Starting every day at Roman Catholic Mass at 730am with my mother was NOT my idea of a good time as a child. At some point, I’m guessing as an early teenager, I must have put my stompy hormonal foot down and stopped attending. She, on the other hand, never stopped her daily commitment until the past few years when she simply couldn’t walk there anymore.
I thought about this habit of hers this week when I was really cranky one afternoon, feeling like my day had completely gotten away from me. The reality was, I had been to three appointments, all scheduled myself, of my own choosing, and all aligned with what I'm doing in the world. But cranky I was. Being the inquisitive thing that I am, I wanted to pin down what had happened. And the first thing I realized was that I had missed my normal morning routine (I hadn’t planned well and didn’t get up early enough to do it before I had to be at my first appointment.)
This morning routine of mine looks different than my mother’s did. Less doctrine, no man in a dress (I mean vestments), more coffee, and a journal. But the similarities (candles!) make me soften to my mothers life in a different way than I’ve felt before: a chance to reflect on what is important, planting ourselves in gratitude for what we have, and creating a sense of the sacred. Every single day.
How we all do this might look different, but finding a way to start each day with your own attention and intention creates a breeding ground for a better day.
What are your favorite practices/rituals to start your day?