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Podcasts, Pigeon Poo and Prayer

Woman Alive editor Doll shares her morning routine and how that sets her up for the day

It took me ages to get out of bed this morning. I feel as though I’ve been tired for months but today I’m putting it down to working well past 5pm and then staying up watching a Swedish TV series in a bid to learn the language. But a while ago when I was bemoaning how tired I feel when I wake up, I felt God say: of course you’re tired, you’ve been sleeping, but that’s not a reason to stay in bed!

The first hour of my day is usually spent with a mug of hot water – sometimes with a slice of lemon – worship music and my Bible. I’m not that fussed about eating breakfast on weekdays although I know people say it’s the most important meal of the day. But feeding my soul, that’s the one thing I can’t miss. If I’m running late and leave the house without doing it, I’m more likely to succumb to the frustrations that are a part of everyday life. Those are the days when, if I had a car, I would take down the fish symbol. I’ve never known why that’s necessary anyway – to let other drivers know that the person who cut them up is late for morning service??

My ex kept the car in the divorce so for now, I’m a pedestrian and this morning I walked to work. The journey from north to south London takes me about an hour-and-a-half and is the only workout I do at the moment. Pre-lockdown I was doing hot yoga once a week and the occasional netball match where players knew all about the WHO 1 metre distancing rules. We’re all so fancy about the type of exercise we do these days: mini trampolines, 80s dance classes and pedalling really fast on a stationary bike (AKA Spin classes). Although walking is free many of us eschew it in favour of exorbitant gym fees. But we spend so much time indoors, especially now, I’d say walking is essential for all-round health.

On my walk I gingerly step around pigeon droppings and wonder why God created pigeons – what exactly is their purpose here on earth and why do people keep feeding them? One of my friends is allergic to pigeon poo and I’m sure she’d also like to know. I bookmark the thought on one of the many mental tabs in my head so I can Google it later.

Working in radio I’m used to having music on while I’m working so on my commute I listen to podcasts instead. I split my listening into three 30 minute segments so first I listen to Joel Osteen or Joyce Meyer for the reminder of God’s promises and to encourage me for the day ahead. Then I switch to the New York Times Modern Love podcast. I find it fascinating hearing about other people’s love stories and when I was asking God about my own lack of relationship and the dismal dating landscape for millennials, I felt him tell me to seek out positive love stories to encourage me. When I’ve finished being buoyed by love, I turn to Comedian Katherine Ryan’s “Telling Everybody Everything”.  I think Katherine is great in stand up; so real and raw and she regularly goes off brand on her podcast. Earlier this year she spoke about her experience of miscarriage and last week she told us about her growing interest in prayer.

By the time I get to the office I’ve usually been laughing for a while and I’m ready to get to work.

Today is going to be a good day.

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