Early Morning Miles: Lessons in Time

The trouble is, you think you have time.


I do my best to take in my surroundings – even when I’m working out. This morning, as I neared one of my favorite spots to stop and reflect, I was welcomed by a lovely blend of music. Not on my playlist but courtesy of the birds and bullfrogs.

I couldn’t help but stop and listen, and of course, record their melody. Often, we get distracted and caught up in our chaos; neglecting the pure beauty in front of us.

We may say to ourselves, ” maybe tomorrow” or “I’ll stop the next time” or, my personal favorite, “I don’t have time.” However, what about now? Why not now? Are we that busy, so preoccupied, and focused on what’s next that we aren’t able to take even a few seconds to acknowledge this minute?

The older I get, the more the concept of time becomes increasingly important – and valuable – and the more I realize that I’m choosing to live for today. That’s one of the reasons I stop along my early morning miles – and my evening ones also.

Listening to the birds’ chirp and the bullfrogs croak – simultaneously and distinctly in the middle of nowhere – I smiled, took a deep breath, and welcomed the morning. It was just them and me waking up together: peaceful vibes, morning bliss, and the promise of opportunity.

As I continued along the country roads, I said good morning to the sheep, and they acknowledged me with their loudest “bah.” Sorry, neighbors, we didn’t mean to wake you. I sorted through my thoughts as I often do, and then decided to take a different way back home.

Nearing the end of my workout, I could see the sidewalk up ahead brightly colored by chalk. Upon closer examination, I realized someone had drawn out hopscotch. I walked by it (pretending to hop in my head), only to turn around, go back and take a picture of the numbered squares. At that moment, my thoughts turned to the spirited youth that lives inside each of us. Also, of a time when life was simpler – a time when the digital world didn’t overshadow our desire to be outside, to let our inner child shine, and to have fun.

Now, thanks to FOMO (fear of missing out) there’s a tendency to panic if you left your mobile device at home, you couldn’t post a selfie, and you didn’t check your emails every 2.2 seconds. So, that’s why I’m starting to set boundaries and let it go.

Hopscotch got me thinking about many things. Humor me, if you will. Perhaps you remember doing some of these.

  • Jumping rope
  • Playing ‘kick the can’ until dark
  • Hide and Seek
  • Hula hooping
  • Twirling your baton
  • Riding bikes all around the neighborhood
  • Playing street hockey
  • Playing ping pong or foosball
  • Playing Wiffleball
  • Playing Jarts
  • Jumping on the trampoline
  • Playing Tag
  • Dodging the dodge ball
  • Roller skating
  • Telling ghost stories at night
  • Walking to your favorite ice cream shop on a hot summer night
  • Playing board games

Now, close your eyes and pause for a moment. How did it make you feel?

Did you laugh?

Did you feel happy?

Did you feel content?

Did you feel like you didn’t have a care in the world?

Did you not care?

Did you wonder what it would be like to be that carefree person again?

No mobile devices to distract us only our friends, our imagination, our innocence, and good old conversation.

That’s why I took the picture. It is a reminder to me to disconnect from the digital world more often and embrace my inner child. I remembered what it felt like to hopscotch and to be free of the restrictions that now, as adults, we tend to place on ourselves. Myself included.

I want to feel the frivolity of picking that dried dandelion flower and blowing its puffiness into the wind.

My dear friend, Sarah Elkins, doesn’t believe in coincidences. I don’t either. I’m pretty sure that what I experienced this morning was meant to be. That’s why I choose to pay attention to my surroundings and to share my early morning miles.

We all need our escape and to find out about our ‘why.’ Welcome to mine.

#livingfortoday #itsthemomentsthatcount


Laura Mikolaitis
Laura Mikolaitis
Laura is an intuitive dot connector who loves to weave tapestries of possibility by seeing beyond the symmetry. A life long learner and achiever, Laura isn't one to sit idle and jumps at any chance to learn something new, especially if it poses a challenge. She holds a Master of Science degree in Communications and Information Management from Bay Path University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from SUNY Oswego. Laura is known for her keen ability to deep dive, assess, and present solutions that work. She also believes that showing vulnerability doesn't mean that you are weak, lack confidence, or cannot get the job done. For Laura, it helps her understand on a deeper level and make meaningful connections, which enables her to establish lasting relationships and partnerships. Laura spent many years of her career in manufacturing and consumer packaged goods before leaping to textiles. She's tackled roles such as Brand Manager, Product Development Manager, Project Manager, and Director of Global Business Development and Sales Operations. Currently, Laura is on what she fondly refers to as a career interruption of opportunity, as she seeks out the next chapter of her life. Laura hails from Northern NY, but a tiny hill town in Massachusetts captured her heart years ago. She credits her writing, which laid dormant for years, to her late mom, who always believed in her. Inspired by millions of moments, Laura writes unabashedly from the heart. Whether it is poetry, fiction, or a personal essay, her love for the written word feeds her mind, body, and spirit. With a dash of hope and a sprinkle of faith, she is the little engine that could.


  1. Ahhh Laura, I loved your article. I just had a conversation yesterday at the local YMCA with a woman I had never met about childhood joys and the simplicity of it all. The frivolity of some of the simplest things brought a smile to my face then and now. You took me to a happy place with you and if I could hula hoop right now, I would. Thank you so much for this reminder of the best of feelings that truly fed my soul.

    • Thanks so much, Maureen. I’m glad that you enjoyed it. I think I get so bogged down in the mire of life at times, that I forget to embrace my inner child. Then, when I do, it is such a great feeling. Sometimes, all it takes is good old fashioned laughter exchanged with friends. And if that friend happens to have a hula hoop that you try out after so many years, well, so be it. Who cares if your hula has lost some of its hoop!

  2. Beautiful essay, Laura. Thank you the reminder to create time to play – to be here now in this moment with nature, with people, with no attachment to some result/product-to ask for nothing-to just Be!

    • Thank you, Laura. It is essential to create that time to be in the present moment. Too often, we neglect the essence of what is right in front of us. Somedays, I miss the simplicity of childhood, and I will be forever grateful for those warm memories.