Up by Six: The Early Bird & all that Crap

I set an alarm every day but I really don’t need one to wake me up. I’ve gotten into a routine that is now known throughout my body; it knows when it’s time for me to get up and also when it’s time for me to sleep. At first I was inclined to fight it wanting to stay in bed as long as possible, but now I realize how much better my life is since I’ve started keeping new hours so to speak. At the latest I get up at six every morning but more often than not my body eases me awake closer to five thirty. I turn on the lights, their soft fluorescent glow filling the room with a simple joy, then I start the coffee, go to the bathroom, and grab my computer to get started writing. I almost always write in the morning, with the exception of yesterday when I spent the morning and much of the day out of the house hanging out with my wife since we were both off work and didn’t get around to doing my blog until the middle of the afternoon and it was eating at me all day. Once you get into a routine, doing something you enjoy at a certain time of day it can make you really anxious if you happen to miss it one day, like a drug. I’ve often heard people talk this way about exercising, saying that once you get into a routine of running every day you will absolutely hate days that you miss doing it. That sounds ridiculous to me and I haven’t exercised enough consecutively to relate to those weirdos but perhaps it is similar to the way I felt yesterday when I didn’t write first thing in the morning.

I would make the argument in favor of following my routine for a couple of reasons and modifying some of the details to fit your lifestyle. Firstly and perhaps most importantly, getting up at six allows me to get a jump start on the day. I generally don’t work until ten thirty so it’s nice to have more than four hours before I have to leave the house. Everyone has things that they need or want to do but struggle to do them because they can never seem to find the time. Here it is, handed to you on a silver platter from father time herself. For me it’s important to set aside time to write every day and while you might have different aspirations than me, you can still borrow the parameters of my routine to do whatever it is that want or need to do. Secondly, being up before every one else, even the sun, gives me an overall sense of relaxation and peacefulness in a world filled with chaos. I love coffee and it is such a pleasure to be able to sip coffee in the morning and really just enjoy the moment without having to worry about how long you have before you need to leave for work. I have always liked the philosophy that you should work to live rather than live to work, so if you are getting up just in time to get to work then the job is controlling your schedule whether you realize it or not. Too often people use work as an excuse for not getting things done but if you just alter your wake up time by a few hours you can have the freedom to do anything you want to do in a quiet and peaceful setting.

I used to be a sound sleeper, able to drift away just moments after my head hit the pillow but over the years something changed within me, making it increasingly more difficult to fall asleep. Some doctors attribute it to my depression, others to stress, and still others are happy to throw sleeping pills in my direction without actually figuring out my problem. Forcing myself to get up hours before I normally would makes my body naturally tired and I have been able to go to sleep much faster since I’ve started this routine. By eleven every night I’m struggling to stay awake so I listen to my body and it rewards me by easing me into sleep more effortlessly. I think what this ultimately proves is that I’m more intelligent than a doctor when it comes to fixing sleep problems so I should have piles of money thrown at me to give my opinions on such issues. Any way, I digress. I hope you’ve gained some insight into the advantages to be had by getting up earlier and maybe you will consider trying it. If for nothing else then you can at least force yourself to accomplish one thing in the morning so you can feel justified in slacking off the rest of the day, like me.

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