Becoming a morning person.

cup of coffee
Source: yosaki.com

I am not a morning person. It’s not that I am incapable of rising early, I will if I need to. If I do rise early, I am incommunicable until after my third cup of coffee and it’s past 9 am. Anyone attempting to have a semi-serious conversation beyond the pleasantries will get a cold confused stare from me. Some say I walk around with an invisible “Do Not Talk To Me” sign around my neck before 9 am (and after on most days).

I wear this this peccadillo with pride. I was a proud night owl. Nighttime is when my energy comes and creative juices gets flowing. And I don’t care if people don’t think I am unapproachable. Who cares about people?

This year, as a New Year’s personal audit of my behaviors and habits (I stayed away from the word ‘resolution’), I decided enough was enough. I will rise at an acceptable hour before my two chirpy and talkative children do and start my day. I always complain that I’ve never any quiet time to myself. If I want quiet time, I will need to create it, there are 24 hours in a day, and surely, even for a full-time mother to two children under the age of 5, I should be able to squeeze 2-3 hours of quiet time for myself. So I decided to set my alarm clock.

The first few days were hard. I had to hit the snooze button a few times, but once my body got used to it and I got used to it (in my head), I realize I had morphed into a semi-morning person. I became a  more pleasant person because by 9 am, I would have already had those precious three hours of silence to myself to write , read, study, catch up on shows on my DVR (plus those three cups of caffeine either in the form of coffee or tea). I am not constantly rushing through my chores so I can sit down in mid-day and have some quiet time, which half is spent getting my children to nap. Fulfilling their endless list of “requirements” before they decide to nap, and by the time they do, I am irritated and angry and half of the afternoon is gone, which makes me ever more cross. Now, when my children nap accordingly, and I do have mid-day quiet time to myself, I treat it like a bonus. I have hit the quiet time jackpot.

I also realized creative juices can flow any time of the day. There is no special time of day where you are more creative than others. I can do whatever I need to do as long as it is quiet.

Keeping normal human hours isn’t such a bad thing. My intermittent headaches and other body aches slowly went away. I don’t know if it’s to do with my new body clock, regardless, I feel better. I didn’t make any other significant changes in my life.

If someone had told me I will feel better if I just wake up earlier, I would have told them to shut-the-front-door. I operate at night, that’s how I am. I used to scoff at the likes of Martha Stewart when an interviewer asks her how she does what she does everyday? How does she pack so much in one day? Her answer was always, “I wake up early,” as if that’s the secret to success, the golden elixir to achievement. But after waking up early for the past few weeks, I realize I do have more ‘time’ – this elusive modern day commodity. When at 9 am you are ready to go, and you’ve done eighty percent of what you need to do for the whole day, you automatically feel better.

Now if I can just work in an early workout…but baby steps.

9 thoughts on “Becoming a morning person.

  1. “If someone had told me I will feel better if I just wake up earlier, I would have told them to shut-the-front-door.”
    I will still tell people to shut the front door. I have been trying all year. It will never be easier in the winter, to say the least.
    The only reason I wake up at 8 AM now (which is incredibly early for me) is because I have to drive my fiance to work because we are a 1 car household, at the moment. I should try to get out of that mindset. It’s better for me if I don’t try to “blame” him for me waking up early.
    If only coffee could help me.
    Glad you have your 3 hours free time/quiet time! I always think I can have it in the evening, but I’m too tired to do anything I really care about.

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    1. You live in MN, which is notorious for weather related winter depression. You have a legitimate reason. I don’t. I live in sunny so-Cal, even in Winter, it’s ‘sunny’. Our lowest is about mid-50s and that’s rare. It’s a hard mindset to get rid of. It’s still not natural to me. I am not going to lie and say, ‘gee I should have done this all my life’. I am just getting adjusted to rising early. I see the benefits and I will stick to it. Now I’ve got to train myself to sleep earlier.

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      1. I was wondering how much different it was in California VS MN in terms of sunrise and sunset, which is the major troublemaker. It was like -3 all last week, and I was fine, I was out in the sun, at the least. But, man, if waking up and knowing I work the entire time the sun is out and I can’t get to it isn’t the biggest loss I cannot control, I don’t know what is.

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  2. I can so relate to this post! As a former night owl myself, I am pretty stunned that I am able to get the juices flowing so early in the day. Crazy how parenthood makes you stretch muscles you never knew you had!

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  3. I’m finally realizing the amazing rush of eight hours of sleep…Finally I can answer right away with the exact word I’m looking for, I can share emotions without becoming too emotional (still a weeper at commercials but what can you do :P), and I actually like being around other people all the time! (Yes, I am an extrovert by nature, but the little sleep was taking a toll!) Question for you: how did you decide on a time to get up? And do you do anything to wind down your brain at night or to jump-start it in the morning?

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    1. Well, I haven’t had a proper 8 hours sleep in a long time. So I’ve gotten used to the idea that I won’t for a while. I wake up before my kids do so I can go do what I need to do. And I set an alarm and that’s it. My body is quite used to it already. I am still trying to sleep earlier and I try to nap when my kids are napping if I haven’t got other chores to do. It’s not easy. None of it is and I do have to get enough sleep in so that it won’t trigger my depression.

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