The following post contains affiliate links, which sends me a small percentage of any sales at no cost to you.
One thing I noticed about my routine lately is that I get up at 6:00 am, and I pretty much walk straight to my computer and start working.
I do make coffee and put my undereye gels on, at least, but I am either starting work right away or job hunting from the time I wake up. If I don’t have a shift at my retail job, I’ll stay at my computer until 2 or 3pm.
To many readers, this may not be a big deal. But during the pandemic, I developed habits to prevent situations like that from happening.
I would get up, light a candle, and write in my journal first thing before starting my work day. Maybe I’d read or meditate. It sounds small (and it is), but giving yourself a buffer between waking up and throwing your energy into the black hole of the internet, is truly a gift.
I learned that from reading “Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies” by Tara Schuster in 2021 — a book my mom gifted me the Christmas prior.
This book is basically a modern guide to self-care (actual self-care, not the stuff people pretend is self-care). As with any self-help book, I think it’s going to be great for some, and others would write it off as woo-woo.
But I loved this book (you can read my full review here)!
Since reading it, I started following Tara on social media and signed up for her newsletter. When I found out she was writing a second book — “Glow in the F*cking Dark” — I asked for it for Christmas (and my mom delivered via a pre-order)!
The book came out in late February, and when it arrived in my mailbox, I knew it would be the perfect way to reintroduce myself to the morning routine I once enjoyed.
I decided I would read one chapter a day from the book and read it each morning as a part of my journaling session, before jumping into my work or job hunt.
Well, I did that, and it was such a nice treat! It shocked me how excited I was to get up each day and read from the book — I was acting like taking 20 minutes out of my day was really going to screw things up.
I finished the book in about two weeks reading it this way, and I realized that it really gave me time to soak up what I’d read that morning before moving on to the next one.
This book was a nice companion to the first one, but you can read them each on their own (or pick one to read depending on your needs).
While the first book focused on rituals to “fix your life,” this book is more about truly healing. Tara shares so many raw, personal stories, and I think that’s really what drew me in. She covers her childhood, the pandemic, dating, and losing her job — I could relate to so much of what she shared.
I’ll share some of the quotes I put in my journal:
Memorable quotes from ‘Glow in the F*cking dark’
- We know we can stand the truth. It is already here and we are already enduring it.
- Keeping a journal gives you refuge where you can have some order and autonomy no matter your circumstances.
- We so often let our experiences in the past tell us what we can and can’t do in the future.
- If you’re counting the days until everything calmly falls into place, you’ll be watching on the sidelines of your life for a long time, and I don’t want that for you.
- If I continued to tie myself to awards or reviews or achievements, I would always be the passenger to someone else’s opinions.
These books are so good! If you’re looking for approachable, honest advice, I’d highly recommend them.
For more book recommendations, be sure to subscribe to the blog (look to the right) and follow me on Goodreads @thebitterlemon – where I share more of my book picks. Also, check out my printable bookmarks and Book Club Journal Pages in my Etsy Shop.