We have all heard the adage: “the early bird catches the worm.” I am not particularly interested in catching worms, but I am–and always have been– a morning person. Even as a teen and college student, when I stayed out until the wee hours, I still never recall sleeping in. Neither my husband nor my children are morning people. I think they are annoyed by my early morning perkiness as they drag themselves out of bed, bleary-eyed and exhausted.
My alarm clock each morning is our beloved golden retriever, Casper, who is most definitely a morning being. Every day at 5:45 am, I hear faint whining and, with one eye open, I pat the mattress, inviting Casper to join us. He happily jumps up on the bed, then snuggles in next to me to doze. This usually buys me an extra half hour, but I never descend fully back into sleep.
By 6:15 am, Casper and I are ready to rise. I wash up, brush my teeth, throw on a pair of sweats and we head downstairs. I let Casper outside and he runs crazy, high-energy loops around the backyard. I turn on the Keurig. While Casper eats his breakfast, I drink my coffee. That first sip of java, sweetened with almond milk creamer, is my single favorite moment of the day. I savor it.
As the caffeine courses through my veins, I feel a “jolt” and immediately feel ready to attack the day with enthusiasm. Friends and family members who are not morning people will never understand the immense and complete pleasure I feel in this moment…
It is quiet and peaceful at this hour. The world is undisturbed. Despite all the events that happened yesterday, no matter how dismal life seemed, today the slate is wiped clean and we have a chance to begin anew. In my meditation class last week, we discussed the phenomenon of looking at the world through a “beginner’s mindset.” This means approaching life without expectations or judgment, but rather with openness, wonder and possibility. In the early morning hours, before the world comes to life, I believe that anything can happen today. Every moment represents a new beginning.
I am energized, both physically and mentally, in the morning. I try to exercise early in the day, while the adrenaline is flowing. Morning is my best time to think and to write. It is usually at this hour when I enter that exhilarating creative “zone,” where I happily discover that my musings write themselves: words effortlessly flow out of my brain and onto the page.
The only downside to being a morning person is that by 9 pm, I am struggling to keep my eyes open. As I doze through whatever program we are watching, my husband, ever the night owl, is wide awake and reading, usually until after midnight. This works for him because he won’t be up at 5:45 am with the dog.
In fact, by the time my husband awakes, I feel incredibly accomplished. I have fed and walked Casper, meditated, caught up on emails and social media, done a load of laundry, taken a 3-1/2 mile run, made a grocery list, watched the news, talked to a close friend (who is also a morning person) and written this blog post. I could probably use a midday nap at this point, but sadly, I am incapable of napping, unless traveling in a car or airplane. Nonetheless, I relish being a morning person and would not have it any other way.
It is 10 am. What have you done so far today?