FIRE.113 What a Morning

Life In FIRE example.  Today is Saturday.  Yes, I know in FIRE “every day is Saturday.”  But today really is Saturday and my morning was typical, but this specific morning, I took specific notice of its amazement.

Today I woke up feeling nicely rested after sleeping in a little.  I woke up naturally.  It was bright outside, and I glanced at the clock (microwave clock in the kitchen to be exact, no need for a “clock” in my bedroom anymore) and it was 7:07.  That seems like a nice time to wake up and start my day I thought.

Phase 1:

I proceeded with my normal waking routine—I stopped my sleep app on my watch, checked my morning heart rate with my phone, then did a one minute Heart Rate Variability test to see if my “numbers” matched my feeling of “great.”  Yep, all was well.

Inserted thought:  I am very interested in my “numbers.”  As I’m sure many of the FI people are as well.  But in this case, the “numbers” are my health numbers, not financial numbers.  To get additional, many say, more detailed and accurate health numbers/results, I plan/hope to purchase an oura ring to see how my night’s sleep—as well as its associated data—is reporting.  I believe that nothing is more important than my health, and I tend to believe in technology and that hopefully, the technology helps get good data on my health.

Phase 2:

After getting a good numbers report [I just had the thought of how movies show stockbrokers (“market makers”) checking the overseas trading activity first thing in the morning—TOTALLY different “numbers]…  So, anyway, after checking my numbers I laid in bed for a few minutes to just relax, think about my life’s amazingness, and just find some serious gratitude.  In some ways, I feel I should do some meditation to calm/center my mind, but to be honest, in that moment—most morning moments—I don’t want to clear my mind of the wonderful gratitude I’m feeling.  I prefer to feel and try to amplify the gratitude inside me.

This is where today was different than most days.  Today is a “recovery” day from exercise/training.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve purposely built in two days per week to give my body a chance to avoid a 60-90 minute exercise session and let everything calm down, let the cells build themselves back up to allow me to have a great strong day/week/month/year/life.  But today, the idea of doing an extra 6 mile run popped in my head.  This extra exercise activity is pretty rare, especially in the last couple of years.

Phase 3:

I followed my normal morning protocol of making my green tea and letting it steep while I go outside and sit in my spa.  Sitting in my spa in the morning is what I used to call “my commute.”  It was the time where I was alone and prepared to tackle the day.  Now, it’s just the final phase of my morning routine.

It just occurred to me that having “phases” for my morning seems ridiculous.  It seems overly structured.  It’s really not either of those—instead, it’s just the process I’ve fallen into over the years.  I guess even a book like The Morning Miracle has a similar idea for a personal structure.

So my new fine-tuning of phase 3 has been to sit in my yard after the spa and read some more and look at the pool and the “mountains” by my house.  Lately, I’ve noticed lots of birds chirping away.  A strangely peaceful scenario they build.  On some days I can see, and hear, people hiking on one of the mountain trails in the distance.  I’ve also noticed fewer planes flying overhead—maybe that’s why the birds seem louder.  It’s just a nice 10-15 minutes of “gratitude part 2.”

Bonus:

After lounging I went inside and grabbed some running shoes, got wired up (tech geek), and headed out the door to run.  I didn’t know this when I was in phase 2, but it was nice and cool outside, 72 degrees to be specific.  This was a surprise because it was 96 degrees yesterday.  I headed out for my run into the cool and actually cloudy neighborhood, choosing a different route than normal while finding some surprising spring in my step.

It was a nice run, a really nice run.  I saw couples, families, dude packs, and dogs out moving about.  They were on their bikes, or running, or walking, just being active (note: October and March are peak season for people being active, the hardcore hammerers see this seasonal change). 

Other extra:

My wife decided at 10a that she wanted to take the convertible mustang “around the block.”  You know they need their exercise too, right?  You’ve got to keep the muscle cars moving.  For some reason, she often wants to do these car activities on the weekend (“weekend driver?”).  I prefer to take the muscle cars out mid-week, mid-day, specifically in the first half of the off-peak 9a-3p window.  Either way, it was a nice drive cruising around the neighborhood/area.  I was even able to scout out a new 6-mile bike/pedestrian path they will be opening next to a new freeway.  So muscle car exercise=Kevin reconnaissance activity.

Once back home we took on some home tasks and got some life organizing underway.  There’s never a chance that I will be fully caught up on everything I need/want to do, or even close to being caught up.  That’s probably why I’m never bored in FIRE.  I always have over one-hundred things on my to-do list.  The list is not even stressful because I can do the items whenever (if-ever) I want.  Is “if-ever” a word?  I don’t know for sure, but I think I really like that new word.  Wow, turns out ifever may be an actual word.  Check-Kevin is a little smarter today…even if I sound like a 13-year-old girl if I say that out loud.

As of now, it’s just after 1p and today has been fantastic.  I plan to do some more stuff/tasks/messing-around, but I never know what the rest of the day will bring.  I just know that it was a rare cloudy neflix-on-the-couch type day.  I’ve yet to have a netflix-day even 6+ years into FIRE…

Do you have a routine?  Specifically a morning routine?  Do you update and improve your routine?  Do you stop and think about your routine and the goodness you have in your life?

*** Nothing in this article is to be construed as financial advice.  I am not a financial planner, nor do I pretend to be.  You should always consult your own professional when seeking advice. This post is not a piece of literary mastery, just a random thought I had.

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