Monday, April 23, 2012

Early Morning Week

7:05 AM

Here I still sit, eyes a bit brighter. I had seven early mornings in a row last week, so what's one more?

Even though yesterday was technically the end of this month's Things I'm Gonna Do This Week, I decided not to sleep in this morning.

I know, I know, sleeping in on a Monday? Is that even possible!? Can anybody actually do that even if they wanted to? The answer is "yes" because I do. After a long weekend of performances, I usually look forward to a late start on Mondays.

But guess what? As it turns out, waking up early isn't as bad as I thought. It isn't as great as I hoped either, but here I sit. Waking up is just what we do. 

Humans complain about "waking up" way too much. Everything on Earth that sleeps has to "get out of bed," and yet we seem to be the only ones around that have to force ourselves to do it. Personally, I've never seen farm animals leaving a barn with Starbucks in their hooves, have you? And I highly doubt birds recite little sayings about themselves in order to wake up early and catch a worm.

What they do have, however, is what I discovered to be the only thing you need to facilitate a successful morning: A Purpose!

I wasn't exactly sure how this whole idea of mine was going to pan out. Getting up every day at 7 AM is foreign territory to me. But by the time the third morning came around, I was already so excited by the possibility of what I wanted to do that I woke up before my alarm even went off! By 10 o'clock, I had done three loads of laundry, washed the dishes, taken the dog for a walk, eaten breakfast, done some emailing, and gone to the gym. 

Then, the next morning happened. All those possibilities that made my eyes pop open so easily the day before had been fulfilled. Now my eyelids were cement, and coincidentally, I could think of nothing I wanted to do except go back to sleep. 

From then on, I began brainstorming every night to come up with things I wanted to do the following mornings. Over the next few days I tried reading, which didn't go well. I worked on some writing, which went ok. I sewed, which sounds ridiculous, but actually was a very efficient use of time. I even knocked off a few more films from the list of movies I was supposed to watch before the Academy Awards.

Was I still tired? Absolutely. And I definitely took 20-minute power naps in the afternoon. But what really changed was my perspective. For the longest time I've only viewed "waking up" as the last possible moment to stay asleep. And what I started doing last week was looking at it as the first possible moment to fulfill my purpose.

It is this change of perspective that made Early Morning Week much more enjoyable than I had ever anticipated. I think if I have a lot I want to accomplish on any given morning, I may keep it up. It's also made me pleased to announce that I will soon begin work on my next great feat: getting into bed before 2 AM instead of falling asleep on the couch in the living room with the television on.

I don't think farm animals do that either.

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