I’ve developed a new morning routine. Every weekday morning (or most of them, anyway) the thick, melatonin-and-lavender oil-blanket of sleep is gradually pulled from me by my Sleep Cycle app (“Belfast Park” is my wake up tune). My padded eye mask is somewhere in the bed, discarded during one of my REM cycles—I can never manage to keep it on all night. I throw on my robe, or at least a pair of pants, and head downstairs.
If I was good in the hours before going to bed, I set the automatic timer on the coffee pot. My earlier good self will be praised by my groggy current self. I’ll pour an inch of coconut almond milk into the bottom of a mug and fill it up with my current favorite brew, Starbucks’ Bright Sky blend. I’ll twist open the living room blinds, letting the weak daylight in (though in a month’s time, the sun will be up before I am). Then I curl up in a corner of the couch, hugging my knees to my chest and cupping my hands around the coffee. There’s usually some kind of neighborhood activity—a truck running to warm up, tv lights flickering across the street. Leon the cat often joins me, creating a space for himself in my lap. I don’t turn on the lamp, I don’t watch the news, and I am alone (save for the cat).
I will sit, I will sip, and I will wake up into the day, grateful for it.