It is 5.30 in the morning.
Who gets up at 5.30 in the morning?
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.)