What are the things you need to do within 30 minutes of waking up to ensure your day gets off on the right foot? What happened the last time you didn’t do one of these things?
Forgive me, but I need something a bit light for a topic. This seems well-suited a blog prompt. As I was engaging in a new morning ritual today, Ledcat told me that the fact that I often blog about seemingly extemporaneous topics is one reason my blog is endearing. So prepare to be charmed, bemused or simply know a little more about me.
The obvious answer to this question is that I must hurry to get the elder statesmen aka Xander and Deus (the dogs) outside for their morning ablutions before they stir too much. The bladder of a 13 year old dog isn’t as reliable as one might hope so this is all on me. I’ve learned that I have about a 3 minute window once I hear them moving about to rush down the stairs and cajole them outside. Otherwise, my task involves some rags, cleaning supplies and profusive swearing.
Laura could wake up, get entirely ready for work and hold a percussion rehearsal in the bedroom while they sleep steadily away on the first floor. The moment my foot hits the floor, they are up and ready. Sigh. This requires me to rush, gently kicking aside the cats, stumbling to find the light switches without my glasses, and regretfully wishing I had preprogrammed the coffee machine. Occasionally, we have a pileup of senior citizen animals at the foot of the stairs which is already hampered by a baby gate and the occasional presence of a hissing cat who holds him most-likely-to-pee-soonest in abject terror (never mind the 80 lb size difference.)
Sometimes I, too, really have to pee so I’m dancing in the kitchen myself. In fine weather, I can trot upstairs while they meander around the back deck. Not so much in January. A bracing dash of winter weather as I open the back door on top of all of this chaos just adds to the sense of adventure.
Then we have a seemingly 20 minute reentry experience as everyone shuffles back into the kitchen, sniffs around, stops for a lengthy slurp of water and eventually, end up back on their dog beds. By this time, the other elder statesman (Boris the cat) is up and informing me that he wants his breakfast NOW, a lament which is complemented by the other cats joining in with false protests about food deprivation and dog bias and such.
You might ask – why doesn’t Laura let them out? Good question. She has tried. They won’t go if they know I’m at home. If I sleep, they sleep. If they see me depart early for some reason, they’ll listen to her. If I’m actually sick or injured, that’s not good enough. I must appear. Apparently, it is an old dog thing. And since I don’t have to actually get dressed for an office, it is only fair that I figure it out.
So getting the dogs outside to potty and back inside without major skirmishes, screeches or collisions is a good start to the day.
The other item is coffee. We have a new routine since Ledcat’s office relocated to the City County Building in Downtown Pittsburgh. She takes the T (subway) to work because the local stop is less than a mile from our home. So in this cold weather, I drive her to the T and pick her up at the end of the day. It takes less than 5 minutes even if I hit all of the lights. I usually wear a coat over my pajamas and sometimes wear my slippers instead of actual shoes (in the morning – I’m typically in street clothes during her return commute. Not always.) So my goal is to make coffee and drink at least half a cup before we leave the house. This would go much better if I programmed the Mr. Coffee. But I rarely do.
It isn’t a disaster if I miss this self-imposed deadline because I am home again in five minutes to begin coffee consumption, but there’s something dreary about being in a car that early without any coffee. It feels awkward, far more so than driving about the Northside at 7:30 in the morning wearing flannel pajamas and slippers under my coat. Perhaps that’s cause for concern?
When I don’t get everyone out the door before nature takes over? It is just a cruddy way to start the day because I’m grumpy and the dogs seem to be to feel shameful (they are very housebroken, this is just age related.) Then I feel sad and usually start thinking about their impending demise and get teary eyed as I distribute extra treats for failing them as a dog mom.
After I make coffee.