The morning routine


I remember waking up in my 20s and probably into my 30s with little to no thought of how I slept the night before. I would just roll out of bed and start my day. That is no longer the case. I turned 40 two years ago and I now have to evaluate how I slept in order to anticipate how much coffee I will need to get through my day. If I only woke up once to go to the bathroom, or because a leaf fell from a tree a mile away to rip me from my slumber, then I’ll probably sustain my normal temperament with one cup.

Unfortunately the nights of only waking up once seem to be far and few between. This almost always requires me to drink half a pot before I’m ready to talk to another human with any degree of civility. Because I have a dog with a bladder more accurate than an atomic clock, I’ll drag myself out of bed before the sun comes up. After taking care of all of his needs, I’ll sit down for a cup of coffee and the daily news. When you work in media, it’s helpful to know what’s going on in the world.

One pill, two pill after 40 to avoid a hospital bill

One of the things that surprised me about getting older is my reliance on prescribed medication to enable me to function as an adult. One pill is for acid reflux, another for joint pain, and because I live in North Carolina, at least three different kinds of allergy medicines. One I have to take with food, so I rely on premade protein shakes because who can function to actually cook in the morning?

My attention span is short, so after I’ve spent far too much time reading news articles, Twitter, and Facebook, I make a mad dash to the shower in the hopes that I’m not late for work. On the way to the shower, I stop by the kitchen, to unload the dishes from last night, and take something out of the freezer for dinner. Inevitably, my son will have forgotten to take out the trash, so I’ll do that as well.

After my hygiene routine, it’s time to lather my face up with moisturizers, sunscreen, and whatever else I was convinced to buy at the makeup counter to fend off the ever present signs of aging. Nothing makes me feel quite as old as staring into my face in the brilliantly lit makeup mirror with three times the magnification. I don’t care how flawless your skin is, that wretched mirror will enhance a pore until it can swallow continents.

Unruly hair, after 40 I don’t care

I gave up on my hair sometime in the late 90s. It curls when it wants, how it wants, and laughs at any attempt to straighten it. Up or down are my only two choices. All of my favorite hairstyles were twenty years ago, and I can’t seem to convince myself that adult women should wear the pigtails outside of their front door. If I’m feeling ambitious I’ll swap out eyeglasses for contacts.

The only downside to contacts is that if I don’t wear makeup, the luggage under my eyes multiplies and appears to melt from under my the lining of my eyes. The plastic frame of my $6.95 glasses from Zenni hide them better than makeup.

Because I usually take too long to do everything, I’ll stare at the yoga mats, kettle bells, ball, and bands that line a corner of my bedroom and wonder if I will ever become disciplined enough to use a single one of them with any degree of consistency. I also have a boxing game, Ring Fit Adventure, and Yoga master for the Switch. All which are great, and I enjoyed tremendously the three times I played them.

TikTok the time thief

Instead, I spend the remainder of the time I have until it’s time for work on TikTok, like every other human addicted to videos created to do nothing but steal your time, money, and attention. Finally, because I’ve clearly never heard of a carbon footprint, I drive the 0.4 miles to spend the next 8 or 9 wondering if I’d drank enough coffee to make up for my lack of quality sleep.

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