Just enough (milk)

Some days I would really like a do-over. Or skip the day entirely. My mornings can be crazy. I can get up and do two or three jobs before I even leave the house for work.

Usually I wake up early to exercise. I do this and get home before anyone else in my house is awake. I often feel like I get this out of the way before I am consciously aware that I am exercising. I get home and I am tired. But it’s time to get the family going for the day: lunches to make, kids to wake, breakfasts to eat, and kids to get dressed. Another hour can easily slip by. I have barely had time to shower and eat or make coffee and I am late for work.

I get to work; I am a little late and I have been awake for 3 hours already. I am tired. Work is just starting.  It is just 8:00 a.m.


I do this most mornings and each day I wonder how to be more efficient. How many steps can I cut out to get the same result? What can I prep the night before to maximize the time I do have at home? Can I eat in the shower to speed things up? (The answer to this is somewhat yes, but then the toast is really soggy and the coffee is heavily watered down).


I don’t like to be rushed, or stressed. I often end up knocking something over, or spilling something, which costs me more time as I clean it up. It doesn’t work because the more scattered I get, the more things seem to go wrong, or they are challenging. I can be 10 min late and suddenly we are out of bread. Or I can have 5 min before I have to leave the house and the cat decides to barf all over the rug. Life is all about timing.

The kids know that I stress over this routine, but most days are the same to them. They don’t know if I have been up for 1.5 hours by the time they finally drag themselves out of bed and come downstairs. They aren’t concerned that I still have apples to cut and coffee to grind as they appear still in pajamas and don’t want to get dressed.  They just are.

And some days it’s good to see things just as they are. To see that what doesn’t get done will get done — either in a few more minutes or at another time. My day will carry on whether I am 10 min late or a half hour. I don’t like to be late, in general, but not much will change either way. I will stay later at work to offset my morning rush and lateness.

And in those mornings where I see things just as they are, I also see different things. I see things as they are without being bothered by them. We may be out of bread, but the kids are okay with cereal for breakfast and soup for lunch. I may not have been able to have breakfast, but a bagel to go can be eaten almost anywhere.

It’s good to recognize and see these things, because they are often overlooked by the crazy of the day. There are some days where you want cereal and you reach for the milk. There is milk, but the container is very light. You shake it, as is habit, and try to guess how much is left. And when you pour it into your bowl, there is just enough milk to satisfy your cereal and make it a breakfast.

And for that, I am grateful.

*This is a post in my mini-series, “Gratitude on Wednesdays.” Most Wednesdays I like to write about something I’m grateful for and I encourage you to comment and tell me the same. It’s the little things that can make a difference in our life, so here’s a gentle reminder to start paying attention. 


30 thoughts on “Just enough (milk)

  1. Hearing that others are rushed, stressed and experiencing many little frantic moments before the morning school bell rings, reminds me that we all get through it. Because here we are now, pausing to write or pausing to read during a quieter moment in life. And aren’t these quiet moments great?

    • Sarah,
      Thanks for your comments. It’s true we all get through it. And it’s remembering this in the quieter moments that helps keep a balance in our lives. Thanks for this reminder!


  2. Sometimes just taking a step back and a deep breath is all you need.

    I don’t sweat the small stuff at all. Until I misplace something, and then tear the house apart looking for it.

    • We all have our breaking point. I find that focusing on something I can control and appreciating that helps me along my way. And, like you say, it doesn’t have to be controlling what gets done. I can control my breath and this is a good way to keep things in balance.

    • Thank YOU!! I know we all experience challenges in our daily lives in our own ways. But sometimes a shout out or a pat on the back helps to gives us a boost of energy too. It reminds us we are okay and that we can carry on. Thanks for this today.

  3. I work from home now, but when I didn’t, my morning routine was crazy. Each day, upon arriving safely to work, I’d say a little “happy prayer” thanking the powers that be that the worst thing that happened that morning was I got up 10 minutes late.

    • I think I need to start up with the happy prayers again. Some days I honestly cannot believe what transpires in my morning and then suddenly a few hours later I am at work. It’s like being in a Twilight Zone.

  4. I don’t start work until 1 p.m. and I have the exact same experience of frantic rushing and panicking (just without the 5 a.m. workout). It doesn’t seem to matter how much time I have before I have to leave the house and move on to my “professional” life — it’s never enough. I still get to work with unbrushed hair and no homemade food in my bag. But I always manage to grind my coffee
    and fit in my runs before work. Priorities, indeed.

    Another great post. Thank you.

    • It’s true isn’t it… no matter how much time you have to spare, you can always fill it with something and end up rushing to not be late.
      I wish I could not bother with my hair and just wear flannel pajamas to work. I think it would save me a lot of time getting ready.
      I also think we need to have our priorities take priority in our time, so it gets done. Otherwise, more cups of coffee later and an extra bowl of something and suddenly there is not enough time for a run!

      Thank you for your encouraging and kind words!

  5. This post underscores why you were Freshly Pressed IMHO. A well crafted essay that expresses so much that so many feel, experience and want out of our busy daily living. The bread, the cat and time, the rush and the laborious dropping so accurately describe so many readers. What a winner of a post. This paragraph you wrote filled a huge gap in the wisdom-I-wanted-to-remember-zone:

    “And in those mornings where I see things just as they are, I also see different things. I see things as they are without being bothered by them. We may be out of bread, but the kids are okay with cereal for breakfast and soup for lunch. I may not have been able to have breakfast, but a bagel to go can be eaten almost anywhere.”

  6. Just reading about your hectic mornings makes me so glad I now work from home! I still have hectic and stressful times, but nothing like when I was teaching full-time. I don’t know how you manage to be a mom and work full-time and still find the time to write — and run and do yoga and swim! I guess we always find the time for the things that matter the most.

    • Sometimes I wish I could work from home. I find that getting ready and dressed for work seems to take up a large portion of my morning. It doesn’t, but it’s always that “one more thing” I leave to the very end of my morning because it seems the least important.
      I often sacrifice sleep to get things done. For a runner, not always the best trade-off.

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