Morning routine

Since being 30+ I’ve found comfort in a morning routine. I wake up. I get out of bed, and on days I am tempted to press the snooze button, I don’t. I scrape my tongue. I feed the cats and put on water for my chai tea. I used to be all about the coffee, but I’ve made a conscious effort to slow the pace down, which requires reducing my caffeine consumption. Coffee revs me up a little too much. I let Enya ease me into the day and sit sipping my tea until I’ve listened to both sides of my Watermark record.

I find that my morning routine helps set the tone for the entire day. I feel balanced, even when stressful situations at work present themselves. My morning routine also serves as designated time when I’m focused on me. I’m not thinking of work, of family obligations, of chores or bills. I either read material I find inspiring or focus on my breath and do some stretching.

If you’re looking for some balance in your life, I’d recommend establishing a morning routine. And if you succeed at that, Ayurveda encourages expanding routine to the rest of your day as well.

Doing the unstuck

Getting unstuck in the work realm is one of the two objectives I’ve set out for my PY35. Coincidentally, the day I posted this objective in a post about a week ago, my boss informed me that I’d be getting a raise if I wanted to take on some more reporting responsibilities. Flattered that she seems to want to keep me around, I was forthright in reminding her how much I hate spending time with reporting (especially the kind of busy work reporting that I see our department being responsible for) and that being in a position of reporting more, to me, seemed like a fast track to…she finished my sentence for me.

“Peace out?”

Exactly. Ultimately, I agreed to at least try it out. Although my new salary isn’t what I thought it would be, I definitely appreciate the extra $100 per month after taxes that I’ll have. 

For me, getting this “promotion” and not really being super psyched about it got me to thinking. Why the quotes around promotion? What about this feels fake to me? Why aren’t I more excited? Proud? Appreciative? Am I depressed? Why can’t I just be satisfied with a status quo life and call it good?

And then, because I don’t like just asking questions, I tried to tease out some answers.

Why the quotes around promotion? What about this feels fake to me?

Besides the fact that I’m 35 and still occasionally find myself feeling like I’m just playing grownup as opposed to actually being grownup, I think the promotion was presented to me in a way so nonchalantly, it felt like my boss was throwing some money in my direction, in an attempt to make me happy (she recently asked me if I’m happy at work and I answered honestly, “no”). Unfortunately, the problem as I see it can’t be fixed with money. Maybe the promotion feels fake to me because so many other factors at work feel fake to me. Fake by association.

Why aren’t I more excited? Proud? Appreciative?

Because I value authenticity and if I smell fakeness I detach and none of the above sentiments can be experienced/expressed.

Am I depressed?

No, just stuck in the work realm. I feel joy in other aspects of my life.

Why can’t I just be satisfied with a status quo life and call it good?

That’s just not me, even though sometimes I am tempted and find myself tired from swimming against the stream and just want to float for a while. When I float I end up in places I’m not happy. I’m positive that I’m just in the wrong stream and that I just need to find the flow that’s right for me.

It seems I’m stuck spending my energy swimming against the current. For a long time I held the belief that you have to be in the game to change the game. But after observing the glass ceiling in full effect with one of my colleagues and trying to change this game for 10 years, I kind of just want to pull a “I’m taking my ball and going home” and go find a new game to play with people who I feel inspired by.

Screen free evenings

Who knew upgrading from an iPhone 4 last night to a 6 plus would inspire me to stay off all things with screens (at least in the evenings)? Maybe it’s because I recently began a Power Year. That’s right. I went to the woods. I disconnected from the noise of society and all its norms it likes to throw at me, and I reconnected with nature. As per usual when I’m surrounded by natural beauty, I felt grounded and part of the universe that matters to me.

Iceberg Lake in Glacier National Park
Iceberg Lake in Glacier National Park

I’m 35. It’s been five years since I completed my last Power Year and it’s time. I’m at a place where I’m feeling dissatisfied with my job and I’ve veered off the course I like to be on—slowly and by various distractions (aka social norms and expectations). I decided it’s time to steer my way back on the course of intentional living, what better way than to take another Power Year?

Unlike my Power Year of 29, I’m starting PY35 out with only two objectives:

1) Get unstuck in work realm.

2) Improve photography skills.

I think evenings  free of all things screen (t.v., computer, phone, if I had a tablet, that too…)might be my way of finding inspiration. We shall see.