I wake up in the mornings much too early. At 5:30, sometimes earlier, no matter what time zone I am in, no matter if I am jetlagged, no matter what time I went to bed the night before.
In the past, this has been a blessing, allowing me to spend some time by myself before the day gets going, before the child wakes up, before meetings have to be attended, classes taught, rehearsal to be run. But presently, this space by myself just offers me too much opportunity to fall into an obsessive-compulsive ritual of 1) a hopeful checking of emails, followed by 2) a dashing of hopes, then 3) weeping (is today's cry a little shorter than yesterday's?).
Then, after the coffee, after the child has been taken to school, after the other daily ablutions, I do a practice. And miraculously, at the end of it, I feel more able to take on the day.