Full disclosure: I've never been a morning person. Nighttime is when I feel the most drive and excitement to get work done. Pre-pandemic, you'd find me sacrificing any semblance of a morning routine for ten more minutes in bed. Since then, a lot has changed: I relocated to the Philippines (just until the end of the year) to quarantine with my family and it has its pros and cons. Before I left, I joked with Jess and Kelly about how ideal this setup would be for my night owl tendencies. Being online at the same time as the team isn't necessary for all my projects but it makes me feel a lot more connected to them (call it #fomo). A few months into being back home, I've settled into a routine and found so many more things to appreciate about the morning time. This routine might be unconventional for some, but it's what I'm embracing during this season of life.
9:00 AM (5:00 PM in Los Angeles): Most people with a night shift probably sleep in a little more (I do most of my work during the day, when everyone else is off, but work a few hours at night so I can overlap with LA work hours). But, with the rest of the household usually awake by this time, it's not that feasible. Sunlight peeking through my window, the sound of my dad making coffee, or my sister feeding the puppies are all welcome changes to my phone's alarm so I'm not complaining. The first thing I do is reach for my phone, mainly to catch up on any messages or emails from the tail end of the team's workday. After that, I do a quick Instagram scroll, mainly to check the Shop DMs. Opening Instagram used to be the first thing I did in the morning but I found myself spending way too much time scrolling mindlessly. I recently turned off all Instagram notifications. The moment I realized that nothing super urgent or life-changing would ever be communicated through that app (groundbreaking, I know) I was able to disconnect a little. Now I'm more intentional about the time I hop on the app instead of letting every individual notification take up brain space.
9:30 AM: By this time, the workday in L.A. is officially over so I can confidently set aside my phone. I haven't been great about carving out time to read but lately the little ritual of reading in bed as the sun peeks through my curtains has brought me incredible joy. I'm reading So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo right now and it's such a brilliant read. To say that I highlight a passage almost every page would not be an overstatement. No matter where you are in your anti-racism journey, I highly recommend this book. If you read it, please reach out because I'm bursting at the seams to talk to someone about it. I read on an older Kindle which doesn't have the digital screen or extra apps, so it gives me time to really unplug and my eyes really appreciate it.
10:30 AM: Now I really have to get out of bed and give my parents some proof I'm up. Most days they're working from home so I catch up with them a little as I grab a glass of water. The real reason I leave my room? To go in search of some puppy cuddles. Having puppies isn't all rainbows and sunshine (see: potty training) but the excitement these little daredevils have is infectious and instantly makes my day.
11:00 AM: I head to the restroom to wash up and brush my teeth. I'm currently giving my skin a break from my usual skincare routine. It was tough at first but my skin has really improved from this minimal approach. I wash my face with just water and put on some sunscreen, never forgetting my neck and chest area!
11:10 AM: I don't wash my hair every day so it can generally use a little bit of love in the mornings. There was a time that I didn't even own a hairbrush and for the most part, my fine hair is very low maintenance. When I started training it to go longer between washes, brushing it thoroughly was a very important step. I use a brush with boar hair bristles to help distribute the natural oils and this dry shampoo through my hair which leaves it soft and shiny. This seemingly simple step is really comforting to me and feels ritualistic. Bonus: I also don't look like a complete monster.
11:15 AM: Ninety percent of the time I don't change out of my pajamas (I'd like to think that some of my vintage nightgowns double as regular clothes). For now, I'll keep playing by my imaginary rules. Instead of putting on real clothes, I take some time to choose my jewelry. Having a few ear piercings gives me room to play with, so the possibilities are endless. I like to mix Shop pieces with my favorite local designers or vintage finds. It leaves me feeling a little more put-together and excited for the moment that I get to hop on a call with the team and share with them my ear party of the day.
11:30 AM: Time to sit down at my desk and look at my to-do list. A nice perk of coming home is that my Dad set up this huge monitor for me. Months ago, some of you commented on this post and suggested we use dual monitors (you were also worried about my lack of a desk!). I'm here to say you were right on both accounts. This desk looks unrecognizable from when I was in high school, but it's given my work time a lot more structure. I plan the rest of my day based on any ongoing tasks I have and how many team meetings are set for later in the evening (my time). Eventually, I'll break for a late lunch with my sister.