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How NOT To Have a Stress-Free Morning

At the end of last week, I was greeted with yet again another rainy Friday after a week filled with pointless meetings, too many emails and organizational mumbo jumbo/office politics that left me wanting to take a flying leap from the 7th floor picture windows that are a mere ten steps from my cubicle.

I took my time getting to work that day on what was a fitting end to a week spent rushing to work. A sensible person sets out and irons their clothes the night before, eats a meal at a decent time in the evening, packs their lunch (if they brownbag it to work), and goes to bed at a decent time.

But I’m not sensible.

Most nights I’m up until at least midnight, taking a few moments to myself after putting my house back together in the wake of my 2 y.o. daughter who nightly ransacks every room but the kitchen. Sometimes I pack my lunch, but most nights I convince myself to do it in the morning. I don’t always wash the dishes because I hate washing dishes (I don't have a dishwasher, my wife does: me) and again, I convince myself I’ll do it in the morning. Some nights I'll pack the baby’s bag, but as there’s not too much to put in it I occasionally put this off also. I put nearly everything I own in the cleaners about two weeks ago, so I’ve been wearing the same three shirts for the last eight days. On Friday, as rainy as it was, I was dressed as if I was buying a company. Why? Because my best clothes are the only ones that are clean. And because I’m an early riser who needs no assistance waking up at the crack of dawn, I’ve gotten in the habit of not setting my alarm.

This is not a plan for success…and yet I do it every damn day, fully aware of what the outcome will be:

I oversleep and wake up asking my wife why she didn’t set her alarm (she goes into work later than I do). I stumble into the bathroom, shower, shave and the other “s” and then I take my time getting dressed. Why? Because I have no idea what clothes I'm going to wear and you can only be stylish in the same 3 shirts but for so long no matter how many pairs of pants you may own. After putting an outfit together and doing a handful of pushups to get my blood pumping, I have roughly 30 minutes before my train comes to take me into NYC on time. So what do I do? I make the baby’s bag, wash dishes, dig through the fridge for lunch or a sandwich to make, and the kicker, I have the audacity to make breakfast and on days when I’m truly being indignant I have the nerve to sit down to eat it (most days I stand) and drink a cup of coffee!

Just when I'm ready to leave I practice what my wife calls, fiddle-fartin’, a truly ridiculous ritual where the only thing I can find is my face and the clothes on my back. With only eight minutes left before my train arrives (the train station a comfortable ten-minute walk away), I leave my house sprinting full speed like O.J. in those old Samsonite commercials and arrive on the platform a hot, sweaty mess, out of breath, fighting off an asthma attack from breathing in so much cold air and wondering, “What the Hell is wrong with me?”

I don’t want to give the wrong impression: every day of my work week isn’t like this. I’m pretty organized until about Wednesday. And I’m sure if I enjoyed my job a bit more I might go to bed a little earlier, iron and all that other stuff, rather than staying up late each night in a futile effort to fend off the next day by staying awake as long as possible in the present one.

But this is not the case.

My mornings are interesting, but you’re better off planning for the mundane and stress-free.

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