I was never a morning person as a child. Just ask my Dad – he often had the unpleasant task of waking me up in the morning, which usually required coming and going from my room after each mumble of “just five more minutes….” came from under my covers. It’s always been hard for me to wake up, and I’ve never been one to lament, “I woke up early and I just COULDN’T get back to sleep!” No. Give me enough time, and I’ll always go back to sleep. Always.
But somehow, the summer before senior year of college, I started waking up early. It was the easiest way for me to get myself to workout: if I plan to workout after work, it gets hard to motivate myself, especially once my butt hits the couch. So I taught myself to get up before the sun. It was hard, but I got to my apartment gym or outside for a run every morning, and I began to love it.
Over the past year, there have been few weekdays when I’ve slept past six. Sure, sometimes I oversleep, but most days I will get up by 5 or 5:30, spend 45 minutes puttering around my apartment: drinking tea, reading the daily missal, wiping the sleep from my eyes, meditating. By 6 or 6:30 I’m on my yoga mat.
My dear friend Erika tweeted yesterday about enjoying getting up extra early, and I replied that I completely agreed. There’s something so peaceful about getting up before [almost] everyone else, while it’s still dark and the day hasn’t started yet. There’s just so much possibility for the day. Nothing has stressed you out yet, you most likely have no meetings to attend for at least a few hours, and you can take time for yourself to do whatever you want.
At the end of the day, I’m thinking about all the things on my to-do list that I have yet to do and trying to wind down after sitting at a desk all day. In the morning, all I want to do is sit peacefully with a steamy cup of tea and take time for myself. It’s one of the nicest things I can do for myself.
So today, I’m thankful that I get to wake up tomorrow morning, shuffle around my house, and enjoy my “me” time. It’s rare that we can dedicate special time for ourselves and our thoughts. So I challenge you to do the same – whether the sun is up or down, whether it’s morning or night: pick your favorite time, and enjoy it for yourself. You deserve it.
And you know what else is nice? Friends who a) send you snail mail and b) illustrate the back of the envelope like it’s a freaking CANVAS, complete with a world map, yoga poses, and foreign languages. Hofman, you’re my girl.