I have recently started a new segment of the Mornings Like These project called Mornings Like These With You. For this project, I share a morning with a local creative, friend, or entrepreneur and document their daily morning. I observe their surroundings, take part in their ritual, photograph their environment and ask a series of questions. I had my first morning interview for this project this morning and it couldn't have been better.
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Mornings Like These With You
Feature No. 01
Feature No. 01
Del Ray, Alexandria, Virginia
MLT: Where did you grow up?
KF: Everywhere. Military brat. So… I was born in Arkansas, and I moved 15 times before the end of high school. Yeah, LOTS of moving... But still proud to be from Arkansas!
MLT: What were your childhood mornings like there?
KF: Well, I have Cystic Fibrosis so before I got going with the day, I had to do my treatments. That was a start to every morning but the weekends were always special. My dad always made pancakes on Saturdays and cinnamon rolls before church on Sundays. There was this smooth jazz program on the radio on the way to Church and we would always listen to that. Those are definitely vivid memories from childhood.
MLT: Were there any special morning traditions your family had?
KF: Big breakfasts on Saturday... All of us sitting together to start our weekend. We always had chores to start off the weekend and once we got those done, we could have fun. It's funny that even now, I still do the exact same things. Saturday mornings are my house cleaning times. I don't feel like having fun until I've made my bed. I have to have a made bed. No one is gonna see it... But, it's made!
MLT: I know you have traveled a lot. Where did you experience some of your favorite mornings?
KF: I would say Iceland because the mornings start in the middle of the night. That's always pretty special. Finland … I love their European breakfasts. It was amazing. I love Scandinavia so those are definitely my two favorites... But anytime you visit a place you haven't been and you see the sunrise there, it's very special. The morning light is very nice to experience.
MLT: Do the mornings you've had on your travels impact the way you do mornings today? What sort of things did you adopt into your routine?
KF: Totally. European breakfasts have been my jam for a few years. That and usually on Saturday mornings I go to Farmer's Markets. I always walk and that's very european and international… walking instead of getting into your car. That's why I moved into this neighborhood so I could walk everywhere. That started when I studied abroad in college in Holland… most of my adult life, I've had this "walk where you are" mentality.
MLT: Speaking of which, what is your morning routine like?
KF: Weekdays, it is slightly triage... Needing time to get ready because school starts so early. I do eat grød (porridge) every morning. It cooks quickly and I'm out the door starting my day at work. The weekends are less fast… much slower. I still wake up early around 6:30/7 o'clock. On Saturdays, I walk to the farmers market… I think about my meals for the week and the preparations I have to make and then come back and make breakfast with whatever I've bought. I usually read magazines or books or blogs. It's very relaxing on the weekends.
MLT: Do you cherish your mornings? Do they mean a lot to you when it comes to how the rest of your day goes?
KF: Definitely. I think that on mornings when I have something to do early, I miss that quiet time a lot. Now I make sure things aren't happening too early because then I have that quiet time to myself. It's easy to lose that during the week, that quiet time that isn't in the dark. So the morning time is nice for that. I am totally a morning person.
MLT: Any words that help get you by?
KF: Make mistakes is one. Try something and having it not work is okay. Learn from it... whether it's relationships or your job or just cooking something new… it's okay as long as you're willing to make a mistake. That's something I've lived by for a while. I really feel like if you're living, you're going to cry a lot. You're going to feel pain as much as happy times and that's okay. Let those feelings happen. A lot of people don't want to feel sad and do what they can to push that away… maybe they don't get close to people or they don't put themselves in situations where they might not be happy, but making those decisions can ultimately make you happy. Make mistakes. It's okay to be sad.
Oh! ... And a bit of advice for everyone: Don't forget to brush your teeth!
Katie Fielding is teacher at a high school in Woodbridge, Virginia. She currently lives in Del Ray, Alexandria, Virginia. She is a traveler and a turophile (loves cheese!). In her free time, she travels, photographs, and tries to explore and experience new things. Find her on Instagram: @Katief.
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I thank Katie so very much for welcoming me into her home for our shared morning. She is an inspiring woman with a lot to offer all those she comes in contact with. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to explore her space and learn more about her. She believes in the practice of having "mindful mornings" (her eloquent wording) and I couldn't agree more. I have a few more mornings lined up in the future... Be on the lookout for the next MLTWY feature. If you are interested in sharing a morning and being featured, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.