You know I’m a rooster riser — about 4:58am my brain sings “Good Moooorniiiing,” and promptly delivers me a list of things I should begin working on IMMEDIATELY.

🧠: “You set up the coffee last night, right? Good. That’ll save us some time. You can bang out a few pages of that novel you’ve been meaning to start. before the boys wake up Then you can declutter that cabinet with the lemonade jugs and dehydrator. Oh. You didn’t set up the coffee. This sets us back, but we can pivot. We can always pivot.”

Meanwhile Melissa’s next to me with her normal-person circadian rhythms all like, “What’s going ON over there?”

I sneak out of our room and tiptoe the Mission Impossible route from our door down the stairs to dodge the especially echo-y floorboards that reverb into the boys’ room. (Jude inherited my is-it-morning??? gene.)

Most of the time, the coffee will be in the cup, and I’ll be down to bidess putting out an email fire (when I planned to answer messages only AFTER I did some creative work). Just when I’m like, “Okay enough procrastination station, let’s DO THIS, clickety clickety clickety…..” I hear it.

The drop of the Cookie Monster water cup from the twin bed overhead.

Like the distant Orc drums echoing in Khazad Dum after one of the Hobbits dropped the clanky bucket down the old well in Fellowship of the Ring. 

Here ends the morning quiet.

The boys have a wakeup clock that turns green when it’s time for them to come downstairs in the morning, but as well as they can sometimes read their Sesame Street dictionaries until it’s officially 6am, there’s usually a lost plush toy emergency or urgent dream update that calls me upstairs. 

When I’m dogged about the morning’s task — it MUST be completed!!! — these interruptions irritate me like a “One Lane Ahead” sign at rush hour behind a school bus.

But the other morning I got a lil revelashawn.

I was scrawling down a few thoughts in my bullet journal. (I’ve been doing this write-down-five-dreams exercise in the morning, and it’s simultaneously awesome and gut dredging, so my brain was all wiggle waggle.)

It was jury day at school, and I had all manner of oh-dookey-I-forgot-all-about-that-loose-end thoughts nattering around in my noggin that then avalanched into holidays-then-next-year things, and before I knew it I was a decade down the road, age 55, and I still hadn’t turned in that syllabus to Academic Affairs!

Then I slowed my roll and asked myself a question — what do you want for this holiday season and after?

And I wrote, “I want the days to be enjoyable, loving, and connected.” 

Then I wrote down, “Enjoy. Love. Connect.”

And I’m here to tell you these three words have helped. 

When I’m feeling annoyed, perturbed, or agitated, I say to myself, “Enjoy,”

and after I roll my eyes at myself, I’ll notice,

“this clean, warm water coming out of this faucet is pretty neat.” or

“the way Noah’s pretending to be a pirate karate master and saying ‘hi-yarrrrrr!’ is pretty cute,” or

“this triggered argument I’m having with Melissa right now because I didn’t know she left her phone in the car, and she waited outside the Market Basket at madhouse rush time in 25-degree weather waiting for me to pick her up for 15 minutes is a great example of how we get super cross with each other and say sorry and hug. That’s a big deal, the whole sorry-forgive process.”

I’ve remembered to say these words to myself about 35% of the time, and that percentage of life has been sweeter.

This also happens to be a terrific thing to say to yourself when you sing. 🎵 Enjoy, 💙 love, 🤗 connect.

Try it out in all the places. I can’t always remember it or find something immediately enjoyable, but when I notice something to appreciate, the sweetness factor increases.

And that’s what I want for you, especially in the tricksy month of December. 

And if these three words don’t resonate with you, you can try the three that my student Hammond and I came up with for them with this week: Werk, slay, serve. 🙂 

What I DO know is that I enjoy you, I love writing to you, and it’s a treat to get to connect to you like this.

And remember, there’s only one you, and folks need to hear the story only you can sing,

Love much,

ps This was a terrific interview from the Mel Robbins podcast with Dr. Becky Kennedy about triggers and the body’s memory. I found it tremendously helpful.

pps Last week’s Tell me bout it Tuesday was about ways we can move air out of our face. There’s more than one way to exhale when we sing. That’s here.

ppps Are you watching 1899 on Netflix?? It’s trippy, and my jaw dropped more than a few times. Very well constructed. We’re now watching the creators’ previous show Dark which is also masterfully constructed and so crasssszy. I recommend if you’re into brain bendy thrillers.