Wednesday, but at least the work week is almost halfway through.
After brushing my teeth and going to the toilet I enter the living room. Three cats are staring at me from the floor. They’re all hungry and are eagerly awaiting their servant. I pat all of them as I move towards the curtains and open them. It’s halfway through February and around this time you can see the sun rise. Which is always nice when it coincides with your morning routine. Bobbie and Storm have tactically positioned themselves to be the first to eat, in case I should I fill their bowls early. I tell them to be patient. I tried meditating after I gave them food and if there’s one thing that will really disturb your meditation session it’s the sound of cats eating and drinking.
The meditation session lasts about ten minutes and after I finish it, I open my eyes and feel as if I have woken up for the second time today, but in a much more pleasant way. Now I feel that I’m a little bit more ready to face whatever it is that this day will throw at me. I stand up from the couch and move towards my desk where my diary is already waiting. Next to it is my favourite writing pen. A silver ballpoint from Cross. As I sit down, I open my 6 minute diary and fill in the morning part. What am I thankful for today? How can I make today a great day? And what is my affirmation? After some consideration I fill them out. That part of my ritual is done.
Because yesterday was a particularly bad day, I decide to recite Marcus Aurelius’s mantra in hopes it will help me.
Somehow I do find solace in these words of wisdom. Marcus is my homeboy now. We have a mutual understanding and aren’t a big fan of other people. He knew it all those centuries ago. I know it now. People, what a bunch of bastards.
Now it’s time for my shower. I turn on the water. My back is sore and I turn up the heat to soothe the ache a little. I visualise how every negative bit of thought washes down the drain with the rest of the water. This helps a little, yet my thoughts keep dwelling on what had transpired yesterday. I vow not to let others bother me to the point where I get emotional. My inner stoic cheers at me: “Go for it, buddy! You can do it! Whoohoo!”
When I finally leave the shower, I pick a shirt for today. This one says “Existence is Pain” with a screaming face on it. It’s Mr. Meeseeks from Rick & Morty. Seems fitting for my current mood. I will be wearing a sweater over it, so no one else can see today. This will be my little secret, something I can silently laugh about when I talk to them. After I put on the rest of my clothing, I kiss Bren, who has just entered her waking stages.
During breakfast the cats know their feeding time is imminent. Blix and Storm do a bid for my charity when I put some salami on my bread and pour myself some milk, but for them it’ll be plain old Royal Canin cat food. This is a moment I always like, right after taking a shower and finally having some food. Just watching the traffic from the window, seeing how it all seems so small and trivial that we rush to work at the same time. I hope that I’ll be able to not participate in that madness any more sometime soon.
I do some reading in the book I’m currently reading in the last fifteen minutes before I have to go. Then move to the kitchen to get rid of the dishes and head out. I feel that I’m now prepared to go out, that I can face the world once again. This is how I typically start my weekdays and this feels so much better than when I was younger and I would snooze and rush off to work in half an hour. It really is about starting your day properly, by taking some time for yourself, so you can handle whatever is coming your way during the day.
“It’ll be a better day today”, I say to myself as I close the door and head into the madness.