Lately I've been thinking a lot about how we arm ourselves to face the world outside our comfort zones. Some of us have rituals that we use to get ourselves in the right mindset to go out and do what needs to be done, even if we don't actively identify them as such - shower, shave, brush teeth, comb hair, that sort of thing. For some folks, this morning ritual includes things like working out or yoga or some other form of getting the body in a good place as well as the mind.
I was always a "do it the night before" kind of kid, because I value sleep, and the best sleep is that first thing in the morning. However, I need to take a few steps to make sure I can handle whatever comes at me, as well - if I'm not wearing my rings or my watch, I find myself feeling off-kilter all day, and I don't quite feel like I'm as prepared as I could be.
I see it as a form of shield-making - the things we do to prepare before leaving the homes we create for ourselves. Even if it's just something as simple as grabbing their wallet and keys on the way out the door, it's something that makes a person feel as though they're ready for the day ahead, whatever it may hold. It's something worth looking for when figuring out who your characters are - if they had to leave for the day in a hurry, what would they be sure to grab? What would drive them crazy if they didn't have it? What shields do they put in place before they walk out the door?