Issue #125: A Day in the Life and My Winter Morning Routine
Plus the best salad, possibly ever?
Morning Person is a weekly newsletter packed with obsessively-curated recommendations and ideas—let’s get to it!
🎥 ‘America Fiction’ in theaters: What begins as a joke, birthed from immense frustration, backfires when writer Thelonious “Monk” Ellison (played by Jeffrey Wright) pens a book that plays up every imaginable Black stereotype. Where his cerebral novels on Greek mythology were often passed over and misshelved, white publishers clamor for the opportunity to purchase the fake memoir (and release it around Juneteenth, when “White people will be feeling a little conscience-stricken.”). A smart and thoughtful movie that explores race, but also the complexities of family dynamics, money, and creativity with an excellent cast.
📚 More: A Memoir of Open Marriage by Molly Roden Winter: It definitely says more about me than it does about Winter that I read her memoir with raised brows, equally astounded and intrigued by her foray from monogamy into consensual non-monogamy and then polyamory with her husband. She and her husband are raising their two children in Park Slope, Brooklyn, when a flirtation with a stranger at a bar unleashes her sexual desires and opens the definition of what a marriage can be. Reminded me of other great memoirs about marriage, like Molly Wizenberg’s The Fixed Stars.
📺 “True Detective: Night Country Season” on Max: Not a series I’d recommend watching alone, but the first episode, set in Alaska, begins when a team of researchers is found murdered, naked, and frozen into an ice block that needs to be thawed. The season, starring Jodie Foster and Kali Reis, promises to lean into the supernatural over a two-week manhunt that takes place during the winter solstice, when the sun barely rises that far north. I’m generally not one for jump scares, but I’m willing to endure a few for a mystery this intriguing…
In contemplating what I wanted this year to look like, I began by mapping out my ideal schedule. 5:30 AM Yoga, I journaled optimistically. I imagined myself waking up with a stretch and a smile, ready to embrace the predawn at my favorite studio. It took me exactly one punishingly early yoga class to realize that, while I may be a morning person, 5 AM was not going to cut it. Instead, I set about envisioning, then putting into practice, a routine that centers the things I’m prioritizing this year: attunement, rest, and curiosity. If last week’s issue was “the why,” this week’s covers “the how.”
Each day looks a little different, but almost always includes time in nature, something social, exercise, and pauses for meals, which is a 180° switch on where I used to be—regularly skipping all of the above to stay at my desk and work. In documenting this day, it felt good to realize how far I’ve come in creating space for my own joy. The thing that feels especially sweet about life right now is that I’m not hurtling myself toward a superficial goal or item that buys into the false narrative, “I’ll be happy when...” I’m excited for a lot of things, but I’m also really happy and content in this moment. (I’m not sure I’ve ever been able to say that, except maybe on vacation.)
My hesitations in sharing any “Day in the Life” post is that it represents a slice of my life. (This one being Thursday, January 11th, 2024.) Hit “pause” at another moment, and you’ll see a very different kind of day. Change is constant, so I’m trying to savor this sweet season, while acknowledging that you may be in the midst of a very different one. I tried to include links to products, tips, and recommendations that have been useful discoveries for me [in bold] in case they appeal to you but, as always, skip ‘em if they don’t. Read on for the three-part way I’m structuring my days, my new midday ritual, and a recipe for the best salad in Portland…
When I lived in New York, I began my day pitching articles to my managing editor before heading to a 6:30 workout class. It was the antithesis to the way I begin my days now.
6:30 AM Wake up. I can deal with the rain in Portland, but the most difficult part, for me, of living this far north are the dark mornings. At the end of last year, I pulled the trigger and bought a Hatch alarm clock, which I’ve set to brighten to mimic a sunrise ten minutes before my alarm goes off at 6:30 every morning. So far, it’s been helping!