On Establishing Balance

In making a commitment to writing once a week, the commitment has not been as difficult as I anticipated.

Blog topics, thoughts, and then words, have come to me in my mornings of reflection and have allowed me to pursue a consistent process and establish a cathartic routine.

I have come to love the Friday morning routine that I have created for myself.

At the beginning of the year, and repeatedly throughout each passing month, I would mentally and, often times, verbally complain about the absurd hour that work forces me to wake. In my summer months prior to moving to Kuwait, 4am was the the hour that I would finally arrive back at my house, double checking I had my phone and ID in hand, having spent the night with friends at a local bar.

Moving to Kuwait has forced me to abandon that lifestyle (at least until a weekend trip appears), and 4am has become my waking hour throughout the majority of the school year. Consistently each morning, I would open my eyes to the sound of my alarm and internally groan. “This hour is not normal”, I think to myself. Fighting my sleeping eyelids, I would sift through my Spotify playlist for a song fun or upbeat enough to force me out of bed. Once my feet touched the floor, I was committed to being awake.

But, like everything that frustrates us or causes us to rethink our life choices, the order of the world establishes balance in our lives, in sometimes obvious, but other times, discrete or unorthodox ways.

For me, this balance came in the form of Friday mornings.

In waking at the satanic hour of 4am each morning, this meant that sleeping in on weekends allowed me to still wake up at an early hour. I could wake up at 7am, without the help of an alarm, and feel well rested. Most importantly, this hour granted me the time to enjoy my mornings, which is what I value most of all.

I value the sun being present when I wake. I can relish in the persistent sound of my coffee being made as it drips through the machine and lands in its pot. The aroma of the coffee travels throughout my apartment, drifting into different rooms, making itself comfortable – a welcomed guest.

I pour the coffee into a mug, wrap myself in a blanket, and sit on the couch. I sit in a way that grants me the view of my neighbourhood; a view that once put me in a state of awe, that I was no longer glancing out to see my neighbours Ed and Rosa, or Dorothy and Dave, but a view that glaringly declared: I am in Kuwait.

On weekday mornings, I usually listen to “happy” music. This ranges from The Temptations, to Beyonce, Stevie Wonder, or to songs from the 90s. Each day is different, but the underlying purpose is the same: please keep me awake.

On Friday mornings, the music takes on a slower tempo – to match a mood that is reflective and thoughtful. Today, it’s Amy Winehouse. Other days, it changes from the soulful tunes of Bob Marley and the Wailers, to Coldplay, or a random Spotify playlist that indicate the songs are for “morning”.

My weekday mornings are rushed. I rush to leave my apartment. The traffic is always hectic. The mornings are a rush to remember the tasks I didn’t accomplish the day before, while balancing the tasks that loom over my head for the day of. In between remembering and forgetting, it’s with fleeting hope that I get through grading some of my students’ work, all the while, sifting through incoming work emails. As I glance at my watch, it’s suddenly become 7:10am, and students begin to enter the classroom. Let the day begin.

My Friday mornings, and I choose the word my carefully, reestablish balance to my crazy workday mornings. My routine allows me to feel human again, and not just teacher.

It allows me to write, and for that I am thankful.

When I began this blog post, I talked about the lack of anticipated difficulties with committing to a writing routine. I opened this way, because today was a morning where nothing of interest came to mind. I could talk about previous travels, adventures to Jordan or Bahrain, but I didn’t really feel like it. I could write about coming home, but I wrote similarly in my last post. I opened this way to, at the very least, write about not knowing what to write about.

Nonetheless, in commitment to my Friday morning routine, I put on some music, made a pot of coffee, and opened Wordpress on my laptop. I stared at the blank screen, unsure of what the blog post would become.

Little did I realize, that it was through my trust in my Friday morning, that unintentionally gave me something to write about, one that was right in front of me the entire time. That through committing to a process that establishes balance in my life, I was able to write and able to create. And by putting energy into things that give you balance, this act will grant you favourably.

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