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:
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?