I am so not a morning person. In some cereal commercial, a woman turns her water hose on the paperboy and closes the elevator doors on a co-worker because she is not sociable until mid-afternoon. I understand her position completely.
I’m not sure when my inability to get out of bed developed. My mother has always said that it was difficult to wake me. I believe her exact words were, “Damn, you and your brother are like some crazy people in the morning.” And she is no Ms. Sunshine herself, especially if she hasn’t had a cup of coffee. So perhaps my condition is genetic.
My affairs with sunrise have been short-lived. I took a 7:30 a.m. aerobics class in college until I overslept one day and realized how much nicer it was to stay in bed. And for a few weeks in 1999, I woke up every morning at 5:30 to work out at the gym. One day, I forgot my change of clothes and had to go to work in sweats. I decided that my mental health and my fashion sense were much better served by me catching the extra Zs.
Despite my forays and failures into early rising, I have remained curious. There is a happiness to morning people that I do not understand. By the time they get to work, they are all smiles. They converse in the elevator while sipping mocha lattes. They walk into the office and immediately get to work. I need a big glass of water and 15 minutes of silence before I am able to speak to anyone.
My curiosity and the desire to be a bit more effective during the day fueled my New Year’s resolution to wake up early. The first week was a complete bust. I faithfully set the alarm for 6 a.m. every night, but I slept through the buzzer each time.
A friend suggested that I take it slow. She told me to try 6:45 for a couple of while and then move my awakening time back 15 minutes each week until I hit my goal.
My success rate has been a mixed bag, so I’ve decided to take this opportunity to examine my progress. This also helps me to fulfill another one of my other resolutions. I believe that it’s been just about two weeks since my last blog entry.
Monday, 6:45 a.m.
I barely have the will to rise. After arguing with myself about how much longer I should stay in bed, I realize that I’ve wasted 15 minutes. I force myself out of bed and turn on the TV. Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood is on PBS. I’m not sure what year this episode was filmed, but I’m certain that I was Elyse’s age when it was.
I get dressed, and then I fix a peanut-butter sandwich for breakfast. I go to get my daughter, who has been giggling in her crib for the past half hour. It takes forever, it seems, to comb her hair, but finally by 8:00, we are ready to go.
Tuesday, 7:15 a.m.
I hit a second-day set-back. As I jump out of bed, I hear Mister Rogers singing about grandparents. A few minutes later, the puppets in his make-believe town start to plan an opera.
I somehow find the time to make another peanut butter sandwich. Elyse and I leave the house at 8:15, just as Cookie Monster is agonizing over eating the letter-of-the-day cookie. When I get to work at 8:45, I find that I don’t snarl at the receptionist when she says hello.
Wednesday, 6:35 a.m.
I wake up 10 minutes before the alarm goes off, so I pull out the yoga mat and do a few stretches. The grogginess starts to clear, and I am in a pleasant mood when I tune into Mister Rogers at 7:30. By this point, he is a welcome addition to my morning routine. He focus is still grandparents, and on this day, he is sharing photos of his family. Grandfather and Grandmother Rogers look a little stuffy. His mother’s parents, Bee-bop and Nana, seem much more interesting.
As I step onto the elevator at work, I return the good-morning greetings that I receive from the other passengers instead of groaning as I usually would. By 9:00, I am surprised that I have completed several of the smaller items on my to-do list.
Thursday, 6:30 a.m.
I’m on a roll now. I’m dressed and smiling by 7:15. The puppets in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood are looking for a composer to help with their grandparents opera.
An hour later, I’m sitting at a stoplight on my way to work. A teenager in a red Chevy Cavalier slams into my rear-end. She didn’t me hard enough to do any damage to my car, but the impact was hard enough to give me a headache.
My good mood was long gone by the time I got to work at 8:30. It took two Advils and an offsite assignment to get me back into the swing of things.
Friday, 6:45 a.m.
I am supposed to go to breakfast with some colleagues, and this late start may ruin that. It’s interesting to note that five days ago I would not have thought of 6:45 as a late start.
I left the house at 7:15, so I didn’t get to see Mister Rogers and the puppets perform the grandparents opera. Traffic seals my fate. I arrive downtown at 8:15, just as everyone is leaving the diner. Determined to have a good day, I order my breakfast to go.
I doubt that I will become a uber-chipper morning person, but now I better appreciate what a few extra minutes in the morning can do. I don’t feel as harried by the time I get to work, and I can also take advantage of the quiet time in the office before the phones start ringing at 9:00. It’s also nice to have a bit to eat, even if it is only a peanut-butter sandwich.
So, we see how long the affair lasts this time. I’m definitely trying to beat my two-week record.