I was almost late to class today.  I didn’t oversleep, nor was I stuck in traffic.  I was rushed to get to school today because I spent time with my husband.

The mornings at our home usually consist of us waking up at different times and going about our business, separate from one another.  Before we head off to our days, we simply leave with a hug and a kiss and a “have a good day, love you.”  While most mornings it makes sense (typically I wake up either earlier or later than Nason, depending on my schedule that day), it is lonely sometimes.  Often I wish we could just spend the whole morning together, like we became accustomed to doing on Wednesdays this summer.  I miss that.

So this morning he blew off his bike ride and I sacrificed my leisurely morning routine to lay in bed together and hang out.  We talked and cuddled, and just enjoyed being together for about 40 minutes.  That is, before I looked at the clock and realized that I was probably going to be late.  After that we lapsed back into the routine.  But that short time…well, it was the perfect start to the day. 

I sincerely wish we could start all of our days like that.  Someday we probably will.  But until then, I’ll take what I can get.  Because when we get it, it’s wonderful.

I have been longing for a big thunderstorm.  I keep missing the big storms we see in Vail, and I’ve been sad because I had not seen any big rains this summer.  But last night was the first huge storm I have seen this monsoon season, and it didn’t disappoint.  At about 1 this morning I woke up, and I wasn’t sure why.  After a while, I realized that I could hear rain outside my window-a LOT of rain. 

I laid there for a while just listening to it pouring down on our house, the occasional peal of thunder shaking our walls.  I don’t know how long I laid there in the darkness, but it was so peaceful to just be still and listen to the storm.

After a while Nason and I started talking to each other, then we went outside and watched the rain come down from our front porch.  Nason shone a flashlight through the water so we could see how much we were getting, and we were very happy with what we saw.  The rain flooded our front yard a little, and we were worried that we wouldn’t be able to go to work today because the roads by our house are prone to flooding, but everything was fine.  We went back to bed and eventually fell asleep.

As a consequence, I was pretty tired today.  But it was worth it to experience my first real storm of this monsoon season.  I’m hoping it is the first of many, and hopefully the next will be during the hours I’m actually awake.

On days when I work at night (or not at all) and Nason does not work something magical happens.  We have a morning together.  This is a rarity in our marriage, since we both have jobs and during the week he wakes up for work, and I either wake up for work or school.  This summer is the first time we’ve attempted to synchronize one of our days off, and I must say I’m looking forward to it.

So mornings are a special treat for us.  We get to wake up together and relax, cuddling or talking.  We used to go out to breakfast, since we currently live close to a breakfast place, but money is a little tight and so we’ve been staying in, making breakfast together, which I think is sweeter.  Typically we’ll stay in and watch a movie, or we’ll go and run errands.  It’s a great way to start the day.

We also feel better in the mornings.  We’re not drained from our day, and we don’t stagger in.  We talk more in the morning, we have Nerf dart wars more in the morning, and we are both more affectionate in the morning.  It’s wonderful.

Today Nason is at a CPR/First Aid course, and so we don’t get a morning today.  While I’m a little disappointed, it’s okay.  Next week our days off together start, and I can’t wait.  Then the magic will reappear, only this time it will continue all day.

Challenge: Spend a morning with the people you love.  Go out to breakfast, or watch an early movie, or go swimming or hiking.  Enjoy it!

One of the things that is a struggle for me is optimism.  While I often try to look on the bright side of situations and ‘know’ everything is going to work out, it is not a thing that comes naturally.  More often than not I want to be left alone to stew in my own mess of frustration, fear and stress.

But I know that is neither healthy nor productive.  So I try to be optimistic.  Like today. 

I woke up cranky and tired, after working late last night, and came in early this morning.  I got to work, only to be greeted by what I have decided was puke in front of the store that needed to be mopped up.  I worked my shift, clocked out, and checked next week’s schedule, and noticed that I had been scheduled at the worst possible time on a day I had marked off my summer schedule. 

I almost let it all get to me. 

But then, somewhere between the puke and the schedule, I found joy.  I had to get out of the stew and realize that there’s more to today than puke and sleepiness.  There was that sweet woman who bagged her own groceries.  There was Zachary, one of my favorite little kids, who came in today with his mom.  There was the fact that last night I rocked at doing something I had never done before.  As always, I got to come in to work today and work with great people.  And I’m looking forward to practice tonight-with a smaller group we’re going to have a really good time.  I have a husband who I’m bananas about, and a family and friends.  And above all, my value isn’t based on what days I work, or how much sleep I got the night before.  My value comes from God, who calls me His daughter.

These are the things I remind myself of when I can feel my smile slipping.  I’ve been blessed in so many ways, and I’m not going to waste the time I’ve been given on negativity.  So I try to be an optimist.  It’s a daily struggle, but would it mean as much if I didn’t have to make an effort?

Challenge: Write out your blessings.  Take a serious look at them.  Memorize them.  Thank God for them.  And remember them the next time you’re in the stew.

Normally I do not set an alarm when I have a day off because Nason wakes up at a decent time, so I just get up a half hour or so after he leaves for work.  This morning, however, I woke up a little late. 

Well, not a little late. 

10:50.  I don’t know why.  Maybe it was the fact that we went and saw a movie last night, or maybe because we stayed up until midnight or so afterwards.  Maybe it was the…hanky panky…this morning.  But whatever it was, I am now feeling a little disoriented.  It feels like half the day has been slept away.  If I was at work right now, I would be done with 5-6 hours of my shift.  That’s a significant amount of time, and I’m kind of embarrassed.

On a different note, we all enjoyed the movie last night (we went with a couple of friends).  We went to see Shutter Island, and it wasn’t really what I expected.  Having only seen the previews in a couple of places (and not really paid much attention to them), I thought it would be more of a horror film, and I was a little apprehensive.  However, it was more of a psychological thriller, and I was very impressed.  I loved that it addressed some of the issues in methods of mental illness treatment, from the lobotomy to medication to simply treating patients with respect and caring for them (which surprisingly works to some degree as shown in the town of Geel).  Overall, it was an enjoyable film with enough twists and turns to keep all of us guessing.  I’d love to go see it again, just to see if my perception of the film has changed due to the plot twist at the very end.

Your turn!

Seen any good movies lately?