Waking up is slow in our home. We value peace in the morning. Peace and coffee, actually. Growing up, my mom often used the dog to wake me up slowly. TJ would jump up on the bed and snuggle me to consciousness. Looking back, I see how incredibly clever this was because I loathed waking up for school, and anyone involved in this process usually suffered. So getting the dog involved? Genius.

I know we’ve talked about coffee before, and we will never stop, but coffee is a treasured part of our day. We love to sit around with coffee and dream big dreams.

My husband and I have had more meaningful talks over coffee than any other beverage. Which is better than needing an alcoholic beverage or three to have important conversations…oh, ex-boyfriend memories. When do those terrible things go away again?

One morning last week I was feeling extra emotional.

We hardly ever argue first thing in the morning, but I was bothered by a number of different topics so I went for it. I went on to tell him that I was upset by this thing and that thing, but because we only had twenty minutes to discuss such large issues I demanded that he sit on them all day.

I argued that my outburst was his fault because he didn’t notice I was upset earlier. Forget the fact that I was acting pretty normal. I thought he should have noticed something was a little off.

The accusation is hilarious because Zach is so incredibly sensitive to my feelings on a daily basis. He notices when I am even one ounce abnormal, and he tends to me. Everything that is important to me is important to him, and he’s always making sure I’m aware of that. So it’s not exactly fair for me to explode whenever he doesn’t notice I’m being a little distant.

It’s time for me to leave for work, I’m in tears, and there’s a good chance Zach may be a little confused by the whole thing.

Let me tell you what I’ve been learning about myself. I am a morning thinker. When things are bothering me in my life, they bombard me when I first wake up and as the morning goes on they get easier to understand and deal with. But that first hour that I’m awake and my mind is running? It’s a hard one to get through sometimes.

So now that I’m able to identify this, you would think I would know better than to take myself too seriously during those times. It’s much easier to deal with these issues on paper than in practice. Not only am I learning to clear my mind first thing in the morning, but I see now how important it is to fill it with positivity.

Because when I don’t, it doesn’t just affect me anymore. That’s Marriage 101.