Grace Notes

a blog about life’s everyday magic

July 21, 2022

Setting the Stage for My Days

Words: Christen Hammons
Photo credit: Kelly Knox

My mornings have become so routine that I go about them as though I’m on autopilot. First, I
wrap myself up in my well-loved but very ragged robe and let the dogs out into the backyard so
they can stretch their legs after a long night’s sleep. Without much thought, I scoop whole coffee
beans into the grinder, fill the coffee maker’s tank with water, add in the now-ground coffee, and
press start. As the coffee brews and fills the air with notes of chocolate, espresso, and
sometimes even a hint of orange, I let the dogs back in for breakfast. While they eat I grab a
mug from my ever-growing collection, and by that time, the carafe should be filled and ready to
have its first cup of the day poured. I have it perfectly timed.

Except last week I found myself standing in front of an empty pot. I sniffed the air and
smelled nothing. Had I timed the routine wrong? Forgotten to hit the button? No, I did everything
the same way I do every day. The coffee maker broke. I muttered a couple choice curse words
and went about the rest of my morning. I felt off all day. I attributed it to missing my daily
caffeine fix. The next morning, I carried out my routine, minus brewing the coffee as we had to
wait a few days for a replacement part for the machine to arrive. And again, I felt off.

On the third day I dusted off our old French Press, certain that a little caffeine would help
that unsettled feeling I’d been experiencing. Though I enjoyed taking that first sip of coffee, it still
felt wrong. My timing was off. I was off. As I went about getting ready for my day, it hit me. My
little morning routine, which I’ve never given much thought to, sets the stage for my entire day. It
puts me in the right frame of mind, and when something goes wrong with it, I feel the effects of it
all day long. It’s amazing how something so seemingly insignificant can actually be more
important than you’ll ever realize.

I’m happy to share that our beloved maker is working again, and I’m back to my morning
routine, though now I’m making an honest effort to really pay attention as I go about it. To fully
appreciate the quiet time to myself before my husband arises and the neighborhood begins to
wake up.

The Bella Grace team loves to hear about routines that add something positive to your lives. If
you have one and want to share it, please send it to [email protected].

Christen Hammons is editor-in-chief of Bella Grace. She lives in Orange County with her husband, two sassy cats, and one scruffy dog.

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Comments ( 4 )

  1. Sassyplanet Digital

    April 19, 2023 at 4:26 pm

    My morning routine always starts with coffee, then getting the hubby and kids off to work and school. They the creativity begins!

  2. Liza LaCasse

    April 19, 2023 at 4:26 pm

    My morning routine involves my morning water, quiet music, devotional time and cuddles with my baby cat.

  3. Debbie

    April 19, 2023 at 4:26 pm

    Mornings for me have changed over the years. No more kids to get ready for school, no more supplies to be bought. Now it is just me. I get up slowly, I move to the kitchen to let the cat look out a window that was closed all night, I fill up my coffee basket, I turn on my machine, I pet the cat and turn on the coffee. I do his litter box. I make my cup and I go read for awhile, coffee in hand.

  4. Ella Wilson

    April 19, 2023 at 4:26 pm

    I can relate to your words and the ripple effect of one’s routine being thrown off course. I used to write in the morning, after the dog was walked, and the first cup of coffee snapped me to. I’d pour a second cup and type out a stream of consciousness blurring the edges of dreamland. Writing in the morning added a happy note to my day. Once, I poured the cobwebs onto the page or word.doc I felt my energy shift and was ready to embrace my day. Covid came and I’ve struggled with me moments. My spouse works from home and I write in snippets of time. It’s not the same but, we make time for what we love to do.

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