The topic is mornings, so of course I am thinking about my mornings. I’ve thought about the mornings of my childhood, and I’ve thought about mornings of today, both on days when I have to work in the morning and when I don’t. But what I’m thinking about now is Julie’s mornings and I’m thinking about them on two levels. On one level is what her mornings are like with MS, and how she gets ready for the day, and how difficult that may be for her. The other level, and this is where I am right now, is this: What is Julie writing about mornings?
It has been increasingly clear to me that Julie and I are approaching these topics quite differently. I never realized how literal and self-centric I am until I started this project with her a year and a half ago. When we choose a topic I think to myself “How does this relate to me?” and I think Julie thinks “How does this relate to the world?” I look inward and she looks outward. Or something like that. I thought briefly about writing on mornings as if I were looking at it from Julie’s perspective, but quickly ditched that idea. I’m not Julie and I don’t write like Julie and there is no reason for me to be like Julie because Julie is already Julie and, besides, who would be Ginny if I were Julie?
I hope I decide to edit out that last sentence. Carrying on …
I like to wake up slowly, spending some time trying to “catch” my dreams. People talk about remembering dreams, but I think of it more as dream catching. They are always right there on the edge of my consciousness as I am waking up, and if I am still they wander on back to me so that I can look at them again. I have recurring elements to my dreams, so I am always on the lookout for those particularly if they have changed in any way. I won’t bore you with the details or reveal too much of myself in some of the obvious symbolism of the most frequent elements. No one likes hearing about other people’s dreams.
On mornings when I have to go to work I also spend some time before I get out of bed deciding what to wear, which may come as a surprise to some of my co-workers who know that I have a rather limited and uninspired wardrobe. Once I’m up the routine kicks in and that is what keeps me moving. I’ve discovered that the less I have to think about as I am getting ready in the morning the better it is. Nowhere is this more obvious than in my morning breakfast routine.
From the refrigerator to the stove to the cabinet to the drawer and back to the stove. While I’m here I’ll also get this; while I’m there I’ll also do that. It is multitasking at its finest and soothing in its familiarity. It’s the same pan, the same spatula, and the same bottles of water that I fill every morning. It is cooking eggs and taking vitamins and making tea, while also packing my lunch bag and setting up my iPad for my first look at e-mail and Facebook. But mostly what it is is solitary, just me in the kitchen, all by myself, going through my routine and slowly starting my day. I like this. It is both comforting and comfortable.
As opposed to, say, mornings when I don’t have to work and other people are involved in my day. I’ve explained this to my husband dozens of times but as I am waking up I hate to hear “What time do you want to …?” or “Do you want to go do …?” The whole “what time?” thing in general tends to irritate me. For instance, as I am writing this my husband yelled in from the other room “What time do you want to eat dinner?” It is 5:15 in the afternoon. I answered “When I am hungry” which I know isn’t helpful, but what exactly does he want from me? We usually eat dinner around 7:00, so why is this a question that must be asked? Is today any different than any other day? Will I suddenly want to eat dinner at 5:30 or at 10:00? But I digress. Sort of.
I do not do well when I have to be social first thing in the morning. I want to be left alone until I finish my eggs and my email and my Facebooking. I think that one of the greatest luxuries in the world is to sleep until I naturally wake up, then lounge around making breakfast and drinking tea until the urge hits me to do something productive. Until that time I don’t want to make any plans for the day or do more than consider what my agenda will be.
Now if we have something to do, something that we have planned to do, and we need to get out the door at a certain time, I’m good with that too. I’m not completely unreasonable.
One thing for sure is that I mostly take my mornings for granted. I’m not getting up after having spent a sleepless night worrying about bills or illnesses or war in my hometown. The first thing I think of isn’t about how I am going to feed my children or whether I can get clean water. I don’t start the day wondering if I am going to be harassed as I walk down the street or if today is the day that I lose my job.
The other thing I know for sure is that my mornings bear only a slim resemblance to Julie’s mornings, just as this post will probably bear only a slim resemblance to her post.