Planning The Day The Night Before

The new habit, day one.

Planning my day the night before.

The night before, when I am in the midst of my winding down rituals, my sleep hygiene protocol, my end of day doings.

My sleep ritual begins by going to bed an hour earlier than I normally would, plugging my cell phone into a charger in the kitchen, taking a hot hot Epsom salt bath, and writing down my Tomorrow To Do’s before settling under the covers with a good book.

I’ve also been practicing 4-7-8 breathing (inhale to the count of 4, hold your breath for the count of 7, exhale through your pursed lips to the count of 8) twice a day, and whenever else I feel a little anxious. This is a yogi breath that is said to reset your central nervous system.

Waking up this morning, I glanced at my hand written list and began with the slowest sleepiest activities listed on it, ones that I could do in bed.

It was still dark, but Tom had left a pot of coffee for me, and so I passed the first hour studying Italian and sipping hot black coffee under the covers, in a room the temperature of ice. I love that juxtaposition – a cold room helps me sleep.

Then onto yoga, and then six minutes of jumping jacks and heart warming movements courtesy of The NY Times Wellness Challenge, then the tasks of laundry and housekeeping that seem especially time consuming after the holidays and a long time away from home.

Today my work is this: to settle back in, to clean and sort and organize. Laying a foundation for the work of tomorrow, and the next day.

Today I’ve begun a new sour dough starter for sour dough bread for the year ahead, a new recipe from Tartine Bakery which is promising.

I like beginning with something like this, something that won’t show much in the way of results for a long while, but that is quietly and invisibly fermenting.

I’ve built a fire and tended it carefully all day. The house is warming up at last.

I’ve taken many breaks during the house work to sit and sip tea and listen to podcasts and to think about what needs thinking about.

What is still on my list?

A walk.

Actually working.

A few other things I probably will defer to tomorrow or another day.

I like the feeling, though, of space on this day, this first day.

Like air bubbles in a rising dough.

In yoga, our foundation is breathing.

In this day, I find my breath again and again.

Breathing in. Breathing out.

Being present.

10 minutes.

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