I had the pleasure of meeting some of the Socorro High School newspaper staff last week.

They produce a lovely paper, The Blue and White, going on its fourth year of publication and packed with sports coverage, lemon related columns and even their own cipher. They told me about their coverage of cafeteria food quality and the addition of a photo editor this year.

It was exciting for me to see student journalists at work and I’m looking forward to seeing what stories they’ll break next semester.

We talked about work flow, that tricky balance between hustle and rest. Still not a skill I’ve mastered, but one that is crucial in life and newspapers.

Lately my life has had a little too much hustle then travel, hustle then travel, throwing off my routines.

My morning rituals have slipped and slid into something of a mess the last month. Each day I’ve been waking up and scrolling through Twitter or listening to the news before I do anything else. This is an objectively terrible way to start the day. Anyone could tell you, this is a bad idea. I could tell you, this is a bad idea. I am telling you, this is a bad idea.

Starting your day with news (or a Twitter feed, which for me is mostly news) before you dress or eat or shower or stretch is a good way to feel like the outside world, full of bad news and chaos and things outside of your control, is more important and real than the interior world where you actually live, the one where you have some measure of control over what happens. It’s a great way to feel like the world is a chaotic place and bad things are constant. And to be clear, the world is a chaotic place and bad things are constant. But good things are also constant and order, at least in my apartment, is both possible and available.

Still I’ve let myself slide into this awful habit. I’ve been worried that beginning the day on Twitter is melting my brain (metaphorically speaking, fortunately there has been no sign of literal gray goop coming out of my ears).

The last week, I’ve tried to adopt a new habit, being inspired by something Joe Gonzales said when he was recognized at a city council meeting last month: That you get up and get ready because you don’t know what the day’s going to bring.

I’ve been meditating, something I’m objectively terrible at. As I do it, I find my mind wanders near and far. It is a real task to bring my brain back into focus. I feel downright silly doing it, because I am so distractible. It feels like it shouldn’t make an impact because it’s a brief meditation—15 minutes of attempted quiet focus on my breathing and my body. But it’s made my days entirely different.

On the days I meditate before I turn to the news or the newsfeed, my mood is elevated. I’m focused at work, I’m excited about the day ahead. I have more energy before coffee than I do on a regular day post-coffee.

Here’s hoping the holidays are joyful and that we all manage to cling to some level of routine. If you have any hustle-rest-workflow advice, send it my way.

Cathy Cook, Editor, El Defensor Chieftain