Each morning, I get up before the sun, run or swim for an hour, and then race off to the bagel shop for breakfast before work. I live in the suburbs and commute downtown. The stress of city traffic is less brutal when my stomach is happily digesting a generous dose of carbs. Plus, I can’t wave my arms angrily at cars cutting me off when I’m holding a warm cup of coffee – not to mention what a kinder person I am when caffeine is generously pumping through my system. Some friends regularly comment that my bagel habit is a waste of money. I look at it as an investment in my daily happiness.

This morning I sat in the sun enjoying my breakfast and sipping coffee, with my dog-eared copy of White Oleander cracked open on the table, when I thought how my bagel selection each morning reflects my mood.

Cinnamon raisin, toasted with peanut butter: I’m cranky. I need sweet and salt to start the day and if that peanut butter is crunchy – even better. I’m licking my fingers by the end, enjoying each raisin and feeling more prepared for the tasks at hand.

Sesame, toasted with hummus: I’m pensive. Something is bothering me and I need a bit of time to figure it out. As I eat my bagel and think of the day ahead, I pinch the fallen sesame seeds from the table, carefully returning them to my plate while carefully crafting my plan for the day.

Black olive rosemary with cheese and vegetables: I’m optimistic. I’m hungry for the day and happy with what I have. I love the bright colors and varied textures in this sandwich.

Everything, toasted with egg: I’m carefree. With each savory bite, I enjoy the salt and garlic, without a worry in mind. The sun on my back, a good book in my lap, a cup of steaming coffee in hand.
Life is good.

How do you celebrate the start of a new day?