15 December 2005

On arising early

Filed under: Ponderings

Most of my life I have been, well let’s say NOT a morning person. In my younger years (I am edging closer to 40 than 30 now) I would sleep until lunch, if not later. When forced into a “morning oriented” schedule, i.e. having to go to a normal job every day, I would moan and complain and be miserable.

However I find that as I age, I seem to like rising early more. Perhaps I am becoming one of those “old people” that I used to make fun of, who get up at 5am, except now I’m up even earlier than that.

Once I had a job, an awful job but that’s a story for another day, where I had to be at work at 7am. Now that in itself wasn’t too bad, the problem was that at the time I lived about 70 miles away from said job (it was a bad time and that was the best I could do). I had to leave the house at about 5:15 to ensure that I would be there at 7, which meant that I was having to get up at 4:30, ideally, or 4:50, in practice. I was miserable. By the time I got home at 5 or so I felt as if I only had a few hours of “me” time (which back then consisted of watching television) before having to go to bed and do it all over again. Then, when the weekend came, I would revert to my “non-morning” schedule and be miserable come Monday.

Those days are long gone now (thank goodness) and my job is just five minutes away from the house now. I have to be there at 8, which following my previously mentioned habits would have me getting up at about 7:30. But now, for some reason, I seem to really enjoy the mornings. I don’t know if it is the solitude and quiet (certainly possible, as those are two of my favorite things) or the morning television show, but I love the early mornings.

Now my schedule looks like this, the me of my youth 10 or so years ago would be shocked at this, I’m sure:

I rise between 4:00 and 4:15. I have a pot of tea and read the news. Afterwards I have breakfast, usually around 4:45 and then read or write for 30 or 40 minutes. Then I meditate for about an hour. Afterwards I shower and get dressed and then read until I leave for work at about 7:50. When I return home at 5pm I watch a little television then discipline myself and turn it off and then read for the rest of the evening. By 8:00 or 8:30 I’m beat and go to bed. Then I do it all over again.

While my younger self would be aghast at this, I actually have far more free time than I would if I spent it “sleeping in”. I have nearly four hours to myself in the mornings and then nearly 4 hours again in the evening.

I also find myself much sharper during the day. Perhaps it’s because by the time I get to work I’ve already been up for four hours. You never see me dragging into the office, like so many of my co-workers.

So, all in all, I’d say rising early works very well for me. :)

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