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The Mornings Belong to Me

One of my summer reads was The Newcomer by Mary Kay Andrews. Back in July, I sat contently on my couch as Letty’s story unfolded, and I was struck by this line: “She wished she had a television, or a book, or something to keep her mind off the avalanche of anxiety that seemed to be her constant companion.” This line gave me pause, and I reread it several times as I acknowledged how deeply connected I felt to those words.

Just the other day, I reached down towards my cup holder to discover that my Yeti filled with my favorite cold brew was still sitting on the entertainment center at home. Darn it. What a letdown! Too far to turn around. I wasn’t even in the mood for Starbucks, which I love, but I knew arriving at school without coffee would set me up to be disappointed (more disappointed than I already was about leaving my Yeti behind) before the day even began. So…off I went to the other place that America runs on. I guess I’ll get some caramel for old times’ sake.

One sip transported me back to a time when my mornings belonged to my job. My mornings were “an avalanche of anxiety.” I would set an unreasonably early alarm. From the moment I opened my eyes, tasks to get done would flood my mind. I’d get ready as quickly as possible and hit the road with plans to grab coffee and breakfast on-the-go. I’d arrive to school around 6:30 and engage in planning for almost two hours. I’d glance at the clock as I checked tasks off my physical and mental lists, all while navigating (or trying to ignore) my “avalanche of anxiety.”

These days, my mornings look much different. I snooze my alarm 2-3 times and snuggle up with a blanket. When I open my eyes, I feel excited to nourish my body. I roll out of bed with plans to hydrate before I caffeinate. My tumbler gets filled with 20 ounces of water. I reach for my vitamin c serum—- sunshine in a bottle. I heat up my egg cups or crack two eggs over the stove. Then, I pop my blueberry bagel or buttermilk vanilla protein waffles in the toaster. Do I still have some berries left? I sit down at home (not in the driver’s seat!) to enjoy every bite of my morning fuel. Some mornings, I read— a chapter of my book, a friend’s blog, a quote on social media. I sip on some bonus coffee, steal some moments for makeup application and even stick around for a morning hug. Dressed and ready. I guess it’s time to get in the car. I don’t arrive until about 20-30 minutes before students will walk through the door. Just today, I lingered in my car as I texted with a friend before grabbing my Yeti filled with my favorite cold brew (I remember it most mornings 🙂).

Recently, I explained this significant shift in a therapy session. “I love that,” my therapist said. “It sounds like your mornings truly belong to you.” She’s right. They are no longer filled with “the avalanche of anxiety” that used to be my constant companion. My mornings now belong to me.


Published by Melissa Quimby

Melissa is a 4th grade teacher in Natick, Massachusetts. She can often be found with an iced coffee and middle grade novel in hand! Connect with her on Twitter & Instagram - @QUIMBYnotRamona.

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