I’ve been waking up at five o’clock in the morning since high school. Not necessarily because I wanted to, and not only because the bus came to pick me up at promptly at twenty after six, but because that’s what made sense for me to do. In the past boyfriends have tried to get me to sleep in late; for whatever reason I seemed to be attracted to night-owls. But I never can seem to turn off my early-rising intuition. There’s something instilled in me to wake up early, something I cannot explain. I don’t know why it’s so easy for me to get up in the morning and I don’t know why it’s so hard for others to do the same.
It’s not that I want to get up at five in the morning everyday. I’d love to sleep in a little bit. Say, until, like, seven. Or six thirty. Maybe. It’s just that waking up at five make sense to me. I just know that I like to lounge around in the mornings and I like to take my time getting things done. There is nothing worse than being rushed and scrambling around to get things in order. At the end of the week, I want nothing more than to sleep in a few extra hours for the next two days — so why I sign up for nine a.m. yoga classes on Saturdays is beyond me. Sure, I don’t like knowing I’ll have to set my alarm for seven o’clock on the weekends, but I’ll do it. I know that in the morning I’ll be groggy for a good twenty minutes and then it’ll pass, and it’s worth it.
Before the sun rises I’ll read the news and catch up on what’s been going on in the world since I’ve been asleep. I also use this time to catch up on any missed TV shows from the night before. Sometimes I’ll even cook pasta or rice in the morning. These early mornings give me an allotted amount of time in which I have nothing to do or nowhere to be, which is true for few other times of day.
Don’t get me wrong, though, waking up and getting out of bed at five every morning isn’t always easy. I try to maintain the same bedtime schedule but if for some reason I find myself crawling into bed around midnight instead of ten thirty, I will still get up at five the next day. It takes willpower and is not fun or something I look forward to doing. When I first began to wake up at five ten years ago, I would make sure my Sony radio alarm was on the opposite side of my bedroom so I would have to actually get out of bed and turn on the lights before going to turn off my alarm.
When my fellow co-workers find out that I wake up at five every morning they give me a look that is a mixture of shock and horror. Why would I do that to myself? They go on to tell me how they just woke up twenty minutes ago and couldn’t fathom how I’ve been up already for three hours.
Being an early-riser has taught me a lot about myself. I’ve noticed that I am more productive at work in the mornings rather than in the afternoon. At work I’m often times the person who gets to the office first and opens it up for the day. I’ll work constantly and consistently from when I punch in at eight a.m. until I punch out for lunch. After that my productivity is shot. What would be wonderful is if I could find a job that would allow me to work from six in the morning until two in the afternoon. Although would that mean I’d have to wake up at four in the morning?
I work in fear that my manager will begin to pick up on my lack of productivity in the afternoon and start to notice how I’m always one of the first to leave in the evening. In the past, I’ve had managers who were willing to work with me and let me leave a half hour or fifteen minutes earlier — but then again, I was arriving a half an hour earlier to work too-and getting in trouble for accumulating crazy amounts of over-time. Morning person problems, I guess.
Perhaps I get up so early because of this fear that has been instilled in me since childhood about being late, of not doing things on time. I guess being the last kid picked up from middle school dances for three years in a row can do that to a person.