Angela Lansbury cautions that one should stretch for ten minutes before rising. I read her book years ago. I imagine it still occupies a bottom shelf somewhere in my house. I don’t remember much else from that book but I still try to follow that one suggestion.
Stretching in the dark allows for mindless contemplation. The voices on the radio have not yet intruded into my morning. I have not yet checked the weather or fed the dog. I don’t know when my first obligation of the day starts. I lift my arms and raise my hands towards the ceiling, feeling protest in the taught muscles. Only the constant ringing in my ears breaks the silence.
In a few hours, I will be stumbling through the demands of my law practice. My personal chorus of self-doubt will clamor to be noticed. Phones will ring; my secretary will hover in the doorway; and insistent queries will flood my in-box.
But in the stillness of the unlit house, at six a.m., none of that matters. Stretch, release; stretch, release. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.
It’s the eighteenth day of the twenty-eighth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.