My body was on auto-pilot this morning. At first it was the slow, stumbling auto-pilot where I was sure to be running a few minutes behind, but with each sip of my intoxicatingly rich lukewarm coffee small quivers of energy began to pulse through my veins, propelling and telling me what getting-ready actions to take just a few minutes before they actually needed to be started. I obliged to the gentle prompts and easily went through the routine of putting on deodorant, my monogram necklace, the sparse amount of makeup I wore when I chose to wear any at all, and walked to the closet. Without any hesitation or indecisiveness I chose a favorite royal purple short sleeved sweater, comfortable yet evoking a professional look. Another sip of coffee, and a quick check of my bank account to make sure the transfers from yesterday completed, and they were. Two hundred dollars down on the small amount of charging I did during my trip to Philadelphia nearly two weeks ago, two hundred more to go before seeing that happy zero on the screen.

Still only halfway dressed, I walked towards the doorway of my room, stopping to feed the deep garnet beta fish I can’t believe is still alive two years later. A quick check of the clock on the stove shows that I am still a few minutes ahead of schedule, still an anomaly following a night where I got less than stellar sleep due to tossing and turning, worrying.  The familiar movements of reaching for a Tupperware container, then reaching into the fridge for my morning yogurt turned from a mindless automatic motion into a purposeful sense of feeling exactly what I was doing without the normal sense of dread towards the usually endless seeming hours that stretched ahead. With the day’s breakfast and snacks neatly packed away in the childish lunchbox that I loved to carry, I easily did a last walk through of the house, gathering the last items I would need for the day: cell phone from the desk, water bottle from the nightstand, and flicked off the lights, cooing to the dogs like every morning that “Mommy loves dogs!”

The morning air is warm with that slight September crisp that lets us Southerners know that winter will come to nip our heels, then our whole bodies, before we can stop to contemplate if our winter coats have been dry cleaned. I settled into my truck seat feeling so comfortable. The air is so pleasant, my body neither sweating nor shivering, and I stop with my few extra minutes to sit and soak up this feeling. Everything feels perfect today, and I pause to think about if the moment will be ruined if I try to analyze it at all. Why does this morning feel so perfect and promising? Is it as simple as the weather? Is it not rushing through every morning’s ritual and choosing to actively be involved in each step of the process?

I disengage my mind from these thoughts and realize that by thinking, I had slipped right back into auto-pilot mode. I was at the stoplight by the train tracks before I knew it, halfway to work without having taken those minutes to feel the air just touching my skin instead of assaulting it with goosebumps or coaxing out beads of perspiration. I then thought to the day of work ahead: there was no reason to feel so content, but no reason to feel dread and desperation as I so often did while moaning that I didn’t want to have to go to work. It was a nice feeling, and I acknowledged it in my mind, and once again began to try to analyze the purpose behind it. What was making me feel so absolutely content with this day? How can I bottle this feeling up to add it to my morning coffee like a contentedness syrup, or is this feeling only meant to come around every so often, so that when it does we take the time to stop and appreciate it and the moments of each day that we so often take for granted?

And once again before I knew it, I was on auto-pilot pulling into my same parking spot at work, doing the same once over to make sure my windows were cracked, but this time I felt a rare sense of peace walking into the building I’d be inhabiting for the next eight hours, a feeling I wish I could bottle up and put into the drinking water to make sure that everyone in there would get the chance to experience it today so they could stop even if for just a moment to appreciate the small, routine actions that they have already taken and will continue to go through each day.