Morning people, please count your blessings, and trust that you don’t understand the eternal torment of a night owl in an early bird’s world. With all due respect, this one isn’t for you.
A month ago, after a bout of extreme jet lag, I spent about a week waking before the sun. As a night owl, this doesn’t happen often. (Full disclosure: this doesn’t happen, ever.)
I finally got to live as the morning people do. I woke up on my own, got out of bed because I wanted to, made myself some coffee, enjoyed the quiet. I wrote a few pages in my journal, took my time putting on makeup. One morning, I even had time to play some Stardew Valley! Oh my God, it was amazing. Instead of a hellscape of meetings and caffeine jitters, my morning at work was well-paced and unrushed. (And dare I say: productive?!)
While my sleep schedule has since shifted back to its normal rhythm, I had two lightbulb moments:
First: Find something better than going back to sleep. (I know.) I think what separates the snoozers from the early birds is that for some of us, when we wake up, there is nothing in this world we would rather do than continue sleeping. I perform mental gymnastics to keep myself in bed for as long as humanly possible.
But with a really compelling reason not to go back to sleep, I find myself snoozing ever so slightly less. For me, that is 15 minutes with really good cup of coffee. I’ve found my perfect combo — Trader Joe’s breakfast blend and a slightly sweet coconut creamer. That, and that alone, pulls me out of my cocoon in the mornings.
Second: Think of the minutes you spend out of bed as bonus time. Extra, on top of the 24 hours you already get! What would you do with 15 extra minutes? What about 30? Once up I’m with a cup of coffee in my system, I get an extra treat: a few more minutes to finish up last night’s dinner dishes, wipe down the bathtub, read a chapter of my book, or spend some quality time bonding with kitty. An opportunity to cross one item off my to-do list before the day even starts.
Maybe one day I’ll be one of those people who gets up and works for a few hours before the rest of the world wakes up, but I come from a long line of late sleepers. If genetics are any indicator, things don’t look great for me. In the meantime, I am living vicariously by reading about other’s morning routines, and enjoying my extra 15 minutes.