There is not a long history of me being a morning person. The majority of my adult life I characterized myself as more of a night owl who was usually up until 11pm if not midnight (weekends much later). My wake up time barely allowed me a stretch long enough to get up and get out of the house and to work each day. I was notoriously late!! There was a frantic beginning to every one of those days. It was my strong belief then that those who called themselves a “morning person” were some sort of genetic mutant. If that is what it takes, now I am very grateful for the personal mutation that allowed the discovery of mornings!
In place of jumping out of bed and immediately trotting through the maze of make coffee, shower, dress, eat and drive like a maniac to work; now my mornings have a calmer and less abrupt beginning. A couple of years ago it hit me that I gave the best hours of my day to the outside world. I kept for myself the hours at the end of the day when I was the most tired and fatigued. I was giving away “me” at my most rested and mentally sharp and keeping the leftovers for myself at the end of the day.
In earlier days I really needed to be at work between 8:30 and 9am, but that often stretched to 9:15am or later. Being the senior person in my jobs for over 20 years there was no one to tell me I was “late”. I worked hard, but often ended up laboring a bit later than those who got their day rolling earlier than I did. Over a period of about two years I slowly adapted my rising time in the morning by 15 minute increments until my previous rising time of 7:30 or 7:45am became 6 or 6:15am. Most recently I am adapting to the alarm going off at 5:45am.
Am I crazy? Probably a little, but I find I feel quite different at the start of each day. The luxury of time in the morning is one of the factors in being able to come here and write each day. I also read, check email, get up to date with news on-line, read whatever book has my interest at the moment and stay in better touch with those I care about. Previously at the end of the day after dealing with work emails all day long, one of the last things I wanted to do was come home and write more. Now at the start of the day my mind is fresh when I actually have the time and inclination to write emails that consist of more than “hope you’re good. Have a nice day.”
I know now that I never really was a night owl. Rather I was just in the habit of being one. It was challenging to adapt my sleeping habits to get up earlier. Over time though it became my new habit and I can now say I am a morning person! If happiness is living in the moment, I was missing a good bit of the joy of living. My thinking in the later rising and hectic day beginning starts was thoughts like: Got to run. I’m late. Am I going to be on time? Slow drivers, get out of my way. I did not eat this morning. I don’t have time to stop for gas; hope I don’t run out. And so on…. I was often in such a hurry I’d forget things like my coat, my phone, my wallet and even putting on a belt. I even wore non-matching shoes to work one day! What a relief my new schedule is. It’s a wonderful gift I have given myself. Bedtime does come earlier now, but sleep seems to come quicker and I seem to rest better. My counter for the jokes from friends about getting old and going to bed just after sundown (my actual bed time is 10pm) is simply to tell them they don’t know what they are missing.
Early to bed. Early to rise. Makes a person healthy, weatlhy and wise. Ben Franklin