#1: Early Mornings
I wake up at 4:30 a.m. so I can meditate, work out, read, and generally do whatever I want by myself. The hours between 4:30 and 6:30 a.m. are my favorite part of each day because I make the choice to start every day on my own terms, with things I love to do. I could sleep in until 6:30 or 7 and make it to work on time, but that would rob me of my essential "me" time. On days when I make the choice to sleep in or have a schedule change for some reason, I'm not as happy. I crave that time to myself. It's hard to describe to people who hate early mornings (who seem to be the majority), but the pleasure of my lonely early mornings ensure that I start each day with self-focused happiness.
My favorite activity. Have I mentioned that before? Any moments I can steal away to read something are moments of pleasure during my day. I'm always disappointed when people say, "I don't read," like they're kids refusing to eat broccoli. Why would you not do something that's pleasurable, that stimulates your imagination and also makes you smarter and more empathetic? The smallest, guiltiest pleasure in my reading addiction? The Dear Prudence column on Slate.com. I can't help myself. Ever since I was a kid, I've had this weird obsession with advice columns. I can't get enough of reading these small snippets from others' lives and seeing what the "expert" has to say about it. I limit myself to only reading this column because I usually like author Emily Yoffe's advice, and I also know how quickly I can turn into an addict. I don't remember what I was supposed to be doing/learning in my high school computer classes, but I do remember that I spent every day reading advice columns on the internet. This is the first time I've ever admitted that I do this. Now that I've typed it, I actually think being an online advice columnist might be my dream job.
I eat 1/2 cup of organic rolled oats with one tablespoon of generic Nutella and one tablespoon of powdered French vanilla creamer every morning (oddly specific, I know). It is perfect, and I am ridiculously excited to eat it every day. It is the perfect blend of self-righteousness (I'm healthy! I eat unprocessed rolled oats! Quick oats are for losers!) and sugar-addict chocolatey indulgence. If I ended up in some bizarro situation where I could only eat one food dish for every meal for the rest of my life, this would probably be it. I have been known pack the supplies with me in travel containers when staying at hotels just so I don't have to miss my favorite treat.
I teach 7th and 8th grade English in rural Iowa and hope to reflect, connect, and share with other English teachers. Iowa Council of Teachers of English Executive Board member. Iowa Writing Project superfan. UNI MA:TESS graduate.