Morning Pages


After I finished Whole30 a few months ago, I started getting up at 6am to write in the mornings. Pumped on adrenaline and confidence after going thirty days without sugar (or dairy, or bread, or alcohol), I was convinced I could do anything I set my mind to—including waking up before the sun.

This quickly became my favorite habit, starting each day by candlelight in my quiet office. I wrote lots of things … lists, prayers, essays, e-mails to my kids. I consumed entire cups of hot coffee, a miracle in itself. After an hour or so, I’d greet the kids with a smile on my face, refreshed and ready to start the day. My tank was full. There is something to be said for consuming 200 milligrams of caffeine before seeing your children on any given morning.

But then school started.

Gone are the days of eating Cheerios on the couch and watching cartoons in our pjs. Our new routine forces us out the door at 7:45am, which means the minute our feet touch the floor we are hustling to finish breakfast, get dressed, brush our teeth, comb our hair, pack snacks, remember the homework, get our shoes on, etc.

Then, soccer started.

Gone are the lazy afternoons of jumping on the trampoline for hours on end. Three nights a week belong to soccer, which means our afternoons are short, our dinners are rushed, nobody can ever find the soccer socks, and bedtime has become later and later.

I fell off the bandwagon, is what I’m trying to say.

It started slow, after a late night of soccer. I moved my alarm up to 6:15 thinking those fifteen extra minutes of sleep would buy me the rest I desperately craved. Then 6:15 became the new normal and when my husband left town for a week, I bumped my alarm up to 6:45 because the stomach bug was running through our house and do you know how exhausting it is to solo parent while also cleaning vomit out of the carpet? Very. It’s very exhausting.

Once 6:45 became the new normal, it started to get cold, which made it even harder to get out of bed, which meant I started snoozing the alarm until 7. I needed to wait until the heater kicked on, obviously.

I’m failing at writing in the mornings, is what I’m trying to say.

I was feeling pretty bad about it until I remembered Daylight Savings is this Sunday. Imagine that! An extra hour falling out of the sky—a fresh start, a chance to reset and re-dedicate myself to the morning pages.

I know social media will be full of memes about children getting up early come Monday, but the good news is: we are in charge of our own attitudes. I might be tempted to roll my eyes when I hear tiny feet running down the hallway at 6:15. I could be annoyed with the interruption, throw my hands in the air and give up. Or, I could toss some Cheerios on the couch, turn on Paw Patrol, head back to my candlelit office and shut the door. 

I think I'll choose the latter.

Want to join me? Monday morning, 6am. Let’s do this thing. 

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Ashlee Gadd

Ashlee Gadd is a wife, mother, writer and photographer from Sacramento, California. When she’s not dancing in the kitchen with her two boys, Ashlee loves curling up with a good book, lounging in the sunshine, and making friends on the Internet. She loves writing about everything from motherhood and marriage to friendship and faith.