8.30am, and once again struggling to cram onto a packed tube carriage, jacket dripping with rain water and clammering around for something to hold onto before the inevitable jolting into action.
20-40 minutes later, you jolt to a stop somewhere, battle your way off the train (how do you always end up on the opposite side to where the door opens?), negotiate through the crowded platform, perilously close to the edge, up the escalators and out into the street on autopilot.
You then run the chicane past hawkers, salesmen, leafleters and advertisers, and dash along to whereever you are going wrapped up in waterproofs and under little twinkly lights that have been on for over a month and have now become part of the street furniture.
A typical Advent morning for some 3.4million people.
This morning, rather than fostering contempt at the world which created this surreal daily ritual, I decided to switch what was on my MP3 player to something, anything, calming. I stumbled upon some Taizé.
And suddenly, even in the bustle, everything seemed a little calmer, a little brighter, and a little more human.
Advent for many of us is far from a time of quiet reflection. There's just too much to do at this time of year, without any other demands on our time. Today, I've decided maybe Advent isn't about doing something, but about being something; about being reflective, rather than setting time aside to reflect?