I've long believed a well-ordered life is essential to contentment and success. Good habits, as Aristotle tells us, lead to virtue. With this in mind the other evening I was reading my unique hand-autographed copy of American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. The following passage came to my notice:
"My name is Patrick Bateman. I'm 27 years old. I believe in taking care of myself, and a balanced diet and a rigorous exercise routine. In the morning, if my face is a little puffy, I'll put on an ice pack while doing my stomach crunches. I can do a thousand now. After I remove the ice pack I use a deep pore cleanser lotion. In the shower I use a water activated gel cleanser, then a honey almond body scrub, and on the face an exfoliating gel scrub. Then I apply an herb-mint facial masque which I leave on for 10 minutes while I prepare the rest of my routine. I always use an after shave lotion with little or no alcohol, because alcohol dries your face out and makes you look older. Then moisturizer, then an anti-aging eye balm followed by a final moisturizing protective lotion."
I can identify with Patrick's daily regimen. My morning starts with a cup of tea before 5:30AM whilst I read the news or listen to CNBC. In warmer weather I'll swim 30 laps in the semi-olympic-sized pool, followed by 200 stomach crunches, 40 bicep curls, and 20 overhead shoulder presses, depending on my schedule. I aim for a lean, muscular physique; it doesn't require much effort to show definition. During colder months or when I'm feeling like it, I'll head to the local gym for 30 minutes on the ergometer or treadmill. If I wake up with a woman, I may substitute my regular routine with a round or two of vigorous sex, which works my pecs, abs, and glutes. And prostate.
In the shower I apply various body washes; my favourite at the moment is Neutrogena. My after shave lotion is by L'Occitane, which I've been using for several years. I supplement it throughout the day with frequent applications of aloe moisturising lotion with UV protection. Moisturiser is essential, as I spend quite a bit of time in the sun and water. The benefit of using it, I find, is that my bronzed skin has remained so healthy and young-looking that colleagues and girls think I'm several years younger than I actually am. In addition I wear at all times sunscreen with SPF 30 and vitamin E.
I top off my routine with a dose of scent from Creed, Truefitt & Hill, Royall, or, more recently, Acqua di Parma.
Do you have a morning routine, and if so, what is it?