Early morning. I have a complicated relationship with my alarm clock–not so affectionately known as the egg–and sunrise. I am not an early riser by nature, but I’ve learned to be. Much as I love my bed, I am not and never was someone who could jump out of it and be out the door in twenty minutes. I need my coffee, I need to sit in peace before I start the day. And then I need more coffee.
This trait is one of very few things about my life and myself that hasn’t changed with time and circumstance.
When I was younger and lived by myself, I was one of those people who needed two alarm clocks; one by the bed, and one across the room that would ring after I had hit the snooze on the one by the bed three or four times. Between years long issues with insomnia and a work schedule that was very inconsistent, I needed both of them. Let me just say, the ability to sleep through multiple alarms combined with being neurotically prompt can make for some very unpleasant mornings.
During the week, I get up between 5 and 5:30AM. Weekends, it depends how stressful the week has been. The more stress, the more I stick to the weekday schedule, even if the laptop tells me it’s Sunday.
Husband thinks I’m crazy, because technically, I could get another hour to an hour and a half of sleep each day. (To be fair, there are many reasons Husband thinks I’m nuts, but I’m comfortable writing about this one). I need time to myself, by myself. Does this make me a selfish person? Maybe it does, but I still need it. Am I bleary eyed and exhausted long before I can go to bed each night? Yup, but I’d rather have the time alone than the extra sleep. Trust me, I’d be a whole lot crazier without this time.
Added bonus, the jackhammers haven’t started that early in the day. You know, the background music of the city that never ever ends.
You would think that by this point I’m a morning person, but I’m not. I do like sitting on the balcony and watching the sky get pink as the sun rises.
Are you a morning person? Night person? My favorite shift to work was a swing shift, either 4-midnight five days a week or noon-10 four days a week. What about yourself hasn’t changed, through marital status, careers, parental status, etc?
I’d like to tell you I use this time to pray or meditate or contemplate the meaning of life, or even bond with the dogs, but I don’t. I use it to just sit quietly, make and drink my coffee, zone out, and enjoy the peace. I stare into the tank and watch for the pink streaked wrasse to wake up–he starts cruising, hunting for pods between the corals as soon as the sky lightens. Sometimes I surf Facebook, but I don’t post at that hour. I used to use that time to write, but it’s never successful as a long term writing plan, because then I’m missing that me time. It is the only time of day when I can, somewhat consistently, get the living room to myself. Five people on different schedules and a small space, you have to be creative.
And willing to sacrifice sleep.