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 credits her writing, which laid dormant for years, to her late mom, who always believed in her. Writing unabashedly from the heart and inspired by millions of moments, three tenets of evergreen advice that her mom always shared with her are her guiding principles. Whether it is poetry, fiction, or a personal essay, her love for the written word feeds her mind, body, and spirit. Laura’s creativity also comes to life in her passion for photography. Her ongoing love affair with the moon, her joy for family and friends, her connection to nature, and being a loving canine mom often become some of her best subjects. Laura has held many roles throughout her professional career, including Brand Manager, Project Manager, and Director of Global Business Development and Sales Operations. In addition, she has a background in consumer-packaged goods, manufacturing, and textiles. Laura currently works in biotechnology for Berkshire Corporation as their Product Marketing Manager. 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. Originally from Northern NY, Laura resides with her husband and canine child in a small town in Massachusetts that captured her heart years ago.

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  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!

    • 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.