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Comfort In Having Morning Routines

There is comfort in getting the day started with a morning routine.

Since I am usually the first up at our house (and usually the first to get to sleep at night,) getting things started in the morning is my responsibility. My first task is to let the dog out, quickly followed by making a pot of coffee. By the time the coffee is percolating, the dog has walked around the house and is ready to come back in. Then, the dog and I get in the car and head for Hogan’s Hut to buy the newspaper.

As a kid, I remember the routine that breakfast didn’t start until my Dad had finished milking cows and had returned to the house. We would then, at about 7:30 a.m., sit down for breakfast, say grace and our day would begin.

That predictability and “sameness” each morning provided a kind of foundation for the day ahead.

It was interesting to me how that translated itself into new routines as life progressed. When I was in the Navy on board ship, every day started at 6 a.m. with the words coming over the public address system: “Reville, reville! All hands heave out and trice up!” After that, the ship would come alive and start to hum and buzz with whatever was on the scheduled “Plan of the Day.”

I also remember an activity that interrupted that daily shipboard routine, and that was if you had been posted on the hated “mid-watch” of being on duty from midnight to 4 a.m. That meant that you had been up most of the night, hadn’t had proper sleep, and reville was like a knife in your back. You didn’t want to get up or have breakfast… you just wanted more sleep.

If there is a lesson in all of this, I guess it is that morning routines are important and, if they are interrupted, the chances of your having a good day may be lessened.

In a similar vein, I have always felt sorry for workers who have the third shift… from let’s say 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. How can they get home, and get into a morning routine when they are tired (and maybe cranky) from being up all night? There is something about the natural rhythms of getting up in the morning after a proper sleep and getting the day started that is missed.

So, why even write about something as mundane and commonplace as getting your day started. My only rationale, I guess, is that sometimes it is these simple and elemental things which can have a major impact on life itself.

It is good not to underestimate the significance of predictable, reliable morning routines. As families grow and age, trying to get into a settled routine at nighttime becomes more problematic as school and work schedules intervene.

That makes getting a good start in the morning even more important.

Rolland Kidder is a Stow resident.

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