My husband started doing this thing awhile ago that literally had me thinking he was crazy. He started setting an alarm and waking up before everyone else in the house. His reasoning? He wanted to have time to ease into his day, he wanted to have time to himself to drink a hot cup of coffee and read, pretty much he wanted time to himself before the craziness of the day kicked in.
I could appreciate that. Because the days are crazy and there’s nothing worse than getting slammed out of bed, having to hit the ground running first thing in the morning. But when he started doing this, I was still in such a point of pain and my sleep at night was suffering SO much that the thought of setting an alarm to go off even earlier was like sheer torture to me. Any extra sleep I could get was a luxury, and mind you Grace was sleeping through the night at this point. But I wasn’t. My back was in so much pain, it was so inflamed that I would wake up on a good night at least once in pain to the point I couldn’t move, and it would take me at least an hour to go back to sleep. I went to bed exhausted and I was waking up exhausted.
Here I was thinking post foot injury that it would be my foot that would cause me the most amount of grief, when in reality, post partum, my back was worse than a hot mess. A hot mess express perhaps? I was listening to my doctor who was telling me to focus on core exercises to help support my low back help, which of course made intuitive sense to me as a Pilates instructor. But the pain was going nowhere fast and as anyone with chronic pain can attest, when you have chronic pain, it literally impacts every single aspect of your life. Not just your body and how it functions but EVERYTHING.
So no way in HELL was I going to be setting an alarm. I was looking to sleep in, I was looking to wake up feeling refreshed. I kept at it with the core exercises, I was already eating clean AF so I wasn’t too concerned about eating foods that were anti-inflammatory (because I already was) and I just waited for things to change. It killed me, this waiting around.
Finally after a few months of doing Isagenix, with my digestion back to normal and the toxins leaving my body at a rapid pace, I slept through the night for the first time since I had Grace. It was over two years and I remember waking up thinking “Whoa, WTF just happened?”. I felt like a freaking human again and it was the BEST FEELING EVER. I finally felt like myself. I finally looked like myself because while I didn’t lose a lot of weight (I lost my baby weight ironically super fast, but the inflammation that stayed around made me look like I hadn’t lost anything), I had lost my muscle tone and I had ENERGY. Chronic pain is this sneaky thing because it takes so much energy for your body to be in a constant state of pain that you’re left feeling depleted constantly. Combo that with the sleep deprivation of having a newborn child and it’s a recipe for disaster. I’m not kidding when I say I was so tired and run down, that I would drive to places, park my car and then wonder how I got there because I couldn’t remember the drive.
But now I felt like I had my life back. I can’t even begin to explain to you the relief I felt. It was like the clouds parted and freaking angels were singing from the heavens. It was only then that I felt like ok maybe I COULD set an alarm and get up before the rest of my house so I could ease into my day like I did pre-baby.
I started doing it and I learned that I actually really loved it. At first, my morning routine was nothing fancy, sometimes I would just lay in bed and give my brain a moment to wake up, sometimes I would get up and get coffee, sometimes I would snuggle one of my puppies.
Now my morning routine is intentional. Now I understand that how I start my day, including my first thoughts of the day, set the trajectory for my whole day. If you read my last blog, my initial thoughts in the morning are the same. I still wake up thanking God for the day ahead of me, being grateful for the life I had, and being grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given to share my story and experiences with others as a means to empower the people around me. Don’t get me wrong, some days still go nuts and the morning routine doesn’t happen, but the majority of the mornings, I’m doing it. Even if it’s done in pieces or with Grace meditating with me, it still happens.
Now I set my alarm at night looking forward to the time I’ll have in the morning to pray, read my devotional, journal about the things I’m grateful for and most importantly, snuggle a puppy.