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The Blessing of Rising to a New Day

January 11, 2020

Another Way for week of January 10, 2020

The Blessing of Rising to a New Day

[First of a ten-part series on physical, mental, relational, and spiritual health. #KashiActionVerbs]

I have just gotten up on the first morning of a new year. As I write, it is January 1, 2020,* approximately 7 a.m. (I write and send out columns about a week in advance of calendar dates, and newspapers may use them whenever it suits.)

Seven a.m. is “sleeping in” for me, which is a new luxury after retiring last spring. My husband and I rarely sleep past 7:30 and it is not unusual for me to still rise around 5 or 5:30 to get some writing done before the rest of the day launches into chores, exercise, errands, naps, making meals. We are both still ecstatic NOT to be blared into wakefulness by a 3 a.m. alarm, which was our life for at least seven to eight years before my husband retired several years before me.

I have already eaten my breakfast and am sipping decaf coffee; breakfast is typically a crunchy bowl of Kashi cereal, topped with sliced almonds for extra nutty flavor and nutrition. The recently updated Kashi cereal boxes caught my eye with a list of marvelous action words that I’ll use for themes for Another Way for the next ten weeks. These are: Rise, Play, Spark, Flow, Crush, Defy, Love, Wander, Shine, and Go. Go is the biggest word in the graphic design of their list. I hope to probe what these powerful words can mean for our lives. Of course the “Go” here with this fiber-filled cereal can definitely help to keep you “regular” if you get my drift. (Sorry if that is too much information.)

At this age, getting up in the morning is a blessing in itself. In our teen years, we may not appreciate the gift of waking up. I remember sleeping until noon after a slumber party; or talking into the wee hours of the morning with a date about so many delicious things which kept us from saying goodnight or goodbye. And then sleeping in Saturday morning.

Especially in our working years, the morning bell comes all too soon and we long to snooze just another five or ten minutes. So I count it a profound privilege to have reached my retirement years and welcome the opportunity to sleep in a bit. But I still love the early morning hours for quiet thinking, reading, and yes—writing.

Poet and prolific author Maya Angelou added new depth and beauty to the power of the word “rise” with her popular poem, “Still I Rise,” about overcoming injustice and prejudice, especially in light of black history and issues that still confront us today. Angelou is said to have loved writing in the mornings. I’m happy for the clarity of thought that often comes with the break of day, when you see things in a new light. I often feel empowered and energized with new thoughts in the morning—that sometimes need correction or tweaking later in the day. I know others who feel that way about the evening or nighttime—that their best creativity or imagination is sparked by the evening hours. It takes all types to make the world go around, right?

The word “rise” also makes me recall the baptismal ritual in the church of my youth. In my church we kneeled on the floor and were baptized as the pastor poured a small amount of water on our heads. I can still hear our pastor intoning after each baptism, “I give you my hand, arise. As Christ was raised from the dead, so now you shall also rise to walk in newness of life.”

Perhaps that’s another way to think of the blessing we have to rise to another day. We are alive! We have another day to do the best we can, to help others, to be kind, to accomplish the tasks that we set out to do.

So rise! And now I must see to my other tasks, including making my bed and morning exercise. Thank you, Lord, to see a new day.

* A reader reminded me that the current decade doesn’t officially end until December 31, 2020–and the next decade begins January 1, 2021.


What is your best or favorite time of day? I’d love to hear!


What gets you going in the morning?


Comments or questions? Post here or write to me at or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at a week after newspaper publication.  






  1. I’m a morning person, and love the fresh stillness of a new day.

    This morning I had breakfast out in the lanai watching ducks on the lake, just gliding with no particular agenda.

    What gets me going? An agenda – ha!

    First, meditation and prayer and then on to blogging and book promotion. I’m enjoying connecting with readers like my retired colleagues this week. This coming week I’m meeting another reader, Liesbet, who with her husband travels the country in their RV named Zesty. You may have seen her replying on my blog.

    Melodie, you have assembled a fine post here with variations on the word “Rise.” Great! When I was teaching, one of my colleagues hated mornings. I found a Peanuts-character poster for her door with the words: “I’ll rise but I won’t shine!” 😉

    • Gliding ducks sounds marvelous! And what fun to meet Liesbet, I’ll look forward to “seeing” her on your blog.

      Thanks for your comment and reminder from Peanuts (via your former colleague). Some mornings we all feel like that, I’m sure.

      I’ve been inspired to begin work on my next project, so that’s keeping me going in this new year, along with the column/blog posts. Have a great week. Hope the storms crossing the panhandle are kind to your region.

  2. I love the morning. I enjoy the quiet and peacefulness of the start of the day. I open the front door and then the back door and say, “Thank You Lord, for this glorious day!” 🙂

    • What a wonderful way to greet the day. If the stars are still out when I first go out (with the dog) to get our paper, I usually remember to thank the Lord as well. Thanks so much for sharing your example.

  3. YIKES! 3 am?! That almost makes your 5 & 5:30 mornings seem like sleeping in.
    I used to think that 10 or 11 am was the prime wake up time. (Yes, I was younger LOL) Now, as I’m getting older, I’m preferring to rise earlier. Although my earlier is now 7 am if ifs an ‘off’ day or 6 am on work days.
    I also used to go much later at night though. Till midnight or 1 am easily. And it’s as if my clock is slowly adjusting to earlier times.

    • Yes, my husband and I like to remind ourselves of the old 3 a.m. when we set the clock for 5 on some days. That was a precious stretch of writing time for me when he was getting up so early. But I’m glad it is no longer the “usual.” I maybe stayed up that late in college: those conversations, the homework, the papers, the fun with friends. Especially in Spain we stayed out late. 🙂

      Have a good week, rising late or early!

  4. From Nick Russian
    Your writing is positive, uplifting. That’s admirable. I have some comments tangentially related to your column.

    Novelist Stephen King wrote only one nonfiction book that I know of, “On Writing,” in which he gives writing advice. When he pens a novel, he said he starts with an idea and follows it wherever it leads, without an outline. He views each book as a “fossil,” already existing and just waiting to be unearthed. Positive thinking!

    Writing can be a joy, a job or an addiction. James Michener said it was hard work. That surprised me. Or, maybe not …his books are so long.

    Earnest Hemingway said that finding the right book title was difficult because the best titles had been used. He even searched the Bible for ideas. Coincidentally, “On Writing” was the title of a book someone wrote about his thoughts on the subject.

    I’ve noticed little pushback recently against the decade definition, contrary to past decades. This decade ends December 31, 2020. We count decades artfully now.

    Nick Russian

    • Thanks, Nick, appreciate all your comments, and your “pushback” on decade definition. (I corrected/updated the online version.)

      I love your comments/reminders of tips great writers have given. I agree about Michener books, I have enjoyed one or two, but haven’t read them all by any shot.

      And thanks for the affirmation!

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