Monday, January 24, 2011

I’m An Early Bird

I really enjoy the tranquility of the morning hours, so I’m up quite early every day. During the week, primarily while the school season is in full force, I hop out of bed around 5:30. On weekends and pedagogical days, and during summer vacation and various other holidays, I may sleep in until 7:00, but I’m often up by 6:30. And if I’m absolutely, devastatingly exhausted and in desperate need of some extra sleep, I may lounge in bed until, oh, about 8:00 or so, sometimes 8:30. No joke. I consider staying in bed till 8:00 sleeping in. Really.

It wasn’t always like this. In my younger years – especially the teen and early adult years – it took tremendous effort to drag my sorry torso out of bed each morning to get to school or work. I swear to you that it was literally physically painful to be up before 10:00. So would I ever have gotten up at 5:30 or 6:00 AM in those days? Voluntarily? Over my dead and decomposing body. Such an act was unthinkable. Barbaric. Absolutely psy-cho-tic.

Well, obviously all the psychological phobias and physical discomforts associated with waking up in the early morning hours dissipated over time since getting up as early as 5:00 or 6:00 is now a joy rather than a nightmare, and easy to achieve. I imagine that becoming a mother and being forced to get up for those 2:00, 3:00 and 4:00 AM feedings contributed to it, as did waking up week after week, year after year to get the kids ready for school. Working at jobs that started very early in the morning also forced me to crawl out of bed helped me get used to getting up at the crack of dawn. One such job that comes to mind had me punching in at 7:00 in the morning, five days a week. Imagine that.

And although some of you – like my husband who can easily sleep till noon (and even later) when he’s off from work – may think I’m off my rocker by voluntarily getting up before the birds rise on days that I don’t have to, I say “Hmpf...” I personally wouldn’t change a thing. I love the morning hours. The city is still asleep and it’s delightfully quiet. I pour myself my first cup of coffee and start a brand new day.

What about you? Are you an early riser? Or do you prefer to sleep in?


  1. I'm the same way, Martha. I love the quiet of the early morning and how the world seems fresh and unspoiled, even though I suppose it's not. Years ago, I had a janitorial job that started at 5:00AM. I loved it. I got off work at 1:30, when most folks were coming back from lunch. And now, I get up a 4:40AM to fix Tom's lunch---I really don't mind most days. It's a joy to get to see the sun rise over the mountains every morning.

  2. I'm with you, Martha. Mornings are the best! Of course, it helps when you have a dog. They always need to go out first thing.
    My husband is a night person, too, and takes forever to get up. Good thing one of us is raring to go!

  3. Wow, 5:30 AM, Beth? I think the only job I had that early was taking care of my kids when they were infants, or when they were sick. But I could probably handle it since I have no trouble getting up early. And I would love a job that finishes at 1:30 in the afternoon!


    Cynthia, my husband takes forever to get up, too. And he stays up late. So he's the night owl and I'm the early bird. I could never sleep in the way he does; I feel like I missed the entire day.

  4. I think we have something in common here dear. I am an early bird as well. If I tell you why I get up in the wee hours of the morning you will probably burst with laughter.... it has nothing to do with getting ready for work, or taking a quick shower.... no... I have, and MUST, watch the news! Believe it or not, it is a habit that I cannot and will not ever compromise. If, say for instance, I go out for a night on the town and come home at 5am... I will purposely set my alarm to wake up at 6am, so that I can watch the news in the morning. I guess my mom is right... I am indeed a rare breed.

  5. That's funny, Hellas, because the first thing I do in the morning (after I pour my cup of coffee, of course) is read the news (on the internet). I don't watch TV like you do, but I do get my news fix in print. I like to know what's going on, and I also like to learn new things.

  6. Most people seem to be morning people, and I'm a dedicated night owl. Perhaps this will change with time, but if doesn't I'll be just as happy looking out at the night sky and pondering the secrets of the universe. :)

  7. Tatiana, I used to be a night owl for many years, and I loved it. I think having children altered that state. I couldn't stay up late and get up in the wee hours of the morning to tend to the kids, so my night owl days had to be given up. I've been conditioned to getting up early in the morning for so many years that it's just so natural for me now.