Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Morning Person

It is 5.30 in the morning.

Who gets up at 5.30 in the morning?

I do.

Now.

Any one of my college roommates would snort with laughter if they knew this.  My husband can vouch for it, as can my kids:  I am not a morning person. For the majority of my life, I have been slow to wake, grumpy for at least the first hour I am awake, and before coffee entered my life (O Happy Day!) I don't know how my family tolerated me.

but this is precisely why I am up at this hour.

I've asked myself often in recent weeks - how is it that you've convinced yourself to crawl out from under the duvet at dawn? The answer, when it came, sweet & simple.  This is the hour I am most Me.  The hour when I am Kirsten - thinker of thoughts large and small, teller of jokes, reader, writer, runner - and yes, Mom and Wife.

It is silent.  I have the time to start my engines - to sit quietly, to think, to dream. Most days I go for a run, and come back to a still-sleeping house.  This gives me the chance to stretch, to wash my face, to pour a cup of coffee before I ever have to have a conversation with anyone.


Carving out this hour at the beginning of the day - these minutes where I am not asked for anything except for honesty with myself - has changed everything.  I start the day having reached cruising speed, not lurching from the starting line awakened by the screams of a toddler wanting MOMMMEEE or a 5 year old putting his index finger in my ear.  I start the day having checked in with myself, having made sure I know I'm still in there somewhere, and then can spend the rest of the day being all the other Kirstens that people need me to be.

What about you?   Do you have a point in the day where you feel most like You, instead of Mommy/Sweetheart/MrsNilsen?  (Well, I hope you don't feel like Mrs Nilsen, because that would be, you know, weird.)

15 comments:

MOLLYC said...

I had to get up at five thirty every morning during my children's life, because I was a "working Mom." I didn't have any ME time until both girls grew up and left home, and I retired. Now all day is WIDE OPEN, and I became a writer! So I applaud you for carving out a piece of the day when you can be yourself and write. If I had been able to do that, this comment would be originating from my yacht! Well, perhaps I overstate my talent...molly

Dovic said...

but can you become a morning person after being a night owl??? I have dreeeamed of happily getting up at 5.30 but it alludes me. Still going to bed closer to 5.30am than I am to getting up at 5.30am. Advice?? Is it changable??

Lori-Anne said...

For about five years (ending shortly after I got married) I struggled to be a Morning Person. I ripped myself out of bed at 6 a.m. every week day morning and jogged. And every day, by about 9 a.m., I was ready to go back to sleep. It was so exhausting fighting my natural biorhythms! I'm not a night owl or a morning person - I need, like, 9 hours of sleep a night (although I'll have to survive on about half that today). I finally gave up fighting it. The trick now, as a mother of two young kidlets, is to find that magical Me Time. I'm sure it's out there somewhere!

kirsten said...

hmm, this idea of unchangeable biorhythms is a big one! I think what I'm saying is that I *have* changed my biorhythm, to an extent. I don't stay up til 5.30am (do you REALLY, Dovic??) but neither do I get to bed early. I give myself one day to sleep late, but really, I get up early that day too.

I guess I just get so much out of having my own time, it's made it worth it for me. Motivation definitely reinforced by the fact that I've lost a few pounds with the running!

Aging Mommy said...

I have always been a morning person and I get up at 5:30am too, but for me that is when my day as Mom begins as my daughter is up and ready for the day. So I have had to adjust to that and my me time is in the evenings - now it is light so much later I take a walk for an hour after she goes to bed, just to reflect on the day, think my own thoughts and prepare for the day ahead. I hate showering at night but now I do that too, so that in the morning I can just get up and go.

hezro said...

I live for the few fleeting hours after BEDTIME (the kids, not mine *hehe*). But the downside to that is that I am most unpleasant when one of the kids is not going to sleep in a timely manner. For an entire year I woke up early every morning and went to the gym and returned to a quiet house. That *was* nice. Unfortunately now the little ones all wake up that much earlier so I'd have to leave BEFORE the crack of dawn to pull it off. *sigh* Last night I THOUGHT about getting up at 4:30 to go the gym and swim for an hour...but that one never made it past thought process to an actual action.

Fadra said...

Never, ever, ever been a morning person. Thank God my 3 year old somehow naturally knows this. It's a rare morning when he wakes me before 7:30. That used to be crack o dawn for me but now I find it manageable. If I could, I'd still stay up until 1am every night. Between 10pm and 1am is when i feel my most creative. I've never been a good time manager. Maybe one of these days I'll take some cues from Mrs. Nilson.

dutchmuse said...

oh my, 5:30 am? really? i'm impressed! that me time must be indispensable, because that sure wouldn't have happened during our college days. for me it's all about dreaming in the bath tub and thinking big and small thoughts during swims. unfortunately, i'm a bit more on a european bathing schedule right now (where baths are pretty much non-existent), but I can't wait to be fully immersed in water again. I guess water is the key word here. swimming is simply heavenly for my body, mind and soul. but 5:30 is not an option right now. let's revisit when there's (hopefully) baby #2 or 3.

WhisperingWriter said...

I wouldn't be happy waking up at 530. I am NOT a morning person.

However, I do feel like myself after the kids have gone to bed. It's wonderful to walk around the quiet and clean house.

CaraBee said...

I can't do mornings. I've tried. For years. But mornings are not MY time. I am most me after my daughter goes to bed. In those couple of hours after her bedtime and before mine, I feel like ME. Probably why I usually wind up staying up way too late and then hate myself in the morning when I am dragging. Again. Sigh.

CaraBee said...

I just noticed you have the date setting on European style. Threw me off for a second. Heh.

Rose West said...

Oh wow, I don't think I could get up that early :) I'm mostly me at nighttime when everyone else goes to bed - quiet and peaceful

Rose West said...

Oh wow, I don't think I could get up that early :) I'm mostly me at nighttime when everyone else goes to bed - quiet and peaceful

prashant said...

I wouldn't be happy waking up at 530.
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Keda said...

Many people don't understand this getting up early thing. I love it. Or rather I use to. Before the birth of our now 16 month old, I use to get up at 4.30 or 5, make some tea, sit outside if the weather permitted, write in my journal, meditate and even have a little time left over for yoga from time to time.

I love getting up early because, besides being me time, it allowed for me to start the day slowly. It took that intense rush out of the day and allowed for me to start and continue it at my own pace. It steadied my nerves for the day and took out much of the stress, simply because I refused to be rushed.

One of these days this gift will be returned to me again.

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