Good Morning

I am categorically not a morning person. If you’ve ever spent any time with me, this will not be new information for you. I thought that getting a 9-5 job might cure this but it turns out that when you’re allowed to turn up at the office whenever you like (within reason) you won’t be very eager to get there bright and early. In fact just recently I bustled in at 8.55 to be greeted by my wide-eyed manager, gazing in disbelief. “You’re early… You don’t usually get here before 9, do you?” And in fairness, I was only there pre-9am because my bus had inexplicably cruised into town rather than getting snarled in traffic as usual.

I thought that after a certain amount of time (perhaps 23 years to be exact) I would come to terms with not being a morning person. But I just can’t. Something deep within me yearns to be a morning person. ‘Morning people just seem like better people’ is my thought process of an evening, soon replaced by ‘morning people are awful and must be stopped’ as a beeping alarm draws me out of my duvet cocoon.

I’m always reading about how successful, productive people have good morning routines. (I’ve yet to figure out quite how we’re defining success and productivity in this context, but they sound like pretty good attributes.) My morning routine is along the lines of: snooze alarm about fifteen times, reluctantly clamber out of bed while grumbling, shower, throw on some clothes, escape the house. If I’ve showered the night before I might even skip that step. One morning I woke up at 8 and still made the 8.24 bus. Impressive, perhaps, but is this really setting me up for the day? Probably not, realistically. Recently I’ve been feeling generally unsettled, anxious, panicky even, and I can’t help but wonder if a better morning routine wouldn’t help this. If five days out of seven start with a battle with my bed and then a mad panic to get out of the door, can I really expect to feel particularly serene at any point?

I have an image seared onto my mind of what ‘being a morning person’ looks like, and I think it may have come straight from a coffee advert I saw when I was younger. A glamorous woman wearing a silky nightie, marooned in the middle of a bright white bed, sipping black coffee and looking misty-eyed but content. The clock reads 07:05am or something equally virtuous and horrendous. Maybe this lady could be me!

But what do early risers even do? This cartoon essentially sums up my feelings on the matter:

cartoon via Toothpaste for Dinner

I feel like coffee might be an essential component. Breakfast, perhaps, though I have fallen into a fairly comfortable routine of eating porridge at my desk. Maybe it should involve reading, but I do that on the bus anyway. Writing a diary? Yoga? Staring glumly into space and wishing I was still asleep? The possibilities are endless. What I’m going to do is figure out what a proper morning should look like and then do those things and see if this makes all the little pieces of my life fit together a bit more smoothly.

What does your morning routine involve? Are you an early riser or not? How do you think this affects your life?

11 thoughts on “Good Morning

  1. Some days I have to get up at 5.30 to get to an 8am lecture 20 miles away. I’m a morning person, but that is too extreme even for me. Normally I wake up at about half 6.
    Take this comment as an example. It’s half term. It isn’t even 7am. Being a morning person is great; everything is quiet and clean.

    • The idea of getting up at 5.30 is making my eye twitch.

      See, I don’t like quiet! Quiet makes me anxious. I am a totally dysfunctional human being who feels infinitely more at ease waking up when the world is already a bit noisy. Also, if my house ain’t clean at 10am, it won’t be clean at 7am either.


  2. I’m definitely not a morning person either, which is why, if I have an early start, I’ll get up really early. This way, when I leave the house and have to behave like a decent human being, I have a couple hours behind me already to act like a zombie and figure out where I am/what’s going on!

    • This sounds very reasonable! I think it is the actual act of waking up that I hate more than anything, which is unbelievably childish, but hey.

  3. I’m 29, but I’d say within the past 3-4 years I started waking up early naturally. It was very annoying, because even if I went to sleep late I’d still wake up at 830 on weekends. Maybe it’s just getting a little older, because when I was in my teens and early 20s I could NOT wake up early, and I frequently missed early classes in college. Now I just go to bed earlier, and it’s so much better because I feel more well rested than I ever have in my whole life. My thing I always look forward to that still helps get me out of bed is my morning coffee on my commute though. I don’t really care that it costs a lot to buy coffee every day, because it’s something that I enjoy and that gets me going. Someday when I live in a proper house I’ll have one of the ones that is set on a timer and I can make myself, but for now Starbucks works for me!
    Oh, and one more thing. I have started walking on part of my commute, and I really look forward to that because the weather in England is really decent in the winter. So I’ll commute into zone 1 in London (from zone 3), and then walk the next 40 minutes or so into the office. It’s just so relaxing to listen to podcasts or music and get in some exercise before staring at a screen for 8 hours.
    Haha. I feel inspired to write a blog on this now!!

  4. I fluctuate between early and late. I find if I force myself to wake ahead of my body wanting too I am a grump biatch all day! But obviously there are times when I have too and I just have to feed myself lots of tea.

  5. Having a child who loves to get up at 5.30, I have convinced myself that I’ve become an early riser. But I haven’t. In reality, I sit until around 9a, with my eyes propped open, downing many a cup of coffee and wishing I was still in bed.

  6. I love this post! I used to be an early riser and I do enjoy that quiet tie in the morning if I ever manage it, but having two children, and gradually beginning to work later and later at night, I feel I’m gradually becoming a night owl instead!

  7. Snap! I am just the same as you – I feel like I am underwater on waking for about an hour! I hate getting out of bed, unless I go to sleep at like 9pm! I’ve read a lot about circadian rhythms, so its our internal biological clocks to blame! Not much we can do, but if I find any new info I will let you know!


  8. You will hate my routine! I get up around 5, leave at 6 and start work at 7! Luckily that means I finish earlier which is always nice. :) A good breakfast and a cup of tea get my day started right…

    Maria xxx

  9. I used to be one of these people! With my work being 3 miles down the road I used to get out of bed at 9:15 and race to work to get there in time for 9:30. Then I got cats; cats who liked to wake up at 6am religiously and dart around until I cae downstairs.

    Now I also wake at 6am, feed the cats, make a bowl of cereal (breakfast was an entirely new concept to me!), have a coffee (I never even liked coffee!!) and would catch up on any tv I missed from the night before. I then set off for work at 7:30 and turn up nice and early and bild up flexi time! It’s great!

    I feel refreshed, ready and raring and I’ve lost weight because I no longer get to work wanting to munch on rubbish because I didn’t eat breakfast!

    Good luck!! x

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