On Being a Morning Person

I so desperately want to be a morning person.  I have an overly romanticized idea in my head of what it means to be a “morning person.”  I envision waking up well-rested, without that groggy, hazy feeling that plagues me so many mornings.  I see the sun shining brightly through my blinds, coffee perking away in the kitchen, and a leisurely time sitting on the sofa, reading the news and watching Good Morning, America.

My mornings have never resembled anything close to this, so I’m not sure where this idea fully comes from.  The closest I’ve ever gotten to this was scarfing down a bowl of cereal in front of the TV in the five minutes I would leave myself for breakfast during college.  The trouble is, once I’m up, I’m fine.  I get a lot done during the morning and the day always seems so much longer when I see more than 5 hours of sunshine (the sun really is a great mood enhancer). The problem is the actual getting up.   I’ve mentioned before that one of the great things about my graduate program is that my classes are always from 7pm until 9:30pm.  It’s great because it’s a time that doesn’t conflict with much and I always know when my classes are going to be.  I’m not working right now though, so having the main activity of my day so late means I have no motivation to wake up or to get up off the couch and go to bed at night.

Case-in-point: This morning, we had to drop our dog off at the vet at 8:30am for his neuter surgery.  The vet is about a 10 minute walk away, so really we just needed to be up around 8am to get dressed and get Ein leashed up.  8am is a perfectly reasonable, some would say normal, wake up time.  Some people probably even consider 8am to be “sleeping in.”  I got tired last night around 11, but instead of getting up and going to bed, I stayed firmly planted on the couch, playing a game on my computer and watching the Winter Olympics until about 2:30am.  Then I stayed up in bed reading until almost 4am.  It is so hard to resist the temptation of technology now and stay up, compulsively checking social media instead of getting in bed like I know I should.

I wasn’t always this way and the fact that I’ve become such a night person and a late sleeper is a mystery to me.  Growing up, I compulsively put myself to bed every night at my bedtime.  When I was too old for a parentally imposed bedtime, I gave myself one.  I was always in bed by 11pm at the latest and got anxious when I wasn’t.  Even during college, I would always allow myself an hour to watch the 11 o’clock news and one episode of The Golden Girls before being in bed, lights out at midnight.  Of course, these were also times when I had to be up usually by 7am to go to school and class.  It’s amazing how hard it is to motivate and regiment myself without these exterior impositions.  This will all change soon, as the job hunting is slowly beginning (anyone have leads for a graduate student with no formal experience?) but it is a really perplexing introspective exercise to look at why I haven’t been able to motivate myself to shuck the covers and wake up in the morning, the way I feel that I should.   Maybe that is the point though, that I feel like I should do something because it’s the norm, it’s what is socially acceptable.

It is something to think about on this cold Monday morning where I find myself enjoying being a morning person.



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